Editorial: Safety on campus starts with self-awareness

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Despite two very noticeable crimes on campus in the past year and a half — the Koi fish incident and the bookstore robbery — San Joaquin Delta College is safe, according to campus police.

The Collegian staff observes there is no issue with safety during daylight hours, yet we are still concerned about the campus when the sun goes down.

A report released by campus police shows crime is down, but we are still concerned about two things we think may cause uneasiness for students.

Night classes are spread all over campus and students often have to walk through darkened areas to get to them.

Having taken classes at night we have noticed that there is not enough lighting on the paths leading from the buildings to the parking lots.

The child development drop off area located between Locke and DeRicco buildings has enough light, but the path from there to the San Joaquin Regional Transit District Route 40 bus stop is dark and secluded.

The path leading out of the south side of Holt building past the auto shops is also dark.

What can we do about this? We can walk in groups of two or more and have our phones handy.

We can call campus police and ask for an escort to our car, an option until recently many on staff did not know about.

We can also let campus maintenance know if there is an area we consider too dark to walk through. That’s a start.

When it comes to having classes so wide spread on campus at night, there is not much we can do about that with each building serving certain purposes.

One idea is to consolidate classes into the Forums and the Cunningham and Shima Centers, but that would not work for the night auto shop classes, the police academy, the night time performing ensembles or physical education classes.

Those programs and courses use Holt and Budd.

Awareness is key, though.

Many students are not aware of the campus alert system, where they can have text messages sent regarding emergencies on campus.

Better promotion solves this.

The campus seems relatively safe during the day, and can easily be made safer by self-awareness, being aware of one’s surroundings and use of the services provide to students and staff.

We agree that using these services improves safety on campus.

The bottom line though, is that we have to take safety into our own hands as well.

The police issued some suggestions to keep ourselves safe. We hope more students will heed to those suggestions.

Key things to remember are to never walk alone, be aware of your surroundings, and know campus police’s phone number thus solving any safety issues we may have.