Popular students hangout area is now fenced off and unavailable

Victoria Miller, Opinions Editor

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Bakersfield College students can no longer spend time in between classes at the grass area across the parking lot from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union or park in the parking spaces surrounding the area.

Students arrived at school this fall semester to find the area fenced off with signs that say “no trespassing, private property.”

Because the area is separated by Mount Vernon Avenue, and it is not directly connected to the campus, many students have speculated whether or not BC owns the property.

A sign on the property states vehicles that are towed can be retrieved at BC’s address and gives the college’s number for Public Safety. Some students have assumed that because the sign is posted there, that means BC owns that property leaving questions for students as to why the property is fenced off.

According to Amber Chiang, director of Marketing and Public Relations, BC does in fact own the property and it is where the Allied Health program was previously housed. She said complaints from neighbors about loitering over the summer led BC to fence the land and parking spots.

Christopher Counts, director of Public Safety, also spoke about multiple reasons for the property being fenced off.

“The area began to get a lot of trash and our neighbors in the area did complain about the trash and people in the area with loud music, things like that,” he said. “We wanted to be good neighbors and to solve the problem I asked the Maintenance & Operations Department if they could fence off the area.”

Counts then mentioned another spot nearby where students can go instead of this particular area.

“There is still a large park just a short distance away to the north of that area that students can go to and spend time between classes,” said Counts.

However, the inconvenience for some students is more than just finding a hangout area to go to in between classes.

Lamar Carlisle, an Automotive Technician major at BC who lives in the apartments behind the fenced grass area, describes the new fence as annoying. “It’s definitely an inconvenience because I used to walk through the grass to get home, now I have to walk around the fence.”

The parking spaces were also fenced off along with the grass. Students still park alongside the fence but the available space for parking is now cut in half, and the small road that separates the grass area and apartments is more narrow.

Whether or not the fence is there to stay permanently is unknown, but for now students will have to adjust.

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