Campus Personal Safety Committee Report 2004-2005

 

Committee Members

Joan Ballard, Associate Professor of Psychology

Kerrie Bondi, Career Counselor

Emily Day, Student

Lauren Doyle, Residence Director

Amy Gastle, Geneseo First Response

Mark Marinescu, Geneseo First Response

Dara Omer, Student

Suzanne Sharp, Resident Assistant

Joe VanRemmen, University Police – Co-Chair

Jim Williams, Chair and Associate Professor of History

Joan Zook, Assistant Professor of Psychology – Co-Chair

The committee was charged by President Dahl to:

     1.  Continue the review (begun last year) of the impact of current construction projects on the personal safety of           College community members.

     2.  Evaluate the adequacy of the signage and other markings at pedestrian crossings.

     3.  Review the Personal Safety Committee summaries compiled and published by the SUNY System                            Administration and identify some practices that may be considered for implementation at Geneseo.

     4.  Consider any other matters related to the personal safety of the members of the College community that come           to our attention.

 Charge #1 – Construction Projects

 The committee met with Jeff Kaplan, Director of Planning for Facilities, on February 10, 2005 to discuss safety issues related to campus construction projects.

 Jeff Kaplan explained that safety issues are considered and built into all new design projects.  For example:

·         The Letchworth Road project will improve pedestrian safety by eliminating car traffic between Livingston and Monroe and by adding new sidewalks so that students will not have to walk in the road.  In addition, a curve in the road and the installation of a stop sign should slow traffic in the area. 

·         Blue light phones will be added to all new buildings and sidewalks. 

·         Sprinkler systems have been installed in most residence halls.   

 To ensure the safety of the college community during construction, the following steps are being taken:

·         Regular communication via email to the campus community about the progression of construction projects

·         Movement of most heavy construction equipment prior to 7:45 am to minimize contact with pedestrian traffic

·         The provision of flag people to accompany trucks if it is necessary to move them around pedestrians

·         Installation of protective coverings over the doors of Sturges during the replacement of the Sturges roof

 The committee commends Mr. Kaplan for his dedication to ensuring the safety of the college community during construction projects.  We believe he is doing an excellent job addressing and monitoring these issues and we thank him for his helpfulness.

 Charge #2 – Pedestrian Safety

 The committee assessed a variety of pedestrian safety issues during our annual safety walk held on 4/19/05.

 We noted several improvements to the campus since last year’s walk. 

·         A street light and a wall light have been added at the South Hall-Saratoga intersection. 

·         There are many new signs up at the college that provides directions to various places on campus.

 We were also made aware of improvements planned for the near future. 

·         Sidewalks and loading zones on the South Side are scheduled to be improved.  Blacktop sidewalks will be replaced with concrete and load zones will receive new blacktop this summer.  It was noted that vendors driving on the sidewalks were responsible for some of the wear and tear on the sidewalk areas. 

·         The College Union patio and some of the surrounding sidewalks will be replaced as part of the Letchworth-Drive-College Union project beginning this summer.

             The following areas raised concern:

·         Pedestrian crossings in the bypass areas across Route 63 and on College Drive between South and Sarataga remain troublesome areas.  These areas are heavily traveled.  Although there are crosswalks in both areas, the lack of traffic signals and the speed of traffic make crossing potentially hazardous.  Crosswalk markings are worn away and poorly defined.  The committee recommends adding brighter, reflective paint to the crosswalks.  To make the crosswalk more distinctive, we suggest using a brightly colored paint rather that white and perhaps painting the whole crosswalk a solid color.

·         There were concrete forms lying in the middle of the walkway at the end of the Saratoga walkway near Route 63.  We recommend that they be moved and secured.

·         Lighting was an issue in several areas.  We noted no light poles around the sidewalk east of Onondaga although there were Onondaga bullpen building lights and two building lights at the north end of Onondaga.  Lighting around Red Jacket was scarce.  It was noted that several building exterior lights were out, specifically those on Onondaga, Blake, Sturges, College Union, and Clark.

·         The stairs leading from the upper to the lower lots behind Suffolk were in serious disrepair.  We recommend repairing them or possibly replacing them with wooden stairs.

·         The drainage swale near T and TT lot has a large drop off, which may be hazardous.  Additional review of this area may be warranted.

·         There is no blue light phone in the T lot area.  The closest blue light phone visible to the eye from the lot is the light north of Nassau.  The committee debated recommending the addition of a phone in the middle of this lot.  Some members believed that the widespread ownership of cell phones may make blue light phones less necessary. 

·         The sidewalk going down in to R-lot from F-lot and the stairwell areas around Jones and Steuben are in need of repair.

·         The metal grating outside the side door of Sturges can become very slick during the winter months and several individuals have fallen in this area.  The committee recommends taking corrective measures to increase the traction on the grating.

 Charge #3 – Review of System Administration Safety Summaries

A student intern working with Joe Van Remmen in University Police helped in our review of the System Adminstration Safety Summaries issued in the past few years.  The student intern gathered unique data from those reports for the Personal Safety Committee to review. 

 The committee met on March 22 and April 21 to review the suggestions gathered by the student intern.  We discussed all the items and selected six which we believed were worthy of further exploration on our campus.  We recommend: 

  • Gaining knowledge of known sex offenders attending the college and those in the neighboring communities.  Recognizing the high recidivism rate among such offenders and the possibility that our students may be a prime target group for such offenders, this was seen as a prudent measure.
  • Adding Automated External Defibrillators to the academic buildings and training staff in those areas to use them.  The committee recognized that AEDs are expensive and noted that they are already in place at the gyms and Health Center.  We further recognized that that University Police and GFR already have them.  However, it was discussed that because of the older average ages of the individuals who work in the academic areas, increased access and training in those areas could be beneficial.
  • Clearly stating the rules of the college in relation to minor violations such as skateboarding and throwing balls on the college Green.  This would provide notice to potential violators and would give guidelines and support for those involved in rule enforcement.
  • Installing additional phones in academic building and/or identifying current phones with signs would be helpful in case of emergencies.
  • Keeping college vehicles in a safe area away from the heavily trafficked areas of night time pedestrian use to avoid criminal mischief.
  • Implementing an incident reporting system for tracking crime on campus.