SJCC implements new safety measures

Janelle Jones

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A police arrest occurred on Oct. 5 at San Jose City College.

The alledged attacker was not a student, according to Campus Police Chief Ray Aguirre. The victim, a student at SJCC, allegedly was assaulted by this man. The suspect is accused of exposing his private parts to the victim, who called the police immediately after it happened, Aguirre said.

Doug Treadway, interim president at San Jose City College, said the effectiveness of new safety measures on campus is apparent in the recent arrest, added safety measures, and added police on campus.

The SJCC budget allows only one officer for every shift.

A second officer was added for five hours a day and during high traffic times, Aguirre said.

“There is normally one officer on campus and adding a second one has made a difference Aguirre said. If there was one officer, the arrest would have taken longer and the suspect would have gotten away.”

Students are allowed to carry pepper spray because “it is not a lethal weapon and only enforcers can carry firearms,” Aguirre said. But it is a risk, he said. If a student accidentally sprays someone with the pepper spray, that student can be sued. Pepper spray is a “method of defense and should be used responsibly,” Aguirre said.

“I would like to see some items here (in the bookstore). It would make me feel safer. A Swiss army knife within reach is always reassuring,” said Cosella DeJesus, a Biology major at SJCC. According to the California Penal Code 626.10, students can carry knives no longer than 2 1/2 inches.

“People should take it upon themselves to find and carry protection. My knife goes everywhere with me,” said Rebecca Hathaway, a radiology major at SJCC.

There also have been emails to the district community, staff and faculty, to let them know what’s been happening on campus.

Aguirre said the staff should let students know what is happening and what to do to prevent future attacks.

Some students and staff do not feel safe on campus because of these attacks.

“I am hurt about the attacks that are happening. I am a girl, and I have a little sister. It made me feel uncomfortable,” said Tavaita Bulai, a student at SJCC.

New safety measures to come include video surveillance around campus, installing telephones with lights to notify police, bike patrols with student volunteers, self-defense classes, and texting information to students when an event has happened, Treadway said.

Safety measures that should be followed, according to Treadway and Aguirre include:

  • Don’t walk to your car alone. Try to have friends with you. Attacks are decreased when having a group of people with you.
  • Take a self-defense class.
  • Pay attention and be aware of surroundings.
  • Report suspicious activity to campus police.
  • Keep cell phones available for use.
  • Observe, but do not get involved in any dangerous situation.
  • Do not stay in your car for long periods of time.
  • Call the police for any assistance that you might need. Students may also contact officers to escort them after class.