Student activities do not stop after the sun goes down, but some women feel unsafe walking the campus after dark.

            “St. Charles is a relatively safe area, but things still happen,” said Sam Annunziata, a resident at Lindenwood.

            The campus uses outdoor lighting to keep students safe, but there are still many dark areas that make students leery.

            “There are lights in all the wrong places,” senior Jessi Poddig said, “all grouped over by the new dorms in the parking lot.”

            “I walk in the places that have lights,” Annunziata said, “but that means I’m not able to go certain places after dark.”

            Commuter student Becky Pearson said she feels the campus is safe after dark, but lighting becomes a bigger issue when a student’s only means of transportation is walking.

            “Not everyone has a car to stay safe,” Annunziata said.

            Such is the case for Adela Slovakova who lives in women’s housing. With no other means of transportation, Slovakova walks to her house from the main campus everyday. She believes more lighting for streets leading to her neighborhood would be beneficial.

            Some women take precautions to protect themselves after dark such as carrying pepper spray or holding keys in their fists. Others avoid waking alone.

            “I have to have someone with me,” said R.A. Jessica Bock.

            Campus security is available to escort students on campus if they feel unsafe, said Terry Russell, Dean of Students.

            Student opinions differ over what area of campus needs more lighting. Dark areas that concern students include the quad, the area behind the Performance Arena, the library, certain dorms and parking lots. Students said the addition of more outdoor lights would make them feel safer on campus.

            “Since our campus is growing there is more night life, but also more dangers, especially for girls,” Bock said. “They’re going to need a lot more lights with the construction of the new student center.”

            Head of security, Kurt Smith, refused to comment on the issue.             

            There have been several reports of suspicious behavior in the past couple years, but no reported attacks this school year, Russell said.

            Katarina Rather, another Lindenwood student, believes lights would do more than simply improve security.

            “I don’t think campus crime is too bad,” she said, “but having more lights would make it feel like you’re supposed to be on campus after dark. It feels like a lock down.”

            Lighting on campus is not a new issue. New lights have been installed in the past three years, and the issue has been an ongoing topic at LSGA meetings. Kurt Smith, the head of security, recently attended a meeting to discuss the issue.

            “Kurt Smith has approached this situation and many others willing and ready to make the adjustments necessary to address any concerns,” said Dan Bedell, president of the LSGA. “He pointed out that there are plans in the works to add more lighting to the campus.”

            “We have been adding lights in several locations for the past few years,” Russell said, “but there are always areas that are identified as needing lights and we work on getting those areas done as quickly as we can.”

            LSGA strives to voice the concerns of the student body. Officers will be addressing issues such as lighting in meetings with President James Evans this semester.

            “As our campus expands more and more, we will encounter new areas that could use some additional lighting,” Bedell said. “Every student will find areas of campus that concern them. For the Student Government to address the issues we must be made aware and I promise we will address the issue.”