Emergency call station on East Campus under repair after audit


Antony Marchiando

Informational Graphic


An emergency phone located near the Humanities Building that has possibly been out of service for weeks is now being repaired by campus security.

A student reported that the phone wasn’t working after he witnessed another student try unsuccessfully to call security after being injured.

“It’s kind of scary,” said Ahmad Al-Hayki, the student who saw the injury take place. “Like, what if it was a big thing.”

One of the Emergency Call Boxes that is temporarily not working, Wednesday, Oct. 14, by the Humanities Building on East Campus. All of the Call Boxes are tested at the beginning of each semester.
Nicole Haun
One of the Emergency Call Boxes that is temporarily not working, Wednesday, Oct. 14, by the Humanities Building on East Campus. All of the Call Boxes are tested at the beginning of each semester.

There are 21 emergency phones spread throughout City College’s three campuses which can be used in an emergency to contact 911, the campus security emergency line or to call security for an escort. Most of the phones are tall poles topped with a blue light, however some are shorter.

Security was alerted about the broken phone on Monday, Oct. 11 and they put an “out of order” sign on it the following day. They said it would be fixed that day or the next, but the sign was still there on Thursday Oct. 15.

The phone is still under repair and some parts may need to be replaced, according to Erik Fricke, head of campus security.

“That would be a very unlucky day if you needed that button,” said sophomore Melissa Klassen. “They should check them once a week.”

However, Fricke said it would be impossible to check the emergency phones every week or even multiple times a semester. Security checks all the phones before each semester, but they said they can’t risk checking more than one or two during the semester because it overloads the emergency lines.

“They are not used that much at all,” Fricke said. “They sometimes get prank calls and sometimes called to get escorts, but they don’t get called very often for emergencies.”

The escort service is available at all hours of the day for students and staff to request an escort if they feel unsafe on campus. The service can also be reached by contacting (805) 730-4200, Ext. 2400.

It is unknown how long the phone has been broken. Security said it was tested before the semester began.

Al-Hayki said that he saw the students try to use the broken phone during a summer session.

“I am surprised they didn’t complain about it,” Al-Hayki said. “If it had happened to me it would have made me angry.”

“That’s very worrying as a student who is on campus late at night,” said junior Annie Johnston-Glick. “City colleges can be dangerous places and recently there’s been a lot of thefts, and in the past there have been sexual assaults, so I feel like they need to have their emergency response systems in place.”

The crime rates at City College are fairly low compared to other schools. Fricke said that this is because the college is isolated from the rest of the community so it is mainly just used by students, and also because Santa Barbara is a relatively safe community.

Along with the emergency phones and escort service, the college offers AlertU, an emergency messaging system.

AlertU sends text messages about emergencies on campus. It also allows for two-way communication if the user is involved with or observing an emergency situation. It’s free to sign up and only requires texting “SBCC” to the number 55155.

The Campus Safety Plan and Emergency Procedures are available to view in the Annual Security Report. This report also contains information about reporting crimes, crime prevention and crime statistics.

“You always have to be aware of your surroundings,” Klassen said.

Campus security can be reached at their office number (805) 730-4064 or in an emergency, (805) 730-4200.