1.14.19 LSU Campus at Night

East Campus Drive winds through LSU campus on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

In the daylight, the University is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It has a unique energy that you can feel as soon as you step foot on campus. The unexplainable nature of the University makes students and passersby alike feel joyous. In the daylight, except being surrounded by hundreds of strangers, there is no reason to be intimidated.

Nighttime, however, is a different story. The University is as terrifying as it is dark when classes end and the sun goes down. The darkness and eerie silence makes the hairs on your arm stand up, your heart thump loudly and may even make you break a sweat.

This is partially due to the size of campus and the fact that being alone at night is scary in itself. However, a large part of the intimidating nature of campus at nighttime is the lack of lighting.

As cautious and careful as you may be, sometimes there’s just no getting out of being on campus at night. From evening classes to late-night tests in Himes Hall, sometimes you have no choice but to be on campus at night.

The entirety of the University’s campus is not pitch black. For example, buildings on the more recently built side of campus are well-lit. Buildings like Patrick F. Taylor Hall, the Business Education Complex and the surrounding parking lots have an abundance of light poles.

Places like the Quad, its surrounding halls, parking lots and dorms aren’t as fortunate. Walking through the Enchanted Forest at night, walking from Himes to your dorm and walking to the LSU Student Union once the sun sets are all intimidating experiences that many students could easily recount. Sure, there are a few dim lamp posts along the roads, but they’re hardly assuring. It’s not just a lack of light. In some places, it’s complete absence of light.

One of the worst examples of this on campus is the Quad. Walking in the Quad at night is an activity completed by relying on moonlight and the light coming out of Middleton.

Seeing the number of crimes that occur on campus at night is disheartening. It’s also an addition to the fears our parents have stressed to us our entire lives. The 2017 Annual Security report stated that, “The University has seen a substantial increase in the number of reported cases of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.” The report also stated that in 2016, the University received 20 reported instances of stalking, double the number in 2014.

College is scary enough without the inability to walk on campus at night because of the terror it inspires. The University should increase the lighting on campus and improve the lights already present. Current and future students alike deserve safety.

Maya Stevenson is a 19-year-old English and economics sophomore from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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