December 4th, 2012 | University

YCC releases campus safety report

YaleUniversity_RonnellHiggins
Photo by Yale University.

The Yale College Council released its “campus safety report” today, presenting an array of Yale safety issues ranging from inadequate lighting to safety services.

The report aims to synthesize student feedback generated from a form on the YCC’s website, a crowdsourcing Google Document that was sent to all undergraduates on Nov. 13 and a “lighting patrol” conducted by YCC representatives to investigate areas of campus reputed to suffer from poor lighting.

YCC President John Gonzalez ’14 told the News Tuesday that the report aims to strengthen ongoing conversation with Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins.

“We have been in constant contact with Chief Higgins, and often brought many student concerns to him,” Gonzalez said. “We thought what would be the most effective thing for our relationship moving forward would be to compile a campus safety report that he and the YPD could look through and begin addressing.”

Despite nine reported crimes on or near Yale’s campus so far this academic year, the YCC report concludes that “the biggest concern that students had regarding student safety dealt with inadequate lighting around campus.”

In response to a purported outcry for better lighting on campus, the report lists in detail student-reported lighting problems in addition to those “recorded by further investigation.” According to the list, high-risk areas include Temple Street in front of Timothy Dwight College, York Street in front of Davenport and Pierson colleges and Sachem Street by Ingalls Rink. Other issues reported include a poorly-lit Blue Phone behind Pierson College and two lights flickering outside of the Slifka Center.

On the question of safety services, the report largely relates student satisfaction with the nature of current resources, including the desire to increase the quantity and availability of services such as safety rides and shuttles. According to the report, students looking to avoid wait time want more vehicles making the rounds. It can take “30 minutes plus,” the report quotes one student as having said, to use such services. One other suggestion includes allowing groups to preschedule safety rides after weekly meetings or other previously planned events.

In a section of the report devoted to alcohol safety, the YCC excerpted a handful of comments that raise concerns about the University’s focus on discipline, which the report said dissuades students from getting the medical attention they need. Specific recommendations from students include no longer asking students at the hospital where they got their alcohol and creating “disciplinary amnesty for anybody who willingly goes to Yale Health.” Students also commented on the worrisome effects of Yale’s pervasive alcohol culture, with one student reporting that he or she is “uncomfortable to venture out on a Friday [and] Saturday night.”