Volume 95, Issue 35
Friday, November 2, 2001
UWO takes anthrax precautions
Postal workers watching for strange parcels
By Marcus Maleus
In response to bioterrorism in the United States, Western administration has taken steps to ensure the safety of those on campus.
In a recent advisory, university officials urged members of Western's community to be wary of suspicious packages.
Susan Grindrod, acting VP-administration, issued a memorandum to all deans and budget unit heads outlining the university's guidelines for dealing with suspicious packages based on information provided by Canada Post and the Ontario Provincial Police. A copy of the "Health Canada Fact Sheet on Anthrax" was also included.
According to Grindrod, the university is committed to the safety and security of its personnel and will respond appropriately to any report received.
A common sense approach is best, but anyone with concerns about a suspicious package or substance should immediately call the University Police Department at 911, she added
According to the University Students' Council Postal Outlet supervisor Sarah Butler, the mail facility has not changed its policies regarding package handling, but has asked its employees to pay more attention to parcels.
"We don't open any mail here and our employees have the added benefit of not being forced to serve anyone they judge to be suspicious," Butler said, adding Canada Post has been kept the Postal Outlet informed and up to date on anthrax developments.
Glenmore Apartment management, which had stopped holding packages for tenants who were unavailable at the time of delivery, has begun regular service again.
"We are no more concerned than anyone else on campus," said Chris Bumbacco, assistant director of Housing Services at Western, adding they have not received any suspicious packages as of yet.
"We only accept packages addressed to people on the tenant list," Bumbacco said.
Western students do not seem concerned about anthrax coming to campus.
Linda O'Brien, third-year health sciences student, said she has not made any lifestyle changes because of anthrax.
"I think the worst we'd see here is terrorism pranks, but no, I'm not worried about that," O'Brien said.
Third-year music student Michelle Burkholder said she is not as concerned about opening mail at home and work because of the anthrax scares as she used to be.
"The thought of it always crosses my mind, but I don't really worry about it any more," she said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001