From 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., CarParc Diem is one of the most bustling areas of Montclair State University. Each day, thousands of commuter students walk to and from CarParc Diem, and while Yogi Berra Drive is a busy stretch of road, pedestrians and vehicles seldom face any trouble getting to their destinations safely.
Yet in searching for a way to better ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike, as well as provide work opportunities for students, Montclair State has come up with a solution that benefits everyone.
Just last semester, Montclair State introduced a new job on campus to alleviate the occasional traffic woes and address student safety concerns: the campus crossing guards. Since the program’s introduction, pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Yogi Berra Drive outside of CarParc Diem has run smoother than ever.
In the past, students would walk across the crosswalk one at a time, which caused each car to stop. This would, in turn, generate a backup of cars on Yogi Berra Drive. Now, crossing guards let cars pass for a moment and stop cars when several students are waiting on the sidewalk.
Having crossing guards has made many students feel safer while crossing that portion of Yogi Berra Drive, especially if they do so at night. It has also made drivers feel more at ease as there are no longer pedestrians crossing the road haphazardly, which is important as most college students are still relatively new drivers.
During the first week of classes, the crossing guards made themselves an integral part of the Montclair State community as they welcomed students back. Many crossing guards still say hello to pedestrians in the morning and tell them to have a good day, which is really encouraging prior to walking up the mountain of stairs to get to class.
Currently, the only flaw with the crossing guard program is that there are no crossing guards during some of the busiest times of the day; however, Montclair State is already looking to solve that problem.
On Sept. 20, 2015, Red Hawk News notified students that new crossing guard positions are available. This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in a career in law enforcement, yet the position is open to any undergraduate student with at least a 2.5 grade point average. Montclair State pays students $10 per hour, and students are expected to work 10 hours a week, which is fairly manageable for a college student.
Having job opportunities through Montclair State that also help people is a great use of resources. Campus crossing guards are the solution to a problem we did not know we had.