Written by: Gretchen Sims
Anyone who has stepped foot on the Western campus after dark can attest to the fact that lighting is a frivolous issue. Individuals can not walk down Monmouth Avenue without noticing the pale yellow light that casts eerie shadows across old brick buildings.
While, just a year ago, murmurs of bringing this issue to the attention of administrators were just the small talk of concerned students, ASWOU has now taken this issue head-on. In collaboration with Public Safety, RHA National Communications Coordinator and ASWOU Senator, David Rodriguez-Tapia, and ASWOU Vice President, Hunter Hall, have taken the first step by identifying locations across campus that are severely lacking in proper lighting.
Students and faculty alike are enthusiastic about this new development. It is not uncommon for students to claim they do not feel safe walking around campus at night.
Western cheerleader and Campus Ambassador, Rylie Cader, had this to say regarding their experience, “Walking alone in the dark parts of campus is inevitable. This is especially concerning being a woman who needs to walk home alone in the dark from practice. I also enjoy taking walks alone at night as a part of my mental health. I feel safe on campus, but only in the very lit areas. I get paranoid so bad in the darker places on campus — which I find myself in often — very displeasing.”
Cader is not alone. Many students can pinpoint a time when they were made uncomfortable by the absence of lighting around campus.
When behind every shadow — hidden within every dark corner — there is a perceived danger lurking; bringing more lights to campus is just the beginning of bringing peace to these individuals.
There is still so much more to be done — Public Safety has made note that the resources required to bring their plan to fruition are ones that will only be brought about with time.
This is a process, but one the members of the Western community can look forward to as the students of Western strive to make their campus a better, safer place.
“I am glad and honored to work alongside ASWOU and Campus Public Safety in helping the voices of others to be heard and making them feel like we not only as Student Leaders but people who want to see the WOU become a much safer and inclusive place feel more like home and individuals who they can come to and speak their questions, comments and/or concerns,” said Senator Rodriguez-Tapia.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org