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Group checks safety on walk

'Night Walk' participants examine lights, call boxes

by Sally Claunch
The Shorthorn staff

Chika Onyegam picked up the phone from a call box by Science Hall to make sure it was working.

"We've had a lot of issues with safety at UTA, and we don't want that to continue," the biology senior said.

Onyegam was one of about 20 Student Congress senators who participated Tuesday in the Night Walk to check the campus for burned out light bulbs, malfunctioning emergency call boxes and unsafe areas that might put students at risk.

Senators, along with physical plant employees, administrators and university police have conducted the walk twice a year for the last 20 years.

One group of students walked around the outskirts of campus and another walked around inside campus to look for problem areas.

University police Lt. Clay Cox said students should be familiar with the campus, especially when walking around at night.

"Everybody needs to be aware of their surroundings," he said. "This is one way to heighten that awareness.

Marketing senior Eric Hubert said the walk is more of a preventive measure, rather than reacting to some of the recent crimes in the area.

"We feel it's a relatively safe campus," he said. "This is an annual thing."

Kent Gardner, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, walks with the students every year.

"Every time we go out, we find some lighting issue and other things that need to be addressed," he said.

He said the problems are fixed as soon as possible, but some of the lighting problems are the city's. He said the city is notified of any problems discovered on the walk.

Campus Fire Marshall Chuck Kist said the physical plant will begin to fix any problems tomorrow.

"Anything that can be taken care of immediately will be taken care of immediately," he said. "Anything else will be put on the schedule to get it fixed."

Michelle Kaumeyer, Student Congress vice president, said the walk will benefit night students and those who live on campus.

She said that the walkers make sure the campus is well lit, especially around corners and bushes.

"If certain places are dark, a light can be put in," she said.

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