A few weeks ago, in light of the spate of sexual assaults on campus, we asked our members to send us information about places and practices on campus that caused students and workers to feel unsafe. The response was overwhelming and we’re happy to report that many of the safety issues were resolved shortly after we managed to contact the people responsible. Campus safety is the product of a complex network of building and facilities managers, UBC administrative departments like UBC Housing, security agencies and of course, the Health & Safety Committee; so it can be difficult to track down exactly the right person. But CUPE 2278, the local for UBC teaching assistants, markers, and tutors, along with our sister CUPE locals on campus, are here to help. We’re proud to announce the following positive changes to campus safety that occurred shortly or immediately after we intervened.
A number of broken or missing bulbs in public lighting have been replaced or fixed. Some of the broken lighting our members alerted us to was located close to where some reported sexual assaults occurred. One member claimed to be trying to get her building manager to address broken lighting in Acadia Park for two months without any success. Within a week of us contacting UBC Housing and the building managers, the lights, located near residences and the playground, were fixed. We would like to thank the facilities managers who fielded our calls, in particular the manager of the Auditorium Annex Chris Skipper, who took time out from his vacation to personally inspect one of our queries.
A number of our members expressed concern over the temporary pathway near the UBC Hospital construction site. One of our executives visited the site and found that not only was the lighting poor, but that the pathway was extremely isolated and difficult to navigate safely while travelling alone. Due to the number of organizations involved in the construction, it was difficult to identify exactly who could remedy this urgent problem. Fortunately, after the hard work of our Vice-President Ed Kroc to notify the appropriate facility manager, a security guard now patrols the pathway from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. each evening.
Again, CUPE 2278 would like to thank everyone involved in these positive changes, particularly those who listened to UBC community concerns. And we would like to encourage our members to come to us with safety and security concerns so that these improvements continue.