Chico State: enough is enough


Tweeter Brian Maciel stands in front of the new wildcat statue. Image curtesy of Moises Mendoza.

Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to interact with others through “tweets”. What it should not be is the primary way students are warned of suspicious on-campus activity.

Chico State students were in distress following the alarming warnings of a suspicious male at the Meriam Library. All at the commencement of a tweet that spread like a chain reaction, encouraging students to stay alert.

The suspicious male was identified as Daniel Darrington, 32. The same subject who was arrested in 2015 for carrying a concealed weapon at a local movie theatre.

Soon, this would prompt the question: “Am I safe?”

Blinded by the situation, students became outraged by the university’s failure to communicate on the sudden occurrence. What better place to express yourself than through Twitter?

Chico State Student Brian Maciel went to Twitter to question the university’s way of handling serious and critical situations.

“I was just feeling a little angry and nervous,” said Maciel, “we had to be in school with the news that there might have been a possibility of a person with a gun on campus.”

Chico State responded to his tweet by stating, ”As this is a police matter, we are unable to release additional details at this time. However, as always, in the event of an urgent incident or immediate threat to campus safety, a Chico State Alert text/phone notification would be issued. No alerts have been issued at this time.”

This tweet has been retweeted 254 times and holds 659 likes voicing the opinion of other students who feel the same about the poor security enforcement on campus, including myself.

“I wanted to see if anyone felt the same way I felt about the recent situations that have been happening on campus and a lot of people did so it was good to see I was not overreacting,” Maciel said.

I understand we may be dealing with a “police matter”, but as students, we can never be too informed. We pay for education, but expect our safety to be placed at an even higher level.

Do not expect us, your students, to trust your authority when we have been left in the dust before.

Need an example? Take the Camp fire, a tragedy that stole the lives and homes of many, leaving behind a detrimental scar to the community and students. Instead of taking rapid action, students were left wondering what to do.

What you deemed as “an initial precaution” was a delayed email notifying classes from 5 p.m. and on were cancelled. What in the actual fu*ck? The fire began at 7 a.m..

Chico State needs to work on finding a better way of dealing with situations of this matter. Students should not feel it is their responsibility to inform others of campus safety. This is real life, not a game.

For the past few months, students have been placed in vulnerable positions. In order to take school seriously, we need to know students are taken seriously as well.

Communication is key.

“This is not something that should be taken lightly when threats like these come around,” said Maciel. “As a student how can I concentrate when I have to worry about something that is life threatening and waiting for the Chico State alert. It is better to do something about it beforehand and not wait until someone gets hurt.”

Enough is enough. What will it take for you, Chico State, to deem as “dangerous”. This has happened too many times before. It is time to the right measures to make campus a safe environment.

After all, “today decides to tomorrow,” right?

Janette Estrada can be reached at [email protected] or @Jane_11e on Twitter