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Admin, Students Take a Walk for Safety

Catherine Cinque, Staff Writer

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For the last five years, Campus Police has hosted a Safety Walk that allows students and faculty to find potentially dangerous areas on campus they think could use improvement. This year’s walk took place Tuesday (Oct. 3) at 6:30 p.m.

Assistant Chief of Police Don Parker explained the reasoning for walking at night is because the areas people find unsafe are more pronounced during this time.
Parker stated, “The purpose of this is the chance for students and staff to get together to find external things that may be a hazard.”

The majority of issues students and faculty find pertain to facilities.

Rich Rutherford, director of facilities, said, “Over the years I think we have made a lot of improvements doing this.”

Most problems that arise he said deal with lighting, lights that are out or new ones needing to be installed. Landscaping and fences are also in the mix, there may be overgrown shrubbery to be cleaned up or falling fences and potholes.

When enough students arrived, Parker explained there were ten zones around campus that would be covered on the walk. The zones were assigned to groups of about three students and Campus Police. Zones included Forest Hills, Charger Plaza, North Campus, Harugari Hall, Winchester, Westside, and Dunham, and their respective parking lots.

One person would then be the scribe for that group and write down everything they found on their walk that they believed to be unsafe. Some issues that were found were plants growing wild that may attract unwanted animals, lights put on the side of Westside on Isadore St. since it is not well lit, and a light out in the parking lot behind Dunham.

“I like being a part of the campus community and getting to help make it safer for students is a great way to do that,” said Ryan Austin, a senior who has done this walk for two years. “Last year I think my group found four or five issues.”

Others involved in the walk were Residential Life staff like Will Fraizer. Fraizer was a student at the university who graduated in 2014 and was hired as a full time Area Coordinator. He said before Westside was built walking to Forest was not a pleasant experience. The now fenced and lighted parking lot beside Westside used to be a bare lot with a chain link fence that held a security guard in a trailer.

“There were few lights and at night it was scary,” Fraizer stated.

Campus Police aimed to assure students could feel safe walking on campus.

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Admin, Students Take a Walk for Safety