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Personal safety

Some general safety tips for when you're on campus. 

Working alone or at night

  • Keep doors between you and the public locked when working alone
  • Review with your supervisor and follow established working alone check-in procedures.
  • When leaving your office for the night, proceed cautiously and look and listen for suspicious persons or situations before leaving the security of your office.
  • Remain cautious as you are leaving.
  • If you have any concerns stay in/immediately return to your office with the door locked and call security at Local 2400.

Vehicle and parking lot safety

  • Lock the doors, close all windows and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended.
  • Never leave cash, credit cards, chequebook, cell phones, sunglasses, vehicle documents or other valuables in the car.
  • Never leave your keys in the car, even for a second - treat them as you would your cash and credit cards.
  • Park with care, particularly at night; if possible, park in a busy, well-lit area, park near classmates/colleagues.
  • Be aware of your surroundings as you approach your vehicle, even looking underneath as you approach it.
  • Have your keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle.
  • Check the backseat and floor before entering your vehicle.
  • If you notice something unusual in or around your vehicle, keep walking to a safe place and call security if you are on-campus; if you are off-campus call the police.
  • Arrange for a campus security escort to your vehicle.

Strangers in the workplace

Many visitors come to our campuses every day seeking information about programs and services; however, you may encounter a person who appears to have no purpose or legitimate reason for being on campus. Some tips for this situation are below. 

If you encounter a stranger:

  • Project calmness and confidence. Be friendly but professional. Challenge people only when you can do so safely and never alone.
  • Never jeopardize your safety by acting alone when challenging or even approaching a person, regardless of how non-threatening the person may appear.
  • Never provide personal information to someone you don’t know. If you are concerned about a person, call security at Local 2400.

Why challenge a stranger?

  • The stranger will become aware he/she has been recognized and can be identified; which may cause a change of mind if criminal activity was the intent.

How to challenge a stranger:

Be alert to people entering your work or learning area. Approach a stranger only when safe to do so, without risking your safety, or the safety of others. Greet people with a friendly and professional tone of voice:

  • “Good morning. I’m with the . . . . Department. May I help you?”
  • “Are you looking for someone, perhaps I can help?”
  • “Are you looking for a particular room?” Perhaps I can direct you.”

Things to look for:

If people have no legitimate reason for being on campus, they may react in a variety of ways:

  • Mumble and quickly leave.
  • Provide an explanation for their presence that causes you to feel doubtful or suspicious.
  • Reply defensively e.g. “Why are you bothering me?”  “This is a public place.”
  • Stare at you in an attempt to intimidate.
  • React negatively and show no apparent intention to leave.

If an unauthorized person refuses your request to leave your area, you can say, “If you don’t leave, I’ll have to call security.” If your request is not followed, call security at Local 2400. 

If you do not feel comfortable to ask the stranger to leave or he/she does not leave upon request and you do not feel comfortable saying you’ll call security, have someone keep an eye on the person, if possible, while you discreetly call security.

As soon as you can, write down a description of the person and details of the incident to pass on to security.

Never try to physically remove someone yourself.

If you feel uncomfortable or threatened in any way, remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and call security at Local 2400. Any situation that causes you fear or concern is a legitimate reason for contacting Security.

Establish a “code” word/phrase in your department that is distinct and everyone understands is a flag for them to call security.

*For campuses without security – call local police.

If you encounter a stranger in your path and you are unable to avoid them:

  • Do not confront them or block their exit route.
  • Act unconcerned and confidently continue on your way.
  • As soon as you can do so safely, call security to alert them.
  • If the stranger speaks to you or insists on asking you a question you may keep walking and reply that you are “meeting Mr. Jones and must hurry,” or that “Mr. Jones in office 123 can answer that question (and point the stranger in the direction opposite of your path of travel);" or “I have to go, Security is waiting for me.”
  • Be assertive. Do not worry about being rude. Assertiveness is not rudeness.
  • Lead the stranger to believe that there are others in the area.

If you are threatened:

  • Notify the police immediately. If the threat occurs on campus or pertains to your work or study at the College, or could impact your safety or the safety of others at the College, report the situation immediately to security and your administrator.

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