In light of recent safety concerns for students walking home after dark, Cal Poly and other organizations are implementing added safety measures.
For students living off campus, evening walks home often offer limited visibility. This is especially the case on the pathway that connects the Mustang Village apartment complex, as well as on Cal Poly’s campus. But with more students returning from in-person classes at various hours throughout the day and evening, local solutions like increased lighting have improved the issue.
Director of the Institute of Religion Morgan Bowen took it upon herself to install lighting on the previously unlit pathway from campus to Mustang Village. The Institute of Religion is a student center that is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and happens to be located right off of the pathway where Bowen added lights.
“I just want safety. I want everyone to feel comfortable and safe walking by here and there,” Bowen said. “I don’t want anyone to feel threatened, which is what I witnessed from one individual, and things going on are unnerving for everybody, so I just want to do my part in making it a safe area.”
In October, two cases of sexual assault were reported on Cal Poly’s campus within one week, leading locals like Bowen to seek out added safety measures for students walking home after dark.
With the new lights installed, some students like mechanical engineering sophomore Sterling Hull say they have already felt a difference.
“I definitely think that walking in the light is way different and less risky than walking in the shadows where who knows who can come at you,” Hull said.
Following these recent reports of sexual assaults and other safety concerns, Cal Poly is also working to provide safety measures for students walking home in the dark, including resuming the Mustang Shuttle Service.
The Mustang Shuttle offers free rides to students and staff around campus everyday from 7 p.m. until midnight. The service was back on campus November 1, after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.