Students unsure about security

Katherine J. White
April 4, 2006
Filed under News

Some Bakersfield College students feel that BC’s campus security does not provide enough.

“A lot of people here have classes at night, and you don’t see them (security),” said BC student Adrian Morgan, 27, computer science major.

Morgan’s friend, Sandra Velazguez, 18, BC criminology major, concurred.

“If you walk alone at night here, for a girl, that’s scary. You never know what will happen. You see security during the day, but not at night.”

Some students wonder where BC security is during the day.

BC student Sheree Richardson, aiming for a degree in education, remarked, “I wonder why glass is always in the parking lot near my car. There’s always shattered glass where I park; cars are being broken into. I’m scared to park here, but what else can I do?”

Richardson said that BC security officers should be seen patrolling BC. She also commented that many BC clubs, in recruiting for members in the Campus Center, often blare offensive music that is both racist and sexist. She said that BC security should exercise more control over such displays.

“They (BC security) should do it instead of us (BC students) having to go to the dean,” she said.

Some BC students feel that the emergency facilities allegedly available to students should be kept at a functioning level.

“The security poles near Haley Street have speaker connections that are all undone,” said Amy Smith, 20, a double major in forestry and animal science.

Her friend, Will Merjil, 22, an administration of justice major, affirmed Smith’s contention, saying that the poles have been out of commission “since at least two semesters ago.”

Some students are satisfied with the campus security’s performance.

“I think they’ve (BC security) done all right. There might be areas that they could improve upon, though,” said Chris Parks, 20, a computer studies major.

According to BC Security Chief Mark Graf, BC security operates “24 hours a day, seven days a week.” The department utilizes “multiple officers in a ranked structure,” including senior officers, officers and student workers “every semester.”

“The student workers are a big asset,” Graf said.

BC’s security department, according to Graf, “used to be a police officer department.” Currently, he said, the department is also not a private security service, nor is it corporate owned. BC’s security department also is not an outfit “employing guards at minimum wage to watch buildings.”

Graf has 23 years of law enforcement experience, including 13 years as a SWAT team police detective in Santa Barbara as well as a Presidential Security detail officer for the late president Ronald Reagan from 1980 to 1986. He said that part of his department’s mission is to obey the Cleary Act.

The Jeanne Cleary disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965, is a federal law mandating colleges and universities to report campus crimes and security policies in a prompt and punctual fashion. All postsecondary educational institutions must bow to this act or suffer a fine of $25,000 by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Cleary Act was initially enacted by Congress and was acknowledged as a law by George Bush Sr. in 1990 under the title “The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990.”

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