Safety here has become a major talking point at CSUSB, especially after an attempted armed robbery occurred on campus on April 9, in parking lot C.
Not only that, but on April 22 a man who was under the influence of a controlled substance was arrested for disrupting a rehearsal in the theater of the Performing Arts building. His bizarre behavior and unusual posturing led witnesses to believe he was possibly armed with a weapon.
Nobody was harmed in either situation according to the University Police Department (UPD).
However, looking back at these incidents brings up questions: how safe do students feel at CSUSB and what would students like to see improve among safety?
“Unfortunately, I don’t feel as safe as I would like to and I think the fact that we have an open campus has a lot to do with it,” said CSUSB student Itaty Hernandez, pre-nursing major. “It’s frustrating having to constantly be on high alert everywhere that you go, because the reality is that you never know what can happen.”
That reality is very true in the sense that nobody knows when the next incident might occur and with CSUSB being an open campus, some students, such as Hernandez, feel that it brings more danger to campus.
Prince Ogidikpe, president of Associated Students, Inc. believes students should feel safe on campus and brought up many key ideas of what students would like to see.
“In terms of security, we should feel pretty safe on campus.” said Ogidipke. “There has to be a lot of improvements in terms of the lighting, especially at night time. There are certain areas around campus where it seems darker than other areas, and some lights are pretty dim.”
The lighting situation is definitely an issue. Ogidipke also believes that more improvement on the security cameras around campus is needed for better visuals.
More visualization of patrol officers is something students like Hernandez would like to see.
“I would like to see more officers on campus because I feel like they kind of hover around the same places and I don’t really see them very often,” said Hernandez.
Ogidikpe also has ideas of what students can do to assure better safety.
“I have this philosophy of always walk with somebody, just in case,” said Ogidikpe. “Also, do not play your music too loud at night time so you can be aware of your surroundings.”
UPD officials have a solution for better safety, and this is something that Prince uses himself.
UPD officials encourage everyone to download their LiveSafe app. Through the app users can allow the UPD, friends, and/or family to track their location. Students can request escorts, report crimes and obtain a number of other UPD services.
Ogidipke uses the LiveSafe app to assure that his friends get to their car safely, and he does this by tracking them to make sure they get to their destination safely.
While using the LiveSafe app, Ogidipke also believes that more education on active shooter and earthquake drills is needed, and he has been working hard on this for students.
“I went ahead and added a piece to our campus course policy regarding our syllabus,” said Ogidipke. “So when you start the quarter, you will have an emergency guideline preparation embedded into the syllabus so that every student will learn about active shooter and earthquake drills.”
Ogidipke knows that students are sensitized to school shootings. He strongly believes that we should never disregard student safety, and students need to take active roles on safety every day and not just wait for an incident to occur.
With the utilization of the LiveSafe app, more improvements of lighting around campus and better availability of patrol officers at CSUSB, students will feel more safe.
Campus safety is everyone’s responsibility and although we may never stop acts of violence completely, we can use these improvements and ideas to help prevent them.