The safety of students should be the No. 1 priority for a university. Grand Valley State University, despite being known for having one of the safest campuses, has had multiple incidents occur this year that have threatened the safety of students.

To date this semester, there has been one reported sexual assault in an off campus apartment and one reported near the Robinson Living Center on the Allendale Campus. There have been two armed robberies, and three car accidents involving GVSU students and pedestrians on 48th Avenue.

While we recognize that crimes and accidents happen everywhere, even at GVSU, we believe that precautions and safety measures should be continually bettered to help prevent them.

We appreciate the efforts of GVSU’s Student Senate and Allendale Charter Township to make necessary changes to keep students safe as they walk back to their apartments after a long day of classes and other on campus events.

Allendale Charter Township plans to reconstruct 48th Avenue in the early spring of 2016, according to Audra Gamble’s article “The future of 48th Avenue.” Construction will be finished for the 2016-2017 academic school year.

The project will include a 10-foot wide sidewalk for bicyclists and pedestrians. In addition, the avenue will be expanded into a four-lane highway. The outside lanes will be designated for buses and bicyclists.

There will also be lit crosswalks to help pedestrians cross the road safely.

While there are still some details to be worked out about the new plans for 48th Avenue, the Lanthorn commends Allendale Charter Township for recognizing the safety issues near the GVSU campus. With the incidents that have occurred this year and in years past dealing with pedestrian well-being, the planned sidewalks and lighting will help greatly in keeping students and others around campus as safe as possible when walking, running or biking.

GVSU is also focusing more on keeping areas well lit for safety. The Student Senate is working to improve lighting near the Little Mac Bridge. The senate is also encouraging members of the GVSU community to contact senator Rebecca Noell about other areas of campus that they would like to see better lit. She can be contacted at [email protected].

The Lanthorn supports this movement to continue to better the safety of our fellow Lakers. We especially support the Student Senate encouraging students to contact Senator Noell if they feel there is an area of campus with poor lighting. Lakers, take this opportunity to help improve your community. It’s important to feel safe on campus at all times of day; students should help the university do its best to make that happen by pointing out areas where lighting could be improved.