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Students, administrators attempt to improve safety

In response to two on-campus assaults and the recent pattern of off-campus burglaries, representatives of Duke Student Government have begun working with auxiliary services officials and the Duke University Police Department to begin the implementation of additional safety measures on campus.

DSG passed legislation Oct. 17 urging University officials to take more steps to ensure student safety. The resolution called for additional card readers, more blue-light emergency phones and an increase in the number of DUPD officers and patrol hours.

University officials and representatives from DSG toured East and West Campuses Nov. 14 looking for poorly lit areas. The group determined that lights will be placed in Crowell Quadrangle, Wannamaker Quad, Edens Quad and Kilgo Quad, as well as various places throughout East Campus, said Lewis Wardell, assistant chief of DUPD. He added that the lights should be installed within 60 to 90 days.

There will be no additional lighting on the track surrounding East Campus, said Trinity freshman Robert Cuthbertson, a member of DSG's facilities and athletic affairs committee and a participant on the lighting tour. "They want to discourage people from running at night," he said.

Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs, also participated in the lighting tour. "I've been on these lighting tours for the past 15 years," she said, "and I have been able to watch the dramatic improvements in lighting [throughout campus]."

Trinity junior Jamin Dixon, DSG vice president for facilities and athletic affairs and co-author of the legislation, said auxiliary services officials have agreed to follow any joint plan between DSG and DUPD to improve student safety. "[DSG is] going to meet with [DUPD] and auxiliary services and discuss with them what is going to provide the best security for us," he said.

Dixon said potential locations for the new card readers include the Bryan Center and the West Union Building. He added, however, that cost will play a role in the final installation decision.

Lowell Atkins, director of DukeCard office, compared the price of a card reader to the price of a car-each of the items range broadly in their cost. "You're talking about the configuration of the door, getting power to the door and power to the locking mechanism," Atkins said, adding that the price of installing a card reader depends upon the hardware of the door and the information the card reader must contain.

Alana Ennis, director of DUPD, said the department did not discuss the DSG proposal at its most recent student safety committee meeting and that no plans for additional officers will be made. "The campus is well covered," she said.

University officials also toured the Medical Center Nov. 19. Maj. Burnice Parker, commander for police operations at the Medical Center, said the officials were looking to "identify areas where light levels were low or non-existent."


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