December 10, 2023

The University of Saskatchewan’s student union says it’s hearing concerns from students who are required to walk on campus in the dark.

Some of the areas of campus are more poorly lit than others and pose a threat to students working or studying on campus at night.

“We have brought this up as a concern with the university administration and we do believe that they are trying to practically work towards it in finding a solution,” said University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) president Ishita Mann.

The union said lighting on campus is monitored by the university administration and protective services.

Mann said that until any changes are made, the university offers services to keep students safe.

“The USafe app that USask offers has facilities like automatic calls to protective services if you are feeling unsafe, location monitoring so that you can from Point A to Point B very carefully and very comfortably.”

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She said students can sign up for a check-in system on the app if they are walking or will be alone for an extended period of time. If the student does not respond to the check-ins sent to the app, it automatically calls protective services and offers their immediate location.

Mann also reminded students that the USSU often works late and the office is a safe space for students to go.

A statement from the university said it recently reached out to administration on the topic of lighting on campus.

“We made several safety recommendations to them and offered to meet with members of the USSU for a campus walk to better understand the areas of concern,” said Wade Epp, associate vice-president of services.

Epp said some areas of the campus aren’t able to be properly lit.

“Our Saskatoon campus is approximately 745 acres, about the size of a small town. As a result, there are locations on campus that are not able to be well-lit. In these areas, caution should be taken if needing to travel alone.”

The university also offers a safe-walk program for those travelling alone after dark.

“The service runs from Sunday to Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. After those hours, we encourage Protective Services to be the approachable option for people.”

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