Blue lights that are supposed to provide safety to Binghamton University students and others on Binghamton’s west side are being protested.

Dozens of BU students have been occupying the University’s Couper Administration Building since about 1:30 p.m. April 27 saying the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on installing and maintaining the lights could be better spent elsewhere, especially given the prevalence of cell phones among students.

The students say they understand the need for law enforcement but they have not seen evidence of the blue light system being used or the program benefitting anyone.

Organizers say they see a need for mental health services and university counseling.

The university has been looking at spending $200,000 a year for the next five years to install blue lights and call boxes in neighborhoods.  There are currently 82 systems on the Vestal campus.