Carol McAulay, vice-president, finance & administration, and Samina Sami, executive director, community safety, issue the following message to the York University community:
As the fall semester gets underway, York University’s Community Safety Department would like to take this opportunity to extend greetings to all students, faculty, staff and other community members. Some of you are experiencing York University for the first time and many others are returning.
At the Community Safety Department, our mission is to ensure that York University continues to be a safe and welcoming place to live, work and study. We approach campus safety through a community-centric, holistic and intersectional lens, where everyone plays a role in safety and where your contributions and initiatives play a vital role in promoting safety.
When we promote a culture of safety, it means we are all partners in safety.
And we are here to help in both preventing and responding to safety incidents whenever and wherever we are needed.
The Community Safety Department provides 24 hours/365 day services. Our staff are extensively trained and are here to help community members with their safety needs. You may experience a health emergency or you may need safe escorts in the evening to get around campus by calling upon goSAFE. Perhaps you require safety planning for campus events or personal safety tips. Whatever your safety need, we are here to help.
Our services include diverse channels to communicate with you regarding safety incidents or events, including our website, emails and LCD screens. You can in turn reach us by contacting York Security Services by phone at 416-736-5333 (ext. 33333) for urgent matters and 416-650-8000 (ext. 58000) for general inquiries. There are also emergency phones located across our campuses which will connect you with security, in the event you have an immediate need.
We encourage everyone to download the York Safety App. It is a great tool to connect you to services, including York Security Services, goSAFE and safety notifications. We also encourage you to check out the Community Safety Department’s website www.yorku.ca/safety for more information about the full package of safety services available.
This year, we are looking forward excitedly to the opening of the new subway stations at York University’s Keele campus. There has been a lot of work done to prepare for the opening of the stations. We have been enhancing perimeter access control at the Keele campus and we have convened a working group with the TTC, Toronto Police and York Regional Police to ensure we are coordinated when responding to incidents and emergencies. In addition, the TTC will be leading a subway test emergency exercise on Oct. 25. As part of the exercise, there will be fire trucks ambulances, police, and emergency messages but please know that this is only a test. There will be alerts sent out in advance to advise the community.
The subway station openings are one of many initiatives taking place on our campuses this year. Last year, we undertook a pan-University consultation process to build a community-driven vision and strategy for safety at York University. We have completed more than 70 consultations across the Keele and Glendon campuses and the strategy will be launched this year. We will advise you of the date of the launch. This is your strategy and we hope to see you there.
We have also worked closely with the Glendon campus community to enhance safety investments and supports. We embarked on this process by joining with Glendon community members this spring on a safety walkabout to identify priorities. We have been actively working together on these priorities over the summer and they are being rolled out this year. You will receive further details of the progress from Glendon.
Our department approaches safety from an inclusive, social safety lens. We are united with the York University community in ensuring that our campuses are welcoming to all, and that the University’s core values of diversity, equity and inclusion are upheld. We are proud to join the York community in taking strong action in response to any issues of intolerance, harassment and hate. We also recognize that we have a great community where so many of you have played a role in contributing to safety. We continue to welcome your thoughts and suggestions so please feel free to send us an email at Safety@YorkU.ca.