Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Lights out at COCC

Mazama and the Barber Library are two of the most used buildings at Central Oregon Community College.

Yet, visiting them after dark could be dangerous. Whether going to work out or printing that crucial piece of homework, students could run the risk of assault or robbery when visiting these places after night has fallen.

Without lighting, the area surrounding the track, library and gym is a stretch of darkness, with many out-of-the-way, potentially dangerous areas. Joe Viola, head of Campus Services, biggest concern about the lighting in that area was the possibility of “tripping and falling on the track or around there.”

Jim Bennett, Director of Security at COCC, reports that all lighting concerns are “taken seriously by [himself] and the Safety Committee.” This includes,“periodic lighting audits and following the OSHA mandate as closely as possible.”

Bennett reported that many staff members have been made aware of the problem as it had recently been brought up by another staff member.

Several girls were walking back to the residence hall after dinner Thursday night, they too feel that the darkness of the area is unsafe. “I was walking back to my room and almost got hit by someone on a longboard,” said COCC student, Tori Eri. There are many different hazards students could occur during the late hours of the night.

“We actually have quite a few meetings about campus safety, a lot of ideas and concerns get passed around,” Bennett said.  “Most of the staff is involved in these meetings, including the president and the vice president of the school, and various administrators.”

Especially in relation to the email sent by the school president, Shirley Metcalf, regarding the “The death of Kaylee Anne Sawyer, and the apparent involvement of one of our employees in that incident” – lighting is an important safety measure for students.

Despite concerns one may or may not have about the lighting, Bennett said gym and library lighting concerns will be a topic in the next safety committee meeting. There, they will discuss any possible security concerns.

“We will do anything in our power to make sure our students are safe,” said Bennett.

 

Nainoa Kanaiapuni Naff | The Broadside

Contact: nkanaiaupuninaff@cocc.edu

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