Late-night study safety

Security patrols, safety programs available to students alone on campus at night

Goodes Hall has one commissionaire on duty to do rounds on a continual basis. They patrol classrooms, meeting rooms annd bathrooms.
Goodes Hall has one commissionaire on duty to do rounds on a continual basis. They patrol classrooms, meeting rooms annd bathrooms.

As exam period begins, students will begin study sessions at libraries and in classrooms across campus. For those pulling all-nighters, safety is a concern for students studying or walking home alone.

On the morning of Nov. 11, Baha Bekenov, Comm ’09, was found dead in a bathroom in Goodes Hall by a custodian. Bekenov’s backpack was found in a nearby study area. He died due to a pre-existing medical condition.

Steven Millan, director of finance and administration for the Queen’s School of Business, said Goodes Hall employs commissionaires who provide internal security for the building. Commissionaires are also used in other buildings on Queen’s campus.

In Goodes Hall there is one commissionaire on duty, Millan said.

“Their role is to have a physical presence in the building,” he said. “They’re here evenings and weekends.

“The commissionaires patrol the building and do rounds on a continual basis throughout the evenings. They’re responsible for the inside of the building,” he said. “They work with Campus Security as well. From an administration standpoint they also help out with our room bookings.”

Millan said the School of Business is evaluating their internal security.

“We’re meeting with commissionaires to examine how patrols take place. They do patrol classrooms, meeting rooms and bathrooms.”

Goodes Hall is open to all students Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., he said. Goodes Hall is open from Friday to Sunday at peak study hours. This includes 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.

“Essentially in those hours the building is open. The building does lock but students already in the building are allowed to stay. We work with the Commerce Society to see when students need access to the building.”

Other buildings that are open for extended hours include Douglas Library, Bracken Health Sciences Library, and the JDUC.

Millan said there have not been any issues with security in Goodes Hall.

“We’ve never had safety or security problems in the past.”

Director of Campus Security David Patterson said programs such as the Lone Worker program are in place to keep individuals who work alone safe.

“Any person working during off-hours can use the Lone Worker program,” he said. “There are certain departments that have granted permission for personnel to work at non-traditional hours.”

When using the Lone Worker program, individuals notify Campus Security with their location, the expected length of time they will be working and the number of the closest phone.

“We ask individuals to contact us when they leave the building,” he said.

Patterson said Campus Security will check on individuals if they fail to phone Campus Security at the end of their work period.

There are also security measures in place for individuals who walk home alone at night.

“We also encourage people to use Walkhome. There is a Campus Safewalk program when Walkhome is off duty,” Patterson said.

Campus Security patrols campus at night in an effort to provide safety for those who remain on campus outside of business hours.

“We conduct both internal and external building checks. We do concentrate a large part of patrolling to external activities,” Patterson said. “We do stop in and talk to the security person inside Goodes Hall.”

Patterson said Campus Security maintains a visible presence to deter crime which means focusing on security outside of buildings. Certain buildings are staffed with their own security.

“There are areas on campus, like the libraries and athletic and recreation centre, that have security staff,” he said. “From November 30 to December 17, Stauffer is open for 24 hours. The library has security staff. They patrol the floors.”

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