Students speak on their concerns about safety


The discussion tables held in the BMU Auditorium. Students shared their experinces, suggestions and ideas on what can be done to improve safety in the city. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

Within the last year, student safety has been a rising concern among students. Campus communication with students has been highly criticized by students, and after recent events such as the Camp Fire and a man on campus asking suspicious questions, student concerns have only risen.

“I think because within this last year, we’ve just had a lot of issues come up that is around safety,” Katie Peterson said, program coordinator for the Cross Cultural Leadership Center. “We really need to have an honest conversation about elevating the student voice to hear what is really on their mind, what are they experiencing and what does the administration needs to know in order to better address the safety issues that students are experiencing.”

In response to events of the past year, a student safety forum was held in an effort to have student voices heard. Over 150 students attended the event, filling discussion tables at the Bell Memorial Union auditorium.

Students and facilitators held a discussion about student safety at the Bell Memorial Union Friday afternoon as their has been rising concerns about student safety on campus. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

“I decided to pull this meeting together because I think it’s very important that we hear from our students from their lens, from their perspective, what they think we need to do to enhance safety here at Chico State as well as the city of Chico,” Milton Lang said, vice president for Student Affairs.

Multiple tables were set up in the front of the auditorium. Facilitators would sit with a group of students and listen to what to their thoughts on what could be done to improve safety on campus.

“I am very committed to hearing the student’s voice and know that if we are really going to resolve these issues here at Chico State, we need the students to be a thinking partner for us in order to develop strategies that are going to help them in a very direct way,” Lang said.

A short poll was conducted where students contributed their ideas. In a follow up email from Peterson, an online form was provided to be shared to those who were unable to attend the event or want to provide more ideas on student safety.

Examples of what students shared included their personal experiences with Chico Police, their concerns about the lack of lights in the town and how a larger police presence on campus can make students of color feel uncomfortable.

The notes taken and the form provided will be sent to the Student Affairs office.

Lang ended the discussion with the topic of accountability, encouraging students to hold the administration accountable and vice versa.

Julian Mendoza can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JulianMTheOrion.