This past Friday Quinnipiac’s Student Programming Board hosted QU’s second annual “Wake the Giant” concert featuring Hellogoodbye and Ludacris. While this year marked a new tradition with the concert being held up at the TD Banknorth Sports Center, one can only hope that mobs of students walking down Whitney Avenue into on-coming traffic after the concert does not become a tradition.
On the evening of the concert, I was allowed to park at the top of the hill. As I was about to leave after the show ended, I received a phone call from my roommates asking for a ride back to campus to retrieve their cars. I, of course, said yes, but wondered why they just wouldn’t take the shuttle back to campus. Five minutes later I understood why.
As we made our way down the hill, the line of students waiting for the shuttle stretched on for what seemed like forever down the sidewalk, with only three University shuttles in sight. Of course, this resulted in students getting sick of waiting in line for the shuttle and taking it upon themselves to get back to campus by traveling on foot.
While I don’t blame these students for wanting to get back to campus to enjoy the rest of their Friday night, it was very evident that neither security nor anyone else for that matter had planned ahead for students to make it back to campus in any alternative way.
As I made my way down to the bottom of the hill, numerous students walked right in front of my car. Luckily I was in a line of cars and so I was traveling even slower than usual, but because it was dark, it was hard to see everyone around me and I was constantly checking to make sure there wasn’t anyone in my path.
When I finally reached the light at the intersection of Sherman Avenue and Whitney, I thought that the worst was over, but I was sadly mistaken. As I made my way down Whitney back to campus, the students stretched all the way to campus, spilling onto the sides of the road, forcing numerous cars in front of me to switch lanes to avoid them. I looked for a security car or even a Hamden Police car, but they were nowhere to be found.
It was appalling to me that Quinnipiac had not taken any precautions to ensure students’ safety, considering Whitney Avenue’s track record and the number of students that have been hit by cars in the four years that I have been here.
Perhaps some of the Hamden police officers that I had seen earlier hanging around at the top of the arena, or some of the security guards that were consistently looking for something to do should have been placed along Whitney to ensure that students were safely crossing the road. Even a few extra cars at the bottom of the York Hill campus would have helped the situation.
While no one was injured Friday night to my knowledge, someone could have been, and for the University, this is not a risk worth taking.
I think it’s great that we now have the opportunity to hold concerts up at TD Banknorth, and I commend the Student Programming Board for their efforts to make it possible. However, if they plan on making this a tradition, there needs to be a way to make sure that students get back to campus safely. Whether it be more shuttles going up to York Hill, or more security stationed along Whitney, something needs to be done.