The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Editorial-Brianna Denison was one of us

After the Columbine shooting, the nation was in shock. The chain of school shootings that followed soon became a trend at the price of student lives.

Violence in and around schools is taking place all too often. The assault of school students has come to the point we are nearly desensitized. The news of a school shooting seems as common as news of the war in the Middle East.

But City College student Brianna Denison’s murder hit home.

Her abduction was just as serious as what had happened the students in Northern Illinois, Virginia Tech or in an Oxnard Middle School, where a student was shot in the head because allegedly because he was a homosexual. He died after he was taken off life support.

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Every one of the events resulted in the loss of life. Denison’s death confirms the vulerability of college students.

Her death should serve as a wake-up call to everyone, especially the student body. She was one of us. And what had happened to her could have happened to any of us.

According to a UCSB campus security report, there were 43 forcible sex offenses reported by students in 2006. This is 43 too many. Fifteen of those happened on the streets of Isla Vista, where a large fraction of students live and leisure.

Any of these sex offenses could have happened in any room, at any time, during any party. And only a fraction of rape victims end up reporting it. So that number may even be higher.

Nobody wants to live in a dangerous neighborhood. It’s easy to get carried away with this college town’s weather and nightlife. But the world we live in is not always so fun and inviting. Isla Vista is a great place where students can let go and have a good time. But this is also a place where good nights could end up in disaster.

Students must be more alert when going out on the town. Everyone needs to watch everyone else’s back. Pair up, hold hands, keep each otheraccountable, or do whatever you need to in order to stay safe. Friends need to stay close at all times.

The party doesn’t have to stop. But taking simple precautions such as locking doors at night can assure everyone’s safety and could lower, or perhaps even diminish the number of sex offenses that happen to college students in this town.

It’s as simple as having a good time; and staying safe while you’re at it.

Whether it’s at school, downtown, or in Isla Vista, everyone should be aware that what happened to Brianna could happen at any time and anywhere. Help is always available to anyone seeking. Sex offender information can also be viewed online.

City College’s Project HOPE is a student service club on campus that is willing to educate anyone interested in learning about these issues.

Activity hours: noon-1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

It’s shocking to hear that so many are losing their lives while going to school to prepare for their future. Let’s realize that what happened to Brianna didn’t have to happen. Let’s not give these offenders an inch of our space.

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