By Anna Maria Moubayed
Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students want to see the return of security incident emails after the system was replaced with the TMU Safe App.
Prior to the switch to remote learning, security incidents on campus were posted online and emailed to community members with a link to a more detailed report of the incident.
In a statement to The Eyeopener, the university said there are no plans to send security incidents via email again. “Community members can continue to stay informed by reviewing the incidents online as needed,” the statement read.
The security incident email system was replaced with the TMU Safe mobile app, which launched in November 2019, according to the university.
The app provides access to emergency procedures, contact information for TMU safety and support services, personal safety tips and information on safety workshops available to students, according to the app’s website.
The website also said TMU Safe alerts can be sent via text messages after subscribing to TMU Safe’s messaging system.
The university said in the statement that the community safety and security team promotes the TMU Safe app through organized safety planning sessions, events on campus like orientation week and partnerships with other offices that engage students through tabling.
However, Tim Maksimenko, a first-year computer engineering student at TMU, said he was unaware of the app. “I didn’t know it existed, nobody I know knows it exists; it’s not very effective if nobody has access to it,” he said.
Maksimenko said the TMU Safe app could be useful but only if students are informed of it.
Dani Sadun, a fourth-year image arts student at TMU said she thinks security incident emails are a better option than the app.
“Given the fact that there isn’t a great amount of awareness about the TMU Safe app, emails sent to our university accounts would keep everyone on campus alert of any security incident happening,” she said. “[That would let] every single student have accessible information regarding their own safety.”
Fourth-year fashion media student Ainslee Lockhart said she remembered receiving the emails in her first year and was hoping for their return as well.
“It’s kind of freaky that stuff is happening and we’re not getting notified,” she said. “If [incidents] are happening, then we should know about [them].”
While the TMU Safe app and online posts are accessible, Sadun said the lack of awareness of these options makes them ineffective.
“That is ultimately the responsibility of the university for not communicating it enough,” she said.
TMU said sharing security incidents through the app and website helps promote shared responsibility.
“By sharing security incidents, community members can stay informed and take the appropriate precautions to help protect themselves and their property.”