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Art being used to revive pedestrian tunnel that sparks safety concerns for some FSU students

Posted: 6:18 PM, Nov 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-08 18:18:56-05
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Students say they avoid a pedestrian tunnel at Florida State University because they have safety concerns.

"Even walking through the tunnel, especially at night it could be kind of scary," said artist Warren Sylne.

The pathway near DeGraff Hall goes under West Tennessee Street. It's the last place some students want to be.

"Pretty much just a bad reputation in general as far as safety with students walking through the tunnel," said Warren.

The university has tried to discourage crime with lighting, cameras and emergency buttons. But students say they need more if they're going to feel safe.

"I feel like any space where art is people feel like is more welcoming and it's a lighter type of feel to it. Any place that doesn't have art feels more serious, less welcoming and open," said another artist, Mia Freeman.

Mia is one of the artists involved in putting these pieces together. Each one represents a different part of the school. In the middle, the iconic Wescott building.

"Just gives them a reason to stop, take a time to look at what's there and not feel endangered," said Warren.

Adding color to the walls that Freeman says, are uninviting, while also changing how people see the tunnel.

Mia hopes the portraits add the comfort the university has given her since starting at FSU.

"I feel like it's very important to kind of give tribute to that program because a lot of these opportunities wouldn't come available to me. Just coming to college alone," said Mia.

The group will add two more portraits in the next couple months.

The university is working with them to order the proper equipment to make it happen.