By Leah Hansen
In response to the recent spate of robberies, assaults and threats on and near campus, students are weighing the influence of heightened attention to Security Watch updates on Ryerson University’s campus.
“I don’t even feel safe going to the RAC,” said Erin Kerr, an arts and contemporary studies student. She added the security updates have encouraged her to take extra steps to help her feel safe, like travelling in pairs or groups.
Since the beginning of the school year 15 security watches have been distributed on campus, three of which originated due to incidents at the Ram in the Rye. Kerr Hall and Gould Street were also highlighted, as the sites of two alerts each.
Approximately eight thefts have been reported to Security and Emergency Services (SES) from Nov. 6 to 12 as well as around the same number of reports of suspicious behaviour or individuals on campus. Two assaults were also reported.
But Kyle Anderson, a new media student, said he “still feels safe on campus” although “reading the [security] alerts is scary.” He says he tries not to walk alone and even takes a streetcar home at night, even though he lives near campus.
Julia Lewis, director of environmental health and safety at Ryerson, said that any sense of an increase in criminal or suspicious activity on campus may just be due to increased reporting due to the new alert system.
“There’s more engagement. People are smarter [about it] and are giving us better information,” Lewis said.
Tanya stated the extra attention to security alerts encourages students to take responsibility to look out for each other.
“And if you see something that doesn’t seem right, pick up the phone and give us a call,” she said.