SBCC experiences increase of strange on-campus crimes

CHRISTOPHER BUSCK, Channels Staff

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City College is experiencing an increase in strange crimes, resulting in an influx of students being sent to the Dean of Student Support Services for discipline.

Erik Fricke, head of security, said that there has been a continual increase of strange crime and disruptive behavior over the last five years.

On Feb. 10, a man, not from City College, walked into a classroom trying to teach a math class speaking Italian. According to the Santa Barbara Police Department officers, the man seemed to be under the influence of meth.

Suzanne Grimmesey, Division Chief of the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services Department in Santa Barbara County said the department is suffering a “structural funding imbalance.”

According to the financial status update from Feb. 18, the ADMHS is now projecting a $2.8 million loss by the end of this year.

“Because of the federal and state budget cuts there has been a decrease of funding for social services,” said Fricke.

Ben Partee, dean of student development, said he believes the reason for the strange behavior on campus is because of the academic and social pressure many students experience.

City College has been in contact with SBPD about once a week since the spring semester started.

Partee mentioned that meetings he has had with disruptive students have helped them.

“They’ve become good models after they’ve come here,” Partee said. “We know who the students with issues are.”

On Feb. 13, a student was sent to Partee for losing his temper in the Counseling Department after no counselors were available to see him immediately.

“Some people might have gotten away in high school with doing things on their phones and talking in class,” Partee said. “When they come here, they’re not used to our standards and are sent to me.”

On Feb. 14, a man who wasn’t a student came to the security office claiming to have been followed and was very suspicious of people with backpacks.

“Many find the campus a safe place,” Fricke said. “There has been a lot of teamwork between departments to gather the correct information to best help those who have special needs.”

On the morning of Feb. 24, a student started re-arranging furniture on the first floor of the Luria Library to hide in while sleeping. Staff found him and contacted security.

Partee confirmed that there is a percentage of students who are homeless. Fricke said that the college has a small percentage of students that need special services and that college is not equipped to handle, such as housing.

“People with mental health problems and homeless people are not dangerous,” Fricke added.

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