Greek Row gets lights to improve security

By Brennan Schneider

Sixteen lighting fixtures will be added to Greek Row in an effort to improve safety in the area.

The lights are expected to be installed over Thanksgiving or winter break so the streets will be clear of students’ cars, said 1st ward Alderman David Jacobson. The lights are part of the Greek Row Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, which encompasses lighting, parking and neighborhood pride, among other things.

“The improvement plan dates back to the early 2000s. Under the plan it was decided that there were many dark areas on the roads that are highly trafficked at night,” Jacobson said. “In the early 2000s some improvements were made including trimming back trees that blocked light and it seemed okay. Fast forward 12 years and those trees are overgrown and more light simply needs to be added.”

Jacobson said no event resulted in the push to add lights. Residents of Greek Row, landlords and DeKalb police asked for more lighting due to movement happening at night on these roads, Jacobson said.

Rennie Melarkey, sophomore accounting major and member of Delta Gamma, 917 Kimberly Drive, said she would not even think about walking down the streets of Greek Row with how the lighting is.

“It would not be smart to walk down the streets at night by myself; it’s too dark,” Melarkey said. “It’s nice to know that they will be adding more light. I will feel safer knowing it won’t be so dark.”

Trevor Morrison, senior corporate communications major and Interfraternity Council president, said he thinks lighting up Greek Row will be beneficial to students and police.

“From a Greek Row perspective it will definitely make it safer, helping individuals see individuals that may be hiding in the shadows,” Morrison said. “It will even be beneficial from a police perspective to they are able to see something that could be a potential threat.”

Morrison said when it comes to his own fraternity, Phi Kappa Theta, event monitors — students who monitor safety during Greek events — would work with police if a dangerous situation were to develop.

“There are a lot of things that could be done to make Greek Row safer,” Morrison said. “One being worked on now is the Officer Lead Program that allows every organization that is having an event to actually work with the police and notify them and in some cases have an open line of communication with the police during an event so they would be the first to be notified and have a quick response time.”