Message on Safety and Security

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  • Message on Safety and Security

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Message on Safety and Security

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<i>(This message was distributed to all faculty, staff and students April 27, 2007.)</i>

In the days following the Virginia Tech tragedy, our solidarity with and sympathy for the faculty, staff, students and families affected by the loss of lives on April 16, 2007 remains front and centre in our minds.

Openness and access are features that define us as a university, and we cherish those attributes greatly. At the same time we are conscious that these features make us vulnerable to the behaviour of troubled or violent people. Our overall approach to providing a safe environment is therefore guided by the desire to maintain and nurture openness while doing all we can to prepare for, prevent, and respond to crisis situations.

The events of Friday April 20 were a good test of our overall philosophy and systems with respect to both safety and security. Shortly before 5 pm, a report was received of a male with a rifle in the vicinity of the bowl. Saskatoon Police Services (SPS) and Campus Safety responded, conducted a sweep of buildings in the vicinity, and declared the incident over at 7 pm. The next day SPS concluded, based on the report of another eyewitness, that the rifle was actually a bike seat and post and declared the incident a false alarm. This incident demonstrated strengths in our systems, including effective coordination with SPS. It also highlighted some areas for improvement, including our ability to communicate with the entire campus when necessary.

There are many dimensions to our approach to safety. Our department of Campus Safety maintains a 24-hour watch over the campus, with a team of security staff on duty and a video-surveillance system. The U of S works closely and cooperatively with Saskatoon&#39;s emergency service organizations, engaging in joint training initiatives. There are a number of additional safety measures in place including safety alert notices, the Safewalk program, campus emergency phones, and counseling and health services for staff and students and their families.

We encourage all members of our campus community to always be alert of potentially unsafe situations, suspicious persons or activities, and report anything unusual without hesitation to 966-5555 immediately, at any time of the day or night.

Shortly after the Virginia tragedy, Vice-President Richard Florizone launched an assessment of the University&#39;s safety practices, with recommendations to be developed before the new academic year. The University continually reviews and renews its overall safety measures; however, this specific assessment seeks to ensure that our approach is based on best practices and incorporates the lessons learned in recent events.

The personal safety and security of our campus community is of the greatest importance, and in this regard, we welcome any and all suggestions. Please forward any comments you have to <a href="richard.florizone@usask.ca">richard.florizone@usask.ca</a>.

Peter MacKinnon,
President, University of Saskatchewan

Richard Florizone
VP Finance and Resources, University of Saskatchewan

(Posted on April 27, 2007)

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Original Source: <a href="http://blogs.usask.ca/studentnews/archive/2007/04/message_on_safe.html">http://blogs.usask.ca/studentnews/archive/2007/04/message_on_safe.html</a>

Licensed under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/">Creative Commons Attribution 2.5</a>.

Creator

Peter MacKinnon and Richard Florizone

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Date

2007-06-09

Contributor

Brent Jesiek

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Creative Commons Attribution 2.5

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eng

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Citation

Peter MacKinnon and Richard Florizone, "Message on Safety and Security," in The April 16 Archive, Item #462, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/462 (accessed July 28, 2014).