In recent weeks, two muggings have occurred on the UW campus raising concerns around campus safety and how students might be making themselves more vulnerable to crime.</p>
The first robbery, which was reported late April 3, consisted of a group of three men in their late teens who took a man’s jacket and cash, while the second took place April 4, near Beck Hall.
According to Dan Anderson, director of UW Police Service (UWPS), the University of Waterloo is one of the safest campuses in the country, which is why the two robberies that occurred in early April were deemed unusual by the UWPS.
“There were no robberies on campus in 2014 and only two in 2013, so these types of events are very rare.”
While the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) investigates these robberies, Anderson urges people in these situations to inform campus police.
“Anyone confronted by someone with a weapon or a group of assaultive people wanting their property should comply,” Anderson said.
A currently unnamed student-based starter program has taken it upon themselves to advocate the message to be safe.
Imprint spoke with Shelby Keedwell and Florin Alexandru Benea, two UW students attempting to bring awareness to the potentially dangerous situations they may be putting themselves in. In addition, they hope to build a stronger connection between students and the WRPS.
“The program is a group of students from UW, Laurier, and Conestoga College working alongside the Waterloo Regional Police to spread the issue of crimes on campus and get people to report it,” Keedwell said.
“Some issues a lot of campuses deal with are students leaving their doors unlocked. People who go to bars and get super intoxicated are leaving themselves open to pickpockets, and there are cases going around of people looking through windows. It’s important that people protect themselves with curtains.
“In a situation that you feel threatened, such as someone following you, the best thing to do is contact the police or campus police,” Keedwell said. “If other people have been victims of a similar crime but are maybe too scared to report it, coming forward yourself could make a huge difference.”
Feds is also working to ensure that the safety of students remains a top priority in Waterloo. In a press release, Feds’ vice-president internal Maaz Yasin released a list of recommendations to the university.
Such recommendations include improving campus lighting at night, maintaining the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on Ring Road, and signage that is up-to-date and clear.
At this time, there is no program within Feds for students to turn to with questions or concerns regarding their safety. Feds is looking to change this by adding a permanent body that handles safety issues.