MSVU students want more training for security after campus incident
Some students at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax are speaking up about the way campus security handled a safety complaint this week.
They're calling for concrete changes to the security protocol after the incident on Tuesday night.
A student was waiting for a ride outside of the Evaristus Building when she was approached by a suspicious vehicle.
She called campus security, who said the student should wait with a buddy and call 911 if they truly felt threatened.
"I would acknowledge that on Tuesday night, the response of our security officer was inadequate," said Paula Barry Mercer, the associate vice-president of student experience at MSVU. "She deeply regrets that and we're working with the leadership team to take action. The first thing we need to do is hear from the students."
The students are speaking out on social media.
The incident went viral on the campus, reminding students of previous incidents, like an on-campus sexual assault two years ago.
"There seems to be something every single semester where something comes up where students don't feel safe on campus and we need to make sure that the university knows that these incidents are happening and that it's not OK," said Kenya Thompson of the MSVU student union.
Several students are coming together in a protest Friday.
"I don't think I'm the only one who's upset with this incident on campus and I think that the students are really wanting to see concrete changes happening," said Tara Jamieson.
But they aren't calling for the security officer to be fired. Instead, they are asking for retraining for the department.
"I would not want to target a specific person individually, but rather just making sure that the university and the security office is doing its job," Thompson said.
The university implemented several safety procedures on campus after the assault two years ago, including a network of cameras and safety lights.
"I do want to assure our students that we do take their safety and security very seriously, and we're very open today to hear what their suggestions are and to put an action plan together to move forward," said Barry Mercer.
They say over a dozen students have also used their travel safe program -- using a safety escort -- in the first week of school.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff.