It has been one year since the tragic death of Iowa State engineering student and Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena.
Arozamena’s death not only shook Iowa State but also the athletic community around the country and her home country of Spain.
It’s been a year since students hosted a vigil for Arozamena on campus in her honor. Arozamena was memorialized with Iowa State's Female Athlete of the Year award during the football game she was supposed to be recognized at. The stands were filled with yellow in her honor. Pictures of her were put up throughout engineering buildings on campus. You could feel the community aching together, and to this day we are still recovering.
Part of the reason Arozamena’s death was so shocking was the fact that it happened in broad daylight on a golf course close to campus.
This sparked the discussion of safety on Iowa State’s campus and within the Ames community. If we as students aren’t safe going out to golf in the middle of the day, how can we be safe walking around at night?
In the past year, there have been developments and attempts to try and answer this question. The Iowa State Police Department launched the “guardian” app, which allows a virtual guardian to walk you home and give others updates on your location.
SafeRide, an Iowa State resource that gives students rides around campus, extended its original operating hours of 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. because of increased demand.
As time goes on, it is important to not let the conversation of public safety stop. There does not need to be another tragic event to raise the importance of safety.
We need to be thinking preemptively about issues like this. We shouldn’t have to wait for another tragic event to occur to bring light to an important issue like public safety.
Arozamena’s killer, Collin Daniel Richards, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in August. Although he is locked away, that doesn’t mean we forget what happened on campus.
Today, you can see Celia’s initials, CBA, throughout Campustown. We still remember, and we will make sure that no matter how much time has passed, we will always be thinking of her.