Silence won’t make you safe

Judging by the buzz on campus, students are feeling a little less secure than in the past. A series of well-publicized incidents – some legitimate, others not – has put Laurier Brantford on edge.

This has led to a tremendous number of questions debated in the community: is Laurier Brantford safe? Is this year really worse than the past? Are these incidents happening here any more often than at other schools in the area? Why isn’t anything being done?

This piece is not designed to discuss most of those issues. However, the last one, the one looking towards the future – The Sputnik has something to say on that.
First of all, things are being done. Steps are being taken to help ensure that students are as safe as possible. Foot Patrol is running later. Campus security is keeping a closer watch. Newly-elected WLUSU president Kyle Walker has pledged to make Brantford campus safety a priority.

There is one obvious flaw to these new measures: they wouldn’t have changed anything. The assault on Kelan Herr took place well after even the latest Foot Patrol ended, began in a non-Laurier building – meaning security wouldn’t have been there anyhow – and in any event, was caused in no small part by the students’ own behaviour. Likewise, the Nipissing student who had her guitar smashed was approached in the middle of the day and unless police or security just happened to be at that location at that moment, the incident could not have been prevented.

Their hearts are in the right place, though. The city and the school are both trying to make downtown safer for students. The problem is that they don’t have many ideas – and it’s because they’re not getting any help.

It’s students who don’t feel safe. It’s students who complain about the lack of security in downtown Brantford. But for all the complaining, there’s little coming from students in the way of potential solutions. The only solutions are coming from the authorities, who will inevitably opt for extensions of current services, because that’s what they know best.

If you don’t feel safe at Laurier Brantford, if you think the changes being made to campus security aren’t the least bit helpful, speak up. If you don’t, and you land yourself in an uncomfortable situation, know that you only have yourself to blame. Everybody’s waiting for students to offer their input on how Brantford can be safer -we’re just not doing it.

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