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Safety walk evaluates campus

By Peter Larrivee
On April 25, 2003

04/25/03In response to student concerns and inquiries, the Campus Affairs Committee of the University of Rhode Island's Student Senate held their annual Safety Walk to assess the suggestions made in the fall and work on improving conditions.

Among those present were Jesse Whitsitt-Lynch and Lindsay Unger of the Student Senate, Director of URI security Robert F. Drapeau, Jerry Sidio of Facilities Services and other representatives from the URI administration concerned with student safety.

There was a general consensus among the group that conditions were vastly improved from previous years, which include additions like a powerful floodlight on the corner of Ranger Hall and the installation of additional 'blue-light' security phones like the one placed in front of the Kirk building and in the Fine Arts parking lot.

Unger said this safety walk was the best of the three she has participated in. "This is the first one that I saw they listened to our suggestions from the fall," she said. "I was very impressed."

To make sure all these important devices were in proper order, senators tested each one the group came across as they walked across campus. At one stop, they discovered a recently-installed emergency phone not yet functioning near the greenhouse on Upper College Road.

Remarks were also traded among the representatives about fixing the crosswalks on Upper College Road, and there was discussion about creating a four way stop at the intersection of Butterfield Road and West Alumni Ave.

Many of the lights in the university's parking lots will be converted to a style similar to ones on Plains Road, which illuminate dark areas better. Specific student concerns were focused on the landscape architecture building, and its poor lighting on the side facing Flagg road. There is a light present, but it points away from the area. Jerry Sidio of Facilities Services said a new light would be up "in about 2 weeks."

The group also addressed three lights that were out on the side of the Chafee Social Sciences building facing Woodward Hall.

Some of the lighting at URI is dependant on the conditions of ongoing construction, which will need to be completed so the entire electrical grid can be activated. This will "likely happen sometime between early May to late June," Sidio said.

Most of the lights around Roosevelt Hall were out, most likely due to a malfunctioning circuit breaker. Facilities Services attempted to correct the problem, but were unable to enter the section of the building where the circuit breakers are located.

The tour continued on the dark path past Hope Dining Hall. While there is no official path that way, it is a trafficked area, and will likely find itself lit before too long.

Overall, Unger said the campus was safe and that she was pleased with efforts by the administration to improve safety.

"They've done a good job with what they have," Unger said. "We're always looking at new solutions to problems."

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