EDITORIAL: Safety of students should be a top priority
Our View: The university should always put student safety over appearance or cost concerns.
After a biker suffered a concussion from an accident involving a speed bump near the dorms, the Housing Center Student Association recognized the speed bumps in this area were difficult to see at night and posed a safety concern to students, The Daily reported Wednesday.
But when the association proposed painting the speed bumps with reflective paint to increase their visibility, OU Housing and Food Services said it would need to consider the cost and garishness of the measure before deciding to implement the suggestion.
The Editorial Board, The Oklahoma Daily
- Yes 43%
- No 57%
28 total votes.
The ridiculousness of this statement goes without saying, but just to be clear: Housing and Food is putting campus beautification over the safety of students.
These speed bumps are a demonstrable safety concern. One student already has come forward with a story of a serious injury caused by the bumps, and it’s only logical to assume she is not alone. Reflective paint is a clear, easy solution.
It is frankly irresponsible to worry about the cohesive appearance of a street when students’ safety is on the line.
And as we’re sure most of you have noticed, the area around the dorms isn’t the most attractive place on campus. If the administration really is so concerned about the image of that area, maybe it should work on filling in the yawning chasms of potholes that litter the streets there.
Housing and Food also mentioned that cost is potentially a barrier to using the reflective paint. We can’t help but notice the university had the funding to put in motion-activated, lighted crosswalks in the Arts District. It’s hard to believe a few cans of paint could compare to that cost.
For example, reflective paint like the kind that would be used on the speed bumps costs $235.20 per case of 12 cans from the supplier Insite Solutions, LLC. Compared to $136.32 for 12 cans of regular street paint, that amounts to about $8 more per 20-ounce spray can.
Housing and Food told The Daily that OU would continue to install safety measures like reflective paint in high-traffic areas and in areas of new construction. So the university clearly understands the need for these improvements and sees them as worth the added cost. It’s time OU made the area around the dorms a priority.
After all, where can you find more students habitually walking or riding bikes at night? The north end of campus may hold more major roads and see more vehicular traffic, but the dorms see a high level of foot and bicycle traffic with students walking to and from their living spaces and campus eateries.
Housing and Food has been given an easy-to-implement proposal that clearly and demonstrably would improve the safety of a large number of students in their daily activities on campus. It should act on that proposal immediately. If you agree, contact Housing Center Student Association Vice President Allie Kallmann at Alkallmann@ou.edu.