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September 13, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Students Still Left in the Dark by the Park

Boyd Wilson lights still on the blink

Students have been forced to walk home in the dark due to lights around the Boyd Wilson Field remaining faulty throughout the field redevelopment process.

As reported in Salient before the mid-trimester break, issues with the lighting in this area have been ongoing. Particular concern has been raised by students about the lack of lighting along the path that runs from the field to the Abel Smith Street end of The Terrace, where the footpath is uneven and there is very little light from houses and street lights.

“Once it gets dark it’s basically pitch black and often really creepy, because it’s so dark and quiet. If it’s dark I usually just take the longer route because I don’t want to risk walking that way.”

VUWSA Welfare Vice-President Seamus Brady and Women’s Rights Officer Caitlin Dunham told Salient last week that the university is aware of the issue, which has probably been caused by the construction.

“VUWSA is aware of the lights on Boyd Wilson, and Associate Director (Campus Operations) Rainsforth Dix is looking into it. She mentioned that the lights have possibly been affected by wiring issues during construction. If that’s the case, backup lighting should have been installed during construction.”

The delayed redevelopment of the field is due for completion in early October. Brady and Dunham say that the lighting issue should be resolved at the same time.

“They Boyd Wilson Field is due for completion in the next few weeks, and will include a new lighting system, which should go to some length in ensuring the area is well light and safe after hours.”

They say that VUWSA will continue to monitor the lighting issue with the Campus Operations Safety Team, who have identified the area as “a bit of a danger zone”.

When first approached by Salient about the issue in August, Brady said that VUWSA would be conducting a Campus Safety Audit later that month to identify safety issues and ensure university support in addressing them.

Brady and Dunham told Salient this week that the progress of this Audit has been delayed, but will be finished in time for trimester one, 2011.

“Unfortunately, because the Kelburn campus is so large, with a lot of students walking home alone at night, there is quite a wide scope for the audit, and is not something VUWSA or the University wants to rush.

“VUWSA has been in contact with Campus Operations about the Audit, and they have offered any assistance they can.”

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