Students Encouraged to be on Light ‘Look-out’

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by Hanna Russmann & Sheyenne Manning

Simpson Security and maintenance are doing what it can to keep students safe at night. Lately, students have been finding themselves walking home from classes and study groups in areas that aren’t well-lit.

Director of Security Chris Frerichs said one focus of Simpson Security is campus lighting, and there are different things security does on campus to promote various forms of night safety.

“The lighting system on campus is very important, and we want to know anytime there are any issues with lights being out,” Frerichs said.

While making rounds every night, security checks on the status of campus lighting and reports to maintenance which lights need to be repaired.

“We have asked security to check the lights when they are out on campus and they put together a report about where and what (is) wrong with the lights for maintenance,” Director of Campus Services Jeff Wagner said. “We like to fix the lights once every month or two months depending on the time we have.”

Simpsonian staff members found lights out on the east side of Dunn Library, in Wallace and Barker parking lots as well as other lights around buildings such as McNeill and Hillman Hall.

Occasionally, Campus Services turns the lights on during the day to find broken or burnt out lights.

“We place a very high priority on night safety,” Frerichs said. “We have (checked) numerous and different times throughout the evening (when) we are on campus, locking up the buildings. Those are staggered throughout the evening. We are doing three or four rounds on average.”

If students feel unsafe walking across campus due to poor lighting, security is willing to escort any student by way of cart or SUV. The service is available for transportation only on campus.

“We do escorts for the purposes of safety issues or health related issues,” Frerichs said. “We will provide the service whenever needed – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Junior Marina Leota is one student concerned about her walk from campus to her apartment.

“I kind of feel like the walk from the Detroit (apartment) area to campus is a long walk and a lot of the lights are out,” Leota said. “I’d feel more secure if the path were lit because then maybe you could see a lurker, and it is just better to be able to see where you’re going.”

After learning about the availability to catch a ride from Campus Security, Leota said she would be likely to use it.

Students are encouraged to contact Campus Services with information about broken lights on campus. Wagner said that students should express concerns to Campus Services if they feel areas of campus are unsafe because of inadequate lighting.

Leota stated she hasn’t talked about her concerns of the lighting in the Detroit apartment area, but has considered talking to the proper offices about the outages.

Frerichs also mentioned students taking action to get more lighting on campus.

“We had an issue down at the Clinton apartments with students last year mentioning there were areas down there that were too dark, and they ended up putting in new lights (by Clinton),” Frerichs said.

The number for Campus Services is 515-961-1622 and Security is 515-961-1711. Frerichs and Wagner both urge students to contact Security and Campus Services with safety and lighting issues.