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Campus lighting remains an issue for students

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Emma Daniel

Staff Writer

After a recent incident regarding a Sodexo employee being hit by a vehicle in a crosswalk, many campus groups are pushing for better lighting on crosswalks.

A Sodexo employee was hit at 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 13 at the crosswalk behind Trojan Dining. The student driving was going approximately 25 mph on John M. Long Avenue, according to university police.

University Police Chief John McCall said the university police and Dean Reeves’ office are already working with the Physical Plant to improve campus lighting.

“We’re looking at some options now to put some lighting over there (Troy Dining crosswalk) and make it a little bit brighter at night,” McCall said. “We’re always looking to see how we can improve lighting in any of our parking lots or crosswalks or even dark areas of campus, like around the library.”

McCall said he has advice for pedestrians and drivers: “When you see pedestrian crossings, don’t assume that there’s nobody there and come flying through them.

“Slow down and look before you proceed through.

“The law says you’re supposed to yield to pedestrians and let them cross the road. If you’re in a crosswalk, you do have the right of way, but you can’t just step out into it in front of a car.”

Emma Turner, SGA’s student welfare community leader, is working with administration to improve lighting issues on campus.

“As a student government association and student welfare committee, we conduct night walks to assess areas on campus of concern and report these concerns to administration,” Turner said. “We are always open to hearing students’ concerns and taking these concerns to the appropriate administrators.

“Administration does a great job handling our concerns quickly and effectively.”

Josh Simmons, a junior English major from Elba, said he is also worried about lighting issues.

“I’ve seen people almost get hit many times, including myself,” he said.

Simmons agrees that more lighting is the simple solution to the issue.

“Add more lights and maybe cut down on hedges that block the view,” he said. “Sure, they look nice, but at what cost?”

“I feel like (the lighting) is okay in the areas of campus that nobody goes to at night, but the areas where students actually go to-and-fro are not lit,” said Jerrod Pope, a junior computer science major from Jack.

Elizabeth Miller, a junior English education major from Ashford, agrees with sentiments that Troy needs better lighting.

“We, as a university, have had a serious problem with inadequate lighting on this campus,” Miller said. “Since I arrived here three years ago, I personally know two people that have been hit at night in crosswalks.

“I don’t know if this is a money issue for the university, but obviously it isn’t because we just spent a large amount of money on a new rec center.”

SGA holds night walks twice a year, according to Herbert Reeves, dean of student services. Administration accompanies SGA on some night walks, and the most recent walk was held last fall.

Reeves agrees that some areas of campus are too dark to see at night and that the university is working to improve lighting in dark areas on campus.

“While the university in conjunction with the city can do that (improve lighting), drivers need to exercise caution as they approach the crosswalks, especially if there are pedestrians in or around crosswalks,” Reeves said.

He said some faculty members have also expressed concern regarding lighting issues.

An SGA resolution is currently on docket to be voted on next week regarding campus lighting concerns on McKinley Drive, John M. Long Avenue and Luther Drive.

The resolution calls for “light poles, crosswalk reflectors, and light posts be placed in the identified areas in a timely manner, to eliminate any possible safety concerns or hazards from Troy University’s campus.”