The Public Safety Advisory Board will host a Night Safety Walk Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in an effort to ensure safety on campus.
The board consists of about 20 people from different departments, including faculty, staff and students, who meet twice a year to discuss safety on campus.
“It has made a huge difference in helping identify potential problems,” said Fred Dukes, chair of the advisory board.
The board began Night Safety Walks more than a decade ago, and is responsible for major changes in lighting on campus, Dukes said.
The recent installation of lampposts on Plummer Street and Etiwanda Avenue was a result of a Night Safety Walk in 2004. The construction was completed during the middle of last year, said Mike White, supervising electrician at Physical Plant Management.
The members of the board, the community and the students who volunteer meet in front of the Department of Public Safety in the University Park Apartments and break up into teams.
“We try to hit the entire campus,” Dukes said.
According to Dukes the teams walk through the campus and the UPA and check around buildings and surface streets.
They most frequently find burned-out lights that get replaced the next day, according to Dukes.
“Some areas with inadequate lighting are those (in) construction sites,” Dukes said.
Ben Elisondo, manager of operations and safety at PPM, said his department recognized the need for lighting during the construction phase, and normally requires that temporary lighting be available.
After the Night Safety Walk group identifies its trouble spots, it turns in an audit report to the board.
The board then reviews the information and turns it in to PPM.
There have also been changes that are mainly for comfort reasons, said Tom Brown, Director of Physical Plant Management.
Many students are not comfortable with the older yellow lights called HPS lights, Brown said.
These lights have the perception of being dim because of the yellow color, but according to Brown, the light meter reflects the yellow lights are just as bright as the white lights.
Brown said PPM changed most of the yellow lights, and have installed the white lights for students to feel safer.
In the same effort, PPM installed photovoltaic lamps in the parking lots as an experiment. These solar panels are perceived as better lighting because of how close they are to the cars, Brown said.
Emmanuel Mabanga, senior geography major, said he believes there should be more lighting in front of the Oviatt Library, and in between Jerome Richfield and Sierra Hall.
“In general though, the campus is bright at night,” Mabanga said.
PPM is able to do major projects as funds permit, White said. Many of the newer lampposts on campus were paid for with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency following the 1994 earthquake, White said. In general, each streetlamp costs around $2,000 or more.
According to Paul Habercorn, electrical supervisor for PPM, said there are no immediate plans for new lighting. The next area of consideration is the Magnolia Walk, but PPM does not have a start date for the project.
“We would like the whole school to be lit, but there will always be areas that are dark,” said White, who said he encourages the Night Safety Walks.
Melanie Saxe can be reached at email@example.com.