ASI discusses campus safety concerns and protective measures

Teresa Balmori Perez, News Reporter

The Associated Students Inc. hosted a board meeting on Sept. 23. During the meeting, one of the main topics that they discussed was the safety issues occurring among students on campus, specifically in the nighttime.  

During the meeting, when asked about any campus concerns that are happening at California State University, Bakersfield, Director of Arts and Humanities Yasmin Marcelo explained that students have reported suspicious people lurking at night on campus.

Illustration by Faith Okoli/The Runner

According to Marcelo, the report mentioned that a group of female students was walking outside at night when they saw two older men parked outside of the Lot B parking space. The two men were seen only approaching girls who were walking alone at night. The students then reported the incident to campus police and gave them a description of the two men.

Jacob Roper, the director of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering, suggested that CSUB should start offering defensive training courses to students on campus to defend themselves from harmful situations.  

Roper also said that students are able to carry pepper spray for their safety as long as it’s not seen by others.  

“If you have any friends or if you’re in a situation where you have night classes, maybe you should invest in some type of protection such as pepper spray, but make sure it cannot be seen in the body,” Roper said.  

Casey Harris, the campus advocate and education coordinator, joined the discussion by encouraging everyone to make sure that their pepper spray is working properly and that it is not expired. Harris also advises students to be aware of their surroundings when they’re walking alone on campus, to make sure they are not on their phones all the time, and to keep one earbud out whenever they’re listening to music outside.  

“You can be as protective of yourself as possible. If something unfortunate like that happens, it’s not your fault for not protecting yourself enough. It’s the person’s fault who does it,” Harris said.  

Harris said that students can reach out to her at any time if they are having any issues with stalking, harassment, sexual abuse, or just feeling unsafe on campus.  

“You’re never going to bother me. You’re never going to bug me by talking to me too much or coming to visit me too much. So, feel free to reach out whenever you would like to and I’ll be happy to hear from you all,” Harris said.  

Students can reach out to Harris in the Multicultural and Gender Equity Resource Center in Student Housing West, Rohan Hall. Building 29, or by email at [email protected]