Langara students weigh in on campus safety

While sexual assault cases near the college remains a worry, most students feel safe while being on campus.

Two people walk through the Langara campus in Vancouver, B.C., on November 13, 2020. (Norman Galimski/Photo)
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By Norman Galimski 

There have been two sexual assaults within blocks of Langara College, yet students feel safe being on college campus.

The majority of students at Langara say they feel safe on campus, even those who were unaware of the safety programs and services that college security provides. Since the college has moved largely to remote learning, there are fewer people roaming the halls and the outdoor campus grounds.

Second-year art student Ysabelle Santa Ana said she thought campus security was doing a pretty good job overall.

“It’s good. I’ve never felt unsafe on campus,” she said.

Daniel Ghoukassain has been charged with a sexual assault that occurred Oct. 19 on Main Street & 41 Ave. Ghoukassain is known to the police.

Police said there was a similar sexual assault nearby a few days prior, just a few blocks away. The investigation is still ongoing.

Mario Kalinowski, the manager of security and emergency management, said the Langara campus security desk and security guards have been “busier in terms of giving access” on the Langara campus during the pandemic.

“Things have definitely changed,” he said.

In the event of a safety emergency on campus, Langara security partner Paladin Security would act as the first responders to the situation, Kalinowski said.

Kalinowski said incidents that take place on campus and that affect the Langara community are “shared accordingly.”  

Some students, though satisfied with the level of safety on campus, still had suggestions on what they would like to see more of from campus security.

Polina Tannenbaum, a second-year health science student, said she’d like to see a security text service on campus.

“If you’re not feeling safe and you didn’t want to pick up the phone to let them know,” she said, suggesting someone could instead text security. “Hey, I’m not feeling safe … I’m walking here.’” 

Langara campus security offers the Safe Walk service where anyone can call security to meet at their preferred location and request an escort to another building, like a vehicle, or a bus stop. Students can contact Safe Walk by calling them, using the blue emergency towers or yellow call stations, visiting their office, or asking any campus security guards on campus. 

Timothy Seow, a second-year biology student, feels there should be more security features on campus, such as more cameras.

“Maybe a few more security guards to roam around the place in order to be attentive whenever someone needs help,” Seow said.

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The Langara Voice talked to some students to know more. 

 

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