A walk in the dark shines a light

Chief+of+Police+Tom+Galivan%2C+ASCC+President+Miles+Aiello%2C+Commissioner+of+Convocation+and+Fine+Arts+Hope+Garcia%2C+Dean+of+Student+Services+Dr.+Gilbert+Contreras%2C+Inter-Club+Council+Sulyema+Castillo+and+other+participants.+Parking+lot+C-10+was+found+to+need+more+lighting+to+make+students+feel+safe.+Photo+credit%3A+Perla+Lara

Chief of Police Tom Galivan, ASCC President Miles Aiello, Commissioner of Convocation and Fine Arts Hope Garcia, Dean of Student Services Dr. Gilbert Contreras, Inter-Club Council Sulyema Castillo and other participants. Parking lot C-10 was found to need more lighting to make students feel safe. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara, Staff Writer

The annual Safety Walk was done at night in order to spot potential issues or dangers on campus on Monday, March 30.

The issues can be minor like a burnt out light that makes the walkway extra dark, a large crack on the sidewalk pavement that can cause someone to trip and fall, or something more dangerous like a large bush that gives opportunity for an attack.

For Commissioner of Convocation and Fine Arts Hope Garcia, the Safety Walk is also an opportunity to let people know, “that we are here to protect the students, it’s the job of security to make sure we are protected at all times.”

She said, “[The Safety Walk] lets students know what the police chief’s daily job and yearly job is and what they have to go through to protect us and what we as student leaders have to do to help them out.”

Police Chief Tom Galivan was at the front of the gathered group pointing out different parts of the campus and taking notes on the different issues that were seen as the walk continued.

Police Captain Hans Strand also took part in the walk.

He made sure that the back of the group was safe. Strand also pointed out potential safety issues around campus.

The Safety Walk had the support of the ASCC Senate and Cabinet.

Senator and Party Whip Athena Sanchez and Senator Vanessa Vidal represented the ASCC Senate during the walk.

Commissioner of the Inter-Club Council Sulyema Castillo and Commissioner of Convocation and Fine Arts Hope Garcia represented ASCC Cabinet.

Dean of Student Services Dr. Gilbert Contreras and Director of Human Resources and Risk Management Dr. Adriana Flores-Church also participated in the Safety Walk.

The small number of participants did not discourage or prevent Chief Galivan from completing the safety walk; even with a small group many potential dangers where observed and noted.

For example, the large bushes that grow along the tennis courts become a safety issue because they offer a hiding spot for a potential attacker.

Issues having to do with plants and trees on campus will be reported to the gardening department for review and removal if necessary.

Other issues like two burnt-out light bulbs outside the gymnasium will be handled by campus maintenance facilities.

Also the larger issues like placing more lights in the C-10 parking lot will require a meeting with the facilities and a discussion on the budget for the changes.

While changes are still being made Inter-Club Council Sulyema Castillo reminds students to use the buddy system when walking to your car at night she said, “What I’ve done before is and I advise to do is if you’re scared if the lights aren’t on call campus police and they will come and escort you to your car.”

The number for the campus safety escort is 562-924-3618 or call the campus main number and use option 4.

Garcia said, “We want to show our student body what they can do to be protected.”

For ASCC Senator Athena Sanchez, the walk was an opportunity to better understand the safety issues and concerns from a student’s perspective and share that perspective with the facilities and the chief of police.

She said, “Students have the right to come to ASCC and say there are lights out in the parking lot and I don’t feel safe walking to class, it is our job to report to facilities and campus police.”