Staying Safe On York University’s Campus

It probably comes as no surprise when you hear new developments in the news about violent physical attacks against students on York’s campus. Unfortunately, that has come to be one of the things this campus is infamously known for: being a hub for dangerous and violent activity. While York is not unique in that respect, as many other university campuses (as well as other places where the population is so incredibly dense) see violent attacks on their grounds, it’s more important than ever to remain cautious and vigilant.

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In the week of December 21st, 2018, 20-year-old Inzaghi Regis was arrested, as police believe him to be responsible for up to six sexual assaults against women in and around York’s campus, beginning in late October. This story was widely covered by various news outlets, often detailing each horrific incident. This undoubtedly raised concerns for the safety of the staff and students at York University, due to the frequency and nature of the attacks. This incident caused many to think about how safe students really are on campus, and if there are other possible measures one can take to further ensure their safety. While in an ideal world, how to best fend off attackers is far from what you’d want to be thinking about during your classes, there are a couple of things you might want to keep in mind in light of recent events.

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Although you probably spend much of your time at York, where there are a bunch of external factors at play that impact your overall safety, ultimately it is best to take extra measures to ensure it. If you ever find yourself on campus after dark, these are the times where you would want to exercise extra caution. Unsurprisingly, attacks and assaults are more likely to happen during the night, and while you don't want to always assume the worst and anticipate an attack around every corner, you also don't want to be taking unnecessary risks. It can be as simple as using the buddy system, or taking advantage of York’s goSAFE service.

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It is also important to be realistic about the not-so-great circumstances. The instances of violent crime tend to be higher in densely populated areas, and the news never seems to miss a beat when reporting on instances when they occur at York. Having an understanding of this, as well as familiarizing yourself with the crime history on campus (where and when crimes tend to occur), will help you to become more aware of the campus environment.

Photo via York U

The campus safety website is also a great resource to educate yourself on the various programs York offers (such as goSAFE) that help you to be safer on campus. The website also has links to important contact information (should you ever find yourself in an urgent situation), up-to-date security bulletins, as well as other tips to help you become more prepared in an emergency situation.

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There are many milestones you might experience during these years that may make university a memorable experience for you; the amount of violent attacks that occur shouldn't be one of them. While campus safety shouldn’t consume your everyday thoughts, it’s important to consider it due to current events. Whether it’s on a university campus, or anywhere else you happen to find yourself, keeping a couple of common sense tips in mind will definitely help to secure your safety.