Fresno State Students for Revitalization

“Increasing the positive atmosphere and decreasing crime will result in more students staying, benefiting Fresno’s economy.”

Fresno State students have gained the attention of the city council by attending the weekly meetings at City Hall. From left to right, Daniel Harrison, Selena Farnesi, Tommy Daly and Umaymah Asma. Source: Fresno State ASI's Facebook page.


Meet the Fresno State students who are fighting to revitalize the area around the Fresno State campus. They hope to decrease rising crime rate in the area. Their actions were triggered after a drive-by shooting at Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity on Shaw Avenue last month. You can read more from The Collegian.

After the shooting, a wave of students became involved in the efforts to improve the surrounding area. “The drive-by shooting changed a lot of student’s perspective,” Fresno State student Linnea Horn says, “students knew that things needed to be changed.” Linnea created a Facebook event to encourage students to write letters to Larry Westerlund, District 4 Councilmember, about their experiences and concerns as a student. Student leaders then has a meeting with the school administration and the campus police to discuss plans to revive the area. Selena Farnesi, president of the student body, also spoke in front of City Council on the behalf of Fresno State students.



Some students say removing Section VIII housing in El Dorado Park, a block south from campus, will decrease the crime rate. Source: Fresno State ASI's Facebook page.


I asked students Linnea Horn, Daniel Harrison and ASI President, Selena Farnesi why they thought it was important to improve area outside the campus. Linnea and Daniel both said that it was unnecessary for students to constantly worry about their safety. “Students need to feel safe attending school and living in the area,” Linnea says, “students shouldn’t have to worry about harassment, theft or other harmful crimes.” Daniel says that when students feel less safe they are encouraged to leave Fresno after the graduate. “Increasing the positive atmosphere and decreasing crime,” Daniel says, “will result in more students staying, benefiting Fresno’s economy.” Selena says that revitalization will increase the students’ and residents’ pride for the Fresno State.

Heather Somerville of the Fresno Bee wrote a wonderful article explaining more as to why Fresno State students stress the importance of revitalization.



There was a collaboration between community members who have been fighting for improvement for some time and residents who recently became involved at the meeting.


I attended a meeting last week, which discussed the progress of recent revitalization efforts and upcoming projects for the area. Several students attended the meeting, along with a representative from Westerlund’s office, the school administration and a nearby property owner.

Larry Westerlund plans to install more lights west of Cedar Avenue on Bulldog Lane and Barstow Avenue. The city also authorized to fix six to seven nearby lights. Councilmember Westerlund is willing to extract some money from the district’s infrastructure budget to complete these projects. However, the school will need to contribute the rest of the money through fundraising. It was said at the meeting that increasing lighting will be good for students who live nearby or who have night classes.

Fresno State students are planning on hosting a neighborhood pot luck at Wesley United Methodist Church of Fresno the night of August 2 in celebration of National Night Out. The event is an opportunity for residents and community leaders to meet each other while promoting a safe environment around Fresno State’s campus.

The police chief for Fresno State, David Huerta, wants to create community gardens in the neighboring area. He plans on utilizing nearby properties of demolished or foreclosed homes. The fenced gardens would be run by student organizations and would be open certain certain times of the day. Specific sites for the gardens have not been designated.

It was stressed at the meeting that the city has worked on improving the area before and recent plans of revitalization will take as long as 10 years. A property owner expressed some doubt and said, “I feel as if 10 years ago was 10 years ago.”



President of the student body, Selena Farnesi spoke in front of City Council. Source: Fresno State ASI's Facebook page.


Selena says that the community needs all the help they can get. If you are interested in being involved with reviving the area around Fresno State or have any ideas, contact Selena at [email protected]

Daniel say it’s important for every student to know the number of campus police. Their number is (559) 278-8400.


Have a lovely day in Fresno!

Veronica Stumpf


4 Responses to “Fresno State Students for Revitalization”
  1. Dan says:

    It is great to see Fresno State students taking the initiative to support and push for revitalization. Positive change usually does not happen by itself. People effect positive change. Keep up the good work. Make sure you enlist the support of local businesses, that is usually the key to success.

    • Veronica Stumpf says:

      I will definitely explore further with efforts of revitalization. I would like to interview surrounding investment property owners and businesses. It is also up to them to improve the area.

      Thank you, Dan and have a lovely day in Fresno!

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