Cross campus with caution

Layne Deyling

In these days of shaky elevators and closed sidewalks, careless City College students could face danger walking the campus inattentively, especially after nightfall. “City College is nestled right into urban downtown San Diego,” said Campus Police Administrative Sgt. Jordan Mirakian, “so with that you have gangs, transients, you have all kinds of different elements that bring themselves close to the campus.” Construction adds another element of danger to the campus, which is sprinkled with construction sites enclosed in 8-feet-high, screened fences. “These fences are intended to keep non-construction personnel out of the site and out of danger,” said Tom Fine, campus project manager. He added that pedestrian paths and sidewalks around the construction site will either remain open or be redirected and fenced in. Fine remarked that, between campus construction and city streetlights, pedestrian paths and parking lots should be well lit. Places on and around campus where this lighting does not reach are particularly vulnerable to illicit incidents. Sgt. Mirakian said, “When you’re talking about the likelihood of an incident happening, what it really comes down to is the opportunity. If you’re in area where it’s dark, people can’t see you, and there’s a number of areas of concealment, then you are in an area of high incidence.” There are several such areas on the City College campus. As observed on Feb. 7 around 6:30 p.m., Russ Boulevard is desolate and shadowy during night classes, as is the parking lot behind the T building. The rooftop of the T building – also unlit and deserted at night – looks like additional parking but is a holding area for storage containers and construction equipment. Sections of the path leading from B Street behind the C building all the way around to Saville Theatre are plunged in darkness and lead to dead ends. Sgt. Mirakian said the best way to evade an assault is to steer clear of situations that provide opportunity. Regarding the likelihood of being attacked, “it all goes back to your awareness and having the appearance that you’re aware of your surroundings.” If you witness a crime on or near campus, call 911 and Campus Police (619) 388-6411. You can report a crime or give a tip at sdcrimestoppers.com or by texting 888-580-TIPS. Type tips409 at the beginning of your message. [box] – Try not to walk alone. – Be suspicious; look around when you walk. – Walk into a business if you think you are being followed. – Call the police if you even think you are in danger. – Carry your keys in your hand so you can open your car door immediately. – Do not walk while on your cell phone. — “Safe and Sound” brochure from Campus Police