NITE Walk finds safety issues on campus

One hundred students, faculty and staff, all bundled in jackets, separated into groups and walked USF’s campus for an hour in the dark.

Yet, this was no ordinary stroll. The NITE Walk, which happens every semester and is hosted by student safety advocate group Necessary Improvements to Improve our Environment (NITE), held this semester’s installment Tuesday night.

The members were split into 12 groups at the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater with about 4-10 people in each group. Group leaders were assigned a specific location for their groups to identify safety hazards on campus, said Michael Awbrey, vice president of NITE and coordinator of the walk.

“We give every group leader an enlarged portion of their area so they can write, for example, ‘1W’ for a wish, and then explain what it is,” Awbrey, a senior majoring in criminology and sign language interpreting, said. “Then on the map, they write down ‘1W’ and circle it so we know that’s the area.”

Erin Stassin, a senior majoring in english and the organization’s president, said her group, which included two NITE members, four students and two Physical Plant faculty members, found trip hazards, burned out lights or areas in need for Blue Light Emergency Phones.

The Physical Plant faculty chose not to comment about gaps in the sidewalk and areas that did not have blue lights.

The group ended with 24 suggestions for Physical Plant: 16 repairs and eight wishes.

“NITE Walk will type out a report within a week and send it to Facilities Project Manager Gregory Gard at Physical Plant,” Awbrey said.

The report is separated by a wish list and a repair list. The repair list consisted of repairs such as replacing a dim streetlight or filling a crack in the sidewalk. The wish list portion has additions for the campus, such as new blue lights or sidewalks.

Last semester, NITE sent about 90 recommendations to Physical Plant. The most tangible request filled was for a sidewalk on both sides of Pine Drive, which crosses Bruce B. Downs Boulevard to University Mall.