After several years of constant construction, University of Mary Washington students are accustomed to mild inconveniences and familiar sounds of heavy machinery. However, no past disturbance approaches the one caused by the new IT Convergence Center construction that has closed Campus Walk west of Simpson Library.
While most students and faculty might complain about the annoyance of having to prolong their travel to classes or the gym, there is a more serious issue that the Bullet suggests the administration consider: safety.
In order to get from one end of campus to the other, students and faculty must traverse poorly lit pathways, which certainly increase the risk of injury, accidental or inflicted. The area behind the library poses an even greater risk to students. It is a parking lot surrounded by buildings on all sides and is not visible from the rest of campus or the community roads—a prime area for potential criminal activity ranging from vandalism to assault.
Already, on Aug. 30, somebody set fire to a bike chained up behind the library, leaving a burn mark where the tires once rested.
By requiring students to venture away from the relative security of Campus Walk, the detour is inviting potential accident.
Additionally, the Campus Walk detour has flocks of students crossing traffic at the point of a sharp bend in the road. It is only a matter of time before a car hits a student or faculty member.
While the Bullet understands UMW’s options are limited as far as potential solutions go, we wanted to bring this issue to the administration’s attention as it considers ways to alleviate student concerns related to the detour.