Improvements made increase awareness and safety in campus stairwells

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In recent months, the stairwells have been targets for crime.

Two cases occurred in April, and two in August.

“All the crimes are down on campus, it’s just we get these stairwell incidents. They are not frequent,” said Mario Vasquez, campus police sergeant.

The stairwells, however, are still being improved to increase safety. In addition to correcting the lighting in Locke, mirrors are being placed to aid students to spot people hiding.

“That’s what happened on the other side of Locke, that east stairwell, where the sexual battery occurred. The gal was approached from behind and fondled. The guy tried to grab her,” said Vasquez.

What has been done already is the placement of the stairwell indicators. These will tell students exactly what stairwell they’re in, so in case of an emergency, they can tell campus police their location for quicker help.

There have been numerous requests to keep the stairwell doors open at all times; however, Vasquez said that is against the fire code.

“If they see someone suspicious, don’t continue walking into the stairwell. Exit, call us immediately,” he said.

When incidents occur on campus, people are urged contact campus police right away.

Vasquez said it took three days for the person to report the first stairwell case. The second stairwell case, in which a female student said she was grabbed by the shoulder, was reported a week after it happened.

“She finally came forward, which is good.”

Vasquez said people have different reactions when under stress.

“They take time to process that information and what they should do,” he said.

The lounges are not the source of problems on campus, more so, the campus in general.

“The lounges are fairly safe. We do get people in there that are non-students every now and then and our [attention is brought to them for] whatever reason.”

Besides economic downfall, the open campus is the other factor in prevalent crime. Seventy five percent of the arrests made at Delta are non-students.

“Delta is a high traffic area, surrounded by shopping centers. We have two bus stops on our campus. It’s used by the community,” said Vasquez.

Vasquez warns students to never carry large amounts of money, or large purses. More importantly to never allow people to borrow cell phones.

“Just in the city of Stockton itself, that’s a easy crime that’s being committed all the time.”

The campus police will host a safety presentations at the request of staff, students, clubs or classes.

The next safety presentation will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in Holt 101.