North Texas Daily

SGA partners with Pride Alliance to conduct fall 2017 safety tour

SGA partners with Pride Alliance to conduct fall 2017 safety tour

November 07
14:25 2017

The UNT Student Government Association inventoried general campus and individual restrooms on their semesterly campus safety tour Wednesday, conducting the tour in partnership with Pride Alliance for the first time.

SGA leads the safety tour every semester, which is open to students and staff. The tour documents points of concern for the campus, focusing on lighting, sidewalks, ADA accessibility, crosswalk visibility, safety pole placement and more.

“I feel the information we gather at the safety tour has a great effect for bettering students’ lives on campus,” SGA General Affairs Director Taylor Willis said.

This semester’s tour was the organization’s first time documenting restrooms, an activity they intend to use to help create a map of restrooms on campus which will show students where to find the individual or gender-neutral restrooms.

The safety tour culminates in a report of campus conditions and any recommendations group leaders may have to improve safety or accessibility. This semester, SGA’s freshmen interns led the groups. Willis said the intention of giving interns this opportunity was to help build their programming and event coordination skills.

“The safety tour is important because it helps people on campus feel safer,” SGA freshman intern and tour group leader Hanlyn Tyler said. “The bathroom map is important not only for the transgender community but for people who need aids in bathrooms.”

Tyler led one of the five tour groups which focused on restroom inventory, checking each restroom in their assigned buildings for gender-specific signage, capacity and wheelchair accessibility.

SGA partners with the Dean of Students, UNT Police Department, Parking and Transportation, Facilities, Residence Hall Association, Risk Management and other organizations to conduct the tour. Wednesday’s safety tour had about 75 non-SGA members in attendance, more than the usual average of 50 participants. This includes members from partner organizations.

“The restroom map and access to ADA gives students a good idea of what to expect when coming here,” said Kaitlyn Poe, Residence Hall Association public relations director. “The safety tour shows all the concerns from students at UNT.”

Willis and SGA President Barrett Cole are responsible for compiling a master report from the individual reports from group leaders. The final document is sent to a variety of UNT and Denton authorities.

In past reports, SGA members have recommended both repairs and new accommodations, citing specific parts of campus in relation to their suggestions. The university often does not immediately take actions based on the report but attempts to undertake non-emergent projects as funding allows.

Some of the notable requests from the fall 2016 and spring 2017 reports included recommendations for covered bus stops by Kerr Hall, more crosswalks around the Business Leadership Building and an access ramp to Mean Green cafeteria from Avenue C, all of which were pointed out in multiple reports. During the spring 2017 safety walk leaders reported the Coliseum was not ADA-compliant.

This week, Willis and Cole will meet with some of the relevant officials to discuss how student concerns can be addressed. Students can email to request a copy of this semester’s safety report for their own viewing.

Featured Image: SGA partnered with Pride Alliance this semester to conduct the 2017 safety tour. The tour looks to assess issues on campus and report what needs to be fixed or changed. File

About Author

Sarah Sarder

Sarah Sarder

Sarah Sarder is the Senior News Writer for the North Texas Daily.

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