The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

No harm, no foul in Activities Center

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series that will focus on campuswide problems.

Trash may be the biggest problem with the Student Activities Center, unless you are female.

Notorious for loud behavior and anonymous complaints, the Student Activities Center remains a disruptive place on campus that students choose to avoid for reasons including harassment.

Women harassed in center

Rick Woods, Student Services employee, said that although no complaints have been filed, he has seen women grabbed and restrained by men in the Activities Center.

“There seems some chasing of girls and some physical restraining of them at times,” he said. “Guys are grabbing girls. It seems relatively harmless so far.”

Despite the physical assaults, Harold Tyler, director of student development for 30 years, works in Student Activities and said the area’s biggest problem is the trash.

“Students are not picking up themselves and are leaving a big mess,” he said. “They leave, then somebody else comes in and they go ‘Wow! Where do I sit?'”

Despite behavioral problems in past years, there have not been fights lately because of good weather, which makes students want to go outside, Tyler said.

“This semester has calmed,” Tyler said.

Police patrol area for trouble

Campus police have been patrolling Student Activities to ensure that it is clean, safe and welcoming to anyone on campus.

“We shouldn’t have any area in our campus that is not welcoming to any at all students, staff and faculty,” Sgt. Kirk Johnston said.

While police do their part, student conduct on the premises remains questionable.

“It’s a ghetto; it’s too loud and students bring their boom boxes so everyone can hear their music. It’s a trashy place,” Amanda Davis, photography major, said. “The other day, I saw students unplugging the soda machine to plug in their boom box.”

To ensure peace, police cadets patrol the area to two three times a day and say the noisiest time is between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; however, their ability to control situations is limited.

“Officers do regular patrol checks in the area, but we cannot babysit and sit there all day,” Sgt. Dal Toruno said.

The police patrolling has improved the Activities Center overall, Tyler said.

“They (campus police) do foot patrols to our building and the cadets have helped tremendously with the behavior. Of late we had a couple (of fights), but not everyday like it used to be a couple years ago.”

Cindy Perez, nursing major, uses the Student Activities Center during mornings and said it is a safe place.

“I come here in the morning, eat my breakfast and then go to class,” Perez said. “Everyone minds their own business. Everyone is doing their thing. A lot of people are playing chess.”

Both sergeants said students in the Activities Center have calmed down and improved this semester. They said the main problems are the noise, vulgar language, furniture being arranged outside and gang graffiti in the bathrooms.

“It’s nothing more than loud noises and, sometimes, inappropriate behavior,” Johnston said.

College, students must help

Johnston said the Activities Center used to have a supervisor who would monitor students, but was let go due to budget cuts.

The police receives anonymous complaints, but the complaints are ineffective unless the problem is pointed out.

“If we get a call, we will go out but someone has to point out those people,” Toruno said.

Toruno said there should be a staff to monitor students in the Activities Center.

“There is no quick solution, but the long-term solution would be to get some personnel in there who can take charge.”

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