By Tyler Kimmel - For the Cal Times
California University of Pennsylvania has been getting plenty of publicity lately, but not necessarily in a good way.
The university was mentioned in the news several times during the first few weeks of the semester due to multiple off-campus shootings that have raised concerns among students and community members.
Students are looking for ways to protect themselves and feel safer when they are on campus.
“I don’t like walking on campus at night anymore. It’s scary,” Taylor Gibbs, 19, said. “I don’t feel as safe as I have in the past and I don’t like it. I just don’t want to be afraid to be on campus anymore.”
On Oct. 5, Cal announced that they will be adding three more officers to the University Police department. They are also purchasing two more police cars to help patrol on campus.
This has been the school’s first major response to the off campus crimes and students are hoping it will be enough to cut back on the crime spree.
“Adding more people and cars can’t be a bad thing,” Anthony Borsuk, 20, said. “Getting more cops around and more cars should definitely help in having less crimes. I hope it helps get things under control so the school can go back to not worrying about this kind of stuff as much.”
Cal has been seen on news stations, in newspapers, and on the Internet recently due to the violence. This has been shedding negative light on the school and some suggest it has been harming its reputation.
“It’s getting annoying seeing the school on the news every week for another crime,” Borsuk said. “My parents and grandparents see it on the news and worry about me all the time. I’m tired of telling them I’m fine and that I wasn’t near the shooting. They should be worrying about me getting good grades instead me getting hurt.”
Although none of the crimes committed have actually been on campus, they have been close enough to frighten many students. Some people now view downtown California as unsafe after dark. Vulcan Village residents are also on their toes after a shooting a half mile from the complex.
“The shooting near Vulcan scared me the most,” Gibbs said. “I live up there and finding out a house was broken into that close makes me nervous. I also don’t like to go in town at night anymore. “
The borough police have vowed to “take back the town,” and they seem to be doing just that. In one weekend, officers issued 90 underage citations and are looking to continue the crackdown. They are hoping to put Cal back in the news, but on a positive note.