Group checks for poorly lit areas

By Holly Schubert

A group of about 10 people including NIU administrators and student leaders took a walking tour of the campus Thursday night inspecting the grounds for areas with inadequate lighting.

John LaTourette, president, Jon Dalton, vice-president of student affairs, Blanche McHugh, training and student development coordinator, Lisa Gunn, student association welfare adviser, Willie Fowler, resident hall association president, and several employees of the physical plant examined the campus and found several dark areas in need of more lighting.

Areas the group felt were in need of additional lighting included the yard between McMurry and Altgeld Halls, the Wirtz quadrangle, the Stevens building, the east lagoon walk and fields around the stadium.

The Wirtz quadrangle is scheduled to undergo renovations next year that will improve the lighting situation in that area.

A problem with the “series” lighting system near the east lagoon is that it is out-of-date and it is hard to obtain replacement components.

Lucinda Avenue and Garden Road past Anderson Hall were also determined to need supplemental lighting, but that property belongs to the city so the city would have to make any changes, said Forrest Struthers, NIU Physical Plant electrical contruction superintendent, and LaTourette.

The group found the west side of campus near the residence halls, with the exception of the stadium, to be well lit.

Gunn said a phone call from Dalton prompted Thursday night’s inspection. She mentioned the possibility of such an investigation earlier this month at a student leadership reception at the president’s home. She said she was pleased to hear back from the administration so soon.

Gunn said the tour made her more conscious of areas that were well lit. However, she was surprised that there are so many areas in need of lighting that she did not know about. Gunn walks to Anderson Hall every night and said she has been scared in the past because of insufficient lighting.

“I’m glad we’re finally looking into this,” Fowler said. He said he had been requesting attention into the matter of lack of campus lighting for three years.

Gunn said her plans are to keep on the situation and make sure the physical plant follows through with plans to improve lighting in areas the group felt were too dark.

She said that any students having comments about lighting on the campus should contact the welfare office located in the student association on the second floor of the Holmes Student Center.