The Dean of Students Office and the Student Government Association have teamed up to end distractions while walking around Florida A&M University’s campus. The organizations launched a campaign on Monday, March 11, called “Look Alive.” The purpose of the campaign is to urge students to pay attention to their surroundings and put away any distractions they may have when traveling about campus.
Students are able to participate in a contest by submitting a short, original and creative video that conveys that message. The first place winner will receive a $1000 scholarship, second place will receive a $500 scholarship, and third place will receive a $250 scholarship.
Many students do not think that it is an issue on campus. However, they did acknowledge while they are walking to class, they are usually doing something else at the same time. Keiliel Jones, a freshman pre-nursing major, argued it varied from person to person whether technology was a true distraction.
“I listen to music while I am walking to class so that I am not bored, and also to get me in a positive or happy mood for class,” Jones said. “Being on your phone or Apple Watch while walking on campus does not mean you are distracted.”
Jones said she uses her phone daily on her walks to class but she manages to stay aware of her surroundings.
Students that live on campus said there are many distractions do not involve them being on their phones or Apple Watches. Harrison McElroy, a sophomore aerospace major, offered other distractions that cause him to tune out.
“I live on campus in Sampson Hall and every day I am distracted by the construction on campus,” McElroy said. “Sometimes I have to leave campus just to focus on what I am studying because of it [and] when I am walking to the gym I am distracted by the noise, dust, and large equipment.”
The campaign is a start to helping students become aware of their surroundings for their safety. Students use their phones and apple watches while on campus and while crossing the street.
According to information sent to each students email, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported pedestrian deaths hit a total of 5,376 within recent years.
Javier Johnson, a senior interdisciplinary major, explained he had seen the problem firsthand on the busy side of campus.
“When I get to campus I pay extra attention while driving on Wahnish Way past the [cafeteria] because students never pay attention,” Johnson said. “They are always on their phones or talking to people instead of looking for cars.”
Some students said they are willing to participate in the video contest because they agreed with the university and SGA about the problem with being distracted on campus while walking. Joshua Atkins, a senior pharmacy major, hoped the campaign would potentially save a life.
“I think it is a really good idea to give us an opportunity to show our creativity and at the same time help save lives by bringing awareness to this issue,” Atkins said.
Students have until March 25 at 5 p.m. to submit their videos through iStrike portal. For more information about this contest and campaign contact Student Affair Coordinator Joshlyn Thomas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.