I dread Tuesday and Thursday nights.
These are the nights where I go to work at Hughes-Trigg Student Center or the Journalism school for the Daily Campus.
It’s not that I hate the paper whatsoever- I love this job and everyone I work with.
The problem that I have with production nights is that most of the time it runs late.
It’s a given that if you work for a newspaper, you’ll be at work till about ten or eleven some nights to make sure your paper is laid out correctly and all your stories are edited.
But that means by the time you’re done and leave the office, it’s almost pitch black the moment you step outside the building.
And no, I’m not exaggerating.
Most of the time I drive- yes, drive- from Binkley parking garage to the Hughes-Trigg parking lot just to work.
Why would I do such a stupid thing you ask?
Because it’s the safest option I have.
That’s the sad truth.
Even though it’s a two-second drive, I’d rather waste my gas on driving back and forth than walking all the way back by myself.
It’s quite a long walk from Hughes-Trigg to the Residential Commons- especially if it’s late at night with dimly lit lampposts to guide you.
And once you pass the Blanton Lee building, where the only source of light is from the lit water fountain, it is pitch black.
From the back of Blanton and near the Sigma Chi fraternity house there is no light.
Only once you cross over will you see faint beams of light stream out from the windows of Binkley parking garage.
It makes me feel a little more at ease.
Then, the light at the end of the tunnel literally shines for me.
The lampposts in between the stadium field and Moody Coliseum lead me home.
This ten-minute journey always makes me go through a roller coaster of emotions. But why should I, along with other students who walk similar paths at night, feel this way at all when walking around campus at night?
It’s a problem.
The lack of lighting on the SMU campus at night poses as a danger for students, especially ones that live on-campus.
For example, on the boulevard there is a significant lack of lighting.
This is the main area where students commute between dorms, dining halls and the library.
There should be more lampposts or lit pathways by buildings in order for students to be able to locate each building.
In addition to the boulevard, areas behind Fondren Library and Hyer Hall should be lit more for students that are walking back towards Airline parking garage.
Yes, I am aware that there is already lighting.
But given the surface area from the back of Fondren Library all the way to Airline parking garage, there is definite room for improvement. (Especially in that nook from Fondren Science Center and Life Sciences to Airline).
These areas, in addition to the ones I mentioned prior in the article, should be re-evaluated and changed.
Students should not be fearful walking alone at night around a small campus like SMU.
After people read this, I expect there to be comments like “why don’t you take Giddy Up?” “Why don’t you just use the flashlight on your phone if it’s that dark?” or “Why don’t you just drive all the time instead of walk if you’re that paranoid?”
And here are my replies.
1. If I feel that the walk is doable, I’ll do it on my own without needing to call Giddy Up. Furthermore, Giddy Up has only answered to about one-third of my calls out of the last ten times I have called them. I also personally feel really anxious at night by myself and do not want to wait around for Giddy Up if they are able to get me.
2. I have used the flashlight on my phone in order to see clearly around campus at night. Also, isn’t it kind of sad that I have to do this so often it’s habitual? Wouldn’t you rather be able to see on your own without assistance from your iPhone?
3. As I said before, I drive 85 percent of the time once it’s dark outside. But for short commutes, I would love to be able to walk around on my own without having to power walk or feel afraid to do so. Maybe it’s just my anxious nature, or maybe it’s an actual problem.
I feel as a student for two years here that there could be changes made in order for students to feel safer when walking alone at night. Personally, it would make me feel less in danger from being attacked and more at ease when I have to walk by myself at night. SMU is a great school, but I think if they focused a bit more attention on the safety and lighting of the campus rather than the sprinklers and landscaping, it could be even better.