Public safety for a student isn’t a term taken lightly.
Tens of thousands of students commute daily from neighbouring communities and cities around the GTA to Humber. Whether walking alone, leaving their belongings at school or commuting independently, feeling secure will always be a student’s top priority.
There are several ways in which a student can prioritize their safety. Humber News, in association with Humber College, has devised some ways students can use to protect themselves and their belongings throughout the school year.
While it is common throughout elementary and secondary schools, locker theft has been a major issue for students in post-secondary schools.
Recently, at Humber’s North campus, several security alert posters have been pasted on lockers, cautioning students about the dangers of not properly securing their belongings, which could lead to possible theft. The alert became public a few days before reading week.
Students were told there were reports of locker break-ins and damage to the lockers because of perpetrators trying to access their belongings.
Julia Piane, a Baking and Pastry Arts Management program student, said the situation has become stressful since she keeps most of her class equipment in her locker.
“It just makes me want to buy a stronger locker,” Piane said.
Locker rentals are provided by Humber each school year, and students are cautioned to take the necessary steps to ensure that their properties are well protected.
Students are advised to invest in high-quality locks that deter perpetrators from breaking in and are constantly told not to share their lock combinations with anyone.
Along with purchasing high-security locks, students are urged to remove all valuable items from their lockers and should not be kept overnight or during the weekend.
In addition, students should double-check that their locker is secure before leaving the area. Most importantly, students shouldn’t share their locker space with anyone.
Students are also advised to be vigilant while going to parking garages and car parks on campus, as there have been several reports of breaking-in and car thefts in neighbouring communities.
Humber also provides a Campus Walk service that provides a walking partner for students, staff and visitors to anywhere on campus.
The college also has the Guardian app which offers students the ability to receive mass notifications, be able to contact Humber Security and provides a personal emergency alarm.
With the trend of vehicle thefts and robberies, it is also essential to secure cars. Students are asked to lock their car doors and double-check they are closed after entering and exiting them.
Students and staff are also advised to ensure all windows are fully closed before exiting their cars and not to leave them unattended with the engine running. Also, they should hide spare keys or leave them at home.
Leaving personal items such as identification and valuables in the vehicle is discouraged.
It is recommended key fobs be at least five metres away from vehicles that have push-start button vehicles. Any with set features can be stolen if parked outside with a key nearby.
If possible, park the vehicle in the secured garage.
While attacks are rare, students commuting to school should be aware of their surroundings, especially during the fall and winter semesters, since nightfall is early.
Isabelle Silva, a student studying in the Baking and Pastry Arts Management program, also told Humber News she’s usually okay taking the TTC. Still, there are moments when she fears for her safety.
“There have been times where people have yelled very racist comments, and I’ve seen a woman get spat on,” Silva said.
“It’s concerning when you see these things happen, and sometimes you don’t know what to do,” Silva said.
Students who listen to music while commuting should keep the volume down to be able to hear sounds.
Students should also follow their instincts if they feel their safety is threatened and seek assistance when necessary.
If possible, have a commute buddy.