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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Campus authorities move evening classes online, expand Safe Rides services

Aggie Compass is also helping unhoused students and TAPS will eliminate evening parking fees


By SONORA SLATER — campus@theaggie.org


Campus authorities have announced expanded safety services and guidance on holding evening events and classes online following a string of stabbings in Davis over the past week. 

The victims of the attacks included UC Davis student Karim Abou Najm, a fourth-year computer science major who was killed while biking home from a research award ceremony. Many members of the campus community have called for increased safety measures to be put in place in the wake of these events, and at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, UC Davis Chancellor Gary May and UC Davis Chief of Police Joseph Farrow gave announcements about the campus’s response. 

Daytime classes will proceed as normal, according to May, unless specific professors communicate otherwise. However, the Academic Senate has made the decision to move classes and discussions that take place or end after 6 p.m. online, and the university’s Safe Ride program will now be available from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. seven days a week, effective immediately.

Farrow noted that nine law enforcement vehicles will be patrolling the campus at night, along with 12 officers, up from the usual four. Law enforcement officers from UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley are also in the area to assist with patrols and extra security has been contracted from Members in Black (MIB) private security.

For Safe Rides: Call 530-754-COPS (2677) or use the TransLoc app, which you can download for free. Police recommend using the app. Unitrans buses run until 10 p.m., but due to a lingering shortage of drivers and concern for the student drivers’ own safety, they are unable to go longer. Unitrans is also consolidating bus arrivals and departures after 8:10 p.m. to the Memorial Union bus terminal. Yolobus provides later options on Route 42A/B, departing the Memorial Union terminal and heading toward Woodland and Sacramento at slightly later times. 

UC Davis HR sent a memo to managers at supervisors at the university encouraging them to allow flexibility for employees who work during the late or early hours, according to an email from May on May 2. He also said that the campus is looking into “temporary lighting to provide greater visibility in high-traffic areas,” and has installed additional cameras outside as part of a previously planned project.

The email went on to say that staff, faculty and students should know that Transportation Services (TAPS) will pause enforcement of parking fees from 6 p.m.-7 a.m. for the time being, allowing free parking on campus except in restricted spaces. 

Aggie Compass sent an email to the campus community on May 2 announcing their plans to help unhoused students who are in need of shelter during this time.

“If you are currently sleeping in your vehicle, or outside, we want to provide you with support in light of the recent attacks in Davis,” the email read. “If you need temporary support for sheltering inside, please fill out this form. We’re reviewing requests until 6 p.m. and will begin again each day at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.”

ASUCD President Radhika Gawde, Internal Vice President JT Eden, External Affairs Vice President Celene Aridin and Academic Affairs Chair Megan Chung sent a letter to the UC Academic Senate on May 2 asking them to adopt emergency remote instruction for all courses until the suspect(s) are apprehended and/or mandate lecture capture for all classrooms equipped to do so. 

The student leaders said that as part of their own response to the events, they have adjusted the hours at the CoHo to eliminate evening and early morning shifts, moved evening meetings online and asked ASUCD leadership to ensure that their student employees are not required to come to campus for “non-essential duties.”

“UC Davis students are justifiably fearful for their safety,” the letter reads. “As long as the perpetrator of these attacks remains at large, students are unable to safely travel to and from class. Both students and faculty deserve at minimum the option to stay home and attend classes remotely. We should not have to choose between our safety and academic success.” 

As of 3:39 p.m., there were 4,320 responses to an ASUCD poll gathering student opinions on the recent incidents, with 97.9% of students expressing that they would benefit from hybrid learning options for their classes, and 87.4% of respondents describing themselves as feeling unsafe attending classes during the day. 

One anonymous student testimonial submitted to the survey reads, “[Please] postpone quizzes/exams taking place this week until next week at least. Anxiety around this situation makes it extremely difficult to focus, learn, and study.”

Written by: Sonora Slater — campus@theaggie.org