Thursday’s meeting of the Associated Student Body Student Senate was dominated by discussion of what to do about the sexual assaults happening in the area.
Sgt. Mike Olson of the Los Rios Police Department and American River College Vice President of Administrative Services Raymond Di Guilio answered questions from the board.
“I’ve been speaking to all my classes and some questions came up about what is the appropriate protective items that we can bring,” Director of Public Relations Daniela Vargas said. “Is pepper spray okay? (Are) knives okay? What is appropriate for us to bring on campus for us to protect ourselves?”
Sgt. Olson said that Tasers or other stun guns are not allowed on campus, but the small keychain-size pepper spray is permitted.
“When it comes to weapons, the first thing I will say is make sure they’re legal and the second thing I’d say is make sure what you’re doing with them,” Sgt. Olson said. “A weapon you are not familiar with – even though its legal – can be turned against you and become a liability for you.”
Students may have knives as long as the blade is less than 2 1/2 inches long.
“If you choose to use a weapon, the liability is completely on you. You can be subject to both criminal and civil prosecution depending on the circumstances of the use,” he added.
“Protection is a matter of awareness, things like walking together, not going out at night, using the shuttle service,” Di Guilio said.
Director of Finance Jorge Riley suggested that only females be allowed to use the parking garage.
“With the multilevel parking complex we just added, I entertained the idea of having it be exclusive to the ladies on campus,” Riley said. “Is there any way that might come about?”
“While the police department is the enforcement arm of our parking program, we’re not the administrative arm,” Olson said. “As a department we don’t decide what lots are staffed, what spaces are handicapped. We just enforce the rules that have been set up.”
“That would be very controversial,” Di Guilio said. “We try to treat all students the same.”
“Some females actually feel less safe in a parking structure than if they were in an open area,” he said.
Brett Spencer, a member of the Fierce LGBTA student club on campus, gave a presentation about a visit of several ARC students to the Reconstructing the Rainbow conference in Stockton, Calif. from Feb. 21-23.
Spencer said the point of the conference was leadership, not politics.
“People think LGBTQ people are polarized in one direction,” Spencer said. “There are gay Republicans, gay pro-life, gay pro-choice. This is a leadership-based event.”
He said that gay people not having a welcoming environment is “the norm, rather than the exception.”
Clubs and Events Board President Jeremy Diefenbacher informed the Student Senate about the spirit days this week.[stextbox id=”info”]
Monday is pajama day.
Tuesday is school spirit day.
Wednesday is a day in honor of those who serve.
Thursday is a carnival club day with a campus wide competition for best circus outfit, craziest hat, and the most creative outfit. It is the last club day for the 2013-2014 school year.[/stextbox]