Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω
TRU is paying a consultant $600,000 to examine safety and security at its Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses.
A safety and security task force was created in summer 2012 to choose the consultant. Risk mitigation firm Canpro King-Reed Global was selected. It’s being paid for by carry-over funds left from the vice president finance and administration’s budget, said Christine Adam, the task force’s co-chair and dean of students.
The review isn’t happening because of any specific incident, Adam said. Rather, it’s something the university does approximately every five years.
“I think it’s always important for an institution to review how it’s operating,” she said.
Each year, the Globe and Mail conducts a survey examining how students feel about their university. In the 2012 survey, TRU scored an A+ in the personal security and safety category. The average score among small universities was an A. The comparable University of Northern B.C. also scored an A+.
“That’s good,” Adam said, “but it doesn’t mean that you should stop being sure that you’re on top of the situation on campus, that everybody feels safe and that you’re aware of what’s going on elsewhere that could be enhancing what you do for personal safety and security.”
The review will examine a range of safety and security issues, including lab procedures, protection of private data and emergency preparedness. It will include online surveys, examination of policies, campus tours, interviews and focus groups.
TRUSU was involved in one of the focus groups two weeks ago.
“We met with the gentleman (consultant Marc LaLonde) who’s facilitating it and were able to discuss safety and security at TRU,” said Dustin McIntyre, TRUSU president.
McIntyre said the students union hasn’t heard many complaints about security on campus.
“Safety is more of a reactionary thing [rather] than proactive, so students, unless there is something that happened on campus, do not talk to us about safety and security,” he said.
The students union president wasn’t specific about the safety concerns TRUSU discussed with the focus group, besides mentioning the emergency phones TRU facilities began installing in August 2012.
“We are always working with the institution,” he said, “like when we worked with the institution to install the new safety phones on campus, to improve safety and security on campus.”
McIntyre said he thought students have been properly consulted in the review and LaLonde was listening to student concerns.
However, the student member of the task force, Leanne Katchmar, said via Facebook she wasn’t involved in it anymore. Adam said she would examine the situation and make sure students were represented.
“It’s important to have,” she said. “As dean of students, that’s part of my role, so in the future we’ll ensure there’s a student on there.”
Adam expects the review to be completed on schedule by March. The university’s senior administration will then decide which actions to take
Any student that would like to contribute to the review can contact LaLonde at email@example.com.