el Don V. 96 No. 3 - Page 3

CAMPUS NEWS SAFETY FALSE ALARM CAUSES PANIC A power outage trigged an active shooter announcement Nov. 27, briefly panicking students, faculty and staff. At about 2:30 p.m., the fire alarm panel in the Campus Safety Office malfunctioned, sending a pre-recorded emergency mes- sage into some classrooms that warned about a “disturbed individ- ual” on campus. The audio alert notified students and staff to either leave the campus, hide or prepare to fight. Many students ran to classrooms or to the parking lots. Others stayed in place out of shock and uncertainty, unsure if the news they were hearing was true. “An announcement went out saying get away from windows and doors and find a classroom. I locked myself in the restroom and stood on the toilet thinking ‘this is it...today is the day I don’t make it home,” one student posted on social media after the incident. At 2:35 p.m., campus safety officials made an audio announcement saying that the alert was a false alarm. An active threat would have triggered emergency notifications delivered via email and text as well, SAC President Linda Rose said. RSCCD Campus Safety and SAC Administrative Services are now working to ensure that a power outage does not trigger false alarms again. /Bre Castaneda Maria Palomares has worked as a daytime custodian at Santa Ana College for 14 years. Shift Changes STORY MARTA KONARSKA PHOTO NIKKI NELSEN Custodial vacancies result in heavier workload, complaints about dirty campus Empty soap dispensers. Dirty stairwells. Calls for cleanup left unanswered for hours. A series of drastic changes to the schedules of custodi- ans at Santa Ana College this summer created a ripple eff ect that resulted in the loss of staff that is having an impact on campus cleanliness. For the fi rst time in more than two decades, custodians got new shifts, although some were only changed by a few hours, others moved from daytime to graveyard. Several custodians quit in response, and their tasks were split between the remaining staff , according to those who stayed. Maria Palomares, who has worked a day shift at SAC for 14 years, said that she is often over- whelmed with her own job and is unable to fulfi ll her new expanded duties or respond in time to additional requests. “Last time we got the call to clean a wet chair in the classroom, and the class started in 10 min- utes. We need more people to respond to calls like that in time,” said Palomares, whose shift was moved from a start time of 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., a change that also aff ected her personal life. “Last semester I was able to make sure there is always toilet paper and enough soap in the restrooms before the classes started. Right now, I need to go to the D-Building to fi ll up the soap containers because they didn’t have any for weeks.” Students and staff pointed to daytime restroom upkeep and stairwells, including those in the four-story Dunlap Hall, as main cleanliness concerns. Some say that it’s understandable that the restrooms get dirty since students use it frequently during the day, but that they’ve no- ticed a diff erence in cleanliness since the hours changed. Graffi ti on the walls in some restrooms still needs to be cleaned off . “There are not custodians to make rounds during the day and keep restrooms clean for students,” said Sean Small, vice president of the California School Employee Association, the union that represents classifi ed staff . “This work is done on the graveyard shift only at the moment. We are still actively engaged with the district working to improve this situation for ev- eryone.” It is unclear how many custodians quit after the shift changes were abruptly changed in July; however, a department workfl ow chart posted to the school website Nov. 13 shows four vacant custodian positions. A district job posting for a Please See CLEAN Page 5 el Don Santa Ana College · December 2018 3