Students survey safety on campus during Nightwalk

Groups of flashlight-toting students filled the dark corners of campus Tuesday night to raise safety awareness and address security concerns.

As part of the Campus Nightwalk, about 30 people split into six groups, each of them armed with campus maps, notebooks and pencils in order to record any security issues they might encounter -from lighting issues, to broken door locks, to cracks on the sidewalks.

The event was organized by Student Government with the participation of the student group Necessary Improvements to Transform our Environment (NITE), Residence Hall Association and the University Police.

“It’s good to be out here with the students,” said UP Lieutenant Joe Anderson. “Part of my purpose out here is so I can answer any questions they may have about security.”

NITE President Sarah Austin said she felt the event was very important for students who may feel uncomfortable walking through some areas of campus, such as poorly lit parking lots.

“It’s about students taking responsibility,” she said.

Austin said that something as simple as making a parking lot brighter could prevent incidents and make students feel safer about the environment on campus.

“Anything that can be done to improve the environment is important,” Austin said.However, according to NITE Vice President Carissa Caricato, even when resources such as emergency phones are available, many students are unsure of their purpose and how to use them.

“We want to make sure we have students aware of the resources on campus,” she said.

The Residence Hall Association group, accompanied by Anderson, left from the Marshall Center to walk around the residence areas of Argos, Andros, Delta, Epsilon, Cypress and the Greek Village. According to Anderson, the blue lights are tested weekly. However, the blue light on top the first emergency phone, call box 33, was not flashing, but when Anderson pushed the button, a dispatcher answered giving the location.

According to Anderson, someone using a call box does not need to talk for the call to be registered, and the police are sent to the location.

The University is in the process of replacing nearly 80 percent of its current emergency phones with new units featuring brighter lights with a constant power source. These new phones will be located near the old models.

According to Caricato, the area around the Credit Union could benefit from brighter lights, and there could also stand to be more emergency phones.

“There are lots of areas that are well lit – just not enough blue lights,” she said.