FRESNO – Recent violent activity near Fresno State, including separate stabbing and shooting incidents, led a group of students to come together and take a stand against crime.
On Thursday, these students took their concerns to the Fresno City Council. They want to get the city and the Fresno Police Department involved in a joint effort with the California State University campus to improve the areas around Fresno State and make them safer.
A few weeks ago, a stabbing happened on Cedar and Barstow, near Fresno State, sending one person to the hospital. The most recent incident was a shooting that happened in front of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on June 19, in which two people ended up in the hospital.
“I think this recent incident is the straw that broke the camel’s back and students are now coming together and saying enough is enough,” Student Body President Selena Farnesi said at the council meeting.
Councilman Larry Westerlund, who represents the district Fresno State resides in, said that statistically there is no increase in crime in the area. Fresno police also say there hasn’t been an increase in violent crime near the Fresno State campus. However, the students believe any crime is too much crime.
The day before the council meeting, Westerlund met with the concerned group of students and talked about possible solutions and goals for the area around Fresno State.
Many students said that a big problem is El Dorado Park, which is an area only a couple of blocks away from Fresno State and sits right behind Fresno State sororities and fraternities. It has had a history of problems with gangs, drugs, vandalism and robbery.
At the city council meeting, Westerlund said that the council “went ahead and approved unanimously the legislation to have the revitalization project extended to El Dorado Park.”
Students are hoping this will make a difference. They also had other ideas they brought to the council.
“Let’s implement service days, neighborhood watch programs, safety campaigns,” Farnesi said. “Those are short-term plans students are thinking about.”