Allie Janneck / Lantern photographer
With recent accidents on and near Ohio State’s campus, it is becoming more important that students be aware of their surroundings.
According to OSU President E. Gordon Gee, this does not just include using caution when crossing the street or watching for bikers. Students are becoming less aware of their surroundings because they are so concerned with what’s going on with their cellphones.
At a Friday campus safety event, Gee acknowledged the issue and said he wants students to start paying more attention.
“Look up, be aware. Don’t just walk along and talk on your cellphone,” Gee said.
During a Sept. 10 meeting with The Lantern, Gee joked about a ban of cellphones on campus, but said he would never actually consider it.
“You know what they do in some places? They ban cellphones,” Gee said. “I’ve just heard today, Battelle, our neighbor right over here, the minute you walk onto that campus you cannot use a cellphone. If you do, you’re fired.”
Some students on campus are aware of how their peers walk around campus, face down in their cellphones, and said they recognize it as a problem.
“You have to always pay attention to what you are doing and what is going on around you,” said Nelleakqua Castlin, a first-year in nursing.
Autumn Appis, a second-year in mathematics, said when she does text while walking on campus, she tries to remain aware.
“I maybe send one text, but I usually listen to music instead of texting,” Appis said. “I actually do pay attention.”
Castlin also admitted to texting while walking on campus but said she knows she still has to be aware of what is going on around her.
“I text to an extent, but before I reply I will look around to make sure there is nothing in my way, type, then look back up occasionally,” Castlin said.
Appis said she has witnessed incidents when people have been too preoccupied with their phones.
“I’ve had people run straight into me,” Appis said. “Someone has actually spilled hot coffee on me. It was horrible.”
Castlin agreed that other students’ “carelessness” can be annoying and dangerous.
“It really does bother me because I think that it is extremely careless,” Castlin said. “You always have to be aware especially on this campus with all the bikes and construction.”
Castlin and Appis both said they would support a ban on cellphones, but neither think it is something the university would be able to enforce because of the large number of students.
Appis said she thought more students should to be paying attention on campus, but she does not think things will change. She suggested there be police officers at crosswalks so students do not just walk into the roads unaware.
“Just like driving, you aren’t suppose to text or be on the phone, but people are still going to choose to, so you can’t really stop it,” Castlin said. “People just need to be safe and pay attention.”