September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month and brings with it reflection on the University of New Haven’s campus environment.
Campus safety is a manner of large concern; everyone should feel safe in the environment they chose to live in for four years. It is important that any college campus create a safe environment for new and old students alike.
U.N.H. strives to create this safe environment across the entire campus. Multiple safety measures, including the almost constant Campus PD patrol around campus, are taken each day to assure the safety of the students and faculty. The common, campus-wide opinion is that for the most part, U.N.H. is a very safe campus. Most students have never felt uncomfortable being alone.
Perhaps the most noteworthy safety measure on campus is the blue light system. The blue lights are designed to assure students and faculty are close to instant help at all hours of the day and night. Students can press the button on the blue lights to send an emergency alert to campus police, who have a guarantee to be there within thirty seconds to a minute.
The blue lights have come a long way since last year, when one did not work after a student pressed it in an emergency situation. Campus Police have worked to address and resolve the issue to assure that it does not happen again.
While all of the blue lights are up and working now that was not the case at move-in. The blue light at the entrance to North Campus had an “Out of Order” sign on it from move-in until a few days ago, when it was fixed. This was a concern for many students who needed to walk to and from North throughout the first two weeks of classes.
“Since I work on the weekends and have to walk to and from North in the dark by myself it concerned me when I noticed that the blue light didn’t work. Student and faculty safety should always be the most important thing,” says sophomore Megan Joyce.
There has also been concern from students about the placement of the blue lights. They are supposed to be around campus in such a way so at least one can always be seen from where you are standing. However, this may not always be the case. There are no blue lights behind Winchester and Sheffield, a path frequently walked by students.
Freshman Caitlin Carney says, “No matter how safe I know this campus is, it is still uncomfortable to walk in a dark area late at night and not have any way to get help if I need it.”
These are just two issues – most students feel that the campus and surrounding community is a safe place.
“I frequently skate to the 7/11 just off campus and I have never felt unsafe or threatened,” says sophomore Patrick Smith.
In the month of September, set aside to reflect on the importance of campus safety, it is important to appreciate the safe environment of U.N.H. while also staying aware of the areas for improvement.
When it comes to campus safety, it is great to appreciate and even better to improve.