Fresno State students are ready to take back the streets

FRESNO, Calif.

The students want to get the city and the police involved in a joint effort with the college to improve the areas around campus and to make it safer. They say crime is too high and it's spilling over into campus life.

Tommy Daly is both a member of the Fresno State student body and serves as senator of Greek affairs. He says he's witnessed firsthand - the dangers of living near campus - specifically next to El Dorado Park, a large group of apartment complexes just west of Bulldog Stadium.

"When I lived in Delta Sig there was a drive by shooting at our house. Luckily no one was injured," said Daly. Our house was shot at two other times."

That's not the only crime he says Fresno State students face in neighborhoods around the college. "You see drug deals, breaking into cars."

Which is why he and a handful of other students took their concerns to the Fresno City Council.

Selena Farnesi said, "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."

Councilmember Larry Westerlund represents district 4, the area that includes Fresno State. He met with students Wednesday to establish a partnership and to discuss common goals for the area.

Selena Farnesi said, "He came, spent a good two hours talking with student's concerns, offering suggestions."

And just before the students got up to speak:

Fresno City Councilmember, Larry Westerlund said, "We went ahead and approved unanimously the legislation to have the revitalization project extended to el dorado park."

A big win in the eyes of the students who want the next class to continue working with the city, well after they graduate.

Daly said, "I think it's what's lacked in the past and has not moved this issue forward."

Some of the solutions the students came up with include running a campus-wide campaign to educate students about what they can do to keep themselves safe. The students are also working with Westly United Methodist Church in making improvements to El Dorado Park.

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