In an effort to enhance safety and security on the Virginia Tech campus, a group of university leaders and students took to the streets on Jan. 28 for a nighttime safety walk.

Driven by student interest, the event, which has taken place in previous years, was orchestrated through a joint effort among the Virginia Tech Division of Operations, Facilities, Virginia Tech Police, Parking and Transportation, and Environmental Health and Safety.

Participants put themselves in the shoes of students, faculty, and staff as they walked along a route that included the Duck Pond, the Overflow Lot, Oak Lane, Burchard Plaza, and Burruss Hall – in the dark.

During the walk, attendees identified specific locations where lighting, landscaping, and other maintenance issues could be improved.

The nighttime setting offered a different vantage into potential maintenance and safety issues that are revealed only in the dark.

Other discussion points that arose during the walk were the need for more public awareness around safe biking practices and crosswalk safety and the importance of dark sky preservation in the campus landscape.

Feedback and recommendations gleaned from the walk will be used to guide upcoming Facilities projects and Virginia Tech Police initiatives.

“The campus safety walks are an outstanding example of the university community coming together in a collaborative, proactive effort to advance campus safety,” said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for operations at Virginia Tech.

"It is exciting to see student feedback spur action and inspire broader conversations on campus safety that will benefit the Virginia Tech community for years to come," said Rachel Iwicki, a senior who participated in the walk. Iwicki serves as undergraduate student representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and was pivotal in organizing the event.

Campus Safety Walk Group 2019