Jorgenson Hall and Ryerson’s main campus intersection at Gould and Victoria Streets are hotspots for safety issues, according to a Ryersonian map that plots security alerts issued since September 2012.
The map shows reported incidents including assaults, robberies and suspicious behaviour.
“We have instances that happen all across campus,” said Julia Lewis, director of Ryerson’s integrated risk management. “Where we do see trends is more seasonal trends as opposed to location trends.”
Integrated risk management sends emails, containing security watch notifications about “high-risk” incidents, to the Ryerson community.
Lewis said it’s hard to make any conclusions based on a small sample size, however. She said they can only be made based on a minimum of five years.
“We definitely do see seasonal trends because there are some various vulnerabilities where our outside community is interested in coming onto campus and committing various offences,” Lewis said. “An example would be when all the students come back. September is typically when we might see a rise in the number of thefts.”
Ryerson currently has 433 security cameras on campus, according to Imre Juurlink, the program director with security and emergency services.
On Ryerson’s 3.2-million-square-foot campus, this works out to roughly one security camera per 7,000 square feet, which is the approximate size of a six-bedroom mansion.
Seventy-three of the cameras are inside and outside of Jorgensen Hall, the Podium Building and the Library Building, which have had numerous security issues.
Juurlink said campus security usually consists of a dispatcher, a supervisor, two emergency medical responders and two patrol officers that are on duty 24-7.
There are also extra officers placed in various buildings on campus.
Despite the extra enforcement, Jim Showers, a third-year business student, said he has barely seen security patrolling on campus, adding that he used to see them all the time in residence buildings in his first year.
“If I’m walking home around 11 o’clock after studying at the library or skating (at Lake Devo), I don’t feel the safest … especially on the outskirts of campus,” he said.
Showers said he doesn’t pay attention to the security watches issued by email unless they’re serious. He said keeping the campus aware is a good idea, and although he doesn’t look at the alerts often, he wouldn’t unsubscribe.
Lewis said she is critical of The Ryersonian map because of its focus on location.
“I would caution against looking at particular locations because what happens is you tend to feel differently when you’re not in that space. And the reality is that incidents can happen anywhere,” Lewis said.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on February 12, 2014.