Broken police call box raises concerns about personal security amongst students


(Sacramento) The blue glow of the security light is on but an out of order sign hangs below. The parking garage has emergency panels which alert campus police to certain situations that may need attention. This unit was on the 4 floor; however was not the only unit with a sign hanging on it.

An increase in college crime has brought awareness to students who no longer feel safe and secure on campus.

There has been a recent hike in campus crime across the United States, including at American River College. Last Nov., a woman was being taken from campus at knifepoint and was sexually assaulted. Students need to showcase caution on campus more than ever, especially when walking around by themselves.

If you find physically that you’re in an uncompromising situation, ARC has implemented security precautions. There are 14 blue light-up call boxes placed across the campus, an increase in police patrolling the grounds, and a shuttle for students who take night classes.

You can find the blue light-up call boxes, which will connect you directly to police dispatchers during an emergency situation, spread throughout the campus. Currently, one of ARC’s boxes is out of order on the fourth floor in the parking garage. So what should you do if you find yourself in danger near a call box that’s broken?

“Program the campus police emergency line into your cell phone (916-558-2221), call the emergency line and press 0, and then you get to talk to a live operator,” Speech professor Alissa Shubb said.

Even with these entities implemented throughout the campus, students are still struggling to feel safe and secure. Public announcements around school about crime could help more people feel safe. Across America, it has been proven through numerous polls that women feel less safe on college campuses than men.

The United States Student Association reports that 13 percent of college women have admitted to being stalked during an academic school year, and one in five have reported being sexually assaulted.

“My first day, when I went to the cafeteria, I felt really uncomfortable because there were so many stares,” freshman Marie Delman said. “I had a few people come up to me and say, ‘Aye girl what’s your name? Can I get your number?’ It was really overwhelming for my first day.”

If you’re still having problems feeling safe on campus, here are a few tips for you to ensure your safety:  Always make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, stop looking at the screen of your phone and messing with your iPod, know what is going on around you so you won’t be taken by surprise.

If you can implement the buddy system, walk with your friends to your car and drive everyone else to theirs. If you cannot walk to your car with someone, carry something to help defend yourself, such as pepper spray.

“Wherever you are, you have to remember to be cautious,” Delman said.

Remember that anyone can be a victim of assault. Stay safe on campus, no matter who you are.