Mass shooting resolution sparks debate at Senate meeting


Sen. Kevin Phan explains his resolution suggesting the Los Rios Police Department add more police on campus at the Student Senate meeting Thursday. Debate between board members lasted nearly 20 minutes before voting was postponed. (Photo by Robert Hansen)

Robert Hansen

A resolution urging the Los Rios Police Department to station more police on campus sparked debate amongst the American River College Student Senate at its meeting Thursday.

Sen. Laurie Jones was the first to object, saying that “school shooting increases are a myth” according to her sociology textbook.  The textbook showed statistics for deaths at schools from shootings from 1992 through 2010.

She then quoted an email from LRPD Cpt. John McPeek, which said in part that “placing officers inside buildings or stationary in one location reduces our visibility and prevents officers from building strong relationships with the campus.”

“I encourage a no vote,” Jones said.

More opposition came from Sen. Kevin Jenco, who called it “a misuse of resources.”

“The outer edges of our campus is where we actually have crime,” Jenco said. “Campus shootings, while terrible and we certainly hope it never happens here, are not a common occurrence.”

Jenco also feels these are not decisions for the Student Senate to make.

“It is not something that is very likely to happen here,” Jenco said. “It’s just not a good thing for us to decide how the Los Rios police should deploy their forces.”

Sen. Kevin Phan, author of the resolution, was open to amending it at the meeting but ran out of time, leaving the resolution to be voted on at a future Senate meeting.

Although it was a divisive meeting, Phan said in an email that campus safety is important to the board.

“I wouldn’t say that the board is resisting to my resolution; the members of the board wholeheartedly support increasing students’ safety on campus,” Phan said. “It may not look so, but the members of the board are actually working together to achieve the same goal despite our diverse opinions on the most effective method to do so.”

Phan said that a decent amount of students that he has talked to or that have approached him believe in increasing student safety.

Senate is also planning to give supplies for finals to students beginning next week.

“There’s a lot, a lot, a lot of pencils, scantrons and bluebooks in my office,” Hylton said. “We need to get those out and we need to start doing it next week.”

Hylton said that last year that more students could have been helped if the supplies were handed out sooner.

“I think we need to hit them earlier than finals week or the week before,” Hylton said. “Last year what I heard was, ‘well thanks, but I already went and bought mine.’”