Last Thursday night, students teamed up with the university police to canvass WCU’s campus in search of spots where students might feel less than secure while walking after dark.
According to Joe Cowan, about 12 people turned out for the walk. Participants were divided into three groups, and each group included an officer of the university police, an SGA member, and a member of the Panhellenic Council, as well as any other student who was interested in participating.
Each group strolled around a different area of campus. One group took the area near Walker, the freshman parking lot across the street, and the track area. Another group scoured the areas around Dodson Cafeteria, Belk Building, and Harrill residence hall. The third group walked around the central cluster of academic buildings, from Reid to the library.
Each of the groups made a list of potentially unsafe areas that they saw, and Director of Public Safety Gene McAbee compiled all of the results into a single list, which will be submitted for consideration under the university budget.
Due to the small number of participants in the walk, there was no group assembled to investigate conditions in the hill area, which includes Reynolds, Madison, and Buchanan residence halls, as well as Moore building. McAbee has said that he will look at this area very soon to ascertain any safety features that may be needed.
Most of the recommendations made by the groups involved a need for more lighting in certain places, or trimming back trees to allow existing lights to shine more effectively.
Some examples of the safety measures that the groups said were necessary included flood lights on the west side of Harrill Hall, lights over the west end of the Scott parking lot, and repairs to the steps coming from the upper Harrill lot to Central Drive.