Government Affairs hosts biggest Moonlight Safety Walk in decade


Gabriela Rudolph

Group of students walk through campus looking for safety hazards. Photo taken by Gabriela Rudolph on Feb. 23.

Associated Students Government Affairs held its annual Moonlight Safety Walk on Feb. 23 where students walked around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods to locate safety hazards students may encounter at night. 

Safety Walks were introduced by the Public Safety Advisory Committee under the University Police Department

“Participants have held the responsibility of looking around our campus,” said Megan Kurtz, director of Off-Campus Student Services. “To make sure that we are seeing what you are seeing and making sure that you’re having a good, safe Chico experience.” 

This year’s Safety Walk had the largest turnout in years.

“Definitely one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in the last 10 years,” said Marvin Pratt, director of Environmental Health and Safety.

This is the first time Associated Students has taken the lead of the Safety Walk since students have come back on campus.

“Last year, they took the lead,” Pratt said. “But COVID really impacted things because students were gone.”

Students crowded inside the Bell Memorial Union auditorium at 5 p.m. where they enjoyed a taco bar and listened to guest speakers talk about safety on campus. They were given flashlights and broken up into several groups, with each one assigned to a different route. 

When the sun went down, the groups began their trek.

During the walk, students were on the lookout for various hazards such as significant cracks in the sidewalks, broken light fixtures and overgrown shrubs. If they found a hazard, they made a report of it and placed a ribbon in the location.

“I trip easily, so with no lights and uneven sidewalks it is easy for me to fall,” sophomore Emily Marlar said. “There have been times where I felt unsafe.”

For students who have the opportunity to take classes during the day, this helps them develop an understanding of what it’s like during nightfall. 

“I think it was really important for everyone to come out and experience it and also the adults too,” said Marlar. 

Student safety is one of Chico State’s highest priorities. 

In the summer of 2021, Pratt said Facility Management and Services finished a major project on Warner Street.

“When they put all those utilities underground,” Pratt said, “they added a lot of streetlights down to get to the north campus student living area.”

This benefits the students and faculty at the university as well as those attending Chico High School events in the evening and the surrounding community. 

According to the University Police Department, the national average for serious crimes committed on campus is around 24 crimes per 10,000 full-time students. Chico State’s crime rate is 13 per 10,000 full-time students. 

One way Chico State keeps its campus safe is through Blue Light Phones. If students or faculty ever feel unsafe walking around on campus, they can press the emergency button which will automatically dial 911 and call the campus police. 

For those who are interested in getting involved in the events Associated Students Government Affairs holds, you can check their website to see what they are hosting. 

Gabriela Rudolph and Johnny Maldonado can be reached at [email protected].