University student brings attention to Clark Hall safety


Gerard Borne

A brick wall at the Clark Hall Annex has recently seen lighting changes and an increase in patrol by the University Police Department after a university student raised concern about safety. Eric Summers, vice president for student affairs, requested students or faculty members who do not feel safe when walking in the area to contact the University Police Department.

A concern has been raised on campus regarding the safety of students around the Clark Hall area.

Allison Arrigoni, a senior art major, has recently shed light on a wall at Clark Hall that may cause concern to students who pass it at night.

Arrigoni shared what her main concern is with the brick wall located in between Clark Hall and the Clark Hall Annex.

“When I exited Clark Hall and turned right, I quickly came to a small doorway opening made from a brick wall between the two buildings,” stated Arrigoni. “There is a large tree that grows over the wall, and many plants on the other side of the wall. From the east side of the building, you go through the doorway/opening blind. You cannot see up close if anyone is on the other side of that wall, much less from the cul de sac parking lot. From the parking lot on the west side, unless you pull all the way up to the stadium, you cannot see down the alleyway. From the parking area, there is still plenty of hidden space behind the bushes, tree and a bench that sits under the tree.”

Arrigoni feels students are vulnerable when walking alone in the area.

“Anyone walking down this alley is vulnerable to attack or assault,” said Arrigoni. “If they pull you behind the wall, behind the bench or even into the recessed alcove of the photography and sculpture classroom doors, no one from either direction would see you.”

Arrigoni explained what she would like to see happen to the brick wall.

“I feel like the brick wall extending from each building should be taken down to make the opening larger,” commented Arrigoni. “Allowing people to see through the alley from one side to the other. I also think cameras would help deter any wrongdoing in this area.”

The tree and the wall blocks sight from surrounding area, which makes Arrigoni worried.

“I believe this mostly affects anyone taking photography, sculpture and pottery classes or uses the labs during non-class hours,” explained Arrigoni. “Many hours of lab time are required for these subjects. So, it’s often late at night when students, lab monitors and teachers are leaving, but it also affects anyone who uses this alleyway for any reason. It is secluded with no line of sight and is dangerous.”

Dr. Eric Summers, vice president of student affairs, was made aware about Arrigoni’s concern and the situation was handled.

“They did make sure to not only check that the light that was installed over the tree was working, but they have also added additional lighting down the alley,” stated Arrigoni. “I appreciate their quick work but still feel the area is unsafe, especially at night and outside of class hours.”

Summers explained what his first steps were when he found out about the issue.

“The first thing I did was contact the physical plant to see if the lighting was appropriate,” stated Summers. “They came back to me and told me that the lighting could improve in the area. The Physical Plant added more lighting and cut the plants back.”

Summers shared what the plans are for the brick wall.

“As of right now, we do not plan to remove the wall,” commented Summers. “But, we still will continue to access the area and keep an eye on it. The University Police Department has increased patrol in the area, and they monitor the area very closely.”

Summers requested students or faculty concerned with walking back to their vehicle to contact the UPD.

“Call the UPD if you do not feel comfortable walking back to your vehicle,” shared Summers. “Their hours are 24 hours a day seven days a week. The safety of our students and faculty is the most important thing to us on campus.”