The 15 “blue light” emergency phones across CMU’s campus were originally used as a safety precaution for students if they needed to contact emergency dispatch. However, there are now plans to remove these phones.
According to Vice President of Student Services John Marshall, these phones have become outdated and unreliable.
“They need to go. It’s an old technology that’s probably 25 years old and we’re now at the point that we can’t get parts for all of these,” Marshall said. “The only thing worse than old technology is old technology that doesn’t work and isn’t safe.”
The Associated Student Government (ASG) debated the removal of the blue lights on Feb. 15, when the issue was brought up by Marshall. Though the blue lights do not get utilized on campus, there are tests done to reassure their reliability. Multiple phones are not working how they should be and the technology is no longer replaceable.
After discussion at the next meeting, the ASG Senate agreed upon a resolution regarding the issue. This included removing the blue lights from the campus as soon as possible.
It is still not known where the extra funding that was being put into the blue lights will go toward. However, the Senate was under a general agreement of replacing the phones with programs that will continue to improve safety on campus.
Minority Student Senator Kameron Paige backed up Marshall’s proposal.
“What Marshall is saying, it’s true. It’s not used that much,” Paige said. “If there are any cases of assault, it’s usually off campus. 98 percent is off campus.”
While many are on board for this removal, there are students such as freshman Diana Gutierrez, who disagree.
“That kind of makes me uncomfortable because if something ever happens, like if a stranger walks up to you, and you feel unsafe or something, I feel more safe knowing that I can get help right away,” Gutierrez said.
In response to these concerns, Marshall pointed out there are other programs that can help students be safe, such as CMU’s Safe Walk.
“At this stage the Safe Walk Program, I think, is a good program, it’s also underutilized. The reality is, this is a really safe campus,” Marshall said. “My personal observation, the best thing we can do, is have the conversation about things like Safe Walk and MavRides.”