Incident sparks safety reminder

The Wilfrid Laurier University Library is not a place where we would expect to be overly active. It’s associated with long, tiring nights and textbooks, but on March 12 something a little more interesting happened.

Two Special Constables walked through the library looking for someone who didn’t belong on campus.

A man, who was not associated with Laurier, left a bundle of clothes and personal items in the library, which was given to the library’s lost and found.

The man returned looking for his bundle and was directed to the Special Constables Service (SCS) where his items were returned to him.

“We were just in the library making sure that he wasn’t back in the library,” Chris Hancocks, operations manager for Special Constables, told The Cord.

However, it’s somewhat troubling for students when they realize that  campus is not always their own.

Nicholas Dinka, a library communications officer, explained that Laurier is a public space.

“We get members of the general community, we have external researchers come in, there are people who have courses cross-listed with University of Waterloo who will sometimes come in,” he said. “They might not be Laurier students but they’re members of the general community and the policy is that it’s an open space.”

According to Dinka however, the Special Constables are quick to respond whenever an issue faces arises.

“We’ve been really fortunate here over the years, in terms of security in the library,” explained Dinka. “It’s been a very safe environment but we also recognize you always need to be vigilant.”

Jen Blackwell, a second-year Kinesiology student, shared that she is glad that Special Constables are around because she frequently finds herself on campus at night.

“I’m a commuter so I usually need to make it worth my while to come on campus to use the library,” she said.

“I usually come after the public libraries are closed and stay as late as possible. It’s important that I feel safe on campus because I have a million other things I could devote my attention to.”

Unfortunately, crime can be common on university campuses, but Hancocks said that Laurier’s problems are “the same as everywhere.”

“We get calls for everything; property damage, we get called for assault, we get called for liquor infractions, drugs,” he continued.

Despite this, student safety is their main concern.

Hancocks explained that Special Constable Services and programs like Foot Patrol can further ease peoples’ minds when they find themselves on campus late at night.

“They can call us at any time. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we’ll respond appropriately and we’re always here for the staff, students and faculty,” he concluded.

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