U of Sask examines safety issues
By Dan Perry
After two sexual assaults in the past seven months, the University
of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon is beefing up security measures.
According to Tasia Alexopoulos, VP-student issues for the
University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union, the changes
were largely in response to a petition circulated by a new
group on campus, the Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
“The petition requested an external security review,
which [the university is] in the process of doing right now,” Alexopoulos
“Reviews are going on as a result of a couple of incidents
that have happened here in the last couple months,” confirmed
Janice Lavoie, community safety manager at U of S, specifying
there are ongoing external and internal reviews.
Lavoie noted some of the changes to safety measures the university
had already instated to keep the campus safer include lighting
improvements in washrooms, increased foot patrols, more safety
posters and releasing information.
“Anytime we have an incident serious in nature, we review
the circumstances and if there are safety changes necessary,
we make them,” she said. “It is certainly in our
interests to have a safe campus — we work here, we live
here, we study here.”
“My office has been here for two years because we take
safety seriously at the university; I deal with violence and
violence prevention,” Lavoie said, in response to a Feb.
4 article written in the University of Victoria’s student
newspaper, The Martlet, which published the victim’s
criticism to the university’s response.
Campus Community Police Service’s spokesperson Elgin
Austen explained how similar campus safety concerns are addressed
“If [assaults] do occur, generally the campus police
inform the Western campus about it,” he said, noting
CCPS will often post signs and communicate the details to the
Lavoie did note the risk of assault cannot be entirely eliminated
on campus. “We can’t guarantee 100 per cent safety — we
are open to the public.”
—with files from Allison Buchan-Terrell