Open Campus: Some Students Frustrated with Foot Traffic on Campus

Alexa Shelton: Walkers and automobiles sometimes share the same space at SHC.
Walkers and automobiles sometimes share the same space at SHC.

Students are up in arms with the amount of foot traffic on campus roads. Frustration with campus visitors seems to be a daily occurrence for many badger students, and with the amount of visitors to date, one could say the traffic concern poses danger to walkers and people of the community.

“There are sidewalks for a reason,” Samantha Thomas said, “Even on the avenue, there is a flat area on the side of the road that functions as a sidewalk, but they proceed to walk right in the line of traffic.” While the avenue is known by most in the Spring Hill area, it seems to be associated with aggravation among most students.

There is some confusion looming among being a private campus, but it seems to be open to walkers. “Although we are considered an open campus, I think the road should be closed to pedestrians. We are in a wonderful area, with many new sidewalks and parks available for access. We are aware that our campus is beautiful, therefore we don't need their double wide strollers blocking our beautiful roads and views,” said Sophia Webster.

The safety of these visitors is also in jeopardy, as sometimes they block roads at unsafe spots where the vision is limited for drivers. “One time, I was turning by Stewartfield onto the avenue of the oaks and a group of women and like 5 strollers were just stopped in the road on the corner. They could have gone literally ten yards over to the round-a-bout in front of the building or into the grass,” Haley Thomas said.

The Office of Marketing Communications has rules and regulations in place for those that wish to use the SHC campus for photo and film related projects. Photography rules include a required submission in writing of the project and its intended use; it is also noted that fees may be assessed. Anyone using the campus for portraits and such must ensure there is not conflict with on campus events.

Visitors on the campus for photography reasons seem to be a complaint among students also, because these visitors often completely stop the flow of traffic, and typically never schedule these photo opportunities with the school. “Aside from coordinating photography for the marketing department and other on-campus events and activities, there have been no instances whereby an off-campus photographer scheduled or recorded their visit through the Marketing department,” Ashley Rains, assistant Director of Media Relations, said.

Public Safety does have lenient regulations in regards to what is allowed for off campus visitors. “As of now, there are no prohibited rules about off campus visitors.  We deal with these on a case by case basis.  Obviously Res Halls are off limits.  The blocking of roadway is prohibited unless it is cleared through our office and only then if it’s done with our assistance and supervision,” Todd Warren, director of Public Safety said.

With the addition of sidewalks along McGregor Road and parts of Old Schell Road, all students can hope for is that the foot traffic dies down and the use of campus sidewalks becomes a more frequent walking route for visitors.

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