Safety Walk hopes to improve campus

Students, faculty and the MU Police Department joined together to identify concerns on campus.

The Missouri Students Association hosted the 42nd annual Campus Safety Walk on Sept. 15 as part of the Safe Mizzou Coalition. It is just one of a number of events that are taking place this week to share important safety information with MU students and faculty.

The walk was open to any student or campus organization interested in campus safety.

Four groups split up to inspect a different area of campus. Using this method, the participants were able to see the entire MU campus in about one hour. This year’s attendees included members of the Missouri Student Association, MU police officers, faculty from the Department of Residential Life and students concerned about campus safety.

“The Safety Walk looks at every single piece of campus to point out problems such as lighting, problems with the road and things that are broken,” said Samantha Franks, director of the Department of Student Services for MSA. “It’s a way that students can keep the campus accountable for making sure everything is safe.”

Franks also mentioned a number of improvements that have come from the Safety Walk including the blue emergency lights which can be seen around campus.

Senior Jessica Heneisen was a participant in the Safety Walk.

“I think it’s for a good cause,” Heneisen said.

Heneisen also mentioned that the campus still has a number of safety issues, including a number of covered corners around campus.

Kristen Temple, associate director of the Department of Residential Life, said that she has seen a number of changes to sidewalks and street lamps, as well as to the campus landscape.

“The importance is that we all get to hear what the students’ perspectives are, what the campus perspective is and what the maintenance perspective is,” Temple said. “We have all of the viewpoints to identify things we can do to make campus safer.”

Temple also stressed how important the Safety Walk is for campus maintenance.

“This is concentrated effort,” Temple said. “Most people would walk by (a broken light) and may not even notice it, but when we go out together a work order will get put in and it will get fixed.”

Junior Dakota Downey is a member of DSS and helped plan this year’s route. She said she hopes to expand Safety Walk to Tiger Reserve in upcoming years.

Downey said the walk is especially important this year because of the high level of construction that is taking place around campus but also said that everything seems to be on track when it comes to safety hazards on campus.

“The Campus Safety Walk is important because you notice something (new) every year,” said Downey.

The MU Police Department plays a role in the Safety Walk as well, and has been a part of the walk since it began 42 years ago.

“Our department follows a community policing philosophy,” MUPD Maj. Brian Weimer said. “You can’t get better than this right here because we’re out with our community. It’s important to be out with the community and to get their input to make campus a safer place.”

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