University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin Student Starts Petition for More Lighting, Emergency Call Boxes

A University of Texas at Austin student is hoping her petition can help push the university and city of Austin to increase lighting in West Campus, an area she says is poorly lit.

A petition started by a University of Texas at Austin student is calling for the university to partner with the city to increase lighting and add emergency call box poles in West Campus.

Chloe Baker, the student who started the petition, told CBS Austin she is constantly worried on campus about her safety.

"There's constantly like a worry of being unsafe, and there's constantly a worry of is there someone behind me," said Baker. “"It is a very dark area. Like all of the buildings are built so high that it creates so many dark alleys."

The petition states, "Although there are resources on campus such as SureWalk and free Lyft rides for students, these resources are often exacerbated and may not have the capacity to provide to all students. Despite all other efforts that must also take place, there is no way to get around the campus' need for brighter street lighting in West Campus." 

Baker is not the first person to push for these safety enhancements. SafeHorns President Joell McNew told CBS Austin this is something they have been working on for awhile.

"We recently met with Governor Abbott's office, hoping to get help from them," said McNew. "I mean we've talked to everyone. How many people do we need to talk to?"

The city of Austin did conduct a lighting study for the area between October 2017 and February 2018 and even announced it would dedicate money toward it in its Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget, reported the news station. However, McNew said nothing has been done since the findings of the study.

In a statement obtained by CBS Austin, the university said: “"The university partners with the City and APD and supports efforts to help keep our campus community safe, including in areas adjacent to campus. The university also works with internal partners to implement a comprehensive campus safety plan that includes multiple levels of safety and security measures, including the use of security cameras, lighting, building access controls, barricades, and emergency preparedness and response plans and protocols."

About the Author

Sherelle Black is a Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.


  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now