Night class neighborhoods

If it feels as if there are more people around when you get out of evening classes, that’s by design.

This semester, the Office of the Registrar began centralizing night classes in “neighborhoods” to promote safety through numbers. The neighborhoods also are aligned with campus transportation—SafeRide, shuttles and courtesy escorts—and night security patrols (see map below).

The five neighborhoods are:

Business Loop
University Street
Marriott Library
Gardner Commons
Health Sciences

On average, approximately 2,200 students attended evening classes Monday through Thursday in these five areas, accord to the Office of the Registrar.

U students requested that the administration consider consolidating evening classes in certain areas to increase safety at night. The Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety included the proposal among recommendations approved by President Ruth Watkins this summer.

Elizabeth Johnson, associate registrar, said 80 classes were moved to more central locations this fall. For spring semester, additional classes will be identified and relocated into the neighborhoods, she said.

Work on the class schedules begins about six to nine months before the start of a new semester and is an ongoing process as courses are canceled or added from semester-to-semester and year-to-year. It’s a complex process—requiring some manual review—given the various start and finish times of night courses. The latest classes get out at 10:15 p.m.

“We are trying to get the really late evening courses consolidated into Gardner Commons where we have more of a security presence,” Johnson said.

Not all classes can be moved into a neighborhood because they have pedagogical needs that require certain types of spaces, such as laboratories, studios or use of musical instruments or scientific equipment, Johnson said.

“If any faculty or students feel they are attending an evening class in a place that they would like to see relocated, they can reach out to the Scheduling Division of the Registrar’s Office to see what options are available,” Johnson said.

Experts recommend walking with a trusted friend or in a group at night—especially relevant if you are outside of one of the designated neighborhoods at the U. But if you are alone, experts suggest that you should be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.