By Danny Vasquez and Jesus Figueroa
The Writing Center and Math Lab will take extra precautions and have a new emergency system installed to help communicate with the sheriffs station in event of a threat.
Recent events, such as active shooters, have alerted student workers to the inadequacy of school security.
Writing Center Director Gisela Herrera proposed an idea for effective communication due to an incident reported two months ago.
Math Lab student worker Stephanie Saldivar was working when an unidentified man came in to the Math Lab causing a disturbance – yelling profanity, constantly checking his pockets and aggressively approaching students and workers.
Saldivar said student workers called school security but were unable to say much because the unidentified man was right in front of them.
“I was scared. I was pregnant and I thought I was going to have my baby during that time. I was so scared that he was going to kill me,” Saldivar said.
The unidentified man kept on yelling and demanding to use the school phone.
“He was just trying to stick his hands in here (on the desk),” Saldivar said.
After being denied use of the phone, he headed outside and continued to bother students.
“They (school security) took a long time to get here. If that man had a gun or something, all of us would have been dead.
“It was maybe 10 minutes. It was a long time,”Saldivar said.
Herrera said there needs to be a way to communicate with school security without having to pick up the phone in front of the person causing the problem.
ELAC’s Information System Manager Gonzalo Mendoza said the school is taking precautions to assure they can communicate with school security more effectively.
“I think we need to be prepared. I think we should all have a meeting. People need to take it seriously because you don’t mess with crazy people. You never know what they have,” Saldivar said, “Now we all carry our pepper spray.”
The incident caused student workers and staff to seriously consider options to keep the campus safe.
Plant Facilities and the IT department are working together to adequately solve the problem.
The new emergency system is in the works and will be active soon.