North Texas Daily

SGA Safety Tour shines a light on campus concerns

SGA Safety Tour shines a light on campus concerns

SGA Safety Tour shines a light on campus concerns
December 07
11:12 2018

Student Government Association senators, interns and executive members gathered after an abridged senate meeting in November to survey the UNT campus for areas potentially unsafe for students and faculty alike. The campus-wide examination occurs each semester in coordination with other university efforts to record and address potential safety issues.

“The university addresses concerns related to lighting, risk assessment, etc. through a number of different avenues (e.g., SGA lighting tour, Risk Assessment group, etc.),” according to the most recent Annual Security & Fire Safety Report.

“The university addresses concerns related to lighting, risk assessment, etc. through a number of different avenues (e.g., SGA lighting tour, Risk Assessment group, etc.),” according to the most recent Annual Security & Fire Safety Report.

This report is released in order for UNT to be in full compliance with the Clery Act, a 1990 federal statute requiring the university publicize “crime statistics for the past three years, campus policies about safety and security measures, campus crime prevention programs and list procedures to be followed in the investigations and prosecution of alleged sex offenses.”

The university reports mention of a “lighting tour” fit the theme of SGA’s account, as more than 40 concerns regarding lighting on campus came up along the tour. Other concerns regarding railings near rocky areas, American Disability Act compliance and landscaping inconsistencies also appeared on the report.

The SGA Safety Tour is an effort put together primarily by freshmen and transfer interns who take down notes about areas on campus they feel can be improved. The event occurs after dark to maximize awareness of poorly-lit areas.

“The interns were paired with members of the executive board and senate,” SGA intern Devon Skinner said. “We walked assigned routes to find and report areas on our route that seemed potentially dangerous. The members of the executive board and senate facilitated the groups that were involved in the tour.”

As far as the recorded data goes, SGA President Muhammad Kara said the concerns go to Facilities, which can take further action. Kara said the student government’s “follow up” to ensure the issues are addressed will come in the following semester’s Safety Tour.

Despite having tweeted and put lawn signs out with advertisements for their nighttime survey of the university, multiple students around campus had no idea what SGA’s Safety Tour is or the fact it already happened. Some of these students raised concerns not about campus safety but low visibility of the event itself.

In an effort to include more students, interns rolled out a large sheet for students passing through the Library Mall to jot down concerns they had around campus.

Kara said they recorded student concerns from that morning made it into the report. Much like the concerns interns and senators noted, the majority of the issues students raised were lighting-based.

“I think [SGA] should try to do a student survey,” journalism freshman Britney Tran said in response to a question about student outreach for future Safety Tours. “Places are more sketchy when you’re alone. If they go as this big group, it’s like ‘oh, this isn’t bad,’ but they’re all together.”

After hearing about student concerns regarding awareness of the Safety Tour, Kara said he would be open to a more widespread student survey. Kara said he did have concerns about “strategically” planning a survey like this because students are allegedly less likely to answer long questionnaires.

Kara also mentioned a reservation about the survey because students may mention an area of safety concern but with little detail or specificity.

“I feel like they should make [the Safety Tour] more known,” French and philosophy junior Shannon Sneed said. “I didn’t know about it until just now. They should tell more people.”

Skinner said he has not inquired about the executive board’s plans for how the data that interns and senators gathered will be used.

Whatever the plan may be, Skinner said the SGA leaders have the interests of the students at heart.

“Personally, I would like to see improvements on campus because I believe that there is nothing more important than the safety of students when they are on campus,” Skinner said. “SGA is the voice of the student body, so my hope is that we do them justice in identifying the biggest problems with campus safety.”

Featured Image: Crosswalks, sidewalks and accessibility ramps were on SGA’s comprehensive list of unsafe areas. Emilia Capuchino

About Author

Ally Zarate

Ally Zarate

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Search Bar

Social Media

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Junior wideout Jaelon Darden headlines as Conference USA announces All-Conference selectionshttps://t.co/sJcrQqgejg
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
RT @jazwriteswords: My last game covering women’s basketball for the Daily 👍🏽 https://t.co/kbJtr0JccT
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
Letter from the Editor: Becky is signing out@RebeccaNajera42 's time as our Editor-in-Chief has come to an end.… https://t.co/Lj51rzLvhD
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
A Q&A with athletic director Wren Baker (@wrenbaker)by @ZacharyACottamhttps://t.co/6Q3BVD0SJH
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Women's basketball holds off the Ragin Cajuns, win 69-66by @jazwriteswordshttps://t.co/yxVsRwMSo4
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad