UBC President Toope addresses sexual assaults at press conference #bced #ubc

by Stephen Petrina on October 30, 2013

Will McDonald, The Ubyssey, October 30, 2013– UBC president Stephen Toope addressed the recent sexual assaults at a press conference today.

Toope said UBC is doing all they can to keep students safe in the face of the environment of insecurity currently felt on campus.

“I have kids who live on campus and I am every bit as concerned about their safety as any parent. I can reassure parents across the world that we are doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of their children.”

Toope said the university has already increased both lighting and security patrols on campus, but questioned adding security cameras due to privacy concerns.

“That’s going to be a longer term discussion,” he said. “I certainly am reluctant to make a commitment at this point that the entire campus would be subject to surveillance.”

He said a working group has been formed to discuss issues such as the merits of adding cameras and the possibility of adding more lighting on campus.

“What I can tell you is that we are putting [in] the resources that are necessary to keep this campus as safe as we can. Frankly, we are not counting pennies right now.”

Toope also commended students who have banded together in organizations like Safewalk in the wake of the sexual assaults.

“This is a moment for community building. This is a moment to resist fear, to push back at a person who is making our community feel vulnerable,” he said.

Toope emphasized that the new security measures are a temporary response to the recent sexual assaults. He said the working group would look at longer-term security plans.

“This is one of the safest campuses in North America. There is not normally a climate of fear of or insecurity on the campus.”

Read More: The Ubyssey