Student Body Vice President Rachel Gogal, a member of the working group, said she expects the group to discuss new lighting possibilities for the Arboretum and the area around Morehead Planetarium and McCorkle Place.
“We know students are taking shortcuts to get to and from, and we want to make sure they’re well lit at night,” Gogal said.
Gogal said several restrictions might apply when the group, made up of students, UNC officials and town officials, considers lighting the Arboretum.
“They’re concerned it won’t be eco-friendly for plants growing in that area,” Gogal said. “We want to be approved by all but also help with student safety in particular.”
Department of Public Safety spokesperson Randy Young said the group will look at adding lighting to the area around the Arboretum but that the current amount of lighting is safe for students given they use their common sense.
“We’ll look at feasibility, impacts on foliage, photosensitive plants in the arboretum,” he said. “We tell folks to please stay in well-lit areas, walk with friends, utilize the P2P whenever possible and keep your wits about you — keep your level of situational awareness high. If that involves taking an alternative route, we always encourage them to do so.”
Young said DPS hasn’t heard many safety concerns about the Arboretum.
“It’s not been something that we hear consistently, but there’s been a long history of pathways through there that are heavily traveled in the day and less traveled at night,” Young said.