“He was five or 10 meters away from me. I thought I had a chance to cross the street,” said Plattsburgh state student Andrea Cuadros.
At the beginning of this semester, Cuadros, an international student from Peru, was riding her bike back to Wilson Hall when she got hit by a car and almost fell. She can’t remember the exact time but thinks it was about 10 or 11 p.m.
“The people in the car looked like freshmen,” she said.
She said he tried to go fasteron her bike, so he could pass before she crossed the road. Cuadros was not hurt but said she was traumatized and did not report the accident.
“I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking about the incident,” Cuadros said.
Last week, a series of events took place on campus to bring awareness and educate students on the topic. One of the events, the Safety Discussion Panel, took place on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Alumni Conference room in the Angell College Center. Vice President of Student Affairs Bryan Hartman, Chief of University Police Jerry Lottie, Professor and Chief Diversity Officer J.W. Wiley, community member and former supervisor for the Clinton County Traffic Safety program Molly LaMora were all panelists. Also included at the panel was nursing major Krysten Lyman.
Last year, Lyman got hit on Rugar Street right in front of the MacDonough hall crosswalk when trying to cross the road by a 17-year-old girl. The police directly intervened and was helpful.
“I blacked out. I don’t remember anything,” Lyman said.
She was told by her friends what happened. She ended up with several serious injuries, such as a broken arm, ligament in her thumb, black eye and most importantly a concussion that lasted three months.
“All of the doctors said I have to go on medical leave,” she said.
Because of the injuries, Lyman is now a year behind in her program and must pay for an extra year.
“You have to let someone know you are crossing the street, for them to stop,” Lyman said.
Over the years, students have been hit by moving vehicles on PSUC’s campus while crossing the street. Three of these accidents were in 2016. These are only the reported accidents, not every accident that occurred. These accidents have taken place mainly on Rugar Street, and five of the accidents involved a bicycle or skateboard.
Pedestrian safety is a serious concern at PSUC. University Police is collaborating with a public relations class to educate students on proper safety pedestrian practices and reduce the number of accidents on campus.
“Pedestrian safety is a serious concern for our campus and our student’s safety,” Lottie said. “I am very pleased that a campus public relations class joined University Police to develop a safety pedestrian program to educate our campus community.”
Public relations campaigns 466 focuses on crafting, managing and delivering public relations campaigns on behalf of various types of organizations, with an emphasis on learning effective writing, presentation, research, strategic-thinking, collaborative and creative skills.
The premise behind the campaign is simple: Stop. Look. Wave. These simple instructions could prevent several accidents and injuries on campus every semester.
According to the campaign class, students were surprised to learn that their tuition wouldn’t be paid if they were hit by a moving vehicle on campus.
The public relations campaign class is scheduling a series of dates and time to conduct an awareness program for students in different residence halls on campus. The idea behind the awareness program is to keep on talking, and interacting with students about the topic.
Students need not only understand the urgency and severity of pedestrian safety on PSUC’s campus but to act on it before one of these minor accidents becomes fatal.
By Carl Fossi