Out of Order Blue Light (image courtesy: Andrew Wilson)

Concerns have recently arisen from students about safety on campus. With sexual assault reports on the rise in schools across the country, students want to be sure that they are able to stay safe on campus.

Public Safety issued a statement in response to questions asked about the blue lights. It said, “SNHU Public Safety, Facilities, and ITS have been working diligently to repair inactive blue light phone lines around campus that were damaged due to mice. Currently, 2 of the 42 blue light phones are out of service. Both phones need replacement hardware which has already been ordered.”

Blue lights are a pole with a blue light on top and buttons that are emergency phone lines put out for safety. They can be found all across campus, but some of them weren’t operational since the start of the semester for a few reasons.

“SNHU Public Safety, Facilities, and ITS have determined that several factors contributed to the issues with the blue light phone lines around campus, including impact from weather conditions, mice getting into the phones and hardware failures,” the statement said.

Public Safety was asked about how students should feel safe with the days shortening and the sun setting at 4pm, making it dark when some people are leaving or coming back to campus. “We have not seen any up ticks or differences in incidents on campus since the November time change. As always, we encourage students to be aware of their surroundings when walking on campus, use the buddy system when you can, have access to your cell phone and take advantage of our escort service if you are uncomfortable walking alone,” the statement said.

“The safety and well-being of all our students, staff and faculty is our top priority. We make sure the campus is well lit at nighttime and we have more officers on duty and extra public safety patrols between 9:30 pm and 2:30 am.”

If a student feels unsafe at any time and is in need of a person to walk with, Public Safety also mentioned services they have for that. Public Safety officers provide a walking escort service for those who do not want to walk alone on campus. However, students who have been on campus for a while may remember that Public Safety used to offer rides as a part of their escort service, for special cases and students feeling unsafe. When asked, Public Safety neglected to comment on this change.

Public Safety also provides opportunities for people to learn how to protect themselves including a hands-on self-defense course and a personal safety program offered in January by the Women’s Center, Title IX office, Community Standards office and Public Safety.

Public Safety has a campus climate survey coming to students soon in spring of 2022. All SNHU students will receive word about how to participate in the survey. 

“While students are encouraged to directly report any concerns to either Public Safety or the Title IX office now, if they choose to remain anonymous, this campus climate survey is another available tool to share any concerns that they have about campus safety,” the statement said. The University will also be posting on the website the results of the campus climate survey, mentioned above, once the results are received. 

If a student ever feels unsafe or uneasy, they can find the nearest blue light wherever they are or go to Campus Safety, which is located next to the library and dining hall. 

Students may call Public Safety at 603-645-9700 to request a safety escort.