President Mohamed Lachemi reaffirms commitment to campus safety and security
This morning, the Toronto Star published an article about two sexual assaults and safety concerns on our campus. I want to reassure our students, faculty, staff and all community members that your university cares deeply about your safety.
Our senior leadership team, along with our Community Safety and Security team, have been listening to our community’s concerns. Over the last few months, we have increased information sharing and provided multiple community updates on our concerted efforts to enhance safety in Kerr Hall and across campus.
At the same time, we respect that our community has a range of lived experiences and that a sense of safety is deeply personal. We know that some members of our community feel more secure with an increased presence of uniformed personnel, while others feel, based on past and current experiences, unsafe in the presence of security personnel. We have also heard from our community that some find being sent all security incidents helpful, while others find it increases their levels of anxiety and concern (all security incidents are posted online and we encourage community members to review them if they choose). A key challenge for the university, as we work to continually improve safety and security on campus and ensure our community is informed, is taking both of these realities into account.
Unfortunately, concerns about public safety are not unique to our campus, it is a reality in many parts of our city today, particularly following the pandemic. Immediately after the first incident in March 2022, I personally spoke with the Mayor and our City Councillor, asking them to increase a range of services in our area in order to increase and improve safety and well-being. We are actively working with the city and its leadership, social service agencies, Toronto Police Service, local Business Improvement Areas, and other partners on a community centric approach to safety and security.
All of these groups have come together in an effort to address the systemic challenges that are affecting our neighbourhood by focusing on service and referrals, and contributing towards building the resilience and vitality of our neighourhood. We are committed to working with the Mayor, our councillor, and all of our community partners to ensure that everyone feels safe on our campus.
In addition to this work with our partners, the university has undertaken a safety audit, increased communications, and increased additional safety and well-being measures. If you would like to learn more about our commitment to the safety of our campus and community, please visit our safety and security website.
If you have ideas about improving safety and well-being on campus, I encourage you to bring them forward. We all want to create an environment where we can teach, study, learn, research and work together peacefully. I always appreciate feedback from our community and we will always make a concerted effort to address your concerns.
News of sexual violence occurring anywhere, and especially in our community, is very concerning to us all. It's important that community members support each other, as well as reach out to other supports the university makes available.
- Consent Comes First: Provides free, confidential, trauma-informed, healing-centred support to Toronto Metropolitan community members affected by sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence.
- Walk Safe Program: Available to all community members, this provides a uniformed security crew member to escort you to various locations on campus, including the subway and nearby parking lots. This service is available to all TMU community members—including visitors—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Personal Safety Planning Sessions: Offered by community Safety and Security to all community members for support with scenario-based guidance, tools and resources so you can make informed decisions.
- Support for Employees: If you are a university faculty member or staff, you can connect with EFAP for counselling and other forms of support. You can also connect with your union representative or Human Resources partner to provide information about options, resources and support.
President and Vice-Chancellor