Langara College becomes target for Youtube pranksters
By Emma Shular
Following an incident where two men interrupted several classrooms for a social media prank, Langara security has reported the incident to the Vancouver Police Department with details that include the identity of the two men.
Ashamdeep Dhillon, protective services coordinator, said in an email they believe the men were creating video content to promote an online site that contains pornography.
“We obtained clear photos and video of the individuals and have shared this evidence with the police. The identities of the individuals, including their social media platforms, were also provided to VPD [Vancouver Police Department],” Dhillon said.
On March 7, two men entered three different Langara classrooms to film a YouTube prank video. The nine-minute video they posted online shows one of them coming onto Langara campus, going up to multiple students and asking inappropriate questions before interrupting the classrooms. One man had gone into classes ahead of time in order to film, posing as a student.
In the video, a man identified as Melcolm Dass entered a classroom after it had started and told the instructor that he was “authorized to be there.” He handed out pieces of paper to the students telling them they should join OnlyFans, a subscription-based content sharing site, with much of its content being pornographic in nature. The two men also interrupted classes at UBC that same day.
“There was no physical harm or threats of harm made during the interactions; however, their behavior was disconcerting. In addition to disrupting classes and filming others without their consent, they made sexual comments to students,” said Dhillon.
The video they posted online shows Gary Harder, a second-year kinesiology student at Langara, confronting them in the lobby of the campus’s A Building.
Harder said in an interview that he didn’t plan what he was going to say.
“When I was walking down to the cafeteria, I was kind of thinking . . . you know, I wish I had been a bit more active rather than just sitting there,” Harder said. “ When I was in the [cafeteria] and I saw them walk by I [was] like ‘OK, I’m gonna do it.’”
Harder said that no one was really sure exactly what was happening when Dass and the other man, identified as Landon Ozirny, first came into the class.
“It eventually clicked where it’s like OK, these guys are just doing some online thing,” said Harder. “I don’t know, the whole thing was just so smarmy and manipulative and weird.”
While Harder said he wasn’t affected by the intrusion, his instructor was impacted greatly.
UBC economics professor, Catherine Douglas, said in an email that she had to pause her class halfway through a lecture when the men entered her classroom.
“We were waiting for the campus security people to arrive,” she said.
The video showed Langara security confronting the two men. Dhillon said Langara campus security will respond to an incident depending on its severity.
“Responses will vary depending on the situation and will follow emergency protocols which may include shelter in place and lockdown procedures,” she said.