Editorial: More steps are needed to keep CSUN residents safe

CSUN's on-campus student housing. (File Photo / The Sundial)

After several weeks, it was good to see the school respond to the three sexual assaults that have occurred within three weeks of each other, on and off-campus.

The Sundial recognizes the need for secrecy in a time where investigation is important in determining what happened, what can be done to stop further attacks and what can be done to help victims who do or do not report it.

A related issue that comes into question are the times the gates are locked at CSUN’s Student Housing. The first and second incidents happened there, around 1:00 a.m.- 5:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.

The gates are closed from 7:00 p.m. – 2:30 a.m., and all registered guests are allowed to stay at their friend’s dorm until 1 a.m.

Although the circumstances behind the attackers, whether or not they are dorm residents, is undetermined. It is standard at the dorms to scan identification cards in order to maintain safety and a stronger sense of security for all on-campus residents.

Rather than looking at a picture and a designated housing sticker, this scanning technology has been the new method of access after the gates close.

However, what’s to be done during the day? There is still a chance for someone to possibly enter housing and eventually attack someone out of anger, drunkenness, stupidity, etc.

One possibility would be to have an access door to the entire dorms, where students use their key cards for their buildings and dorm rooms, but now for access into the entire area. This way, the hope would be that no one who does not have a key card would not be able to get in as freely as they wish.

The flaw in this would be if a resident gave his or her card to a non-resident. The implementation of new rules to prevent this would likely have to be decided on by housing administrators.

Another potential task would be to extend the “lock down” hours of 7:30 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. If one were to ask the standard CSUN student when parties or any other alcohol-induced event might end, it is usually around 2 a.m. There is a suspecting guarantee that inebriated students will return home safely, of course at or after that time.

Extending it may help maintain safety to residents by keeping an eye on people, possibly escorting students to their dorms if necessary. With capable security guards, protection against a possible assault of any kind is assured, granted not ensured.

A drawback to this plan would be that housing costs will likely rise. Students and future residents are not going to be happy about this, and some administrative decisions would have to be made to perfect these possible new guidelines.

As for how long the time should be extended to, 5:30 a.m. may help in keeping any intruders out. It is not as if assaults do not happen after 2:30 a.m., and some residents have preferred an extension to keep them feeling as thought they can be safe.

All of this may not matter to off-campus residents, but any crime committed on campus certainly does affect the community. Unless changes are made, simply a feeling of safety is not guaranteed.