Aliaya Williams: Improving Campus Safety One Blue Light at a Time

Outdoor portrait of Aliaya Williams, on a bright sunny day.

Through the project she has developed as part of her experience in the ELN's Sophomore Living Learning Community, Aliaya is well on her way to making a real difference in campus safety. Read more about her project and what it's like to participate in a community like this (spoiler alert—it's a lot of fun)!

Aliaya Williams is having a pretty great sophomore year. As one of the students in the ELN’s Sophomore Living Learning Community, she is spending the year living and engaging with students who, like her, are looking to make a difference while here at UB. In just over two months, she and her project partner, Nicole, have identified a problem that affects the campus community, brainstormed ways to tackle that problem, and have even planned how to start implementing their proposed solution.

“I wanted to get more involved in the school,” Aliaya says when asked why she decided to join the community in the first place. “I heard the Sophomore Living Learning Community was one of the best ways to do that, and I love that we all have our own projects to work on throughout the year as a part of this experience. And because we’re all living together, we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other.”

Aliaya is a biology major who plans to go on to medical school, which led to her interest in campus safety. “With my major, I want to help people, and keeping people safe is a way to do that.” According to Aliaya, “It all started with the late night bus being gone, but then it branched off from that.” Her project idea soon developed into a plan to address campus safety.

The first step she and her partner took was checking out the blue security light system. They soon realized there were not enough blue lights, so they decided to add more. But when they started researching blue lights, they discovered that the system is out of date. “So we said, okay, we should be implementing a whole new system using technology that everyone already has, like a cell phone.” But after talking with the deputy chief of the UB police department, their plan had to change yet again; it turns out that the blue lights have cameras on them, which are actually useful in the case of traffic accidents. Moving forward, Aliaya and Nicole will be working on ways to add more blue lights to campus, cameras included.

Aliaya is well on her way to making a real difference on campus. Besides the fun of living and participating in a community like this, the experience has given her the ability to adapt to changes that are thrown her way. This lesson is not only something she has applied to her project, but is something that she can use to her advantage in the rest of her undergraduate career at UB and beyond.


Written by Amanda Hellwig ‘19