Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Physical Plant, UMPD and Eversource hold annual campus walkthrough to identify any facility or light safety concerns

‘Our big concern is public safety’
(Joe Frank/Daily Collegian)

On Thursday night, students, faculty and staff volunteers at the University of Massachusetts  gathered in front of the Student Union at the University of Massachusetts for the annual campus safety walkthrough.

The event, titled the Walk for Light, was organized by the UMass Police Department in conjunction with the UMass Physical Plant. During the event, members of the UMass community walked around campus and reported any safety concerns regarding lighting or campus infrastructure.

Volunteers were provided with a UMass 2019 Annual Walk for Light flyer, consisting of the work being done to improve on-campus lighting. UMPD and the Physical Plant, with  Eversource, are helping the campus save light energy consumption while maintaining a bright campus with the placement of new LED lights.

“Our big concern is public safety. With the installment of new LED lights along campus roads, sidewalks, dark areas and around buildings, we are able to provide a safer surrounding for pedestrians to walk,” said Dave Schoen, the electrical utilities manager of the UMass Physical Plant. “They provide a light source that’s more reliable and money-saving with the installation of two-thirds of LED lights on campus.”

“We started at the core of campus and are currently working on residential areas like Orchard Hill and have just recently finished lights in Sylvan, Burma Trail and Campus Center Way,” Schoen added.

Liz Albano, an Eversource utility representative and account executive, said, “We communicate with UMass facilities when there is a light outage. We are trying to save energy consumption with the overhead light poles.”

Both Schoen and Albano discussed how over the course of 25 years, leased lighting has been replaced with UMass-owned lights, with UMass having only about 250 leased lights left out of approximately 5,000 lights on campus.

Following the safety check walkthrough around different areas of campus, customer service manager for UMass Facilities and Campus Services, Melissa Bergeron, discussed the best methods to apply for repair modifications in UMass buildings.

“The easiest and most convenient way to reach us is through the My UMass app,” Bergeron said. “You can submit an academic/administrative facilities service request form to report any facilities or buildings around campus that need repair modifications inside or outside. You can also submit a separate request form for Residential Hall Services.”

Bergeron said students, staff and faculty are able to take a picture of the area in need of maintenance using the app for non-residential facilities, or they have the option of using the 24-hour call service offered by the Facilities and Campus Services.

In affiliation with the UMass Physical Plant, the Facility and Campus Services works to maintain a safe and supporting environment for those on campus, according to Schoen.

“Positive feedback was received from the UMPD when replacing old light fixtures with LED lights, improving the view of cameras around campus,” Schoen said.

Many of the Walk for Light student volunteers  felt the whole experience was a positive one for all involved.

“This is my first time attending this event. I feel like more events should occur like this one to promote widespread campus safety,” said Shannon Murray, a junior public health major. “If there is a maintenance problem, I now know who to contact. Overall, I thought this was a great experience for students to get involved in public safety as well.”


Alyssa Mahoney can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @amahoneyjournal.





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    Ed Cutting, EdDNov 14, 2018 at 12:05 am

    This initially was done by the Student Government, and I’m a bit concerned that it is no longer a student-run event. It initially consisted of students taking administrators to places where they (the students) didn’t feel safe and pointing out why — hopefully, it is still the same thing but I really wish that the SGA was still running it.