Holiday safety priority for SCS

Security at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus is of the utmost concern for the upcoming holiday season.

Photo by Kha Vo
Photo by Kha Vo

Security at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus is of the utmost concern for the upcoming holiday season.

With the exam period finishing on Dec. 19, students will be heading home for the holidays, subsequently leaving campus and residence buildings mostly empty.

As in previous years, the university itself will be closing for the holidays, with the majority of buildings and residences locked for the duration of the period between semesters.

The large amount of empty buildings, coupled with the lack of people on site naturally raises some concerns regarding the security of buildings during their absence.

Though the majority of students and faculty will be gone, Special Constable Services at Laurier will still be in full effect.

“It’s exactly the same as any time else,” said Tammy Lee, manager of the Waterloo campus SCS. “We always have to have at least two officers on campus, day or night, holiday or no holiday.”

SCS will be utilizing regular patrols of the campus, as well as video surveillance, to monitor the area from any potential trespassers during the break.

“You have to understand that we’re coming into the Christmas season, the winter season, where it’s cold. Two shelters in the area are actually closing, so we have a lot of people that will be trying to breach any place, any opportunity to stay warm,” said Lee. “But we’ll be monitoring and going into all the buildings on a regular basis.”

Though most students will be departing for the length of the holiday period, there will still be a select number of students who will remain in residence buildings, as well as international students who will arrive in the midst of the campus’ closure.

Special Constables’ confidence in the safety of campus residences is well reflected by Residence Life.

“There’s two things to remember: when I leave this building no one else is going to walk in, and on top of that, when you leave you lock your door. So unless someone breaks the doors down, there’s not a problem,” said Varqa Rahimian, a don in Willison Hall residence.

Despite many reassurances, there are still students in residence who don’t trust the safety of their belongings in their residence rooms over the stretch between terms.

“I don’t think that I could, because in our building we’ve heard about so much theft already this semester,” said Christina Paul, a first-year student living in Willison Hall. “Given the history, there’s just no way I would ever feel comfortable.”

Individuals staying on campus over the break are the primary focus of SCS, as they will remain on call for anyone on the campus.

“The students that are in residence, those are our main concern, and international students that come during the holidays,” said Lee.

“We stay in contact with them on a regular basis throughout the holidays.”

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