Article Originally Published by Vivian Berreondo on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
UNT is lacking sufficient safety precautions and needs to improve and implement more resources to ensure the safety of students. Whether it’s for a night class or a late-night study session, many students have been on campus after dark. It can be scary and intimidating, especially if you are alone.
One of the first things UNT needs to do to make students feel safer on campus after dark is adding more lights. There are very few lights on campus and where there are actually some, they are extremely low-lit.
While adding more lights doesn’t ensure protection from any dangers, it can ease students’ worries while walking on campus. If the campus is well-lit, it makes it harder for someone to hide in the shadows or attack someone without being seen.
There are emergency phones spread throughout campus, but next time you are on your daily walk from your dorm or car to your class, I want you to pay attention to how many emergency phones you pass. You will notice that they are far in between.
Some colleges have them lining the walkways so students can hit the button every time they pass one, and if they don’t make it to the next one, a police officer will be sent to their last location. It works like a checkpoint for students who feel like calling the police to walk them is unnecessary but still want to be safe.
The UNT police department does offer a series of free campus safety programs, like self-defense classes, but the campus needs more field resources. Teaching students tips on how to protect themselves is a good step, but not enough.
UNT’s bus system is in serious need of improvement as well. They do offer a night shuttle, but it is incredibly inefficient. It only stops at specific locations around campus, so students still have to do some walking through those unlit parts of campus to get to their destination. It also takes a long time for the buses to get around campus, so students often have to wait at the dark bus stops.
This all ties back to the need for more lights, but it also shows a need for more night buses and more frequent stops. If they added one or two more night shuttles to the rotation, I think it would improve timely pickups.
More night buses would also allow time for buses to wait at each stop for only a few minutes. Some students don’t want to wait at the dark bus stops at night, so they will wait in their cars for the bus to arrive. The UNT Transit app doesn’t work perfectly though, so they’ll either have to run to the bus as soon as it gets there and risk getting left behind, or wait outside in the dark.
If you aren’t near a bus stop at night, UNT also offers an e-ride service. It sounds great on paper, but it fails in execution. Students can call the e-ride number to pick them up and take them wherever they need to go on campus, but it usually takes a long time, so it goes right back to the issue at hand of long waiting times.
First, I think this information needs to be more widely advertised around campus. There is also conflicting information on their websites. According to the UNT Police Department’s website, other students may board the bus as well, but the transportation services’ website says that only scheduled riders are allowed.
Another problem with this service is that the hours of operation are from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Thursday. These hours need to begin earlier in the Fall and Winter semesters because it gets darker a lot sooner. The sun starts setting around 5:30 p.m. this time of the year, so the schedule should accommodate those changing times.
UNT has made an effort to implement safety precautions around campus, but they need serious improvement. Students should feel safe and comfortable enough to walk to the Union for dinner or to study at the library at night without fear of violence.
Featured Illustration: Jeselle Farias
Source: North Texas Daily