Walking Campus at Night

Nicole Manall, Staff Writer

When I came to the University of New Haven four years ago, I was scared but excited. I had never been this far away from my family before, and for the first time, I was by myself. There were so many events on campus that I often walked alone to, meeting friends there.

I never had a problem walking around campus alone until this year.

This is the first year I have my car on campus, but living in the Savin Apartments does not technically make me a commuter, so I am not allowed to park on campus on the weekdays until 9 p.m. Usually, I park in the RR Salvage/Shoprite parking lot since the area has multiple security and crossing guards, but that is only during the day.

While there are about four to five guards during the day, there are about three guards watching the area during the night. I have a 6 p.m. class and, at first, walking back to my car late did not bother me much. I knew it was something I had to do and there was not much I could do about it, but as the semester went on I continued to watch who was behind me. I thought that maybe someone would come up from behind or start yelling, which makes me paranoid.

Others have had the same concerns not only from walking back to the RR Salvage/Shoprite parking lot, but also walking up to north campus to retrieve their cars. North, thankfully, is better lit and has the blue stands that let you contact the police. But it was only last year that multiple cars were broken into at north’s parking lot.

Senior marketing major Emily Baker parks her car at the Hoffman parking lot and she says that walking from Hoffman to campus is frightening.

“Unlike the RR Salvage/Shoprite parking lot, Hoffman does not have any security guards,” said Baker. “It’s slightly concerning, having to walk back there at night knowing that no one is right there to help you.”

Even though the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report said the campus crime rate is low, that does not mean students assume that the campus and the area around it are safe. According to Neighborhoodsout.com, West Haven is safer than just 31 percent of U.S. cities.

One thing that does make me feel safer walking to and from campus is the LiveSafe app. With the LiveSafe app, (a mobile two-way safety communication platform designed to provide companies and universities with immediate communication with authorities) students have a fast and direct connection with the police department, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. This app is not just for emergencies, but also lets students communicate with police officers when walking in an unsafe area.

Even though the LiveSafe app should make students feel safer when walking around campus at night, the university can still make more improvements to enhance their safety. Whether it be having more police officers around the area, leaving the lights on at the RR Salvage/Shoprite parking lot past 10 p.m., or even checking to see if vehicles have the proper parking pass, there are small and simple things that the university can do to improve their student’s safety.