Night tour of campus seeks to make school safer

In order to better campus security, the Campus Lighting Committee, in conjunction with the Illinois Student Senate, conducted a evening walking tour of the campus Tuesday night. This walk was meant to determine which areas of campus have adequate lighting and which areas need to be better lit.

“Lighting provides a sense of safety, and that’s something that can’t be taken away,” said Illinois Student Senate president David Pileski.

Ryan Young, LAS student senator, said that aside from deterring crime, lighting provides a sense of security. Students travel in well-lit areas partially because they feel safer, he said.

“There’s a difference between being safe and feeling safe,” said. “Students are safe, but we want them to feel secure as well.”

Good lighting may make the campus feel more secure, but light hasn’t always guaranteed complete security. On Monday, an aggravated robbery occurred in broad daylight in front of Espresso Royale, 602 E. Daniel. However, Jim Maskeri, LAS student senator, said daytime attacks are not the norm.

“If you’ve been looking at most crime reports, most crime has been happening at night,” Maskeri said.

Pileski explained that there is funding available for safety projects. Although improving campus lighting could cost a lot, Pileski said “other (University) projects may be postponed if funding (for lighting projects) is needed.”

If the areas in need of better lighting fall under Champaign or Urbana’s jurisdiction, those respective municipalities would have to determine if and how they will improve lighting conditions. Maskeri noted that the University spends a considerable amount of money on safety, but there are always areas that could be improved.

Although the Campus Lighting Committee has not been active in the past few years, Young is optimistic that the presence of this organization will make the campus feel more secure. The committee seeks to provide a different view on security. Maskeri said this event is particularly important because “students have a different perspective on safety than administrators.”