Campus safety walk held

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Close to 60 campus officials, police and students went through campus and student housing facilities as the sun set Tuesday evening. Taking buses or walking on foot, groups kept their eyes peeled for any potential safety issues.

The seventh annual Campus Safety Walk, co-sponsored by the Residential and Commuter Life Advisory Board, the Longwood Student Government Association (SGA), Longwood University Police Department and the Real Estate Foundation, examines potential safety issues when it’s most needed — when it’s dark and there are fewer bystanders around.

The program typically occurs after daylight saving time, according to a description of the event.

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According to the event description, approximately nine groups toured an assigned area of campus.

Bus transportation was provided for the tour groups to review Lancer Park or Longwood Village. There was also a walking tour that traveled from Lancer Park to main campus.

“This week, the tour groups’ notes are being compiled into one report,” Doug Howell, associate director of residential operations with Residential & Commuter Life said. “Work orders will be submitted accordingly.”

“Previous safety walks have prompted improvements to sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, and emergency phones,” the event description cited.

Approximately 44 students, 14 faculty/staff and one community participant from the Farmville Police Department took part in the walk, Howell said.

This year’s tour came after the topic of campus safety had been on the minds of students and administration in the Longwood community following a Jan. 27 incident. A man carrying a weapon was reported at Longwood Village, an off-campus student housing community.

“Campus safety is a shared responsibility,” Howell said concerning the event. “Being aware of safety issues is not a one night event, instead, it’s a daily endeavor. As Chief Bob Beach has often stated, ‘If you see something, say something.’ The Longwood campus community is a partnership in which everyone has a voice when reporting concerns or recommendations for improvements.”

Joshua Darst, president of the Longwood SGA, also spoke about the importance of all members of Longwood and the community participating in order to address campus safety.

“Main campus and communities were addressed, and there will be enhanced safety measures taken from this event,” Darst said in a statement Wednesday. “It is important to note that campus safety isn’t just a administrative issue, it takes students also being alert and reporting issues. That is what makes this effort stand out and why it is so successful.”