SGA implements new campus safety initiative

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association aims to make students feel safer on campus with its new SafeWalk initiative as discussed at its Tuesday meeting.

Students who feel unsafe walking alone on campus can call the SafeWalk line to enlist a buddy to walk with them at any time. This service will not be used for imminent emergencies, rather it is for students who feel uneasy and want extra security.

“A lot of students were coming to us saying that they didn’t feel safe on campus — walking to classes or alone at night — but they also didn’t want to depend on the police department when it was just that they didn’t feel safe,” SGA Director of Public Relations Murphy Burke said.

SGA President Jay Todd Richey also said the SGA’s office hours will be extended in order to create a place for students to go when they want to feel safe. The office will be open Monday through Friday at least until dinner or later if students need the space.

“There is a very profound difference between offensive speech … and speech that is dangerous to the students’ well-being,” Richey said. “It’s very simple. It’s a space where students can eat dinner, talk with your friends, do homework — where you’re not going to be threatened.”

During its Tuesday meeting, the SGA also approved several bills, including two that will make the Sustainability and MyCampusToo committees permanent, standing committees according to the SGA’s constitution. MyCampusToo will also change its name to the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, after some found the previous name to be “offensive and not inclusive.”

“We have the potential now to make a change, and right now it’s going to be more important than ever, so I believe that this should be a permanent committee,” Helen Vickrey, chair of the new Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, said.

The SGA also passed two resolutions to support the construction of an elevator in Gordon Wilson Hall and to support the removal of styrofoam from all WKU dining locations.

Gordon Wilson Hall is a three-story building that houses the theater and dance departments. The lack of an elevator in the building limits physically disabled individuals’ access to dance studios, classrooms and faculty offices.

“We are striving to be an inclusive university, but one of our fundamental buildings does not even have an elevator that makes it accessible for people with disabilities,” Senator Andi Dahmer, who helped author the resolution, said.

The resolution to remove styrofoam from dining services is the next step in the Sustainability Committee’s efforts to reduce campus waste. This removal would go along with the committee’s efforts to increase the use of reusable or biodegradable containers at dining locations.

“There are still a lot of other dining locations on campus that use styrofoam, which is very harmful, so we would like to see that end,” Savannah Molyneaux, chair of the Sustainability Committee, said.

Finally, Chief Justice of the Judicial Council Cody Cox said Justice Amarah Reed stepped down from her position, and the council will be working to find a replacement soon.

The next SGA meeting will take place Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. in DSU.

Students can contact the SafeWalk line at any time by calling (270)-261-9813.

Reporter Jamie Williams can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].