Waterloo hit by violence
By Marshall Bellamy
Tensions are high in the areas surrounding Wilfrid Laurier
University and the University of Waterloo, which have been
the site of a severe beating, a stabbing and a prowling sex
A Waterloo student was attacked by Jeffrey Melis and Stephen
McGuffin, both members of Laurier’s varsity football
team, said Olaf Heinzel, public affairs co-ordinator for the
Waterloo Regional Police Department. “We have [the] two
students in custody right now, charged with aggravated assault.”
Heinzel said the victim was airlifted to a nearby hospital
with severe head wounds and is currently in stable condition. “He’s
conscious and able to conduct conversation.”
This incident follows a stabbing near Laurier and Waterloo’s
campuses (which resulted from a confrontation involving six
males) and complaints in May and September over a male stalking
women at Laurier, Heinzel said.
“You mix alcohol into it and people start doing things
they usually never do,” Heinzel stated, adding the large
volume of students attending university also has an effect
on campus safety. “It’s the double cohort — there’s
a lot of students and these situations do crop up.”
In response to the beating and other safety complaints, Heinzel
said the police have been increasing patrols in the region
and providing residents and students with information such
as composite drawings of the campus stalker.
“There’s disbelief that two of our students could
be involved in aggravated assault,” said Laurier dean
of students, David McMurray.
According to McMurray, the university will not decide on any
disciplinary action until the bail hearing — set for
today — for fear of prejudicing the issue.
“We certainly would like to think these are isolated
incidents given the history of the area,” McMurray noted. “I
don’t see it as an outbreak [of violence].”
“Safety is always a concern, but students shouldn’t
feel that this type of incident could occur here just because
it happened on another campus,” said University Students’ Council
VP-campus issues Adrienne Kennedy, adding the occurrences at
Laurier seem to be isolated incidents, but students should
always take precautions.
“I do not see the double cohort having any effect on
campus safety at all; safety concerns always positively correlate
with numbers of students,” Kennedy noted.