UH Manoa students, security highlight safety improvements on campus

The University of Hawaii is dealing with a huge maintenance backlog.

The Manoa campus alone needs about $500,000,000 worth of work.

Campus security focused on smaller repairs that’ll make a big impact in student safety.

On Tuesday. students grabbed clipboards and flashlights, ready to jot down even the smallest thing they felt could improve safety on UH’s lower campus, right down to testing every last emergency call box.

Sydney Millerd was one of the students who took the safety walk, and said she noticed multiple improvements that can be made. “I think generally it’s all right but there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. There could be a lot better lighting around the campus. There could be maybe better sidewalks for less trip hazards, and maybe more emergency call boxes. That sort of stuff.”

According to the university’s latest crime report, there were six sex assaults on campus in 2015, nine cases of stalking, and 32 motor vehicle thefts.

Rachael Odumu, a Junior at UH, hopes suggestions made on the walk will make the campus safer for everyone, “Coming out of practice it’s a little unsafe to me right now just from kind of the gym area to heavily populated areas, but when there’s a lot of traffic I do feel safe. I think there is a little bit to be done.”

Students found everything from lights that needed to be fixed, to uneven sidewalks in need of repair.

So what happens next? Sarah Rice with the university’s department of public safety says a comprehensive list of suggestions will be given to the university’s facilities department. “We show them on a map where it is and give specific locations. Then what facilities from there can start either developing or advising any plans that they have based on the feedback we get.”

Rice also says she’s seen the feedback turn into real changes, “We definitely have, and we’ve even been able to make changes with some of our with our emergency call boxes. Since our department took over them they’re all operational on campus, and we’re making sure that we’re checking in regularly. That’s what the feedback does. It gives us that information so we’re able to see where we need to make improvements.”

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