Over winter break, campus police got a call a possible transient was sleeping in a Budd Building bathroom.
Police investigated and discovered a homeless male had gotten into a locker room to take a shower.
The man was told to leave by whoever called campus police. The man was gone upon police arrival.
According to Sergeant Jim Bock, Delta’s campus has had similar incidents to this.
Transients will either prop a door open, put tape over it or sometimes staff accidentally leaves the door unlocked allowing them to get into buildings on campus.
Due to a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling decriminalizing homelessness, campus police can only try to identify individuals and basically just talk to them, said Bok.
“The ninth circuit ruling does make it difficult to take any action,” said Bok.
Since the state recognizes community colleges as public property, campus police has no legal standing to make them leave.
“I don’t know what I’d do if I encountered a homeless person while I was using the bathroom,” said student Christy Silva. “I’d probably call campus police. You don’t know what they’re going to do when you encounter them.”
There have been about 80 similar cases reported since Jan. 2017, on Stockton’s Delta campus, Manteca Farm, the Liberty Road property and the Mountain House campus.
If a student encounters this while on campus, Bok said call campus police and let them know the situation.
“We don’t want anybody to feel uncomfortable,” said Bok. “Get to a well-lit area and just contact us for an escort to your car or for whatever else.”
During mornings, custodial staff has expressed concern when they open buildings. In response to this, campus police has brought extra officers onto campus in the morning to ensure the safety of those who are alone.