Is Bureaucracy to Blame?

Broken Light on Campus

PHOTO | Tara Espinoza

A tale as old as time, incorrectly placed importance on things at a university. We at The Arka Tech understand that budgeting and assigning importance of work is a complex and difficult task, and we at The Arka Tech also understand that running a university is not a cakewalk.

We at The Arka Tech understand that the university is doing as much as they can when it comes to students feeling safe on campus.

But we at The Arka Tech all agree, when it comes to campus safety, this is getting ridiculous.

The Arka Tech calls for Tech to make a critical point to fix all the emergency poles on campus, repair all the burnt-out lights, put up more lights in high traffic areas and incorporate more cameras around dorm halls.

There are few places to assign blame for this issue. In fact, we don’t think there is anyone we can blame for these issues, rather, we assign the blame to an idea.

That idea. Arka Tech believes, is bureaucracy. Why else aren’t these things getting fixed? Things break, and things continue to break, it is the nature of things. Do they remain at the bottom of the list? For how long?

We know that the University tries very hard to make sure students feel safe, so this is an answer that could explain why legitimate safety concerns continue to be neglected.

If this is the case, the solution to this issue may not be cut-and-dry, but we believe that labeling things that actively help campus safety is a start on the fight against red tape. This label would apply to things like lights and emergency poles.

Moving forward, We at The Arka Tech commend the university for its growth, as it is an important part of university culture, but we need to make sure primary needs are met first and foremost.

There is no denying that Arkansas Tech university is experiencing growing pains. This is a great sign for students because it means more opportunities in every sense of the word.

All the plans make sense when it comes to building, tearing down, and renovating.

But infrastructure needs to account for safety and security for those on campus. People, especially women, are nervous to go out at night. Rightfully so, with several students getting followed and stopped.

“I was followed all the way back to my dorm, I had my phone dialed 911, I think there is a delay with us telling people [the authorities] and those issues actually being resolved,” Kinzie, an on-campus resident said.

“I feel like there’s always a campus safety issue when it comes to female students,” she continued.

We at The Arka Tech know the best way to combat this is to add more cameras in high traffic areas, especially around areas that have seen many complaints, such as Caraway Hall and parking lots.

This also tracks with the most recent combined fire and safety report, too.

According to Tech’s 2022 Clery Report, rape and fondling cases are up from 3 cases in 2021 to 7 cases, all of which happened in Dorm Halls. This does not account for those who did not report their cases.

There are a few big hurdles that we understand at the newspaper. Such as the physical limit of how many lights can be on campus, as well as how difficult it is for streetlights to be fixed. This fact is true of those currently under warranty by Entergy. Many of the lights that are out are primarily owned by them.

The warranty covers the light, and because Entergy will make no money from Tech, the company is dragging their feet when it comes to fixing them.

We at The Arka Tech are hopeful that the university will hear our plea and move campus safety higher up on the list of important items that need to be fixed.