Student Government Association passes bill for brighter, more efficient lights

Ball State has been replacing the existing sodium vapor lights with energy efficient LEDs. Student Government Association recently passed a piece of legislation stating that as lights need to be replaced, they will be replaced with LEDs. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK
Ball State has been replacing the existing sodium vapor lights with energy efficient LEDs. Student Government Association recently passed a piece of legislation stating that as lights need to be replaced, they will be replaced with LEDs. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK

In an effort to increase campus safety and become more energy efficient, Ball State’s Student Government Association passed a bill Wednesday to replace lights on campus with LED lights as they burn out.

Jason Pickell, SGA senator and co-author of the bill, said LED lights are brighter and more energy efficient. Although they cost more to install, Pickell said they last longer.

SGA Vice President Alyssa France said lighting has been an issue on campus for the four years she has attended Ball State.

“Lighting has always been mentioned,” France said. “The lighting on campus isn’t horrible, but it’s also not great. I think it’s important to always raise student concerns to administration because that’s exactly what we are here for.”

Earlier this semester, France contacted the University Police Department to go on a lighting tour. During the lighting tour, SGA members and the police noticed the difference between the new LED lights on Martin Street and the lights throughout campus. UPD sponsored the lighting bill.

“We looked at it and there is a definite difference between the lights LED put out and the soft, white lights that we currently have,” UPD detective Kent Kurtz said. “I wouldn’t say the current lights pose any issues. They obviously do their job. I think LED lights would be brighter and cover more ground.”

Apart from increased brightness, LED lights also uses less energy, which lines up with the university’s strategic plan calling for a more energy efficient campus. This was one reason SGA senator Bryan Kubel chose to sponsor the bill.

“Ball State has been working to be an energy efficient campus and we saw that with LED lighting this would be another way for the campus to become more efficient,” he said. “The more sponsors it gets, it shows that students really do care about the environment and Ball State’s approach to being more energy efficient.”

SGA is sending the bill to the University Senate, an organization made up of Ball State faculty. France said the University Senate will either take a vote on whether or not to endorse the bill or they will send it directly to the Facilities and Management committee. The committee will be the ones working on implementing the bill.

With all of the SGA senators voting yes on the bill, Pickell said he was happy with the results.

“It went better than planned,” Pickell said. “This bill is important for the safety of students on campus. We’ve had a lot of events recently with stabbings and alleged gunmen on campus and other things. It’s really important that we at least attempt to do something about safety on campus. Light just discourages crime.”

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