UNM students push for extra lighting, security at parking lot

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Students at the University of New Mexico plan to ask the state legislature for funding to revamp a troubled and dark parking lot.

The South Lot is located near Lobo Field and Isotopes Park. It’s the most popular commuter lot for UNM students, according to a university spokesperson.

It’s also one of the scariest parking places, according to students.

“I do feel pretty unsafe. I try to bring pepper spray. I have a little knife just in case,” said UNM student Alanis Jackson.

“Well, I mean there are a lot of creeps around here,” said UNM student Emily Persinger.

“In the day it looks much better, but here at night I, myself would be scared,” said Erick Hernandez.

That’s because when day turns to night, the parking lot is nearly pitch black despite a couple dozen light fixtures that line the way.

“There are lights around, but it’s really dark and you know it’s a bit sketch,” said UNM student Zabdiel Aldaz.

The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) said it has gotten a lot of complaints from students about the lighting at the lot.

“It’s just dark and it’s an intimidating scene for a lot of kids,” said ASUNM Executive Director of Government Affairs Nathan Cowan.

ASUNM wants to tear down the old fixtures and put in about 20 new ones. They plan to ask the state legislature on Monday for $110,000 to fund the renovation.

“We can completely relight the lot, we can put new eco-friendly lights out there, we can start saving energy doing all of that and just make it a safer environment,” said Cowan.

Students told KRQE News 13 they are pleased with the idea.

“Oh yeah, I think it’s a good idea because it would be a lot safer,” said Persinger.

“I think ASUNM is doing the right thing going up to Santa Fe,” said Hernandez.

There is a security guard who patrols the South Lot most nights, but students said because the lot is so big, it would be extremely hard for them to track security down if something were to happen.

News 13 asked ASUNM about installing security cameras. A spokesperson said that is something they are looking into.

There have been seven groping cases in the last two years on UNM’s campus. None of them have happened at the South Lot.

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