Instead of watching Monday Night Football, Northern Kentucky University’s administrators and Student Government Association took a walk around campus to look at pending safety issues for students and see what they can do to fix them.
The Campus Safety Walk, held on Sept. 25, allowed students to show administrators safety issues on campus they would not see otherwise and to bring up other issues that need to be fixed, such as the missing rail around part of Loch Norse.
Mary Ann Plunkett, chair of University Improvements Committee, pointed out five major areas on campus that need to be fixed: Loch Norse, Albright Health Center, University Housing, construction areas and disability issues.
According to Plunkett, the lake has minimal lighting that should be improved, and more call boxes need to be put up around campus. Chief Harold Todd, director for the Department of Public Safety, said another call box is going to be put in by the Welcome Center in about a month or two.
Another issue was the part of the lake that has no railing. SGA hoped to add a small railing, just in case someone falls in, without losing its aesthetic value. Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management, saw it more as a hazard to put a railing there rather than to not put one there.
“The bigger concern is actually putting a railing there,” Blake said. “We actually thought about putting one waist high and say someone would hit it, they would fall face first into the lake.”
Blake said they are installing ladders near that end of the lake, so just in case someone falls, they would have a way out.
With the construction areas, SGA pointed out minimal lighting in some parking lots and in front of the Albright Health Center, where the new Student Union will later be. However, the fenced in area is the contractor’s responsibility. According to Blake, lighting has already been purchased for the front of Albright and will be up soon.
SGA is also concerned with the fact that graduated students and students who do not live on campus can get into residence halls such as Kentucky Hall, University Suites, Cumberland, and Commonwealth just by using their all-card.
“That is something that is supposed to be checked each year,” said Dean of Students Kent Kelso. “Students are supposed to back up all of their information and reload their new information.”
The final area of concern of SGA was disability issues around campus, such as doors not opening. Also, handicapped students are unable to get past Albright due to the construction of the new Student Union.
Dr. Mark Shanley, vice president of Student Affairs, said ramps have been made to go behind Albright to the baseball field. A wooden ramp has also been recently built in front of the University Center.
“Those ramps are longer than what they should be,” said Blake. “But we have already bought about a dozen curve cuts to cut them down dramatically in the near future.”
Students do not have to be a part of SGA to tell the administration about their safety concerns or participate in the walk. In fact, the administration wants to hear from them personally.
“Call routinely when you see anything on campus that is a safety issue,” Shanley said. “Be a self-quality engineer, and look for whatever may be wrong around campus and report it.”