President Hutchinson speaks on current security measures


Carrington Power

Long distance shot of Kendall Hall and flagpole at Chico State University on Feb. 14, 2022.

Chico State President Gayle E. Hutchinson sat down with The Orion to provide updates on safety concerns within the campus community. In particular, she focused on allegations that Chico State biology professor David Stachura spoke of killing colleagues. Stachura has denied these claims.  

According to Hutchinson, the university has “been working with individuals who wish to have restraining orders.”

The California State University system requested the restraining orders on Feb. 8 and was granted a temporary order, with another court date scheduled for Feb. 27

According to a Chico Enterprise-Record article, the court filing included statements from the two professors who participated in the investigation into Stachura, as well as another lecturer and graduate student. The article further stated that if the order is granted, Stachura would be forced “to stay 300 yards away from the four employees named in the request,” and that Stachura would need to maintain a distance of at least a quarter-mile from Chico State campus.

Hutchinson said the university is pursuing all available legal action and working with law enforcement.

As for what happens when Stachura is done with his leave, Hutchinson said: “We have to finish all that we are doing right now. We’re working very hard to keep campus safe.”

In terms of general safety around campus, Hutchinson said the university found it needs to  “continually educate” staff and students about safety, and about what resources are available. Some of these resources include emergency alerts and updates, where users can receive timely alerts and ask questions regarding safety, Chico State’s Emergency Action Plan and more.

Campus emergency alerts are automatically sent out to all students and staff through email. Text and call alerts are available for those who opt in. Hutchinson said they plan to change the system so that the campus community is automatically signed up for phone alerts, with the option to opt out. 

The Emergency Action Plan encourages students to view an active shooter training video, however viewing the video is not part of any required training. Hutchinson expressed interest in making this training mandatory, and hopes all students will watch the video

After the recent lockdown, a concern shared at the recent campus safety forum was how to lock doors on campus. 

At the forum, Interim Provost Stephen Perez said, “how to lock doors is a conversation that is ongoing.”

Hutchinson echoed this sentiment and added that the university is working with inspectors from the office of the Fire Marshall, because most of the campus doors are fire doors

During the campus safety forum, one student offered the idea of putting peepholes in doors. Hutchinson specifically mentioned that the university is interested in exploring this idea, along with other student suggestions.

Molly Myers and Noah Herbst can be reached at [email protected].