CU officials are planning to install additional lighting around campus this spring, after sending out a survey to students to identify areas where it was too dark. This lighting installation project will likely require the services of local electrical contractors.
During the fall semester, officials encouraged students to participate in a survey about how well-lit campus was. As a result of the survey, officials have identified a few commonly referenced problem areas on campus where students didn’t feel it was light enough.
“We put it on Survey Monkey and encouraged everyone to respond and to identify the spots that were not well illuminated,” said Moe Tabrizi, CU’s director of campus sustainability. “We wanted to target people who were going to places after hours.”
Tabrizi said the next step was a walk of campus with a campus electrical engineer.
“Once we had those 230 survey comments and feedback, we basically took a campus map and highlighted those areas that a large number of people had pointed out to us,” Tabrizi said. “A group of people joined and walked the entire campus [and] we had a campus electrical engineer with us who took illumination measurements.”
After walking the campus there were five areas where officials have determined additional lighting is necessary. The five areas where additional lighting will be installed are: on the bridge by the stadium trial, the crosswalk north of Mackey and west of Sewall, the crosswalk at 18th and Colorado, the southwest corner of the regent building, and the crosswalk north of Kittwest.
The cost for the lighting, which will come from CU’s general funds, will be determined after the campus electrical engineer does a feasibility and design analysis, Tabrizi said. He said he remains optimistic that CU can install the new lighting at a low cost. The lighting fixtures and other materials are not the only the costs to consider. Installation of the lighting may require the expertise of a professional electrician, so labor costs must also be included in the budget. These lighting systems may also require regular electrical repair services for maintenance.
Kate Schild, a 20-year-old junior psychology and evolutionary biology double-major, said she walks home from campus after dark twice a week.
“I’m always paranoid,” Schild said. “I probably should [feel safe] but I don’t. I don’t know if it helps but I used to talk on my cell phone.”
Schild said that she is glad that CU will be installing additional lighting around campus.
“I think it’s a great idea,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons it freaks me out is because it’s so dark. If someone attacks me I can’t see.”
Brie Dana, a 20-year-old junior integrated physiology and psychology double-major, said that she also appreciates the planned additional lighting.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Dana said. “I know over by Hale by the pond, I think that’s kind of a scary area. I think it’s a really good thing. It’s easier to see people, so you kind of know what’s around you. You can’t tell at all times, but it’s a little easier to spot the person’s face so you could at least identify them.”
Others felt that while additional lighting was good, CU should still do more.
“I think it’s not a bad thing, but the best thing that they could do is step up the campus patrol,” said Jamie Reeves, a 20-year-old junior psychology and sociology double-major.
Reeves said that she believes it would be most beneficial if CUPD paid attention at night to the common times that classes are getting out and had more officers patrolling during those times.
Will Canning, a 21-year-old junior geography major, said that he tries to walk in well-lit areas when he’s walking home at night to stay safe.
“I feel that’s great [that they’re adding more lighting], that’s really great,” Canning said.
Tabrizi said that the new lighting should be installed within the next three to four months. He said that overall most respondents to the survey said that they felt “safe” and “very safe” on campus.
“I thought the process worked out really well,” Tabrizi said. “I was really impressed with the number of respondents and good suggestions, and the validation that the lighting on campus overall is very good. People pointed out a few areas that we could improve and that’s always a good thing.”
Contact CU Independent News Budget Editor Ellie Bean at Beanee@colorado.edu.