During the light hours campus is a blissful place. Buildings have room to breathe with lovely trees and roaming grass filling the void between intersecting sidewalks.
Yet, when darkness falls, the trees cast ghastly shadows and those open areas aren’t quite as inviting. The friendly people you walked by when it was daytime are now replaced with hooded, dark beasts, better known as Grovers, who are just as friendly.
At 10 o’clock at night, no one wants to pet some strange man’s ferret. Those shenanigans are acceptable during daylight hours only, sometimes.
An issue that needs to be addressed on campus is the lack of both lighting and security. We are a small university, plopped right in the middle of a rural town with no way to stop the incoming or outgoing flow of people. Although the chances of an incident on campus are slim, we need to be better prepared, by lighting the night and watching what lingers within it.
Several people who reside off campus live close enough to walk to school everyday. For these students, after class is often spent in the library or hanging with friends before heading back to their apartments.
When it comes to walking home, it’s a good idea to leave campus before dusk, because walking home in the dark can be mildly terrifying.
All source of light drops off as soon as you round the corner of the Stoller Center and begin walking along the path to Lincoln Park. To the left and right are bushes, backyards, parking lots and open fields. All are prime places for creepers, those with ferret friends or not, to hang out.
You might be thinking, why not walk along the sidewalk on Main Street to get home? In reality, that’s almost as poorly lit and has a lot more sketchy foot traffic traveling to and fro.
So, the only option left for students who live in or near the Boxer Apartments is to walk along the path, around the football fields, past the soccer practice field and to their residence. Since school has begun, our staff has noticed that CPS rarely patrols the Lincoln Park area.
Why is this? If something drastic were going to happen on campus, wouldn’t it be the place farthest out of hearing range?
No CPS. No lights. This situation is pleading for an incident to happen.
Also, what’s going to happen when it starts getting dark at 4:30 p.m.? Daylight savings is on Nov. 4, which is right around the corner.
For students living off campus that have late classes, this means that walking home in the dark is inevitable. Great. Better dress in the appropriate running gear, off campus students.
Our suggestion to the university is to add more lighting. This isn’t just a problem on the north side of campus. There is poor lighting throughout the entire campus such as on the side of Marsh Hall. In reality, look at where lights are located on campus during the day and imagine what walking to classes at night would be like.
We don’t know how frequently CPS patrols the Lincoln Park and Stoller Center area, but they need to. There is really no excuse for a college student to be apprehensive about walking home. Yes, CPS offers to walk students home if students want them to, but students are not going to bother contacting them daily for accompaniment.
Nothing has happened yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a possibility. Let’s be proactive and fix this problem before it becomes an issue.
This is an institution of higher education and for most students this is home. The last thing we should have to worry about is our personal safety.