It’s time to bring the “community” back to community college

Since the start of the school year, semester, various crimes have occurred on and near the American River College campus, including dozens of petty thefts, the arrest of two students with intention to distribute narcotics, and even one assault that victimized over seven students and faculty.

A student in an ARC calculus class witnessed a bike theft from the window of the classroom while listening to their professor’s lecture.

ARC students are more than just fellow pupils – their interactions on campus create and facilitate a campus culture unique to this particular college, and it is imperative that students embrace a call to action in banding together to help deter campus crime.

ARC President Thomas Greene created a task force consisting of himself and other school officials, which includes Capt. John McPeek of the Los Rios Police Department.

Greene devised this task force with the intention of creating a culture of “shared responsibility” for safety on campus.

While Greene’s task force is poised to make a difference, the initiative falls mostly on us as a student body to maintain the safety of our campus.

We as a campus should be more collectively aware of our surroundings, and more observant and watchful of other people in our presence.

The Los Rios Police Department periodically emails all students on the campus about when and where particular crimes have occurred. The email ends with safety tips so students can be aware of how to avoid a dangerous situation.

These tips are effective deterrents against becoming a victim of crime and many of the reported crimes on campus may have been deterred or prevented if awareness was more observed.

Traveling in numbers is always a good idea. Much as someone would like a second or third set of eyes looking for a lost item, multiple people around to notice oddities or suspicious activities is very helpful.

At any time of the day on campus, students and faculty walk with phones, tablets, and other valuables in plain sight – it only takes a second of distraction for the opportunity for theft to arise.

In today’s world of instant-communication and social network overload, people’s first instinct when a fight or incident breaks out is to record it on their phones or take pictures.

Why?

If a confrontation looks as if it’s about to arise, why just walk by? If you witnessed someone being robbed, wouldn’t supporting them, maybe walking with them to the police office to report an issue be of some solace if the theft couldn’t be prevented?

How much of a difference does one’s idea of community change when they are actually treated with respect, instead of just another victim?

The contact information of the LRPD is posted in every building and classroom across campus, but hardly anyone even notices. Wouldn’t it would be a great convenience if all of us had that number saved in our cell phones?

Our first instinct instead should be to watch out for ourselves and others, and that’s best accomplished with the collective effort of everyone.

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About the Author

Matthew Peirson
Matthew Peirson is a third-semester student on the Current, where he serves as Co-Managing editor. He previously served as the Co-Sports editor and the Opinion editor. Matthew is majoring in broadcast journalism and plans to transfer after graduation.

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