Annual assessment steps up campus safety

safety walk
safety walk
Students participating in the Campus Safety Walk. Photo by Rachel Nobel

Walking through Northern Arizona University’s quiet campus at night may leave some students with an uneasy feeling, but every year fresh sets of eyes comb through all corners of the campus with a focus on safety.

Fraternities and sororities, student organizations and resident assistants gathered at NAU’s annual Safety Assessment Walk on Sept. 24 to help make the NAU campus safer.

“I think everyone is concerned about their nighttime safety regardless of where they live, study and travel,” said Jon Rudy, health educator at Fronske Health Center. “This event helps make our campus safe by inspecting safety equipment and identifying environmental hazards than need attention.”

The Safety Assessment Walk was well attended with more than 130 participants, including seven Greek organizations participating along with members of the Associated Students for Women’s Issues.

Tori Lynn Cox, senior accounting and finance major, participated because she is a resident assistant and wanted to be able to inform her staff and residents about campus safety.

“Awareness is one of the biggest prevention measures on campus,” Cox said. “It affects everyone, and it’s important for people to be conscious of it.”

Equipped with flashlights and clipboards, the volunteers split into teams and focused on a designated area to ensure no spot was missed. All 118 emergency blue phones were tested to make sure they were working properly.

Students took note of any lights that were not working and suggested places they thought needed more lighting or blue emergency phones. They also looked for any other environmental safety issues. A report was filed with Capital Assets for problems to be repaired.

“This event is important because everyone sees things through a different lens,” said G.T. Fowler, NAUPD police chief. “The police patrol the campus day and night and see the same things. Fresh eyes help make the campus safer, and students make recommendations we may not see.”

Although one night of thorough campus safety assessment is helpful, improving NAU campus for safety is an ongoing process, Fowler said.

NAUPD encourages students, faculty and staff to notify the departmeent if they see a broken light or safety hazard. For non-emergencies, NAUPD can be reached at 523-3611.

To learn more about campus safety, visit the NAUPD web site at or the NAU SAFE Web site at