Safety issues arise in the Board of Trustees Meeting

The issue regarding student and faculty safety on the El Camino campus was introduced at the Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting on Monday, Oct. 15, at 5 p.m. in the Alondra Room.

The director of Institutional Research and Planning staff, Irene Graff, presented statistics recorded from surveys given to students and faculty in the spring semester on conditions of campus climate, including campus safety, as a possible topic for an area of improvement.

“I think we need to do something bigger. Maybe a task force that can really look at some of the safety concerns and identify some options. And lighting is one of them,” President of El Camino College Dena Maloney said.

After dark, 67 percent of faculty and 63 percent of students felt safe on campus, according to the Understanding our Campus Climate: Survey Results presentation.

“Looking at campus safety, those who felt safe on campus during the day – very high. After dark – not so much,” Graff said.

The 19-year-old student trustee, Marilyn Valdez, took an astronomy class that ended at 10:30 p.m. and explained her experience with the lack of light at El Camino to the BOT members.

“You’re going to notice how dark it is and that’s such a big issue. A lot of that has to do with facilities and ordering (lightbulbs) and doing all of that light work,” Valdez said after the meeting. “The prices are really expensive, but the students need them.”

Valdez was able to be picked up by her mother after her night class ended, but pointed out that a lot of students may have to take the bus or pay for on-demand transportation like Uber or Lyft.

“We have students that are completely diverse and have entirely different backgrounds so we want to make sure they are being taken care of,” she said.

The president of El Camino, Dena Maloney, knows that there is always more that can be done in terms of safety and is working to address those specific concerns.

“We have been working on it all along,” Maloney said. “Through facilities, they keep track of how many lights have been repaired where the bulb was out.”

The BOT meeting introduced improvements that the campus could make, like extending a later time for police escorts since they stop at 10 p.m and the issue at hand that covered the limited lighting on campus.

“A lot of the night students get overlooked. We want to make sure that students do feel safe whether you’re a woman or a male, whether you’re 18 or 54,” Valdez said.

Update: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 5:23 p.m. The word “Academic” was removed for accuracy. The words “felt safe” was removed for clarity. The attribution “after the meeting” was added for accuracy and clarity. Attribution to “Graff” was changed to “President of El Camino College Dena Maloney.”

“Looking at campus safety, those who felt safe on campus during the day – very high. After dark – not so much,” Graff said. was added for clarity.