Lawless aims to represent UK students, their safety

By Chase Sanders

[email protected]

Students are gearing up to cast their vote for the presidential election on Nov. 6, but there is another election that’s taking place during this election cycle that is of importance to the UK community.

The 3rd District of the Lexington City Council is up for grabs. It contains UK’s campus and a significant part of downtown Lexington. Currently, Councilwoman Diane Lawless represents UK students (among other constituents in the third district) on the city council.

As the Chair of the Council’s Standing Public Safety Committee and a former UK alumnus, Lawless feels she has collaborated with UK officials to help create an unassailable environment for students.

“I want the best safety for students,” she said.

She believes she did what she could in her last term to contribute to the well-being of students on campus.

“I worked with UK to help get the Cats Path light walkway to help make campus more visible at night.”

Lawless also feels she deserves to be re-elected because of her love for compromise to get problems in the community resolved.

“I thrive on bringing people with differing points of view together, to work on our shared goal of making the district a better place to live, study and work.” she said, “I worked with students and neighborhood residences so shuttle routes would work well in neighborhoods.”

Steven Blanchard, a business management senior, has been a constituent in the 3rd District for the majority of the time he’s attended UK. He’s been satisfied with the work Lawless has done in the past. He hopes she builds on the steps she’s already taken to make District three comfortable to live for students in the future.

“I think the councilwoman could help the university by helping figure out better ways to make campus safer. There have been a lot of robberies lately, and a better lighting system could help keep that from happening close to campus in the future,” he said.

Though Blanchard likes changes he’s seen take place in his district over the past four years, he hopes if Lawless is re-elected she will do something to cut back on citations.

“I got a warning that said I was going to get a citation the other day because our trashcan was on the curb,” said Blanchard.

“It gets pretty cluttered during rush hour traffic,” chemistry graduate student Elliot Martin said. “Something should be done to add lanes to major roads, or make more of the streets two-way instead of one-way.”

Martin, like other UK students, thinks Lawless can help her re-election efforts if she can continue working to make campus and areas around it safer.

“I’ve been a student on other college campuses too, and it seems like here I get a lot more text alerts about someone getting mugged or jumped,” he said.

Martin also hopes Lawless has plans to solve the ongoing dispute over housing regulations in her current district.

“It doesn’t make sense to move students further away from the university they attend.” Lawless said she wants to look out for students’ best interests as constituents.

“I was a UK student that lived on and off campus, and that contributed to how much I care about the university and students attending UK.”