Do you need a blue light?: SGA conducts campus safety walk

SGA members and FSU administrators toured campus and discussed safety concerns. (Donald Halsing / THE GATEPOST)

By Leighah Beausoleil

Asst. News Editor

SGA held its campus safety walk during which members addressed issues regarding blue lights, campus lighting, and areas where students feel most unsafe on campus Oct. 8.

Members expressed concerns about safety in key areas – the woods next to Dwight, the path in between the McCarthy Center and Foster Hall, Adams Road, and Maynard Road.

Administrators in attendance included F. Javier Cevallos, University president; Dale Hamel, executive vice president; Lorretta Holloway, vice president for student enrollment and development; Ann McDonald, chief of staff and general counsel; and Patricia Whitney, assistant vice president of facilities operations. Brad Medeiros, chief of University police, also accompanied them.

Blue Lights

The group discussed making blue lights more accessible to the general public, but also for those who may be handicapped.

Danielle Shaw, SGA outreach and events coordinator, said, “My only issue is if someone needs to access it, they need to access it immediately. If someone is on crutches walking upstairs, it’s not feasible.

“They need to be accessible for everyone,” she added.

The group also discussed the possibility of having a map made to ensure that students know where exactly blue lights are located on campus. 

They discussed the addition of a blue light map to the “FSU Go” app.

Lighting

The group reviewed particularly dark areas during nighttime where students feel unsafe walking. 

Whitney explained the difficulties of new developments in technology and use of LED lights. “LEDs are a softer light. … People feel like LEDs are not as bright, but it’s just a different type of light. 

“They also used to make light fixtures where they shined it in your eyes, and because of light pollution and a lot of other environmental reasons, they suggest using the new technology that they shine down on the pavement.” 

Whitney added, “As a general rule, if you’re ever walking and at any time you see a light that’s not on, you should definitely report it.” 

The group discussed fixing the Framingham website in order for students to make maintenance requests that do not strictly apply to their dorms. They also suggested commuters should be able to make the requests as well.

For the time being, students can report any lighting issues to facilities@framingham.edu.

Parking lots

SGA members asked if there is any possibility of putting cameras in the parking lots to ensure people are held responsible for any accidents that may take place. 

Medeiros explained there are cameras in the Salem and Maynard lots, but they cannot always capture everything because of their “line of span.” 

Lexi Kays, secretary of SGA, said there are no cameras in the Union or Franklin lots. 

Medeiros explained due to technical reasons, the cameras would not be able to be connect to the FSU system. They would be able to tape what happens there for review, but would not be able to keep constant watch of it.

Patrols

Campus Police regularly and continuously make patrols around campus, both inside buildings and outside.

“They do a lot of foot patrols all hours of the day,” Medeiros said. “I check the log every day when I come in to see when they are being done.”

The police also test the blue lights. “Usually on the overnight shift, officers will go out once a week and there’s a list – they are all checked,” said Medeiros.

Any problems with the blue lights will be fixed by IT or by Facilities, depending on the issue.

Conflicts

Adams Road is a city road, so any light problems need to be reported to the City of Framingham. 

Whitney explained how it would be difficult to get a blue light on this road. “If the city put a blue light, they’d want it to report to them. I think it would be hard to get the city to put a blue light that reported to us.” 

There is also the conflict of neighbors. People who share the road with FSU students do not want bright lights shining into their homes.

To avoid these conflicts, the group discussed trimming trees and adding lights to the Alumni House to provide more light to the area without disturbing the neighbors.

Another conflict is Maynard Road. Students have reported feeling unsafe crossing the street because there is no crosswalk.

Olivia Beverlie, student trustee, said, “I hate crossing here because people fly down. … It’s scary.”

But the city cannot put a crosswalk there because of the curve. Therefore, the group discussed the possibility of putting a speed trailer.

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