As part of our In This Together DC email series, today’s update will share with you details about ongoing Campus Safety activities.
Like everyone else, the members of the Office of Campus Safety (OCS) were quite taken aback with the March 24 communication that stated “Durham College implements full closure… until further notice.” Although some of the OCS staff transitioned to the delivery of their services from home, the essential on-site service provided by security personnel heightened as a result of the emptying of our campus.
Below is a brief update on what our teams have been up to during the campus closure to keep our community safe and healthy.
The OCS relies heavily on the services of our contract security guards from Paragon Security to observe and report on all matters in and around our campuses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. Our security personnel have had boots on the ground since the beginning and continue to protect our assets, oversee restricted access, report infrastructure issues and ensure that the legislative requirements as set out by the province and public health are adhered to. The OCS applauds these frontline workers and the professionalism they have demonstrated through these unusual times.
In collaboration with Durham Region Transit, Ontario Tech University and Trent University, the OCS is working towards a contactless digital U-Pass targeted for the Fall. The concept of the initiative is to develop a digital solution (i.e. an app) and utilize smartphone technology to allow students to display their U-Pass to the operator when boarding transit vehicles. The digital pass supports physical distancing protocols and administrative efficiencies for the institutions by reducing the need for in-person pick-up and validation of ID cards for U-Pass eligibility for more than 20,000 students each semester. It also provides the ability for the institutions to remotely activate and deactivate student U-Pass eligibility based on enrolment status.
The OCS is thrilled to welcome Thomas Bezruki, the new manager, Emergency Management to the team. Thomas has already begun to contribute significantly to the planning of return-to-work strategies. Welcome aboard!
With a transition to online delivery of academic curriculum, the OCS is working in collaboration with stakeholders to develop a presentation that reinforces the fact that our students have rights and responsibilities both in a physical campus environment and in the virtual learning space. The presentation will outline expectations for adult self-regulation online, in group work, and in written correspondence as members of a community that emphasizes responsibility, respectfulness and accountability.
Stay safe, stay well…
Director, Office of Campus Safety