Editorial: UAA fails to light dark paths

LightingBeing afraid of the dark is not a childhood fear — not in Alaska and not in any city.

Because lurking just beyond one’s sight, a moose could be wondering why a puny human is sloshing through its turf, a dangerous person could be lurking with a weapon and the worst intentions, or a patch of ice could be hiding to render someone unconscious with a bad fall.

For most students, chances are that neither of these things will happen to him or her.

But, to be honest, it’s possible.

About 700-1,000 moose call Anchorage home, according to an Alaska Dispatch article published in May.

Reported rape in this city rose to an all-time high from 264 incidents in 2012 to 283 in 2011, according to The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data. That’s the highest it’s been in 30 years.

The number of slips and falls on campus may never be known because not all are reported.

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And while we cannot live in fear or prevent all accidents from happening, people should be able to expect that this university provide a safe environment.

For the most part, they do.

Last year, the university debuted an emergency text messaging system for students to provide them with campus updates.

The University Police Department is also available everyday at all hours.

There are even emergency call boxes located throughout the campus.

But UAA fails in one area: efficient outside lighting.

Any student who has been on campus after sundown knows that outdoor lighting can range from being adequate to nearly nonexistent.

But rather than complain about bruises and scary encounters to friends, students should find their voice.

At the official UAA Master Plan blog, students can make suggestions about how to improve this university.

Campus officials can’t act upon all suggestions immediately, but this safety issue warrants a long-term investment from everyone at UAA.

Officials can’t make improvements about lighting or any other issue unless they know it’s a problem.

They may even take up your suggestion as a solution.

Take part of the conversation about this campus at http://uaamasterplan2012.blogspot.com/.