Yes, Concordia University is a public institution. But it’s also an institution of learning with spaces designed for use by Concordia students, faculty and staff. When these spaces, such as the library are made accessible to non-Concordia members, priority use and safety becomes an issue.
Access to spaces such as the library should be reserved for members of the Concordia community. In other words, people of the public, such as the man caught touching himself in front of female students, should be prevented from entering the library in the first place.
According to the Concordia library website, members of the public can purchase a “Concordia University Library Privilege Card,” which allows them to take out library materials and apply for a guest account for use of the computers, and this makes Privilege Card holders members of the Concordia community.
The library is for study, research and computer use. Anyone who is not a member of the Concordia community does not have any business being in the library.
Security should restrict access to the library to members of the Concordia community by having members present their I.D. or Privilege Cards.
During the student strike, security barred access to the library to anyone who did not have a Concordia I.D. or Privilege Card. This was done, presumably, for the safety of Concordia members. What has changed?
Well, for starters there’s an acknowledged pervert bothering female students while they’re trying to study. And we’re not talking about one occurrence. It has happened multiple times and yet the doors to the library remain open for anyone to come in.
Students have the right to feel safe in their university, especially in the spaces designed to accommodate their study.
On Oct. 3, Concordia University posted a message on their Facebook page stating, “Although rare and unfortunate, cases of inappropriate behaviour on Concordia’s campus do happen, as they do in other public areas.”
“Other public areas?” The university library is not just any “other public area,” it is the centre of study and research for students on campus. Our tuition fees contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of the library so that we can use it, and its natural to expect the university to ensure entrants are there for valid reasons that do not include wandering in off the street and threatening students. It is expected that someone could possibly approach you inappropriately whilst sitting in Starbucks or at a food court, but schools, whether or not they are classified as “public,” are expected to be safe places.
So far no one has been seriously injured, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen. Public shouldn’t mean that security at Concordia will only take action after the fact, Concordia should put preventative measures in place to reduce the risk to their community members who come to Concordia expecting a safe, clean place to study.