JU Safety Walk

Misha Khan

The Jacksonville University Annual Campus Safety Walk was held this past Thursday amongst JU students and employees. The main purpose of these walks is basically to enhance the level of security on the JU campus.

Several organizations on campus teamed up to participate in this event including Campus Security, Physical Plant, Residential Life, Student Life and the JU Health and Wellness Team.

The groups met outside the Kinne University Center at 7 p.m. and then broke off into smaller groups. Each group took a different part of campus to observe and report on.

Amber Davis Blackburn, Director of Operations of Residential Life and the Health and Wellness advisor, is the main organizer for the event and looks forward to the safety walk each year.

“I started leading this walk in the fall of 2005,” Blackburn said. “This is the sixth year that we have participated in the Campus Safety Walk, and it has been great to see the improvements on campus that have been contributed to the safety walk.”

The participants were given glow-in-the-dark sticks as they walked around with clipboards, writing down any improvements they saw necessary. Over the years the Campus Safety Walk has been the source of several enhancements on campus. Additional lights have been added around campus and cracked side-walks have been fixed. A major accomplishment for this walk was the path inside the gate leading from the Terry Concert Hall to the residence halls. It has made it much easier for handicapped JU students to make it around campus.

Some of the participating administration members included the new director of Campus Security Gordon Bass, Dean of Students Dr. Bryan Coker and the Vice President of Student Life Dr. John Balog. Members of the Physical Plant were also present at the walk, as they are every year. Major concerns this time around were about lighting and the emergency booths.

The Health and Wellness team hopes to continue making safety improvements on campus by participating in these walks. They would love to get the flooding issues in the valley fixed and also want to work on getting the Dolphin Drive expanded since the majority of cars use Dolphin Drive after 6:30 p.m. Their main goal for now is to provide an outlet for students to come out and have a voice.

According to Amber Blackburn, the only way things can be improved upon is if students participate in the annual Campus Safety Walk and voice their concerns.

“The Campus Safety Walk is open to all students, staff and administration,” she said. “Each walk is successful when we see students come out to the walk and the JU Departments work together to enhance and improve the campus safety at Jacksonville University.”