CSUB’s chief of police addresses campus’s COVID-19 cases

Ray Dean, Reporter

“Rest assured, the campus is still safe,” Martin Williamson, CSU Bakersfield chief of university police said at the Associated Students Inc. board meeting Friday, Oct. 30.  

On Monday, Oct. 25 an emergency Clery notification email was issued to CSU Bakersfield email accounts warning of three confirmed cases of COVID-19.  

Williamson said, “Not to scare anybody, but we got to the point where the health department would call this a cluster of cases; however, they were very limited. 

Unplanned emergencies have initial elements of hectic activity and chaos. Williamson told the board that CSUB had a proactive plan of action that kicked in once they were notified of the cases.  

“Ours was fairly controlled and easily managed, so by about three hours into all of this information flowing into us we had a plan in place and we were carrying it out and everything became manageable even though we couldn’t control everything,” Williamson said. 

Working in contact with Kern County Public Health the university moved quickly to respond to the situation. The action was taken to notify everyone that was exposed or may have been exposed.  

Williams thanked his team members and the administration for the quick response and work to secure the campus, but also recognized that this is no time to sit back and relax. 

“I am never happy with the status quo, so we are doing some additional planning in case we have a large outbreak that we have the ability to do some campus testing primarily for our students. So we will have testing resources available to be able to test up to 100 people within hours and minutes,” Williamson said. 

Chief Williamson also said emergency management has taken up a lot of time recently, but policing is still being conducted on campus. “Luckily we haven’t had a lot of police activity on campus, so that’s a blessing during this time, but our officers are still there”. 

The University Police Advisory Council had its first meetingThe council is looking for feedback and discussion on ways to improve the services of the university police. 

Williams said that himself, four students, two faculty, two staff members, Claudia Catota representing the university president’s office, a community member, and a rotating university police officer sitting on the council. 

ASI executive director Ilaria Pesco said during her report that starting Mon, Nov 2 all refunds, including financial aid, will be processed through BankMobilePesco asked that the board help pass the word along to students. 

“I know this has been confusing, we have answered lots of questions on Instagram about it. Basically, students need to understand that irregardless of whether they’ve given their bank information to CSUB, all of that is being deleted. CSUB is literally hiring this company to take over all refunds. This includes, especially, financial aid starting for spring,” Pesco said. 

Pesco said students have three options. They can have BankMobile direct deposit the funds into another outside account, they can receive a paper check that is mailed or they can open a BankMobile account and have the funds placed there. But students must log onto BankMobile and make their choice. 

Pesco said, “If we can please get the word out on social media to students because we have not seen many students sign up for it. And it is going to be harmful to students in the spring when potentially their financial aid is delayed.”