Annual Safety Walk sheds light on campus security issues

By:  Lexi Kiniston

Fort Hays State University held its annual Safety Walk on Oct. 23 to identify any potential safety hazards on campus.

The Student Government Association, Student Affairs, Residential Life, Facilities Planning and the University Police Department all had representatives on this Safety Walk. They looked for anything that could potentially be dangerous and looked for ways to improve the overall safety of campus.

“This is a program initiated by the Student Government Association because we know that safety is a top concern of not only current, but prospective, students of our institution,” said Arin Powers, SGA president.

It is “SGA’s opportunity to address any concerns,” said Ed Howell, FHSU chief of police. This year’s Safety Walk did not find any new safety concerns; it focused mainly on the lighting around campus. There was some discussion on crosswalks as well, Howell said.

The Safety Walk is in addition to what the UPD police officers regularly check for on their patrols. “We look for any lighting issue that may present itself. That’s why we go at night. We also take a look at the vegetation on campus and see if it’s blocking any lights,” Howell said. “We don’t allow things to accumulate . . . It’s an ongoing process.”

One of the problems addressed after last year’s Safety Walk was the seven emergency kiosks located around campus that weren’t working. However, these were fixed within 30 days of last year’s Safety Walk, Howell said.

These kiosks are located in front of the Memorial Union, in the Quad, Picken Hall, Albertson Hall, Tomanek Hall, McMindes Hall, and near the Stadium Place Apartments.

Amanda Shields, a senior at FHSU, said, “I think it’s a good thing because there’s not enough lighting between the dorms and whatnot.”

After performing the Safety Walk, SGA officials made notes on what they felt were safety concerns and submitted the list to Facility Planning Office and UPD. Facility Planning submitted a work order, and Maintenance will be able to address most of the concerns, Howell said.

According to Howell, the walk is a “good collaboration between multiple entities.”

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