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Safety from Solidarity

Students at California State University, Northridge may have reason to wonder if they’re safe, especially with nationwide campus threats during recent years.
According to the Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security Data, in 2014 private schools in Southern California such as Loyola Mount University and the University of Southern California, had higher crime rates than two public schools in the area, California State University, Los Angeles and California State University, Northridge.

“I don’t think [private or public] ownership is the factor here,” CSUN Sociology Professor Victor Shaw said. “I think what matters is location and the way the university operates. The location of the University of Southern California happens to sit in the part of the city which is highly problematic.”

CSUN has certain safety programs and measures available throughout campus. Besides the campus police, students may use the Matador Patrol, student escorts available every evening. More than ninety blue emergency lights have been installed all over campus, and the dorms are accessible only to residents with electronic key cards.

“I think our department of police services is particularly concerned with student safety and communicating with students,” Melissa Giles, Associate Director of Residential Life said. “I think the command staff really listens when students have concerns. For such a large campus, CSUN is safe.”

Although CSUN has installed these safety measures, some students say they still feel that campus lighting is an issue when it comes to feeling completely safe on campus.

“In the Campus Safety Ad Hoc Committee, that was an issue that was brought up,” Nick Jackson, Associated Students senator said. “We did have talks with Captain Scott VanScoy, and there are spots on campus that are more populated than others. You’ll see more students going around the USU than you would see near Nordhoff Hall. There’s going to be more lighted areas where there’s more traffic. We’re still trying to get more funding for lights.”

While administrators at Cal State Northridge have made efforts to ensure the safety of students and staff, there are still improvements, being sought by the university, among them more and better communication about what already exists.

“We have so many safety measures built around students that will work, if the students choose to let them work or to work with them,” said Tim Trevan, Director of Student Housing and Conference Services.

Moderator: Dana Lites

Producers: Dana Lites and Cynthia Marin

Anchor: Trevor Edwards

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Reporters: Trevor Edwards, Dana Lites, Cynthia Marin, Noemi Salcedo, Char’Tre Steward and Flor Tolentino

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