State Sen. Ellen Corbett (left) is briefed about campus safety procedures by CSUEB Police Chief Sheryl Boykins.
State senator commends CSUEB for “leading the way” on student safety
At a jointly sponsored meeting on Cal State East Bay’s Hayward campus Wednesday (April 16), members of the University community met with State Sen. Ellen M. Corbett (D) to discuss campus safety.
Corbett, who attended Cal State East Bay as an undergraduate, spoke to the group of approximately 30 students, staff, and members of the media. The audience heard her talk on the various pieces of legislation she sponsored, including those dealing with sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and violence against women.
The main focus of Corbett’s discussion, however, dealt with sexual assaults on college campuses. Corbett, who represents California’s 10th Senate District (which includes the University’s Hayward campus), echoed the recent Obama Administration report announcing “a renewed call to action to combat rape and sexual assaults.” The plan identifies preventative measures that academic institutions can take to improve safety on campuses.
“I am here because Cal State is very proactive,” Corbett said. “I am here to highlight what Cal State is doing. This meeting is an opportunity to open up the discussion on this sensitive and important topic, but Cal State East Bay is ahead of the curve and leading the way. The University is already doing things that the White House report is recommending.”
University Police Department (UPD) Chief Sheryl Boykins introduced Corbett to the gathering and spoke on the training her staff undergoes, the numerous safety and anti-sexual assault programs the department runs, and its various reporting responsibilities (including Cleary Act data).
“We have seen a great deal of progress, particularly in the areas of awareness, prevention and reporting,” Boykins said. “We are always looking for ways to improve, but I am proud of the steps the campus, administration and University Police Department have taken to ensure Cal State East Bay is safer.”
Boykins, a 28-year veteran of the Hayward Police Department – where she spent time leading sexual assault investigations – mentioned a number of steps being taken to further improve safety, including the UPD’s soon-to-be-open residence hall substation; orientation for new students, parents and staff; the expanded role of Student Safety Officers; and quarterly Rape Aggression Defense Training for female students and University employees.
The meeting with Corbett included a brief talk by Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Joni Leventis (who works with victims of sexual assaults and helps prosecute “special victims” crimes), as well as several CSUEB students, including representatives from Residential Life, Health and Wellness, and the Student Health and Counseling Center. The students told Corbett about the roles their groups play in making Cal State East Bay students aware of issues related to substance abuse, sexual assaults and campus safety.
At the conclusion of the discussion, students and staff joined Corbett and Boykins for a campus “safety walk,” where the UPD chief highlighted recent public safety upgrades made to prevent violence and sexual assault, as well as other safety resources available to students.