On August 26, at 10:56 p.m., a currently unidentified Humboldt State University student was assaulted on the 1400 block of G Street in Arcata, by the Shell Gas station. HSU administrators waited a month to send out a statement informing HSU students that there had been an assault so close to campus.
The Eureka National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Chapter President Sharrone Blanck said that she believed that, in light of the failure of notification and action by HSU regarding the student assault in August that “HSU has not listened to our concerns, and they are still ignoring the fact that students of color up here may not feel safe.”
“The fact that they only extend their concern for student safety and wellbeing to campus borders is frightening,” Blanck said.
Blanck said that she and the executive board of the NAACP penned a letter in April of 2018 condemning HSU’s administration for failing to take an active role in addressing racism and safety concerns in the City of Arcata and Humboldt County, thus endangering the lives to whom it extends acceptance letters.
However, the organization hasn’t seen a drastic change in procedure like they’d expected.
In regards to how the University decides if an incident is a further threat to student life, Interim Dean of Students, Eboni Turnbow, said that the institution is not police officers. “So naturally we rely on campus police officers to help us determine if there is a threat or no,” she said.
“What I first consider when an incident occurs is, ‘Are my students on campus safe?’ There was no student thereafter [Aug. 26 assault] that reported feeling unsafe, so we determined there was no danger,” Turnbow said.
“I am not in the business of scaring students.”