Students and faculty gather to better campus

Liberty’s Student Government Association held its second annual Safety Walk around campus by partnering with the Office of Security and Public Safety on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The walk served as a time for students to make their safety concerns known and to connect with those in charge of campus safety. This year’s walk focused on East Campus and gave students the chance to meet Senior Community Engagement Analyst Kate Edwards, Vice President of Security and Public Safety Marcus Tinsley and President Dondi Costin.

“These Safety Walks are the best opportunity that students will get all year to pass along their safety feedback to the administrators,” Isaac Kantola, SGA’s director of communications, said. “If they have any thoughts about campus safety that they want to be made known, now is the time to attend.” 

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the chilly weather to prioritize and improve campus safety. The walk started at 6 p.m. in the David’s Place parking lot and continued across East Campus, going past the dorms, toward the East Campus Field House, back around to the Runk & Pratt Garage, and then ending in the Slim Chicken’s parking lot. The goal was to focus on environmental improvements to enhance safety, such as proper lighting, blue light emergency stops and landscaping. 

“This (walk) gives us the opportunity to (put) boots on the ground, walk out with everybody and see, ‘Okay, what do we not see sitting in an office?’” Edwards said. 

Edwards explained how the priority of the Safety Walk was to communicate with students and get their feedback on campus safety. Throughout the walk, Edwards stopped and asked students questions about specific concerns with lighting in certain areas or blue light placement. She encouraged students to answer fully and honestly. 

“We want the university to be the safest place on the planet,” Edwards said. “The only way we’re going to do that is if we admit where we have some shortcomings and make those changes.” 

Edwards also made students aware of the various safety options available, including the Champion Safe app, which provides a Virtual WalkHome service. 

Tinsley emphasized the importance of events like the Safety Walk for everyone involved.

“We get to come together with the exact people that we serve,” Tinsley said. “One of the things you’ve always heard coming from law enforcement is ‘protect and serve.’ I’ve never liked that. I much rather would hear ‘protect through service.’”

Tinsley quoted Proverbs 27:12 as one of the main reasons campus safety is so important. The proverb compares the wise man who recognizes danger and prepares himself for it to the simple man, who ignores the danger and pays the price for it. 

Several student clubs and associations attended the walk, including the Students Against Trafficking club President Abby Andrews. This club has a special interest in public safety.”

“Getting people to care about issues surrounding safety is a really big deal,” Andrews said.

The walk concluded with free coffee from Nomad Coffee to warm everyone on the cold November evening. 

To sum up the event in Costin’s opening words, “Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of our students.”

Visit this website to learn more about campus safety at Liberty. 

Johnson is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion

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