Campus lighting should be a priority

Kali Daniel

Sometimes, I get freaked out when I walk in front of the library.

I’ll be walking to my residence hall from the Student Publications Building and pass by Collier Library and the Memorial Amphitheater thinking about what work I have to do, what I’m going to have for dinner, what I need to take to class tomorrow — then it hits me.

“Wow, it is really, really dark in front of Collier Library.”

I quicken my pace as every scary movie I’ve ever seen comes to mind. Chainsaws, knives, hammers, you name it — I’m afraid the squirrels, or worse, have possession thereof.

University administration and UNAPD have tried to make our campus as safe as possible, but that doesn’t alleviate general paranoia when walking through a large area with no lights.

In the Oct. 8 issue of The Flor-Ala, the Student Government Association revealed survey results that 56 percent of students felt there needed to be better lighting in front of Collier Library.

Three months later, these lights are still out.

I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but as we do our best to enlighten students about how to stay safe, the university needs to hold up their end of the deal.

Campus lighting is not something the university should waitlist, as on any given day students come from all-around campus, and even off campus, to use Collier’s resources.

We have built elevators. We have invested in new parking lots. We are creating new buildings. But we are still seeing an issue with maintaining what we already have.

In this week’s story on page 3, SGA President Nick Lang said Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter and Assistant Vice President of Facilities Administration and Planning Michael Gautney are “looking into additional lighting, but it may take a while because it is a process and it takes money.”

I acknowledge some lights have been replaced and that it is a costly endeavor to update some lighting structures, but I am afraid we will see the end of the year and no lighting changes on campus. I want better parking as much as the next student. If I were in the nursing program, I would wait excitedly for the new building.

But for a university pushing campus safety and Title IX awareness so heavily, shouldn’t there be more security provided for students now, not later?