An update on Safer Together, the University’s community safety strategic plan

People walk through Vari Hall, which is located on York U's Keele campus
People walk through Vari Hall, which is located on York U’s Keele campus

The following is a message to the York University community from Samina Sami, executive director, Community Safety Department:

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the implementation of Safer Together, the Community Safety Department’s Strategic Plan.

The plan was developed following pan-University consultations where students, faculty and staff shared their key priorities and needs through a multi-channel consultation process that included town halls, interviews, surveys and in-person meetings. More than 7,000 people were engaged during the consultation process.

York University’s Community Safety Council also played an important role in these consultations.

The plan was guided and informed by the presidential pillars of accessibility, connectedness, excellence and impact. York University’s core values of inclusion and sustainability are the cornerstones for the Community Safety Strategic Plan.

Safer Together is your plan, it reflects your input. I encourage you to take the time to become acquainted with it. We are now in the process of implementing many of the safety initiatives recommended by community members.

The following are some of the actions we have already taken and some of what we will implement over the next twelve months:

  • Continued collaboration with community partners on educational initiatives like the bystander campaigns, developed through community collaboration, for supporting a culture in which everyone is involved in safety and looking out for one another. While enhancing safety on our campuses, these initiatives help to promote inclusion and denounce discrimination and hate.
  • Enhancements to perimeter door access systems in buildings throughout York University’s campuses continue to be implemented. Progress is ongoing with a significant number of buildings already completed.
  • An updated streamlined emergency notification system has been developed and tested and will roll out this fall.
  • Signage has been installed across our campuses to identify evacuation assembly areas. We are currently developing training videos on evacuation procedures and other various safety situations.
  • With the assistance of our Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee, York’s Emergency Plan and Policy are being updated. These important documents will be finalized over the next few months and will be shared with our community.
  • Investments in safety infrastructure enhancements at Glendon College have been made and this fall we will be launching the Glendon Community Safety Working Group to ensure that there is a continued focus on the unique priorities for Glendon College.
  • Video surveillance guidelines have been developed to ensure that we are following best practices in our use of CCTV cameras on our campuses. These guidelines can be found on the Community Safety website.

In the upcoming year, we will continue to work closely with the Community Safety Council on implementing the strategic plan, which will include the development of a safety survey.

The Community Safety Department provides several supports and services to help keep our community safe, among them:

  • Security Services provides 24/7 service throughout the year, responding to over 1,900 calls for service on an annual basis, including support for health emergencies.
  • goSAFE is a free service that helps community members get to and from any location on campus in the evenings, supporting over 7,000 users every year.
  • Safety and security event assessments are conducted for hundreds of on-campus events, including Orientation Week.

To learn more about all our supports and services, visit our website.

In closing, I would like to sincerely thank all those who took time out of their busy schedules to be a part of this very important collaborative process.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or other members of the Community Safety Department if you have any suggestions or ideas. Your input is always appreciated.