December 1, 2000

University Works to Improve Campus Safety

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As the calendar year draws to a close and the hours of darkness increase, Cornellians may notice numerous changes on campus in regards to improved lighting and other preventative safety measures after a number of robberies and bias-related incidents occurred earlier this semester.

University staff, maintenance department representatives, safety personnel and police have met on three different occasions with various student groups and toured most areas of the campus to assess areas in need of development, according to Henry E. Doney, associate vice president for facilities services.

After numerous tours of campus locations, many simple improvements have already taken place, Doney added, such as trimming shrubbery, fixing burned- out lamps and cutting tree limbs that obscure light.

Students mentioned many of these sites in a document written to Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services, last month, to call attention to the issue of safety in response to bias-related incidents on campus.

“We put in place protocol for reporting community bias-related incidents across campus,” Murphy said. “We will be continuing to increase our communication strategies with students.”

“Such incidents bring to light the whole issue of safety in the community … involving lighting, police patrol and blue light bus service,” Doney said.

As a result of the incidents, Cornell campus police increased their patrols, according to Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell news service.

In addition to the maintenance repairs, other more complicated plans are currently underway.

One upcoming project is the re-lighting of Tower Road between Garden Avenue and Judd Falls Road. This development requires a new design and installation of new electric lights and lamps, Doney said. Currently there are street lights in the area, but many trees on the sidewalk obstruct the lights already in place.

“Improved lighting along major pathways is always a major goal of ours,” he added.

Other pending tasks involve improving the lighting in front of Noyes Lodge and on the Trolley Bridge. Temporary fixtures have already been installed on the Footbridge, and both the materials and design are on order.

One area not yet reviewed is Hasbrouck Apartments on North Campus, but a survey of the area will occur in the near future.

“The next step is to reconvene with the students and talk about priorities for safety and policies,” Doney stated.

Archived article by Rachel Pessah