California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Facilities and Campus Safety Offices Work to Keep Campus Lit Up and Safe

    California Lutheran University has hundreds of outdoor lighting fixtures around campus, such as those in parking lots, walkways, buildings and on sports fields. In terms of maintenance, Facility Operations relies on the help of the campus community to report any lighting issues.

    “Lighting check is done once a month by our swing/graveyard shift when all the lights out are placed in one work order and sent to facilities. It is to assist facilities department as they do not normally schedule anyone to work after 5 p.m.. Individual work orders can be placed at any time if it has been brought to our attention,” said Robert Sadeh, a Campus Safety supervisor.

    Director of Facilities Management Mark Jacobsen also encourages students to submit work orders if they notice light outages. Students can send in work orders via email or phone and residents can send in requests through MyCLU.

    “We try to get on [repairing] it right away, but we’ve got one electrician for all of campus. So sometimes depending on what jobs he already has and the priority of the job, that may wind up getting pushed back maybe a week,” Jacobsen said.

    With just one electrician, Jacobsen said it’s a lot of work for one person who is responsible for all other electrical issues as well.

    Due to complaints about poor lighting, last spring an electrical contractor with a crew of four spent a week at Cal Lutheran repairing outdoor lighting fixtures.

    “That was thousands of dollars worth of effort just to get everything operating again and it’s a periodic thing that needs to happen. Lights burn out,” Jacobsen said.

    Jacobsen said bringing in outside contractors worked well, and that the thought was to continue contracting these services in order to allow Cal Lutheran’s electrician to focus on other tasks.

    Lights that are out for an extended period of time usually require more than just replacing the bulb. Jacobsen said repairs can be a pain due to their location, especially in areas that are non-accessible for ladders or boom lifts. Facilities then must request that campus safety cone off an area so the electrician can get up to the fixture.

    “Once a year, with a group of people, we walk around campus and look at areas that we need to focus on adding new lights to, but in the process of doing that, we usually generate a list of typically about 30 lights that we find on campus that we need to fix,” Jacobsen said.

    The group includes individuals from Residence Life and Student Conduct, Facilities, Campus Safety, the adult professionals program, Student Life, an electrician and any students who decide to tag along due to interest or concerns.

    Jacobsen said Buth Park, across from Mt. Clef field, is typically an area that many claim is too dark. Lights are in the back of the park and there’s a street light on one corner. He said it is not a safety hazard because the sidewalk is well-lit.

    “Last year’s walk identified areas where tree branches needed to be trimmed to allow more light to reach the sidewalks and parking lots,” said Director of Campus Safety David Hilke in an email interview.

    High traffic areas at Cal Lutheran take priority when it comes to fixing lighting, such as on the Spine, Regals Way, around classrooms and other locations most frequented at night by pedestrians.

    Parking lots are also important, especially remote areas like the lot behind Trinity Hall.

    “Without lighting out there, it’s super dark and kind of creepy. There’s a lot of people that park there and don’t have a buddy to walk with from their car to their dorm. That’s a pretty big deal,” Jacobsen said.

    Hilke thinks the campus has sufficient lighting, but still advises students to be aware of their surroundings and to trust their instincts on and off campus. At least two officers are scheduled per night shift and, in recent years, he said no students have reported being harmed while walking around campus at night.

    “For the safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors, it is important that outdoor lighting issues are addressed in a timely manner,” Hilke said.

    Bridget Sjolie