Campus crimes are a reminder to be cautious

As emailed bulletins about crimes committed at Cosumnes River College circulate, students have begun to realize that they should be more cautious when alone on campus.

Many college students, especially freshmen, like to believe that the campus is a completely safe place where nothing bad can happen to them. Most of them are shocked to receive emails detailing crimes committed on campus.

Nursing student Oreana Luna, 19, said that she doesn’t have any sense of threat when she is on campus compared to when she is off campus.

“I couldn’t believe it would actually happen here,” Luna said. “I feel like it’s so safe.”

Because of the crime alert emails, students are more self-aware of their surroundings, and are more informed about any of the suspicious activity happening on campus.

“Honestly, it’s a good thing we get emails about them so we know what’s going on,” said Gabriel Fuentes, a 20-year-old mathematics major.

This information can be vital to all students, especially for the ones that attend classes during the night time.

“To be honest, I feel 100 percent safe,” said Kadie Kabba, a 19-year-old nursing major. “That’s why I am shocked to hear about the sexual assaults on campus “I literally leave campus at 10 at night and put my headphones on, not thinking about being sexually assaulted.”

According to research gathered by the National Sexual Violence Research Center, women are targets for attackers after graduating from high school and that “it is estimated that the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions may be between 20 percent and 25 percent over the course of a college career.”

In order to learn more about self-defense there are local gyms and dojos that could help.

Sensei Abraham Cerezo, the head instructor of local Cerezo’s Martial Arts Studio, has had 47 years of martial arts training and has been teaching self-defense for 27 years.

“For the most part, when people take self-defense class it’s about being aware,” Cerezo said. “Not just being aware of their surroundings, but being aware of their ability to defend themselves.”

“In going to college, you assume you are in a safe environment because everybody is supposed to be there to learn and do what they need to do,” Cerezo said. “However, if you look at the college scene, that’s a prime target because you don’t know who is a student and who isn’t a student.”

Some people might feel that defending themselves may cause issues between them and the police, but Mirzo Ruzive, a campus patrol officer, said that as long as students are innocent, they will be fine.

“Everyone has the right to defend themselves or others,” Ruzive said. “In the case of self-defense, when the police officer comes just be cooperative and say what happened. In most cases there are witnesses, so of course the officer will interview everybody.”

Some people may not have the time or money to take self-defense classes and don’t have the tools to protect themselves. But there are many free resources on how to keep yourself safe on campus, even when alone.

According to the Jeanne Clery’s Crime Prevention Tips,  if a student is traveling alone on campus they should try to walk with a friend, avoid isolated areas or tell a friend where they’re going and when they’ll return.

In the event that some students do feel unsafe on campus and need assistance, according to the Los Rios Police Department website, the local police officers can escort you around if you are alone or it’s at night upon request. Police escorts around campus are free of charge and offered all year no matter the time.  
You should always be aware of your surroundings while on campus. In case of an emergency, call the campus police department at (916) 558-2221 or use any of the blue emergency stations.