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Concern for safety during development

April 2, 2011

Staff Opinion

With construction for the Senior Village underway on the main campus, and plans for additional construction being discussed, it is safe to say that change and expansion is an expected part of Young Harris College’s transformation into a four-year school.

However, with expansion comes questions about safety.

As facilities and resources pour over into across-the-street buildings and classrooms, there is concern for student safety, especially after last week’s unfortunate incident involving a student being hit by a truck on highway 76.

Next year, YHC hopes to enroll the largest class of freshman in the college’s history.

With the Young Harris Motel as a rumored housing option, we would be hard-pressed to find parents willing to send their child off to college where their safety is questionable. As students we are entitled to safety on campus.

The fact that something like this happened on campus makes students ponder the chances of something like this occurring a second time.

If necessary steps are not taken to ensure that something of this caliber does not happen again, history will repeat itself.

Far too many students, and even professors, have complained about the unruly traffic that refuses to stop for pedestrians, even though it is Georgia state law that oncoming traffic yields to pedestrians.

Even if a pedestrian does look both ways, he or she must hurry across the street before the next vehicle zooms past them.

Installing a cross walk at a four-way stoplight would help appease the traffic in the area where students are crossing the street to and from their classes.

Or, if the installation of four-way stoplight is too expensive, having a squad car stationed during the early morning and afternoon hours when traffic is the most congested would also help students and professors feel safer when crossing the street.

In doing either of these options,passing traffic will not have to question whether or not they have enough time to stop.

In doing so, this will also allow students to feel safe about crossing the street in order to arrive to classes in a timely manner.

Regardless of which option is chosen, one cannot deny that something must be done to make highway 76 a safe place for students or other pedestrians wishing to cross the street.

Attending class or leaving from class should not result in a potentially life-threatening situation.

As a college, there should be an image that we should be proud to uphold. An image of safety first, excellent education and concern with those individuals that make the college what it is: the students.

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