by Paige Asberry
Walking on the Hutchinson Community College campus after dark is occasionally a necessary evil.
Considering the time change, the walk from the dorms to the cafeteria for dinner happens almost entirely in the dark. And with finals coming up, students are staying later and later in the library to study.
There are plenty of ways to stay safe, and Coordinator of Campus Safety Darrin Cox says that his best advice is, “Be aware of what’s around you. Use what they call situational awareness, and if something doesn’t feel right, listen to that.”
Cox also said that security is available to walk anybody from place to place, at any time of the day or night.
“It is not a burden, and I encourage students to use the resources provided for them,” Cox said.
There is also a security guard on campus and in the dorms every day after 4:30 p.m.
Hutchinson freshman Emily Johnson lives near campus, and would often walk her dog around campus after dark.
“I had an alarm and pepper spray in my hand, always ready to go,” Johnson said. “I would only put in one Airpod and keep my music on a really low volume, so that I could hear around me, and continuously looked around.”
Cox also has advice for people that drive.
“Keep your keys in your hand, and do not unlock the doors until you’re close,” Cox said. “Also, do not leave the doors unlocked and give someone a chance to crawl into the back seat.”
Periodically, the students, faculty, and security officers will take an after-dark campus tour to note anything that might be unsafe or need updates. Any questions, complaints or suggestions can be directed to the security officers.
The number to call for campus security is (620)-665-3379, and the call is routed directly to cell phones, and will be answered at any time of the day or night.