It’s been almost a month since student Luis Munoz was involved in an altercation with campus safety, but questions still remain about the exact policies surrounding the event.
According to witnesses and Munoz himself, the student was put in handcuffs because he was smoking a cigarette and didn’t give identification to Officer Dino Skokos. However, the only tickets he received was for smoking within 20 feet of a public building from Fullerton Police Department and a ticket for trespassing from Fullerton College.
While the smoking ticket from FPD is legitimate, there have been some questions if the trespassing ticket from the college is, considering Fullerton College is an open campus.
While the college has no fences, the open policy is meant to only apply to those who have “business” on campus.
“Fullerton College is open to all individuals who have business on campus,” McPheron said citing NOCCCD policy (AP 3501 Campus Security and Access) which states;
“1.0 During business hours, the District will be open to all individuals who have business on campus. During non-business hours access to all District facilities is by key, if issued, or by admittance via Campus Safety. In the case of periods of extended closing, the District will admit only those with prior written approval to all facilities.”
Munoz stated that he was on campus to hang out with friends before heading to work and Lisa McPheron, Director of Campus Communications, has not supplied information if this falls under “business on campus” other than stating “as for business, the Board Policy is as stated.”
According to section 4 of the NOCCCD policy (AP 3501 Campus Security and Access) the official job description does not state that officers are allowed to make arrests if they believe someone is trespassing or give out tickets.
“4. Observes, reports and investigates unauthorized persons or activities on campus, notifies appropriate authorities according to established procedures; conducts preliminary investigations and reports.”
Paragraph 2, Page 35 of the Fullerton College Catalog states that Fullerton College Campus Safety officers have the authority to see if someone has business on campus.
“BUILDINGS — Fullerton College Campus Safety officers have the authority to ask persons for identification and determine whether individuals have lawful business at Fullerton College.”
The NOCCCD Policy AP 5500 Standards of Student Conduct and Discipline outlines the withdrawal of consent to remain on campus however it does not clearly state if the same rules apply to non students like Munoz.
“3.4.1. The President or designee may withdraw consent for a student to remain on the College campus, in accordance with California Penal Code Section 626.4, where there is reasonable cause to believe that the student has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus. A student who is on campus at the time consent is withdrawn shall promptly leave or be escorted off campus. Whenever consent is withdrawn by an authorized designee of the President, a written report shall be promptly submitted to the President.”
According to McPheron a designee is someone who performs certain rolls for the college.
“A designee is a person who has been designated to carry out specific rolls for the college,” McPheron said.
The NOCCCD website define Campus Safety Officers as “This position is responsible for performing a wide range of activities to promote campus safety, to support traffic and parking control, and to ensure the security of buildings and equipment.”
Since they are designated to carry out these rolls for the college, they might have been under authority to withdraw consent to remain on campus however it is not clear if Munoz had “willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus” or if he was asked to leave the campus in the first place.
Munoz has told the Hornet that he does not plan on paying the trespassing ticket.
Many questions still remain in regards to this incident with further updates being provided.