Thursday, April 22, 2010

Secure obscured

I have been tired of hearing a lot about sexual assaults, robberies, violent assaults, vandalism incidents on campus. It is ridiculous to attend such a great university, yet I feel very insecure about stepping out of my house to go out for a walk around the block.

When future students and parents ask me about York Security system I feel like lieing to them. Yes, it is true that we count with services like GoSafe that goes around campus to pick and drop-off people, CCTV's, blue light emergency phones, indoor safety phones, foot patrols and escorts, etc. Yet, there is at least one report of harrassment, sexual assault or theft every week. Are security staff doing enough?

On facebook I was invited to a group called "We Want A Safer York", started by students who are rallying and making petitions to reinforce the security system at York. Big part of the concern was that there are not many security staff patroling the Village area, a private non-property of York. Whereas the Village mostly encompases students living there, there are also women and children who inhabitat in these residences that are equally put in danger.

In my experience, I have barely seen any security staff around the Village at York. I aknowledge the presence of security bodies wandering around campus, but definetly not beyond the university boundaries. And it is in the Village where most sexual assaults and robberies occur. Yeah, there are plenty of cop cars and (well take a guess) parking enforcement police. But when it gets dark at night, it is mostly students walking on the quiet dark and lonely streets of the Village. Some women are careless enough to walk by themselves late at night. I don't even want to imagine what happens on every thursday that is Pub Night, where some girls get drunk and some guys get a little frisky.

I don't know about the GoSafe operations, but in my experience, it is a very poor security service offering to students on campus. First of all, this year they changed the type of transportation. Last year they were couple vans going around campus. This year they changed those vans into a SINGLE mini bus that comes by every half an hour. This is what I find ridiculous! If anything they should ADD on more vans or mini buses, not pack couple vans and compact it into one mini bus. There should be dropping off people to wherever they need, not picking up a few spots for pick up. And hours of operation should be EXTENDED, not diminished. A lot could happen on 30 minutes waiting for the mini bus to come. This reminds me of the time I called the service to pick me up by Winters College because I needed to get to the other side of the campus, Calumet College. I called, and I waited all by myself at like 10pm for like 45 minutes and they never came. I was so frustrated for waiting so i walked by myself. This is not the only case. Most of the times I have called them, it always took them a while to get me. There was one time, when I was at my friend's apartment, a little bit over the Village. I called them at 1.40am, and they said they stopped their service already, when on the website it clearly states that their working hours is until 2am. They also told me that they could not do anything beyond the York Boundaries. But I Need To Get To My Residence On Campus!!! Can't they even like, wait for me in one spot so that they can walk me back to res? ugh. And aparently I am not the only one with bad experiences. heard from a friend, who was trying to help a drunked friend to get back to residence, that the GoSafe people told them that they wouldn't take that person because they don't want any puking in the van. If anything, they are the ones who really need the van. There was also this time when couple friends wanted to get a ride to the Village from campus. They said they could take the ladies, but not the guys. if guys were in less danger of getting an assault than girls. I was also reading on the facebook group, and someone commented that even the mini bus driver was being mean.

I know the GoSafe can't be that bad, can it? I can't totally bash about it because a good friend of mine used to work for it. I mean, I know they try what they can do. They make sure to follow the good instructions they received, but sometimes you gotta look further, thinking about helping out somebody with their safeness, rather than thinking it is 'just' a job.

Although I still think that York security system should be reinforced. Also, people should stop walk by themselves at night, leave their expensive belongings alone, dress provocatively, listen to ipod and stop paying attention to their surroundings, be mischief. People should stop being stupid.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Katie,

    Yes, it is dangerous for you to travel alone. Ask your boyfriend/guy friend to walk you home?