Staying safe during the eclipse

By Richard Mast,

With the much-anticipated solar eclipse coming on April 8, 2024, the University of Findlay and its students are gearing up for the rare event. Among these preparations, ensuring student safety remains a top priority, since the event is set to draw in thousands of spectators.

There’s plenty of concern coming from students about the event and how it will be handled on campus, especially with the University being an official eclipse-watching site for the people of Findlay. The University’s faculty has been hard at work to address these worries and ensure safety on campus.

“This is attracting people from all over the world, not just in Ohio, not just the United States. They’re coming from all over the world to witness this,” Steven Baum, Captain of Campus Police and Safety/Security, said. “They’re just going to migrate this way. You’ll never control them but we got to try to maintain what we can.”

Student’s concerns about the amount of people traveling to campus are being considered as well. A lot of preparation has been put into ensuring that parking is managed so that students are still able to access the campus as needed.

“We’re going to try to keep things around CBSL lot 20, the lawn and Mazza,” William H. Spraw, Chief of Police and Director of Security, said. “They’re going to have events there so we’re blocking off three or four parking lots there. Then we’re going to post no overnight parking at most of our larger parking lots to keep people out of our lots that really don’t have necessary business on-campus. We’re going to try to have more officers on duty during the event for sure. Hopefully, during the weekend we can up the manpower because it could be a weekend event is what we’re thinking.”

With the campus hard at work to ensure student safety, students have also expressed their concerns about the event. Many students are concerned about how accessible the campus will be on the day of the event due to the crowds.

“From what I’ve heard it sounds like there’s going to be a lot of people here on campus,” Freshman Grant Goodfellow said. “I’m not too concerned about it; I just think it’s a little strange maybe. I think it will be kind of hard to favigate if you’re a student.”

With classes canceled that day, students can decide if and how they want to enjoy the event. However, with Findlay being a hot spot for the eclipse, some commuter students who were hoping to get on campus are starting to worry about the large influx of people coming into town.

“I’m mostly concerned about the traffic; that’s a big worry for me,” junior Jacob Hodge said. “I just know that trying to get on campus is going to be really tough with how it sounds. I know there are other places to watch the eclipse, but that doesn’t mean the roads are going to be much better anywhere else.”

For students who have any concerns, you can get in contact by looking at the Office of Campus Safety and Emergency Management page. More information on the eclipse can be viewed on the Hancock County Findlay Eclipse website.