By: Caroline Wilkerson
Students at the University of Lynchburg have raised concerns about the lighting and general safety on campus.
Senior Taylor Morris said, “I think we have pretty decent security on the weekends, but I barely see them around during the week. Walking home alone at night from the library can sometimes feel unsafe because of the lack of lighting that we have on College Street. We could really use more sidewalk lighting that stays on all the time, not just when people walk by it. Also, we need more blue safe lights. The one blue safe light on campus that I have seen is in the commuter lot, and that is just insufficient.”
While Elena Ferguson, a junior, said, “I think the lighting on campus is very unsafe for Lynchburg students. As they walk towards the library or towards the dorms, the streets are not nearly lit enough to see the surroundings, particularly at night. I also think that the distance from one light to another is too far.”
Ferguson’s comments were reiterated by Joe Triano, a junior, who said, “Due to the lack of lighting, sometimes I feel unsafe walking around at night.”
Dean Caifano, deputy director for Safety and Security at the University of Lynchburg said, “The lighting is not sufficient, but the physical plant and the university are working to get the lighting up to par.” The physical plant has already implemented LED lights in many parking lots around the campus, and are working to improve the lighting in the Dell. Over the past nine years, lighting has improved greatly; however, they want to upgrade the lighting even more.
The University however has provided several safety measures to help ensure students’ protection. Some of these safety measures include: the LiveSafe app, escorting services, weather hotline, EMT services, and counseling services. The LiveSafe app provides universities all over the country with immediate response to safety information and constituencies happening around campus.
Escorting services provide students with the option of having a security officer take them to where they need to go instead of walking or driving alone. While the weather hotline instantly alerts students whenever a weather disaster appears. The EMT and counseling services provide students with on-call care for medical or emotional emergencies.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) every year 11.2% of graduate and undergraduate students across United States’ college campuses “experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation”. These statistics have lead to increase calls for new safety procedures and precautions across college campuses, including at the University of Lynchburg.