Campus Safety Walk encourages community feedback, raises awareness about security

The president’s annual Campus Safety Walk was held on Nov. 17, in which campus police, administrators and students walked around campus to ensure the safety of the area. The aim of the walk is to find any problems with lighting, accessibility or other safety concerns throughout campus by alternating its location each year. The walk occurred in South Village in 2015, and this year it was held on main campus. Participants started in Erwin Hall and wound their way down through Parking Lot F, Parking Lot E and back to Erwin by way of Sturges Quad, examining as many structures as possible on the way.

University Police Lieutenant Scott Ewanow led this year’s walk. Approximately 30 people attended the event, including President Denise Battles and her dog Lucy.

Ewanow explained the reasoning for the walk in Erwin before everyone set off.

“This started years ago as a chance to walk through the campus, to look to see if people have various concerns with what’s out there,” he said. “We do it every year in the fall and we alternate on either side of the campus. We have note takers who jot things people see down for us to look at in the future.”

Battles also took an opportunity at the beginning of the walk to voice some thoughts she had about the tradition.

“I’ve done this one other time and I certainly learned a lot from that experience,” she said. “I would just encourage you by saying that many eyes make for light work. We’re all here to identify things that we think need to be considered for improvement, so if you see anything just give a holler.”

Throughout the walk, people spotted a number of safety deficiencies. More than 10 lights were out on the sides of various residence halls—one light was out on Erie Hall and as many as four lights were out on Jones Hall. Walkers additionally spotted two Blue Light System units that were not lit and stone pavers near the MacVittie College Union that were in disrepair.

Ewanow asked whether anyone in the group had concerns that were not addressed toward the end of the walk. In response to two concerns about replacing halogen lights with more energy efficient lighting, Assistant Vice President for Facilities & Planning George Stooks elaborated on how the school generally makes lighting changes.

“There’s no timeline for [replacing lights],” Stooks said. “It’s just as we get funding for it, we start to replace lights. We try to take advantage of rebates and partial rebates to cut costs.”

The walk ended at Erwin after 45 minutes. Ewanow recommended that attendees reach out to the police if they have any concerns and said he was thankful for those who participated in the event.

“We definitely appreciate everyone coming out and taking the time to go for the walk to help identify things,” he said. “We do the big walk every year, but it’s also an everyday thing.”

Battles said that she believes that this event allows for the campus community to become involved in ensuring that Geneseo remains a safe environment.

“I think this is a great community opportunity and a way to get those who are interested in the safety of our campus involved,” she said. “Also, it gives people a perspective of how our operations work. I certainly learned something tonight and I’m thinking other people did, as well.”