Student volunteers walked the campus Thursday evening, accompanied by police officers, as they marked safety hazards and made suggestions for ways to make campus more secure.

Volunteers marked with tape lights that were out or too dim, railings that weren’t sturdy, and blue lights that were not functioning.

The annual Campus Safety Tour happens one night every November. Students walk in groups to document any safety hazards they see in their assigned zone. Each group is accompanied by an Student Government Association (SGA) representative, a police officer and a facilities management representative.

“Safety of our students is our priority for student government association, our administrators and police,” said Senior Kelsey Summey. “We want to make sure that all aspects of campus are accessible for all of our students and we want to enhance security across campus.”

This was Summey’s third year walking the tour, and as Secretary for Student Affairs, she was responsible for organizing it this year.

A lot of students organizations made it a priority to come out to the tour. Junior Mecca Hatchell is a member of two organizations that decided to participate. She was assigned to the area surrounding the Student Union.

“I wasn’t surprised that there weren’t a lot of lights that were out, which was great,” she said.

Hatchell said the tour made her feel more safe on campus.

“I was happy that not only we as students were walking but also that we had the police officer there and the facilities manager there so they could visibly see where we have our own concerns as well,” she said.

Kristine Slade went with her organization Cheer Nation. Her group covered the area around Fretwell and Burson. She noticed a lot of lights were out in dark areas of campus that students frequently walk through.

“It was pretty cool knowing that by participating in the safety tour, we as student could help prevent future issues that could potentially happen,” Slade said.

In past years, the campus safety tour has had around 50-80 volunteers. This year, there was over 100.

Summey hopes that with the spike in participants, they can expect next year to have an even larger attendance.

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Alexandria Sands is the Niner Times' managing editor. She is a senior studying Communications with a double minor in Journalism and English. Sands' work has been published in The Charlotte Business Journal, Creative Loafing, The Gaston Gazette, The Shelby Star and The State Port Pilot. When she's not in the newsroom, you can catch her reading a book on Oak Island. Reach her at managing@ninertimes.com or @alexsands_.

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