Are you worth more than a bag of money?
While many would automatically say yes, those who run the campus Matador Patrol seem to disagree. The Matador Patrol is a security service that provides escorts to students at night to ensure that they safely arrive at their dorms or vehicles.
Many universities check escorts who apply to see if they have a criminal record.
However, CSUN, our loving and caring university home, does not. At least not for those escorts who work with students.
Student escorts who handle money or keys that lead into the inner realms of the police station get a criminal background check.
But escorts who protect students and help them get to their cars in the dark? Oh no, the school has decided that these are precisely the escorts that don’t need a criminal background check. If you are a sexual predator or have been convicted of robbery or assault or a felon of any kind, and you are clever enough to get through the conventional checks, the escort program could end up hiring you. After all, how are they to know your background if they have not checked?
The lives of students who entrust their personal safety to the escorts do not apparently merit a background check.
Oh, the escorts used to be checked. A few years ago they all were checked. Did the lives of students suddenly drop in value?
What changed? All Matador Patrol members used to carry money and hold keys, therefore they all warranted a background check. According to our police, now they deal mostly with people so this makes it OK not to have them fully-checked.
You see, it’s all a question of priorities.
The risk of an escort turning out to be a predator or even a felon is admittedly low – a point Chief Anne Glavin will point out: “Just looking at this very technically, from a risk assessment standpoint, it really doesn’t change anything because I think the checks we do are fine.”
Risk assessment. That is not a term that many of us use. That is the bureaucratic way of looking at a problem and ignoring it because you believe that the chances are so low that it is not cost effective to do anything about it.
There are a lot of other people in charge of student escort services that think otherwise. If you go to San Francisco State, students who have been run through criminal checks can escort you. The same thing at San Diego State, Chico, Pomona and UCLA. Universities all over the country run criminal checks for their escorts- applicants are often told that on the online applications.
But this is CSUN. We students don’t register high enough in a risk assessment.
If only we were as valuable as a bag of money.
In bureaucratic thinking, it makes perfect sense.