Students were given a chance to voice their concerns about safety at the Walk for Light Tuesday. The event had been an annual event, with the exception of last year.

Security personnel, administration and students joined in a walk around campus to scope out areas where students have voiced concern about safety. This year, areas in question included the courtyard between Meliora Hall and Rush Rhees Library and the Academic Quadrangle.

Organized by sophomore and Senate Projects Committee member Alexa Phillips, the walk covered River Campus academic and residential areas. A separate walk for the Graduate Living Center will be held at a later date.

Phillips said she felt that the walk was an important event because it gave students a chance to have direct communication with people who make the decisions about security on campus.

“The Walk for Light gives students a chance to tell security where and why they feel uncomfortable,” she said.

The area students complained most about was the courtyard near Meliora Hall.

“Students said they feel uncomfortable here because there is no blue light near the courtyard,” Phillips said.

Results from the walk will be compiled by UR Security and prioritized. Security will make overall recommendations that will be passed on to an administrative group who will make the final decisions on which improvements will be made.

Students at the walk were hopeful that their presence would make an impact. “I live in GLC and have a lot of concerns about the lighting there. This group seemed like the people to complain to,” junior Megan Jacobson said.

In the past, the walk has resulted in significant improvements to campus lighting and security. “The lights along the path south of Sue B. are a result of the walk two years ago,” Director of Security Walter Mauldin said. “The improvements we make are responsive to the Walk.”

Administrators and students agreed that the walk was a good chance to interact outside of the classroom. “I like the idea of administrators and students working together and talking effectively,” Class of 2003 Senator Lizzie Conway said.

“This event is unique because it provides a forum for active dialogue between administration and students,” Vice Provost and Dean of Students at The College Mary-Beth Cooper said.

The walk also provided a chance for administrators to see the campus at night. “I think it is important that we physically walk around campus at night because there are professors and administrators who have never seen this campus after 8 p.m.,” Security Manager of Patrol Operations Mike Epping said.

The walk has been a campus event for over 20 years, but because of scheduling conflicts and bad weather, it was not held last year.

Mauldin said it is important to have an annual check. “This walk is effective because we learn each year about changing student life patterns,” he said.

“I think it went well,” Phillips said.

Taylor can be reached at

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