Faculty and academic librarians say more can be done to improve campus safety

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OCUFA President Nigmendra Narain spoke to media about the issue of campus safety, following the tragic attack at University of Waterloo in June 2023. In several interviews, he offered recommendations for universities and the provincial government to improve safety for all members of the campus community.
Funding universities properly is an important part of this process.
“We have to face up to the fact that campus safety is an issue and [Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop] and the province have a place to play here because Ontario itself ranks last in Canada for per-capita university funding,” he said in an interview with CityNews Kitchener.
In the Waterloo Region Record, Narain pointed out that current investment in campus safety is inadequate to address the problem. Referring to the government’s $6 million Campus Safety Grant, he said: “On the surface this appears like a large investment, but when divided across the 23 public universities and 24 colleges in Ontario it only amounts to $127,659.57 per institution… This illustrates the sheer lack of meaningful investment the provincial government is making in campus safety and universities more generally.”
In interviews with the Canadian Press and CBC’s The National, Narain also highlighted the safety concerns of faculty and students studying social justice, gender, and race issues.
“These classes themselves have become a lightning rod in terms of hate and online extremism, in particular,” he said. “We need to have a better and broader conversation about campus safety overall, to protect the mission of the university which is to discuss, talk, collaborate, do research and give students a strong learning environment.”
Follow OCUFA to keep up to date on all our media appearances and read OCUFA’s statement on the Waterloo attack here.

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