This past Tuesday was the eighth annual Campus Safety Walk, during which President Clough, Dean Stein, student leaders, campus police department members and various other administrators toured campus to look for any areas that appeared unsafe, in the hopes of improving overall campus safety. Due to time constraints the walk occurred at 3:30 p.m., instead of in the early evening as in years past.
The aim of the walk is to improve simple issues such as campus lighting on the most commonly used paths for students to get to and from classes. However, the walk is also intended to raise students’ awareness of safety issues on campus.
The Student Government Association’s Planning and Development Committee was responsible for organizing the Campus Safety Walk.
Third-year Physics major Sarang Shah, the chair of the SGA Planning and Development Committee, was present and participated in the walk.
“One of the Planning and Development Committee’s primary missions is to relay student safety concerns to the administration….Really it [Campus Safety Walk] is a way of helping students as well,” Shah said.
The walk began at the Campanile and progressed to North Avenue by way of Cherry Street and Tech Tower. The group then proceeded to walk down North Avenue, passing the stadium and the freshmen dorms.
The recently acquired North Avenue Apartments were an area of focus on the walk, especially due to the increase in student foot traffic across North Avenue. Afterward, the group began walking down Williams Street parallel to the Interstate 75/85 and past the infamous tunnel that connects Tech with Spring Street.
In previous years the tunnel between the Freshman Experience dorms and Spring Street has been a focus of the walk, as the area is frequently afflicted with property crimes. President Clough has previously said that purchasing the property on the opposite side of the tunnel could be successful in reducing crime in the tunnel, but as of yet no such purchases have been made.
Student Government Association Undergraduate President Anu Parvatiyar also participated in the walk, which she described as more focused on long-term issues than in previous years.
“We had a very open discussion. We talked about North Avenue Apartments…. We talked a lot about the Tech Tower Lawn and the typical walk from the library between North Avenue and Tech Tower,” Parvatiyar said.
The entire North Avenue area was included in the walk this year, not solely the Tech Apartment properties, due to increased foot traffic on North Avenue from students circumventing Freshman Hill by walking down the south border of campus.
“Generally around the stadium area, and just outside of Tech Tower, many students felt that area was unsafely lit and could use some improvement, especially since more students are going down that way,” Shah said.
Safety concerns in other areas of campus, such as West Campus, the Love Building and Tech Square were also a hot topic of discussion throughout the walk.