Blue Lights Out

Erica Giannelli

“Welcome to the University of New Haven, where the safety of our students is one of our biggest concerns.” I’m pretty sure this statement is mentioned once or twice to the incoming freshmen that choose to take a tour of this college campus.

The university prides itself in having blue safety towers spread out throughout the entire campus to ensure protection at all times. A few years ago, when I was a freshman, I specifically recall being told that from each blue safety tower, you would be able to see the next one, to reassure that you are safe at all times. The existence of these towers made a lot of sense to me, seeing as any given student may be walking by themselves at some time throughout the day and, as most of us know, West Haven is not the most harmless town in Connecticut.

Now that I am a junior, I noticed something very ironic as I walked from my car parked behind Kayo field, back to Soundview at nighttime in the middle of the week. Observing my surroundings, I noticed one of those reassuring blue towers watching over me as I made my way back to the dorm. Then something very odd occurred to me. This blue tower was out of order. Wrapped in what looked like a garbage bag, there was no chance that this thing was in working condition. Amazed that none of the staff on campus, or campus police, had done anything about it, I continued to walk past. A few days later, as I was walking around main campus, I noticed numerous other blue safety towers that were “out-of-order.” Now I’m noticing a trend.

How is UNH priding itself on the safety of the students when half of these “safety” towers are not even working properly? So what happens if a student is actually in a very dangerous position and cannot even use one of these to call for help?

As a student, on a college campus in West Haven, it would be nice to feel safe at all times, especially when walking alone. There is no reason that any of these safety towers should not be working for our benefit.

In the past few years there have been reports of student muggings and many other unsafe happenings supporting the fact that we deserve a campus that can live up to its own standards of security. If UNH is not willing to fix these technical errors, maybe the admissions office should stop pushing the campus protection as one of the phenomenal reasons to attend this campus.