Student Senate hears safety walk results

Logan Raschke, News Editor

Seth Yeakel, chair of student government’s external relations committee, presented the results of 2018’s Fall Safety Walk in a report to the Student Senate during its Wednesday meeting.

The senate also tabled a bill that would approve the creation of the Indian Student Association (ISA) and recognize it as a registered student organization to next week during the meeting.

In late November of last year, Yeakel, who was the chair of the university enhancement committee, said he led the safety walk in which a total of four groups drove around campus in the cold night searching for things needing repairs in order to improve student safety.

What the groups found was collected for the report he shared at the Student Senate meeting, he said.

After the safety walk, Yeakel noticed that the outside lights were a big problem on campus, he said.

“It’s not like there’s like a huge section of lights out; it’s just that there’s a light here, light there, light here,” Yeakel said. “But what happens if one light’s out; a couple rounds of other lights go out eventually? Then that gets a dark area, so that’s what we’re worried about.”

Yeakel said both students and faculty at Eastern have voiced their concerns to student government about dark areas on campus. Among all of the dimly lit places on campus, he said 4th Street is an area a number of students have recently complained about.

“Whenever it’s rainy or just slightly foggy, you can’t see anyone on that street. And that’s just one of the concerns we have,” he said.

Another thing Yeakel said he found during the walk was a plethora of cracks in sidewalks and in parking areas.

While these cracks on campus can be considered safety concerns, he said there is not much that can be done to remedy the problem until it gets warmer.

“They’re definitely on the list,” he said, “so hopefully (administration is) aware of them.”

Using the information he collected from leading the safety walk last year, Yeakel said he is sending the report to administration. From there, it is up to administration to figure how it will handle the safety concerns.

Yeakel said after repairs have been made, the committee can do a follow-up to see how the repairs have progressed.

He said safety is one of the most important things on campus, and he wants to make sure the Eastern community’s concerns are not falling upon deaf ears.

“We want to make sure the student’s voice is heard. These groups (that participate in the safety walk) are made of faculty and students,” he said. “We want to make sure they get heard.”

According to its constitution, the purpose of the ISA is to “incorporate the Indian community among Eastern Illinois University,” “represent the Indian cultural heritage at Eastern Illinois University,” “promote unity among the association, with AIS (Association of International Students) and among all the other communities at the university” and to “be a support system to new Indian students.”

Additionally, another part of the ISA’s purpose is to bolster multicultural activities by engaging with Indian students and communicating with the rest of the student body, according to the ISA’s page on Eastern’s website.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].