Steps taken to battle theft of bicycles here

By Dale Lendrum
Western Sun staff writer

With the recent rise in gas prices, many students have decided to opt out of driving and instead choose to ride a bicycle, a more economical and sustainable mode of transportation, to and from school.

However, as of late many students have been victims of bike theft on the Golden West College campus. There were 13 reported bike thefts on campus in 2011 and two reported in February of this year alone.

Brandon Alvarado, a GWC student and bicycle enthusiast, was prompted to take action after his bike lock was almost completely cut through and his bike nearly stolen last semester.

“I was furious and on my 13 mile ride home I came up with a plan to help solve this issue on campus,” said Alvarado.

The new plan would include safer locations for bicycle racks on campus, more centralized locations for additional and more secure racks, and securing the financial resources and support of the necessary departments on campus to make this a reality.

The Safety, Facilities, and Land Development Committee recently approved the new, surfboard style bike racks and authorized the installation of 50 additional racks on campus, as well as the formation of a sub-committee to identify the exact locations of the new racks.

GWC Public Safety Coordinator Jon Arnold said of the issue that, “the placing of signage and surveillance cameras in the near future should help as a deterrent of future thefts.”

Alvarado received support of the plan from the GWC student council in the fall of 2011, and returned to the council this semester to request funding for additional surfboard style racks. The student council voted unanimously to approve $3,500 for the purchase of new racks on campus.

In addition to donating one rack himself, Alvarado was also able to secure a donation of 10 racks from Carl Morgan, librarian at Orange Coast College .

Alvarado also said that, “riding a bicycle is no different then using a motor vehicle to get to school.”

About Western Sun

THE WESTERN SUN is published bi-weekly on Wednesdays by the newspaper production classes of Golden West College. All opinions expressed in The Western Sun, unless otherwise indicated, are those of the individual writer or artist and do not necessarily reflect those of the college, district, or any other organization or agency. The Western Sun is a member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges and the California Newspaper Publishers’ Association.