Greg Pinkston, 1st District candidate for City Council, said he wants University of Tennessee students to be safe and feel involved in the political process.
Pinkston, 40, is an investigator for Knox County Schools.
"The more a councilperson listens, the more the students will get involved," said Pinkston, a former Knoxville police officer. "They need to know their concerns are not falling on deaf ears."
"Both sides need to work together."
Pinkston said he thinks students living on and around campus are concerned about their security.
"First of all, we need police protection in that area," he said. "I think there should be walking or bike patrols in the Fort Sanders area until at least 10 or 11 p.m."
Pinkston also said there should be trolley service available overnight, until around 2 a.m.
"This nighttime trolley should include campus, the waterfront, downtown, and the Fort," he added. "Lots of students work in these areas and this type of public transportation could take them to and from their jobs."
And, according to Pinkston, the Council needs to get real about drinking.
"We need to consider students do drink, even though they may be underage," he said. "We need to be realistic and get them off the streets. We need to get the DUI's off of the streets."
Pinkston said a trolley that provides service at night would also be a plus for people attending conventions at the new convention center. He thinks transportation issues can be safety issues as well.
Although Pinkston thinks transportation and safety issues are in the forefront right now, he said Council should also look at the long term.
"Housing downtown and in the Fort is important," he said. "The historical value there has been hindered. This is very important to homeowners, of course, but it is important to students who rent as well, even if they are not looking to stay there for more than four years of college."
Pinkston said he's hopeful there is a solution to satisfy both homeowners, students and renters in that area.
There are other issues to consider as well.
"Sidewalks everywhere are in ill-repair," he said. "We need to look at that, maybe before we start thinking about stuff like greenways. I enjoy the greenways as much as anyone, but kids need to walk to school on the sidewalks."
Pinkston said he has walked through different communities recently and each has its own unique concerns that need to be addressed.
"The UT community is no different," he concluded.