Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Forum seeks ways to make Laney a safer place

    By Saskia Hatvany


    A discussion about campus safety prompted many Peralta staff members, faculty and student government to gather in the Laney Forum on Sept. 19. Of the four Peralta campuses, Laney’s crime rate remains the highest, averaging 38 incidents a year, according to the 2018 Annual Safety Report from the Peralta District.

    During the public listening session, Vice Chancellor Sadiq Ikharo, Laney President Tammeil Gilkerson and Trustee Bill Withrow listened to the public’s suggestions to improve campus safety.

    Many attendees voiced that there should be an increase in the police presence on campus, although some had concerns that too much police presence could make certain students uncomfortable.

    In response to that concern, Officer Toni Bridges of the Peralta Police Department replied with what seems to be an easy question.

    “Do you want to be safe, or do you want to not be intimidated?” he asked.

    Bridges spoke of the challenges faced by the department in their effort to achieve a balance between ensuring a level of safety on campus and being viewed as trusted members of the community.

    Another main concern was that many of the doors on campus do not function properly. Robert Clark, the tool-room keeper of the Welding Department, raised concerns about student access to bathrooms during evening classes.

    According to Clark, there are two welding classes on Monday nights, and the women’s bathroom, which has an electronic lock, has not been open during the last few sessions.

    “How are the female students supposed to go to the bathroom?” Clark asked.

    The electronically controlled doors are part of an effort to increase safety on the Laney campus, Gilkerson
     said. Eventually they will be installed throughout the campus, enabling the doors to be controlled remotely.

    Improving the lighting on the Laney grounds and parking lots was another popular suggestion, to which Gilkerson nodded in agreement.

    “On campus we literally have things breaking down all the time,” she said. She also acknowledged that there should be a stronger focus on making repairs in a timely manner.

    Although the Peralta Administration has been working to address many of these issues, Laney College has accumulated a long list of repairs over the years.

    Ikharo ensured the public that the District continues to work towards a safer campus despite the work ahead. Some security measures that have been promised by next year are the addition of 19 new emergency blue phones, as well as the integration of a 911 mobile safety app.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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