More steps needed for increasing safety of pathway

The University has recently taken an initiative to improve the path connecting the Morewood and WQED parking lots. There is a new concrete staircase, and the existing wooden steps have been renovated to include two side-by-side staircases. Lamp posts have also been installed along the path. However, the improvements to this area on the outskirts of campus should not stop here; they present the opportunity for further safety measures to be made to this path.

Unfortunately, the passage residing between the parking lot behind Morewood Gardens and the WQED office has earned a reputation as being an unsafe and frightening place to travel through, especially at night. For this reason, the path is often referred to as “the rape trail” by students. It is unacceptable that members of the Carnegie Mellon community must travel on a pathway that appears frightening enough at night to be associated with the risk of sexual assault. This association is of special concern because many first-years who live in the Residence on Fifth commute to and from their dorm using this pathway.

A clear way to improve this scenario would be to install an emergency button on the pathway so that students traveling on the path would be able to easily call campus police if needed.

The pathway between the Morewood parking lot and the WQED parking lot has long been the subject of speculation, stories, and jokes among the campus community.

We commend The University for their initiatives to renovate the pathway and increase student safety. The University should continue this trend by complementing the improved stairs with an emergency call system to better protect the student body.