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Student Senate works with Facilities to improve security

Facilities+will+install+more+lighting%2C+cameras+and+key+pads.+Photo+provided+by+Grace+McDonald+%2F+Antelope+Staff
Facilities will install more lighting, cameras and key pads. Photo provided by Grace McDonald / Antelope Staff

casperoa@lopers.unk.edu

Safety continues to be a topic of discussion among students. 

The Student Senate is taking student’s concerns into consideration and making efforts to improve safety on campus. 

UNK Facilities Managment and Planning director, Michael Cremers, was a guest speaker at the Student Senate meeting on Nov. 8. Cremers talked about outdoor lighting and buildings that will soon have card access. The specific buildings were not mentioned.

UNK Facilities plans to repair exterior light poles in pedestrian walkways across campus. Cremers said building entrances should have decent lighting shortly. A specific date was unknown.

Cremers said they plan to add card-access exterior doors for the remaining academic and administrative buildings, with a goal of having this safety feature on every door on campus. Buildings that already have card access are West Center, the Fine Arts Building, the Bruner Hall of Science and residence halls. 

Unlike residence halls, the academic and administrative buildings are not locked 24/7. Those buildings will soon lock at a certain hour varying by the building schedule.

Students have expressed to Emily Saadi, the student body president, about how they do not always feel safe on campus, especially at night. Saadi said it is important to the Student Senate that they do their best to fulfill these concerns.

“Students’ safety is a concern that was brought up first when we were campaigning back in March,” Saadi said. “So it’s been something that has been continuously brought up, and I think everyone wants the feeling of safety. And we want to be proactive when it comes to safety rather than retroactive.” 

Another way the Student Senate is taking action to create a safer campus is by attempting to put cameras around the exterior of the campus. Their first step in doing so was to have a conversation about the university’s policy about how security camera footage is utilized.

“We do not intend to invade anyone’s privacy,” Saadi said. “The cameras would not be monitored, and they are not there to help rescue you if you’re in a bad situation, but the goal is to deter crime, and if something does happen, we have a way to help get you relief.”

Zach Zavodny, student body vice president, met with the former police chief in hopes that in the upcoming weeks they will get a quote for the cost of implementing cameras in some parking lots on campus. 

Zavodny said the cameras would be put in areas of highest concern, which include CTW, CTE, Cope Stadium, Lot 12, the Bruner Hall of Science and the Calvin T. Ryan Library. 

“I think the most beneficial place would be in the parking lots,” Zavodny said. “Maybe also in walkways, but I would say, parking lots a lot of times are on the most exterior parts of campus where there is the most risk, as opposed to the interior parts where there are a lot of residence halls and foot traffic.”

Zavodny said concerns have risen about police officers on campus not patrolling enough on campus. The topic of increasing the police presence on campus and adjusting their time commitment was discussed with the police staff.

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OLIVIA CASPER, Advertising Staff
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