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Story By: Rampage Editorial Board

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Student safety ought to be the top priority for Fresno City College administrators, but that is clearly not the case, when one considers recent events.

Students should be able to walk on this campus with the understanding that their administration is doing everything within its power to keep them safe. They have a right to know when there’s  a threat in any part of the campus.  They also have a right to a straight story from the college administration.

So far, this is what we know about the incident. On Thursday, two students threatened they would return with guns to the FCC Financial Aid office. Following the incident, college president Tony Cantu sent an email to faculty and staff to explain what had happened. However, the 1st2know system was not used to notify students.

“There wasn’t a threat to anybody. There was no gun on campus. The student just threatened that he was going to go off campus and come back,” said Cantu.

If a threat of returning with guns does not constitute an emergency, what does?

Cantu later stated that the Student Services building was locked down but State Center Community College District Police Chief Bruce Hartman said that there was no reason for a lockdown.

“We had officers, until it closed that night, on and around [the building] watching who came and went from the building. So, we had it very well covered. Now if the subject would have then had a gun or anyone would have seen it, then the emergency system would have been enacted,” Hartman said. “Since he said clearly stated that he didn’t have one and that he was going to get one, that changes the parameters and does not call for a lockdown.”

One wonders why the reports from the college president and police chief differ?

While not creating a campus-wide panic is an understandable concern, students have the right to know when they have been inadvertently threatened. It is not up to the administration to pick and choose which forms of crisis to report to the students.

The 1st2know system was widely advertised and students were told via campus website, student email, WebAdvisor and fliers to sign up for it, yet it is not being used in situations that call for it.

Last October, a shooting took place in FCC Parking Lot E and the alert was delayed not because of malfunctions but because of a delay by campus officials.

Whether these incidents are the product of negligence or not, the safety of the student population needs to become the top priority of the college. That can be achieved by using the systems already in place for their true purpose: alerting the campus community in times of emergency.

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