Trained committee aims for safety
Monitors responsible for risk reduction
Published: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2009 05:10
In 1989, California was shook by the Loma Prieta earthquake, with devastation and tragedy as the aftermath.
Many current students were mere infants or not even born yet and do not remember much about it. But the Safety Committee, made up of senior faculty and staff and a student, is in place to ensure preparation in case of a similar event.
The 14 members meet on the first Friday of every month and are responsible for making sure the college campus is safe and secure.
"We take on any issue on the campus that affects students' safety," said Dr. Richard Akers, Academic Senate president and Safety Committee member. "When safety concerns are brought to our attention, we take on the issue and try to solve it, to make it a more secure and safe campus."
He said each structure on campus is assigned a building monitor.
Akers said the group's duties range from putting up a fence to block a frequently misused, illegal parking space to being ready for a major earthquake like Loma Prieta.
"We make recommendations, develop plans and help around with individual problems that students have that concern safety issues," Akers said.
After serving on the Safety Committee for 10 years, he has seen a lot of changes come from the group's actions.
Safety Committee Chairwoman Mariles Magalong said the committee's budget cut from $2,500 to $2,250 this year will not stop the committee from performing their expected tasks.
"(The budget cuts are) not a big difference, but we are still doing our best to meet what we need to be prepared," Magalong said.
Some college employees, including all of the assigned building monitors, have taken Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training so that they are able to assist anyone in an emergency.
"We have some emergency supplies stored around campus, and CERT monitors have keys to open up storage rooms and administer help," Magalong said.
ASU Senator Jim Gardner serves on the committee and said the group tackles numerous different issues.
"For instance, I am working with the AC Transit people to see if the sheriffs that are parked along the (Bus Transfer Center) are paid to be there by their agency, or if they just sit there on break," he said.
Gardner said that if they are being paid, why are they not there all the time, so that they could help combat some of the robberies happening in that area.
He said that one of other issues the committee is working on is the smoking policy that has been implemented. Gardner said it is not being adhered to, so the group is making suggestions on how it can enforce the policy more effectively.
"Buildings and Grounds also (does) a good job. Students reported the lighting on campus in some areas was bad, so we worked with (Buildings and Grounds Manager) Bruce King, who is also a Safety Committee member, to put up better lighting," he said.
Magalong said the recently appointed districtwide emergency procedures coordinator, Ted Terstegge, has also done a lot to get the district and college prepared in the event of a major emergency.
Terstegge said he has made an effort to work with the committee and whatever their needs are.
"I see that they are met and coordinate with them to make sure things are preformed to make all campuses safe," he said.
Contact Lamar James at firstname.lastname@example.org