Lt. Scott VanScoy of campus police said there have been a relatively small number of crimes occurring at night on campus for the past five years.
“Most of the crimes happen during the day,” VanScoy said. “If they happen at night, most of them are inside buildings and (in) well-lit areas.”
There have only been five incidents where blue light emergency booths have been used to call for help between 1999 and 2002, VanScoy said.
Still, some students feel there is insufficient lighting on campus that might pose a threat to students walking alone at night.
“We need more (lighting),” said Binara Dayawansa, junior computer engineering major. “We need more. (In every dark) place, you’re waiting for something to happen.”
Christina Magallanes, senior liberal studies major, said she thinks the university should be spending more money on campus lighting.
“(It’s something) they should invest in,” Magallanes said. “(The) lighting they have is not bright enough.”
Among some of the places students complained about are the grass areas near Magnolia Walk, the area between the Engineering Building and the Oviatt Library, the areas around the Lot B3 parking structure under construction next to Sierra Center, and the area behind parking Lot G4 and the athletics field.
“It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep the grass areas a little better lit,” said Jonathan Goldberg, senior CTVA major.
Goldberg also suggested that the campus install a different type of lamppost that emits light in all directions, instead of just directly onto the walkway.
“(You) never know who can be hiding in dark places,” Jorge Hernandez, junior sociology major said. “They can’t put lighting in every corner, so you just have to be careful.”
Some of the measures that have been taken by campus security include a program organized by Physical Plant Management, called the campus Night Safety Walk.
VanScoy said that once every semester, usually around the midpoint, PPM organizes a night walk where students on campus and the campus community can join the Public Safety Advisory Board to do a Night Safety Walk and identify areas that need to be improved.
“Anybody in the campus community who wants to join can come that night,” VanScoy said. “They go out in groups and start focusing on what they perceive as the (safety) issues.”
According to VanScoy, one improvement to lighting on campus will be the addition of new light posts that will be installed eastbound on Etiwanda Avenue and Plummer Street.
“(PPM) has done a lot over the years for lighting, and it’s all through recommendations made by campus people,” VanScoy said. “This campus is really proactive in addressing concerns, and that’s why we have these night safety walks each semester.”
VanScoy also said the campus provides Matador Patrol escorts for students, faculty and staff at night. The security officers usually patrol around places that have a high number of students at night, including the Oviatt Library, the parking lots and Sierra Hall. VanScoy said the Matador Patrol focuses on providing security escorts for students with classes between 6 and 9 p.m.
The Public Safety Department is also using ember lighting to ensure safety, VanScoy said. Police vehicles and the Parking Services trucks are equipped with amber lighting on top of their vehicles that can be turned on during day and night while working in the parking lots.
“These are all deterrents, letting people know that ‘Hey, somebody’s out here,’ like a security team or ‘somebody’s watching,'” VanScoy said.