One day after getting an automated e-mail from campus police detailing the brutal assault on a 22-year old man outside the San Jose State science building on Tuesday night, San Jose State University senior Jeff Samra told NBC Bay Area there will be no more late-night study sessions on campus for him.
“It’s going to make me think about what time I come to campus, what time I leave campus and paying as much money as I do, I feel that I shouldn’t have to worry about those things,” Samra said.
San Jose State Police captain Frank Belcastro said the assault began with a fight between two men on 4th Street at 8:34pm and ended with the suspect slamming the 22-year-old victim’s head onto the sidewalk. The assault is the 21st reported on campus so far this year. Overall, crime is down on campus by 20 percent.
By comparison, CSU East Bay, which has 13,000 students, recorded no assaults last year, nor did DeAnza College in Cupertino, which has 24,000 students.
At San Jose State, two-thirds of the victims of on-campus assaults were not students, but Belcastro would not speculate as to whether city crime was spilling onto campus. San Jose Police have recorded 899 assaults in 2013 so far, a decrease of about a hundred over the same period last year.
At a freshman orientation session Wednesday, campus police addressed crime with the students and their parents. And that, for now, is good enough for some of the parents and students.
“I think they’re being proactive, in that police are looking into safety, they’re educating students on how to stay safe and they’re addressing issues as they come up,” said Marilyn Ortique of Connecticut.
Incoming freshman Thao Nguyen of San Jose said police encouraged students to take advantage of the university-funded escort system after dark.
“I would leave early instead of staying very late or I would go with somebody,” Nguyen said. “It’s a pretty safe campus, there are cops everywhere so you don’t have to worry too much.”
But Samra’s been on campus longer, and he says he won’t be staying late anymore because it’s not worth the risk.
“I know I’m going to get out of here before eight, I used to stay late, and now I’m just going to go home, do my stuff there.”