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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

How safe do you believe Cal State LA to be?

Parking+Lot+4+on+campus.
Calista Pineda
Parking Lot 4 on campus.

Cal State LA is monitored by the Department of Public Safety, which is in charge of patrolling the campus, managing the lost and found and following up on reports and suspicious activity.

Public Safety consists of three departments: Eagle Patrol, Parking, and Campus Police.

These three Public Safety departments’ dedicated efforts to ensure our campus is safe prompt concern when motor theft and attempted robbery happen. This raises questions about what might be lacking and whether Public Safety’s actions align with what they claim. 

There are mixed feelings about safety on campus among students. 

Some feel relatively safe on campus. 

Paul Samaniego, a freshman and Chicano major, said that for him, campus is like a second home, as he grew up in El Sereno. Samaniego lives five minutes away from campus and said he spends most of his time on campus at King Hall. 

So far, he hasn’t encountered any incidents or problems during his time at Cal State LA.

 “It’s not really unsafe, but it’s more really that there are a lot of organizations or clubs on campus, so you get a lot of interactions where someone comes up to you and be like, ‘Hey would you like to join our bible study, or cult?’” said Kenny Rod, a civil engineering major. 

He is more annoyed with getting approached on campus by strangers. 

“It catches you off guard,” he said.

However, Rod and other students said they think that Public Safety can do better.

“We can improve overall,” said Rod. “I think last time I saw some security come up on a bike and they were just cruising around here in circles, and then they just got off and sat in the grass.” 

Second-year student Randy Fung, said he thinks the police on campus are useless. 

“They are only here to protect the ‘property,’ but I guess the students aren’t property even though you are paying thousands of dollars of tuition,” Fung said. 

Students pay roughly $60.50 to $264 on parking permits per semester, all depending on which pass you pay for. Parking permit fees also increased 10%, starting in 2023, after a ruling in the 2019 California Supreme Court.

While students park at school for the day or overnight, that doesn’t mean their car will be safe. There are many incidents where cars have been broken into. 

There were 19 total motor vehicle thefts from Cal State LA’s 2022 crime report, and the most recent incident was a stolen catalytic converter that occurred on Feb. 24. 

Students are aware of similar situations occurring on campus, even if it hasn’t happened to them. 

“I have other friends who are students as well who have gotten their car broken into or have had car parts stolen,” Fung said. 

He alleged that one of his friends had their car recently broken into in parking lot E, and the police didn’t do anything. 

Rod feels unsafe parking on campus once he heard about the break-ins. 

“It’s a gamble every time I park here,” he said. 

Rod parks at Structure A and said he sees no security cameras or signs saying “we are recording,” which concerns him. But there are three cameras on each floor of the parking lot, watching and protecting our property.

Public Safety can take proactive steps to ensure students feel more safe on campus. 

Communications disorder major, Ruby Estrella said that Public Safety can improve to ensure students are safe and stop motor vehicle thefts from happening. 

“I think there should be security guards looking and making sure no one is trying to get into the cars,” Estrella said. 

She is concerned not only for herself but for the safety of others as well.

“Some could get injured, and what if a person is inside of the car too during the robbery?”  Estrella said.

Students would like to see security more vigilant and present so that they know they are safe and their cars are being watched. 

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About the Contributors
Brian Lai, Community News Digital Editor & Distribution Manager
Brian Lai is an English major, and an UT reporter that writes mostly about Calstate LA’s campus. He covers campus events, issues and highlights, and other related topics. 
Calista Pineda, Multimedia Reporter & Videographer
Calista Pineda is a multimedia reporter and videographer for the University Times. She is a television, film and media major with a minor in journalism, combining her skills to create innovative and compelling stories. Pineda has an interest in field reporting and documentary filmmaking, as she is always on the hunt for a story. When not reporting for the UT, she is either exploring her surroundings, tapping into her creativity through music or trying new things.
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