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New faces of campus safety

Annie Abernethy

There’s a new face at the front gate, but to many people on campus it’s already a familiar one. That face is Rachel Siordia, our brand new Public Safety officer whom you may have bought your textbooks from last semester, or even last week. Her story exemplifies the benefits of persistence and courage.

After a temporary job in the Mills bookstore turned into an assistant management position, Siordia has finally landed the job she asked Public Safety Director Michael Lopez for for months.

“It all kind of happened the way things are supposed to happen,” Siordia says.

After graduating from City College of San Francisco with an Associate of Arts degree in Administration of Justice and Forensic Identification and being laid off by the salon where she worked as a hairdresser, Siordia had to find work. The bookstore at Mills was looking for someone for three weeks to help with a beginning of the semester rush.

Siordia was getting discouraged not finding something in her career path when she befriended Lopez in the bookstore. She asked repeatedly about Public Safety jobs and was told that no positions were available.

“I just kept letting him know I was interested,” Siordia says. “Something kept telling me to just keep persisting, making contacts and to make clear what I need. I was surprised at how many people wanted me to succeed. It just takes a little bit of courage.”

Siordia says she was very interested in criminal justice and forensics in high school and planned to pursue the field, but had to postpone school to work and support her family. When she survived a violent attack two years ago that she didn’t want to discuss further, Siordia says she realized it was time to revisit her goals. Siordia says, “[It was like] whoa sister, you almost lost your life. It’s time to do something.”

Lopez says he was glad to help Siordia do that something by giving her the position to start a career in crime prevention.

“She’s a people person. Most of the community knows her, and she’s a woman,” Lopez said. “Women in this line of work are hard to find, and she’s not your stereotype of a security person. I think she’s going to be an [asset] to the community.”