Lighting on campus is constantly updated to improve student safety

Baylor strives to keep students safe by making sure the campus is adequately lit at night. Robby Hirst | Lariat Photographer
Baylor strives to keep students safe by making sure the campus is adequately lit at night.
Robby Hirst | Lariat Photographer
By Henry Eckels

When it comes to staying safe on campus, it’s helpful to know Baylor has a number of measures in place to make sure students stay informed and safe at all hours of the day.

Brandon Martin, CL&L zone/project manager at Aramark Higher Education, said an important factor in determining the safety of a college campus said is how well-lit the campus is at night.

Martin said Baylor has no shortage of light posts and there are more to come.

“There are always plans to install more light posts throughout the year,” Martin said. “I would say that the amount of light posts on campus definitely contributes to the feeling of safety for students on campus.”

Buda junior Marcus Lakos said he believes campus feels a little too well lit.

“I enjoy the scenic beauty of nighttime and I don’t want to see Baylor become as bright as a mall parking lot,” Lakos said.

Baylor ITS keeps students informed and up to date on system outages, notifications and safety alerts in a variety of ways in order to ensure students, faculty and staff can feel safe whether they are sitting behind a computer desk or are walking across campus at night, said Jon Allen, assistant vice president and chief information security officer.

Allen said these measures include email and text alerts, adding that students who wish to receive alerts need only submit the appropriate information to BearWeb.

“Students are automatically enrolled for email alerts sent by Baylor PD,” Allen said. “In order to be enrolled for text messages, students must provide a cell phone number in BearWeb under ‘View and Update Baylor Alert Cell Phone Information’ within the ‘Personal Information’ section.”

Although Baylor-owned servers and online services are reliable, Allen said, they must be shut down occasionally for maintenance, typically on Thursdays.

“It was determined that Thursday evenings are the least disruptive time to schedule outages,” Allen said. “The ITS help desk sends out the final notice to campus giving information about the outage, such as description and length of time.”

Curtis Odle, assistant director for facilities and operations, said those who travel between dorms or academic facilities at night can call one of the many Safety and Security Education Officers for assistance. The officers patrol campus after dark to look for defective light posts, check up on dorm locks, watch out for suspicious activity and build relationships with students.

“Their primary role is to serve as an extra set of eyes and ears as well as assisting the students at night,” Odle said. “They drive around campus in golf-cart shuttles, encountering students that need aid.”

Odle said officers are available between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day of the week.

The officers also provide a shuttle transportation service for students during these hours, transporting them between locations on campus.

This shuttle service can be reached by phone at 254-265-0690, and can also be reached from the front desk of any dorm.
Odle said officers are easily identifiable.

“SSEOs wear a badge on their chests to identify themselves to students,” Odle said. “They also wear ball caps and Baylor shirts, and will be receiving uniforms soon.”

There are also numerous emergency call boxes scattered across campus. These call boxes emit a blue light and can be used at any hour to contact emergency officials.