AMS ‘very concerned’ about on-campus searches

University declined to comment

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
Some students were stopped and their bags searched at the ARC entrances on St. Patrick’s Day.

On Mar. 17, students reported being stopped in the Athletics & Recreation Centre (ARC) to have their bags checked. Some were asked to dump fluids in unsealed containers to gain entrance, regardless of whether they were carrying alcohol.

Maddie Zarb, AMS Director of Communications, said the University failed to notify the AMS these tactics would be taking place over St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.

“We’re very concerned about the potential violation of students’ privacy. We’ve reached out to the university to determine where exactly this is occurring and what the intended purpose of these searches is,” Zarb wrote in an email statement to The Journal.

The AMS recognized open alcohol is not permitted in campus buildings but is concerned searches may be violating student privacy and the right to move freely.

“These searches also create additional harm for marginalized students from historically over-policed communities who already experience increased surveillance from the Police and Campus Security any time of the year,” Zarb wrote.

Zarb directed students in need of support to the Peer Support Centre, EmpowerME, and Queen’s Legal Aid. Students are also encouraged to fill out the AMS survey on experiences with security and police.

“Not all students were partying today, many students had classes, labs, tutorials, or work on campus. Criminalizing all students can be alienating to those that do not party on St. Pats [sic]. We do not support arbitrary stops and arbitrary searches that unfairly target these students.”

The University declined The Journal’s request to comment.

This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.  

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