Administration needs to email students about threats against campus

Faculty and staff were clearly informed about the long term vandal on campus, while students were not.

Opinion by Natalie Metcalf, Special to the Star

An email of returning vandal Arnold Orozco was sent to Valley College faculty on Nov. 7. (Graphic Illustration by Natalie Metcalf/ The Valley Star)

Valley College is doing the bare minimum to inform students about the long term vandal, by posting over a dozen flyers on campus rather than sending emails to students.

The 27-year-old suspect named Arnold Orozco has been seen vandalizing campus equipment since the summer months. He is on an active arrest warrant, and his trial is not until February 2022. The suspect has reportedly broken into the Humanities, Behavioral Sciences Center, Business-Journalism and the Allied Health and Sciences buildings. On Oct. 30-31 the vandal broke into the BSC building, causing damage to several classrooms.

“Please lock all doors and windows when exiting classrooms, offices, labs, conference rooms, etc,” wrote Sarah Song, the vice president of administration services at Valley. This was written in an email sent to the faculty — not the students.

For four months, the college has done nothing to inform its students about Orozco, until Nov. 8, when 16 flyers were seen around the campus. But flyers are not enough to inform students. By not sending out emails about the vandal, the administration is endangering students safety.

An email would be more beneficial to students — who are more likely to be on their phone walking to class. Rather than a flyer taped onto a building, which most students will ignore, the college needs to communicate in the fastest form possible.

“Generally we don't send out notifications for students for property crime or damages to buildings,” said Valley President Barry Gribbons. “We would send out alerts to students if there were threats to the safety of the campus community. This situation didn't fit that category.”

The president’s statement is contradicting. The buildings that Orozco vandalized are buildings students attend daily. The suspect’s actions cause a concern for student safety, proving that emails should be sent to both students and staff during these situations.

This lack of clear information towards the students is surprising. Over the last year, Valley has provided countless updates for returning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coincidentally on the same date students first saw flyers around campus, the college’s newsletter, Valley Weekly, expressed the usage of the LAVC SAFE App.

“Now that it is getting darker earlier, we want to encourage you to use the LAVC SAFE app to help you get safely to your vehicle of destination,” as stated in the newsletter.

Though the college should have informed students on the SAFE app prior, this attempt at a warning does not effectively tell students that there is a threat on campus. Students are not fully benefiting from a reminder to use the app, as it does not mention Orozco.

Monarchs deserve more than a flyer when their safety is at risk. The administration and sheriff’s department should do a better job about informing students about any threat on campus.