Uphill campus lacks security

By Jennifer Mok

Contributing Writer

I personally like the dark. As odd as that may seem, there’s something calming about it. Granted, I most appreciate the dark when I’m in my room and 100 percent sure that I’m safe. Walking back to my room in the black, lonely and freezing cold night from the library, Bostwick Marketplace or a friend’s room is a different story. Because in truth, no matter what, you’re not exactly “alone.” To ensure our safety, there are a total of 43 blue lights all over campus. A majority of these lights seem to be located downhill while there is an evident lack of blue lights uphill. Is this really a problem? Should we be providing more security uphill?

Well, for starters, I’m not exactly sure how many people even use these emergency call boxes. I also have not seen enough people utilizing these security tools to even be sure that they work. So, does this mean that we are all safe on campus in the blinding dark of night? Yes and no. As a first-year, I can’t claim to have spent enough time on campus to attest to the trust and respect the students have for each other, but I can say that from the time that I have been here and from what I hear from upperclassmen, the University student body is a group of honest and trustworthy individuals.

This does not eliminate dangers and the unfortunate realities of an individual’s vulnerability at night, though. One of the foremost concerns on our campus is the possibility of sexual assault. This “possibility” is actually a crude reality not only on our campus but also on campuses nationwide. Our school as a whole has taken initiatives to address this matter by gathering the opinions of students and faculty members. Many can argue that the results and reports may seem skewed for several reasons but in the end, the students are faced with this potential danger no matter how safe the campus is perceived to be. So, could one step to ensuring the security of all students be the installment of more blue lights uphill? I believe so.

Why uphill? A great number of students spend an immense amount of their time uphill. It is where the Academic Quad is–-where we study, meet professors and engage in extracurricular activities. Students should not have to leave the library early and possibly lose study time for the sake of being safe on campus. In addition, why is there an uneven distribution of blue lights on campus? It may because of the perceived safer environment uphill in contrast to that of downhill, but this is a highly skewed and unjustified view on the two different sections of the campus. Each half should be secured and protected equally.

Lastly, I would like to say that in addition to the installation of blue lights on the Academic Quad, I believe that the school should encourage students to utilize them. Some of us are sometimes a bit too embarrassed or passive about the risks on campus and thus forgo using the blue lights. When your safety is in question, should you really be passive or timid? No. So, use the blue lights and hopefully, later in the future–-we will all have access to one no matter where we are: downhill or uphill in the Academic Quad.

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