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Students joined together to “light the way” on Wednesday Week Five in an effort to highlight to the university the importance that lighting has on the safety of its students.
The group gathered along the pathway leading from the Chaplaincy Centre to the Sports Centre equipped with torches and glow sticks, lighting the way for passers-by.
As it stands, both main routes to the Sports Centre from the Chaplaincy and South West campus remain unlit. One of the event organisers, Cross Campus Officer for Welfare Campaigns, Grace Fitzpatrick felt that “the event went very well” and “was happy that students turned up to show the University what they thought.”
“Personally I think the lack of lighting is a disgrace, especially based on how highly we think of ourselves as a safe university” she continued, “and with the amount of money spent on the sports centre, this should never have been an issue.”
LUSU Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity) Matt Saint believes that “student safety at Lancaster is paramount. Although ours is a very safe campus it is no excuse for leaving two such prominent walkways unlit throughout the winter.
“Despite continuous prompting to the university from various parties, nothing has been done so I am hoping this more direct form of action might have made people notice this issue.”
With the recent petition to extend the opening hours of the Sports Centre, it seems that sufficient lighting may become more of a pressing matter.
Marc Handley, LUSU Vice President (Activities) thinks “this Light the Way campaign is a brilliant way to highlight the very serious issue of access to the sports centre when it is dark.”
He had “highlighted this issue during the summer of 2010 whilst the centre was being built” when he held the position of Vice President (Sports), “but was met with a very mediocre answer of “we’re looking at it” and was given an explanation regarding planning permission issues too.”
He told SCAN that “now thankfully, after nearly 18 months, the University are able to see a serious issue with the access from both the Chaplaincy and from South West campus” and hopes that “something can get sorted out as soon as possible.”