KSU Police hold safety walk

Tyrel Linkhorn

Aboard golf carts, the Kent State Police Department hosted night No. 1 of a safety walk around campus last night.

The purpose of the event is to allow officers from the police department and other university officials to “go out and see the campus and see it as those who are out and about at night see it,” said crime prevention officer Alice Ickes, who lead the walk.

This is the 12th year for the walk.

Along with officers from the Kent State Police Department, Grounds Manager Heather White, Michael Bruder, assistant director of architecture, and Jerry Eveleth, assistant director of engineering, were on hand to both look for possible improvements as well as to take suggestion from the various groups and departments the police department invited to express their concerns.

The possibility of inclement weather caused the police department to initially look into postponing the event one day. Some groups were able to be contacted and some were not, forcing the event to run both yesterday and today.

Two groups had representatives on hand last night: Sue Smith, student accessibility services editorial communication director, and Kevin Hallsky, junior economics major representing the Commuter Off-Campus Student Organization.

Ickes said several more student groups were expected to take part tonight.

The agenda included eight planned locations including:

n the area around Taylor Hall

n the Franklin Hall construction site

n the area around Rockwell Hall

n the wooded area behind the DeWeese Health Center

n the wooded area by the Freshman Experience residence halls

n the walkway between the M.A.C. Center and the Gym Annex.

Ickes said any other additional locations participants wished to address could also be added to the route.

One of the major issues the walk addresses is lighting, Ickes said. Other issues included noting new high-traffic areas for possible new sidewalks and curb cuts to make existing sidewalks more handicap accessible.

The possibility of making the dirt walkway in front of Taylor Hall going towards the new Honors Plaza more permanent was also discussed.

Despite being an area of high traffic, the fact that the area is the same as it was on May 4, 1970, makes it difficult, Bruder said.

Lighting remained the main issue at hand however, as the group discussed future plans for the soon-to-be-completed Johnson and Stopher halls, Franklin Hall when it is completed for Fall 2007 and the current lighting around the included buildings.

Where action is taken depends largely on where the student groups see it necessary.

“A big part of this is their perception is their reality. If they don’t feel that way (is safe), it needs to be addressed, because it’s their community,” Ickes said.

Contact news correspondent Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].