Report details numerous safety incidents on campus

A report delivered to the UNSW Chancellory’s Student Safety & Wellbeing Committee has shown several incidents of assault and robbery, including students threatened with knives.

The Student Incident Summary Report, obtained by Tharunka through Freedom of Information legislation, focuses on campus incidents from January to August this year.

The Report comes as the University switches security providers from SNP to Wilson Security.

iPhone snatching were the most commonly occurring incident of robbery, with the majority of crimes taking place near Anzac Parade or at the upper end of University Mall.

The most serious incident detailed in the report was an attack by a group of females on several students between the Tyree and Law buildings. Several other robberies are believed to be related to this assault.

Chancellory confirmed the arrest of three females in relation to these incidents.

Student welfare the key

The highest proportion of issues detailed in the Report were related to student welfare.

These issues ranged from missing students, written threats made to student health, and students unresponsive after consuming large quantities of alcohol.

Professor Wai Fong Chua, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students), said safety and well-being for students were handled by various people on campus.

She pointed to the work of units including CAPS, SEADU, The Learning Centre, Student Participation Advisers, Student Development International, and the coordination of the Student Safety and Wellbeing Committee.

Professor Chua said the University was organising for the placement of microwaves at three locations next year, and her staff would be assisting students setting up an equivalent of Nightline, a UK student volunteer service.

Nightline operates at over forty universities in the United Kingdom, and provides emotional support at night, when few other services are available, run by students.

Professor Chua said she hoped initiatives developed by Student Life and Learning, in conjunction with Arc, would help promote greater engagement between domestic and international students.

Wilson Security wins contract

Jenny Denman, Faculty Management’s Associate Director (Campus Services), denied the decision to change security providers was connected with the findings of the Report.

Wilson Security commenced on campus on 31 August following a lengthy tender process scheduled to align with the expiration date of the previous contract,” she told Tharunka.

“The original contract was awarded in 2007 and was due for review as per the strategic procurement guidelines.”

She said the change would bring higher visibility on campus for roving patrols, and an approachable team, with a higher ratio of female security officers.

A lack of transparency?

Tim Kaliyanda, President of the SRC, said it was encouraging to see the University responding to security issues, but questioned the lack of information communicated to students.

“It’s crucial that UNSW remain transparent so students can adopt some degree of self-responsibility when it comes to their personal safety on campus,” he said.

“‘Students deserve to to know exactly what incidents may have occurred on campus to make better and more informed decisions. It’s extremely disappointing that this isn’t happening”

Kylar Loussikian
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