Written by: Joe Adgie
New surveillance cameras are greeting VSU students as they come back for the semester, and $100,000 worth of lighting improvements and new emergency phones have been approved for the campus.
In addition, negotiations are still ongoing to place an ATM at the Student Union.
This was announced by SGA president Will Jimerson at Monday night’s meeting, the first of the semester.
The safety improvements were approved by VSU President Dr. William McKinney during the Christmas break, according to Jimerson, and came as a result of a campus safety walk that took place on Nov. 13.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Jimerson also said that much of these improvements will come to North Campus, particularly the area around Billy Grant Field and the new Health Sciences and Business Administration building.
“(We realize) that the new building will be pushing lots of students to that area,” Jimerson said.
Currently, there is only one emergency phone at Billy Grant Field, which is located near the entrance to the park, and there are no phones between the park and North Campus.
Jimerson also mentioned new emergency phones slated for the parking garages.
“Oak Street Parking Deck has maybe one or two emergency phones for those huge open (floors), so if you’re on the down side, you have to run all the way back to the middle,” Jimerson said.
There are 23 phones in the Oak Street deck; however, many of these phones are at the corners of the floors. The same goes for the Sustella deck.
“Of course, it’s going to take some time for the pricing and (to) actually get the lighting there, but we’ll follow up on it,” Jimerson said.
No exact prices have been named yet.
The new surveillance cameras added during the break were also mentioned during the meeting.
Jimerson specifically mentioned the new cameras on the side of Converse Hall and on top of the Psychology Building, praising their wide field of views.
According to Jimerson, the panoramic camera on the side of Converse shows everything from the west side of the Student Union to Brown Hall, and the camera on the Psychology Building shows everything from the Odum Library to the Bailey Science Center.
Discussions continue regarding the addition of an ATM to the Student Union, either by relocating the machine at the University Center or by adding a new one altogether.
“There have been other conversations in regards to having that ATM here and maybe still keeping the one outside so you have an option,” Jimerson said. “So, for instance, you (will) have a safe location inside, or if you decide to go all the way over to (the University Center machine) in the dark, you can.”
Jimerson also mentioned that the only problem with removing the ATM at the University Center concerns the crowds at football games.
“The community, when they come to the Valdosta games, … loves the convenience of the ATM being right there,” Jimerson said. “But again, we’re here for our students, so we want to make the best decision in the interest of our students.”
In addition, Jimerson mentioned that Dr. McKinney has started up a campus safety committee that will be led by Ryan Hogan, assistant director of admissions, and will be comprised of faculty, staff, students and vice presidents.
“They will be targeting to increase not only improvements around our campus but also the public awareness and perception that VSU is not safe,” Jimerson said.