Meridith Tetloff’s Social Work 390 class is currently attempting to raise the funds for a new light on campus. Photo by Jasmyne Ray.
Social work students are working to make the University campus a little safer, and they’re shining a light on a dark problem. Meredith Tetloff’s Social Work 390 class, “Social Work Practice for Groups,” is designed so that these students can practice group skills and meet a current need in the community.
The social workers in training sent out roughly fifty surveys to students across campus. These surveys asked students how they felt about campus safety, and lighting was the greatest concern across the board. Generally both men and women felt that lighting on campus is an issue, but women did have a greater response.
“It seems to be a lot of people’s concern. Everybody can see that this something we need,” commented social work senior Sammy Schiffman, one of 15 students in the class. “We hope to have at least one new light on campus by the end of the semester.”
Currently the class is working to find funding for the project and ultimately think it will be provided by the students.
“We’re hoping the money comes from tuition, recognizing that the university has limited resources,” emphasized Tetloff. They are also going to reach out to the Student Government Association (SGA).
According to research done by the class, it would cost $63 to have a new light installed, and anywhere from $10-$30 per month depending on the wattage. To upgrade an existing light is $10. It is possible that tuition could go up if this initiative is completed.
At this time, the class says they have received minimal help from the police department.
“We wrote the police an email asking how we could be safer on campus,” explained student Snow Sellers. “They promptly responded with information about how to be more aware on campus and basic safety procedures. This is the most help we’ve asked for so far.”
During the class, the students drafted a letter asking for help with this initiative and outlining what it requires. It is to be sent to Mayor Hollie Cost, President Stewart, UM police Chief Chadd Adams and the SGA.