By Kaitlynn Zygmont
Laurentian University’s Safe Walk program celebrated one year of service on campus this fall, and program coordinator Jordan Pennington said plans to expand the program are “in the works.”
“The architecture school has approached us about servicing their campus, and we think it would be a perfect opportunity for growth because there are a lot of students that are walking back to the bus station wanting to get back to the residence,” said Pennington.
The program launched for the first time on Feb. 1, 2014, and aims for students on campus to be accompanied by volunteer walkers around the university in the later hours of the evening. Students are accompanied by both a male and female volunteer, who are easily distinguished in the Safe Walk jackets (pictured above).
When the program began, Laurentian was the only university in Canada which didn’t have a walk-home program, aside from the Royal Military College.
The SafeWalk program’s hours were centered around the Pub Downunder’s hours as of first semester, although currently the program is operational six days a week. Routes have also expanded to cover areas such as the gym, library, and walks to and from residences.
SafeWalk also offers a wide range of times to accompany students around campus.
Spencer Rammeloo, the Vice Coordinator of SafeWalk, said that the program begins “at 5:00 p.m. and for most days we go until midnight. On (Friday and Saturday) we go until 3:00 am. We also do a lot of special events. If there is a scheduled event at the Fraser or a basketball game at the gym we cover those too.”
With the SafeWalk program expanding and growing in popularity, there are future plans on expanding their services into the downtown core, although Pennington said these plans are still tentative.
“Hopefully it will be next year, there will be a lot of planning over the summer and even starting right now for the rest of the year. We will be talking to the (Students’ General Association) and security mainly right now and then making a proposal for the architecture school but I think that is probably going to happen next year.”