Are community college campuses safe for female students?


Luis Palacios

SAC campus security patrol the campus Monday through Sunday.

Schools are supposed to be a safe space for every student; it should be a place where you can relax after a long day of lectures or a safe place to study during your extra time. But what are schools doing to keep especially female students safe? As school opens up again after a year of online school there are some concerns about campus being secure.

According to the Huffpost 42% of female students believe that their school isn’t doing enough to keep them safe, while 68% of male students think their schools are doing enough.

Junior Kimberly Lopez had a very uncomfortable experience with an adult on school campus.

Lopez said, “I was here at the college and basically what happened was that I was walking home from practice and there was a guy staring close at me and watching my every step, so I began to feel a little bit nervous, so I started walking faster until he literally looked like he was basically chasing after me, so I ran like a few blocks and just tried to make it a little obvious that I do not want to get kidnapped or anything bad to happen to me, so I just ran home.”

Junior Valerie Chavez also had a bad experience with an older man on campus when she was 14 years old.

She said, “It scared me. I was shocked for the rest of the day because I didn’t look like a college student. I was clearly a young teenager and if not I probably looked like a pre-teen so it was weird that someone came up to me and tried to start a conversation with me.”

As time passed this school year, we saw important changes being made on campus. We got a new district service officer and now students are required to wear lanyards.

Our security guard Jose Frausto said,“It should be safe for female students. We have a DSO which is me patrolling constantly making sure they’re safe, if they’re in danger or something wrong they can always come up to me and inform me if they feel uncomfortable with a certain individual, plus we also have campus safety patrolling as well. There are cameras everywhere; we have emergency posts everywhere so the students should feel safe.”

Security guard Jose Frausto also gave some tips on what students can do if they feel unsafe.

“If a female student feels like they are being harassed they should immediately find campus safety, or DSO, or report it to an administrator immediately so that way we can squash it,” said Frausto.

There are also other changes the school is trying to make to keep both female and male students safe.

Principal Damon Voight said, “I think this is one of the safest campuses in the state this year. Especially because we have a full staff of Santa Ana College security on our campus that are armed and trained to handle any issues that are on campus. They patrol the campus Monday through Sunday. In September we also got a district security officer who’s here from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day monitoring our students and our areas as a whole just to make sure that there’s an extra eye on our students. We also have two activity supervisors; unfortunately one we’re still looking to hire and should be hired shortly and they go and monitor our locker rooms for us.”

Voight also gave some tips for students to stay safe on campus.

He said, “One of the big things for students to be safe anywhere not just on high school campus not on college campus but in life is to look up from your phone and pay attention to what’s around you cause a lot of times all of us are guilty of looking at our phones so much that we don’t know what’s around us and it makes it very easy for people who are doing harm to harm you. So that’s one, another is to go in pairs, or go in groups when you go to class. Go with your friends. Don’t go to places by yourself unless you have to if you are out by yourself especially if you’re on campus by yourself.”

As we slowly make our way to the end of the first semester, students should keep this advice in mind in order to keep themselves safe on campus and hopefully everyone does their part to keep campus a safe place for everyone.