Campus safety walk revisits old problems, discovers new ones

In the largest campus safety walk to date, SGA members guided faculty, staff and students on inspection tours through different areas of campus discussing issues such as a lack of accessibility to the volleyball courts, a desire for crosswalks across Martha Layne Collins Boulevard and Johns Hill Road and concerns regarding a lack of callboxes along the trail linking Callahan Hall to campus.

The spring 2014 campus safety walk took place on Monday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m., a later start time than that of previous walks.  The later hour was supposed to illuminate potential safety hazards unseen during daylight hours.

The walk featured inspections of the residential area, main campus, and Callahan Hall.  Many safety issues and improvements have already been addressed by maintenance and long-term projects are being discussed within SGA.


Residential Walk

Led by freshman senator and public relations major Joey Yerace, students and staff revisited issues surrounding the volleyball courts that were originally addressed during the fall 2013 safety walk.

SGA has drafted a resolution requesting handicap accessibility to the courts.  SGA has also identified a small ditch alongside the courts in need of fixing as well as a desire for more seating around the courts.

Plans that are also in the works include the fixing of flood zones along two walkways near Kentucky Hall and Norse Hall as well as the repairing of a bridge on the second floor of Norse Hall.

New flags and a callbox will be placed along the sidewalk linking the residential village to the science center and new trees will be planted in the area.

A plan for removing a speed bump in the Norse Commons circle and putting in a more permanent option such as a crosswalk is currently under review.

Yerace stated that the administration has been extremely responsive in solving small residential issues and has communicated effectively with SGA in tackling larger problems in the area.


Main Campus

Led by senator Hattie Clark, participants on the main campus walk discovered several new issues involving concrete.

Leaking drains and cracked concrete on the bridge between the University Center and MEP have caused water to drip onto the walkway underneath the bridge.  The problem was found to be especially noticeable during rainy weather.

The concrete steps beside Founders Halls, ravaged by the ice and salt of winter, were found cracked and crumbling in many areas.  Certain spots on the steps need to be refilled with concrete.

There is discussion regarding the possible placement of a new crosswalk between the Rec center and tennis courts, as it was found to be a high traffic area with numerous cases of jaywalking.  Another crosswalk could also be added by the bus stop near the Student Union and University Center.

A railing was discovered to be broken on the path leading from the bus stop toward the Student Union and was deemed by SGA to be an easy fix.


Callahan Hall

Led by senator Camey Marshall, staff and students identified areas for potential crosswalks from Callahan Hall to Kroger on Martha Layne Collins Boulevard and from the Callahan Hall trail to the main campus over Johns Hill Road.  Although both areas have been deemed safety hazards, the areas in question are not under NKU jurisdiction and are within the city of Highland Heights.

SGA University Improvements chair Kristian Johnson said he’s seen cars flying along Johns Hill Road at night, making it an unsafe place to cross.

“That’s definitely one of the biggest things we want to see changed,” said Johnson.  “We can lobby for it, but there’s only so much we can do.”

According to Johnson, President Mearns, Dean Waple, and Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Gitau also pointed out on the walk that there is not a callbox along the same stretch of trail that crosses Johns Hill Road.

Other issues in SGA discussion include the fixing of a pothole in Callahan Hall’s back parking lot and All Card access between wings C and D of the residence hall.

SGA has recognized the completion of phase two of the plaza, the amphitheatre, the new sidewalk in front of Callahan Hall, backdoor All Card access to Commonwealth Hall, and the enlarging of recycling bin holes and publicly thanked administrators at last Monday’s meeting.