Campus Safety Walk highlights need for improvements at MMC

SGC-MMC President Alexis Calatayud (left) points out areas of concern along with Vice President Tiffany Roman Biffa (middle), and Lisette Hernandez (right).

Raul Herrera/Staff Writer

At the Campus Safety Walk, FIU police identified areas on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus that require lighting and other improvements to ensure the safety of students at night.

The police department met with Parking and Transportation and Student Government Council at the Betty Chapman Plaza on Wednesday, Nov. 12, to start the tour.

Last year, Chief of Police Alexander Casas identified poorly-lit areas on campus. There’s still some room for improvement.

Areas on campus that needed lighting improvements last year included the pathways near the Academic Health Centers, the area in front of the Labor Center, the fountain outside Graham Center and the walking area beside the Recreation Field.

This year, officials found that there are still lighting problems in the intramural sports field, the corridor near the GC fountain, the parking lot next to the Graham Center Ballrooms, Parking Lot 9D behind the new Management and New Growth Opportunities building and the back of the Ryder business building.

Student Government Council at MMC President Alexis Calatayud attended the walk with Vice President Tiffany Roman Biffa to see which areas need better lighting.

Calatayud was particularly concerned over the darkness at the intramural fields, and thought that the side of the FIU College of Law building facing the stadium was not well-lit.

“[MMC] is a little scary at night,” said Calatayud. “I think the point of the Safety Walk is to identify areas that can foster a negative situation.”

Lisette Hernandez, director of Parking and Transportation, pointed out the darkness in Parking Lot 9D.

“The light balance is not sufficient here,” she said.

Thomas Hartley, executive director of parking and transportation, agreed. He suggested “repurposing some lights” through measuring the bulbs and making comparisons.

Hernandez stated that the soccer field’s light would turn off when not in use. She also mentioned that cutting some tree branches has improved visibility in the area.

Lt. Michael Gonzalez of University Police Department said that if the lights of the soccer field were off, then “that means no one is supposed to be there in the first place.”

Gonzalez did not comment on whether or not there were recent incidents in most of the other areas, but mentioned that there were none in the GC corridor near the fountains.

After identifying the areas of concern, the University will take action.

“For Parking, we will contact our light vendors, and discuss the measurements so that we can make improvements,” Hartley said.

Those present agreed that there is a need for brighter lights, or more lights in general.

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