Western Courier

SGA addresses safety concerns at WIU

Matt Bills

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One of the most important issues facing Student Government Association this year is campus safety. We are working on a number of initiatives to improve and promote safety for all members of the university community, some of which have been in place for a number of years and some of which are new this year. A program that was started last year by the SGA Student Services Committee is distributing safety whistles to students. Friday, in conjunction with the Office of Public Safety, SGA will have a table in the University Union Concourse from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and hand out free whistles to those students requesting them. Please stop by and pick one up.This program was successful last year. Keep in mind that these are safety whistles, and the program will only be effective if everyone takes them seriously. Do not blow the whistles in non-emergency situations. The program is effective because it calls attention to an incident. Students’ cooperation is needed to make it work.

In addition, we are working with OPS and the Physical Plant to improve and increase lighting at various locations on campus. We conducted a lighting effectiveness survey last semester and determined a number of locations with lighting deficiencies, which will be improved with new and brighter lights.

We have also voiced student input on the location of new blue lights. The process of phasing out the old lights and replacing them with new ones has begun, with the new lights to be installed over the next several months.

One new initiative for this year is a Campus Safety Week. In October, we will be sponsoring a week of safety programs to improve safety awareness across campus. I will provide more information as it becomes available.

By working together and creating an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable, we can foster a safe campus. Keep in mind a few tips: Never walk alone at night, walk in well-lit areas, carry your safety whistle if you have one and know the location of the blue lights. Also, if you ever need an escort to or from a campus location, call OPS at (309) 298-1949 and an officer will give you a ride. Safety is everyone’s concern.

If you have other ideas on ways to improve and promote campus safety at WIU, please let us know at (309) 298-3243 or stop by the SGA office in the Union.

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SGA addresses safety concerns at WIU