Many of you may have heard recent reports about an assault or assaults near the downtown campus. These reports may have alarmed you. Fortunately, after an extensive examination of their reports and records, the Montreal police have concluded there is nothing unusual taking place in the Milton-Parc community to the east of the campus and there is no evidence of an individual waiting to prey on students or anyone else.
Nonetheless, the University values the safety of all members of the McGill community, and we want to remind you all of some procedures that are recommended to protect your safety at all times, as well as some resources available to students studying late at night.
1. Many of you will be staying late on campus these days to study for your final exams. If you leave the campus after dark, and you must walk alone, please call Walksafe (514-398-2498) for an escort. Walksafe is a student-run volunteer service. They are available Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to midnight, and, on Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. They work in pairs, have reflective jackets and carry walkie-talkies.
If there is no reply, or they are not available, call Security at 514-398-3000; a Security agent will accompany you to a place from which you can continue your trip home safely.
2. Avoid shortcuts through back lanes, whatever the weather.
3. To reduce the chance of a theft, carry only as much cash as you need. Keep valuables (e.g., passports, visas) that you do not need to keep at hand in a secure place at home.
4. When walking alone after dark, keep your ears open; that means turning off the iPod or MP3 player for the duration of your journey.
5. It is a good idea to keep your cash, credit card, ID card, driver's licence and other critical items separate from other items. If an individual grabs your purse or backpack, let it go. Your safety and well-being are more important than the value of your belongings.
6. Do make a mental note of the location of emergency phones, marked with a blue light, as you cross the campus. In case of an incident, call McGill Security at 514-398-3000 as soon as possible. They can often respond faster than the police. Security will then contact Montreal police.
7. Suspicious persons and events can be reported to Security at 514-398-3000. They are on campus 24/7. If you are on campus, you can also push the button on any emergency phone.
You have a variety of options to increase your personal safety. These options include walking with someone in the Milton-Parc area after dark and using the Walksafe and Security Services.
Please call us if you have questions or concerns.
We can be reached jane.everett [at] mcgill.ca and pierre.barbarie [at] mcgill.ca