Get off my campus!

Spencer Harris, Staff Writer


At first, I had no problem with them, but now it’s out of control. Possibly I didn’t notice before, but now it’s hard not to see them scrounging about, disturbing anyone in their path.

Who are they? The homeless who have invaded the SRJC campus.

I don’t mind the occasional homeless person asking me for spare change or an extra cigarette, but recently I’ve observed the homeless descending upon SRJC. The campus police don’t have sufficient manpower to keep them off campus, and there’s no student I.D. requirement to enter the library.

Whenever I go to the Campus Market there’s always three to five beggars strategically positioned between the street and the market door asking for anything that might help. I don’t know how they’re going to spend my money. They could spend it on drugs or alcohol, and they most likely won’t use it for food or a safe place to sleep. I’m attending college; I don’t have extra money. I barely have enough money to feed myself.

The homeless people on our campus have a strategy that they use to perfection, to lure students to give up an extra buck. They position themselves around campus wherever the student population is the highest, and whenever they see someone light a cigarette or reach for their wallet, they swoop in like vultures.

The biggest annoyance occurs in the library. I’ve seen homeless people disturbing students, begging for money and sleeping in the library. There was one occasion when I was approached by an unsanitary, and likely intoxicated, panhandler who wanted to know if I had any spare change because his mother needed a ride home. I had my headphones on and my eyes fixed on the computer screen, but still the man had the nerve to interrupt my research and fabricate some story about his mother to trick me into giving him money. He was obviously lying about his mother needing a ride home.

If you’re going to disturb me because you want my money, you shouldn’t lie. I might have given him a buck or two if he just told me the truth. Most likely he would have spent my money on booze.

I’ve even heard of homeless people using the SRJC locker rooms to shower. They could be students—I’m not sure—but if they’re not enrolled at SRJC, there is no reason for them to be using any college resources.

I have a homeless person in my class this semester and I have no problem with him using the locker room to shower or using the computers provided in the library. He is a full time student. My dispute is with homeless people who aren’t enrolled at SRJC using the campus’s resources.

There’s not a lot SRJC can do about the homeless invasion because of recent budget cuts. However, SRJC could create some type of requirement for entering the library such as presenting student I.D. cards or typing your student I.D. number. If SJRC does nothing about the homeless problem, it will continue to get worse and students will continue to be hassled.