Students marched for the ‘Reclaim the Night’ campaign last week, calling for better lighting around campus.
However, the University and the City of York council have issued contradictory statements concerning the council’s role in tackling the problem.
Councillor David Levene vowed to create better lighting on campus. Levene informed the crowd that lighting had been a problem “for years and years” and that there had not “been any political input from the council”. He pledged that this was something he was going to change now he was in power.
The University stated the Walmgate Stray is not their property and that: “The City of York Council considered lighting for the Stray, and rejected the idea as it is a natural wildlife area with a number of species of bats living on and around it. Obviously anyone feeling unsafe using Walmgate Stray should use an alternative, well-lit route.”
“The City of York Council considered lighting for the Stray and rejected the idea”
Another area that the protesters specifically claimed to be too dark was the pathway between the Physics building and Derwent College.
The protest, organised by YUSU’s welfare committee and the Women’s Officers, Cat Wayland and Nell Beecham, saw a lively-spirited group walk around campus, from Market Square to The Courtyard.
The protest was the second of its kind this year, with a similar march held in February. It marked the launch of the Safer Campus Survey and a joint operation of the Welfare and Women’s committees. Beecham told Nouse they had “the support of senior management and councillor David Levene”.
The crowd of approximately thirty people carried placards bearing messages such as “Let there be light!”, as well as chanting “We want safety, we want light, come on let’s reclaim the night”.