By Adam Harrison
Asst. News Editor
Members of SGA held their first safety walk of the academic year to address inadequate lighting and concerns about handicap accessibility on campus on Nov. 8.
SGA President Evelyn Campbell said during previous safety walks, there had been a “concern about a light not being in front of CASA and Horace Mann.”
She said since the concern was raised, a light has been put up to resolve this issue.
SGA Vice President Raffi Elkhoury said, “The road that leads to the athletic parking lot - I think it’s Maple Street - is basically pitch black at night, and if there could be a light that shines up to that road, I think that would be definitely a big help.”
Facilities Director Daniel Giard said he doesn’t think it’s possible to have a light shining up the road “because it would shine in people's eyes, coming up the road.”
He said he would look into a solution.
While stopped in front of Dwight Hall, Elkhoury said, “There’s no wheelchair ramp anywhere on this side. There's just three sets of stairs.” Students who use wheelchairs currently have to go all the way around the building.
“We’re pretty far from a blue light out here,” he added.
Elkhoury said, “It’s been brought to our attention that resident students feel like it’s really dark in front of Hemenway on this path up as well as on this side in front,” in reference to the hill leading up to Larned Hall.
Senator Cesar Matos raised concerns about snow clearance during the winter. “When I lived in Larned, the night was pretty difficult to go anywhere, but the day after, they usually did a pretty good job at cleaning.
“But then it was a question of maintaining that cleanliness because, after a few hours with students walking around, the snow got in places where people were walking,” he said
Senator Raena Doty said, “I think there's just always going to be concerns about that hill in the rain and snow. I'm not sure how practical solutions are to find for that but you know, it's easy to slip, especially if you live in Larned or Towers.”
Senator Brad Collard said, “The same goes for the hill from West.”
Campbell said previously, there had been concerns about the lights above Miles Bibb Hall being dead, but noted they were currently on, “so that was a concern that was fixed.”
While walking in the parking lot behind O’Connor Hall, Campbell noted there was no “real lighting when you’re coming from the back parking lot.” She suggested “to turn the lights up a little bit or to put more lighting.”
Giard responded, “Maybe we make that one even bigger.”
Elkhoury added, “This is a one-way. A lot of people use this as a two-way, and I see a lot of cars coming through here the wrong way. So maybe just more signage, or if there's any better way to enforce it.”
In the Church Street parking lot, Campbell said, “The church lot is really dark. … There are no lights beside it.
“Maybe if there was a way for the outside lights to either be bigger or to be turned more out toward the church lot,” she added.
Senator Michael Trueswell said he thinks it’s a good idea to have these kinds of events to double-check everything is safe. He said, “All the steps now on campus have those yellow lines - I think that's good. That was done last year I was told because people were tripping and they noticed it on one of these walks.”
Senator Megan Rokicki said she came on the safety walk to participate in looking for issues. “Student safety on campus is a general priority in college,” she said.
Freshman Iz Shields said, “My friend Liv told me about the safety walk and I wanted my voice to be heard.” They said it’s important to have events like this because “it’s a way we can actually have the issues we have on campus addressed instead of just posting about it on social media.”
Campbell said the student participation was greater than in recent years.
She said she encourages even more students to attend the next one. “I think it’s really important not only for SGA members to be a part of the safety walk, but all students.
“Because we are a part of the FSU community. … Make a difference and our slogan was ‘Be the change,’ so be the change,” she said.