Annual Walk in the Dark Sheds Light on Campus Security at UH Nov. 19

Faculty, Staff, Students to Participate in Nighttime Campus Tour and Identify Areas in Need of Added Security

For the past five years, an annual nighttime campus tour has been instrumental in bolstering security at the University of Houston.

The sixth annual Walk in the Dark will continue the trend of shedding light on areas of campus that might have security risks. This year's event kicks off at 9 p.m., Nov. 19 in front of the University Center.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to join members of the Student Government Association, UH Department of Public Safety (UHDPS), Parking and Transportation and Plant Operations as they stroll through the campus keeping an eye out for potential problems.

Participants will be split into four teams then follow a planned route across campus. Each team will include at least one representative from UHDPS and Plant Operations.

"We're on the lookout for a host of things," said Malcolm Davis, executive director of UH public safety and police chief. "From trees or shrubs that obstruct lighting to isolated areas in need of emergency call boxes, we plan to take notes and listen to ideas from all of the participants."

Observations made during previous walks resulted in improved lighting in parking lots and added security cameras in areas of campus.

"Walk in the Dark is one of UH's best programs and a great example of faculty, staff and student cooperation," said Dave Irvin, associate vice president of Plant Operations. "Since the program began, we have spent over $3 million on increased lighting and over $1 million on updating sidewalks."

Following last year's walk, several emergency call boxes were replaced and pedestrian lighting was added to the northeastern section of campus. Parking lot lighting also was increased in Lots 1A, 4A and 16D.

Other fixes included sidewalk repairs near Cullen Family Plaza and added sidewalks along Calhoun Road south of Wheeler Avenue. Additionally, Plant Operations updated its procedures to ensure more frequent inspections of exterior lighting.

"This event helps open everyone's eyes to things they might not have noticed during daytime hours," Davis said. "This year, the campus will be particularly different as a result of tree damage caused by Hurricane Ike and due to new construction projects. As a result, we're bound to see things much differently but will respond just as quickly as we did to past concerns."

For more information about this year's walk, call UHDPS at 713-743-3333.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.