The 23rd annual Walk for Light event convened yesterday as representatives from diverse facets of campus life joined together to identify potentially unsafe areas around the River Campus.
A collaboration of staff and students surveyed areas they deemed deficient in safety and reported their suggestions. This year, the Students’ Association Projects and Services Committee hosted the event, which was sponsored by D’Lions and Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Attendees included students, staff from Facilities, Security and representatives from the Dean of Students’ Office.
During the dinner that preceded the walk, SA Projects and Services Committee Co-chair and junior Eric Sansky explained the tasks and goals of the night. He asked participants to pay attention to detail and share observations about maintenance improvements and security updates.
The particular goals were to ensure sufficient lighting around campus, ascertain if there are enough blue light phones and make sure current facilities such as phones and lights outside of buildings are in working order.
Following dinner, participants in the event broke off into four groups that each followed the route around River Campus. The routes had been mapped out using student feedback. Over 200 students responded to a tabling event in Wilson Commons where they highlighted areas on a map of campus that they considered dangerous.
The four groups covered various parts of the University during their 40-minute walk and examined every central academic and dorm area, as well as parking lots and the outer edges of campus.
Each group reported its suggestions to Director of Security Walter Mauldin. Every suggestion, Mauldin explained, will be compiled into a list of repairs to be made.
Common suggestions were to fix lights, add or change the direction of a light and increase the number of blue light phones.
“This helps us to prioritize Security’s list of concerns and determine where to allocate budget money,” Sansky said.
The groups were scheduled to meet in Sloan Auditorium for a discussion of security issues after the walk. However, every tour lasted longer than anticipated.
“I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” Sansky said. He explained that the most pertinent goal of the walk was compiling a list of issues, and the group members clearly took this job seriously.
Walk for Light has increased the number of blue light phones and lighting in its long history of updating UR Security for almost 25 years. Recent accomplishments of past Walk for Light events included additional lighting for the Fraternity Quad and around Hutchison Hall. Another improvement was the new blue light phone added near Douglass Dining Center last year.
Mauldin explained that there have been many improvements made over the years and Walk for Light has shown great success. However, he added that it is also necessary to continue the program in future years because, due to new, physical changes to the University, security issues are constantly changing.
Leber is a member of the class of 2011.