Students’ Association passed resolution addressing the lack of lighting around campus and campus security last week.
Emily Moreno, freshman biology major from Uvalde, and Emily Guajardo, freshman convergence journalism major from San Antonio, made the motion.
“Every night, I walk toward my dorm and have to face the darkness of campus as I walk alone,” Guajardo said. “It’s seriously pitch black between the Foster Science Building, the Phillips Education Building and the dorms. Not to mention that there are several other places that need lighting in order to prevent danger and injury from happening.”
Guajardo’s concerns are not only for herself but her friends also.
“More lighting will help students to wander campus feeling safe and have a greater opportunities to do more on campus at night rather than hide away when the sun is down,” she said.
Moreno said the resolution addresses adding lighting throughout campus entirely.
“While campus undergoes renovations, I would like to see lights added to more areas,” Moreno said. “I’ve had friends trip due to bad lighting, and I have friends that don’t feel safe at night.”
Officers agree lighting is important to student safety, but not the end-all solution.
“Lighting is an important element of overall campus security, but not the sole indicator,” said Jimmy Ellison, ACU chief of police. “We conduct light surveys twice a year. The ACU Police Department and Facilities Management survey the lights on campus early in the summer and winter to try and stay up to date on lighting problems.”
Ellison said this specific area of campus has already been discussed for improved lighting as part of the pending construction and expansion projects.
“That area of campus needs different types of lighting due to the heavy tree cover,” he said.
Though they already monitor lighting conditions, Ellison was not dismissive of the SA resolution.
“ACUPD is always open to student ideas and concerns and works hard to keep the campus community informed not only of crime trends, but of ways to prevent students from becoming a victim,” he said. “We value ourselves as a private school, but we intentionally provide what amounts to a public campus. Buildings and grounds are basically open to the public.”
Safety is ACUPD’s highest priority, but Ellison encourages those on campus to take responsibility, too.
“Every year, I look at 1,000 moms and dads and tell them I will do everything in my practical power to keep their sons and daughters safe after they move in,” Ellison said. “However, the police department can only do so much. Students and faculty/staff have to act as the first line of defense. If something looks suspicious, report it.”