Nearly 100 University of New Mexico students showed up to the Campus Safety Walk, Nov. 10.
Coordinated through Student Affairs and the Dean of Students Office, the nighttime event gives students the opportunity to help improve the overall safety of the UNM campus. Participants are asked to walk through specific parts of campus and identify areas they feel are unsafe. They look for everything from burned out lights, to tripping hazards, anything they think could be a safety risk.
“Safety is of the utmost concern. We want to make sure [students are] in a good, safe environment because if students have the perception that they’re in an unsafe environment, that has an impact on their learning,” said Rob Burford, UNM’s Clery Act compliance officer.
Burford, who has been in charge of the Campus Safety Walk for years, said the event was originally started in the 1990s but lost steam about a decade ago. In 2010, the administration decided to bring the program back as a way for students to have a hand in keeping their campus safe.
“We want to get the students’ perspective on these issues that effect them,” Burford said.
Students were broken up into small groups and sent to more than 30 different locations on campus. Group leaders kept detailed notes on a variety of different hazards they found. Burford will compile the notes, then turn over the recommendations to the UNM Physical Plant Department, which then prioritizes the projects for repair, maintenance, or installation.
Burford said there will be another safety walk held during the spring semester to give students the chance to follow up and provide feedback on if improvements have been made.