Security & Personal Safety
***Please note that this section is currently under review for the 2017-2018 academic year.***
Residence Life Staff and Student Housing Services staff work diligently to prevent unauthorized access to your home in residence, but they need everyone’s cooperation. You can help by being supportive and cooperative with staff and by taking measures to protect yourself. As safe as the York campuses are, there are still occurrences of theft and intrusions in our residences. You need to protect yourself against that possibility.
Security in Residence
There are numerous systems in place designed to increase security. The systems in place are effective but require the cooperation of all residents to work well, like any other system. Residents have to play their part in building security and make sure that they do not open the door for those who are not residents.
Keeping You Safe
- Emergency contact in residence
- On duty overnight (6pm to 8am) and 24 hrs. on weekends (6pm Friday to 8am Monday)
- Work with Security, PWOs and Night Porters in emergency situations
- Facilitate a response to noise complaints and breaches of security
- On-duty from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am every day
- Monitor building access points
- Perform rounds of the building and check for safety, behavioural and maintenance problems
- Facilitate a response to emergency situations
- Operate guest sign-ins after 1am
The goSAFE staff walks throughout campus in pairs and, by request, will walk you to and from any location on campus, including residences. They’ll walk you to campus destinations and wait with you for buses and taxis or until your vehicle starts. This service is complimentary. To request goSAFE, call: 416-736-5454 or ext. 55454 or use any Blue Light Emergency Phone, on campus pay phone or the goSAFE button on campus safety phones.
- Installed at all of the external points of entry/exit for the residences
- Assists Security in finding those responsible where breaches of security have occurred
- Help responses when a door alarm is activated
- Installed at all of the external points of entry/exit in residences
- Used only for emergency exits from the building (fire alarms, etc.)
- Signal alarm is sent to Security Control if these doors are forced open from the outside or if the doors are propped or tampered with
- Alarms will activate the camera monitoring system and alert the Security Control staff of the breach in security
- Alarms will be investigated and students found responsible for causing a security breach will face sanctions under the Code of Student
- Report broken locks or doors to Housing immediately for repair
- Do not prop open any exterior doors. You may be allowing an intruder in. Propping exterior doors open is a violation of Residence Community Standards.
- Sign-in your guests. Stay with your guests at all times.
- Do not lend keys/key cards. Lending keys jeopardizes the safety of everyone in your residence. You must open the door for your guests. Giving your keys to someone, even your family, is a serious breach of security and a violation of the Residence Housing Contract.
- Lock it! – Lock your room door every time you leave your room/suite to protect your possessions and when you go to sleep. You should never leave your doors unlocked. Keycard locks on bedroom doors can be locked from the inside by using the deadbolt. Even if you use the deadbolt, your roommate will be able to open the door with their keycard.
- Do not let anyone tailgate into the residence behind you. Ask them to show you they have a key of their own or let the door close and they can key themselves in.
- Report a stolen or lost key right away. Don’t write on key cards or attach personal information to key rings. If found, a lost key ring should not provide any additional information about the owner.
- Report any security concerns you have or suspicious persons to Security right away.
Residents must exercise caution at all times and in all places. Although York’s campuses are generally safe places, we recommend that residents:
- Do not study alone in study halls or classrooms late at night.
- Do not walk around campus alone at night. Instead use goSAFE, York’s safety escort service.
- Do not jog on or off campus alone at night.
- Lock your room door when you are at home and when you leave.
- Do not allow non-residents into the building at any time.
- Do not hold the residence door open for strangers. Ask them to use their own key or key card.
- Do not lend keys/key cards
Residence Life is committed to the York University approved Policy on Sexual Violence.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence please consider disclosing to a Residence Life Staff member or the Sexual Violence Response Office. The University will provide support and appropriately accommodate the needs of those who have experienced sexual violence or have been impacted by sexual violence.
Support and services available are specific to the affiliation (student/staff/faculty) of the individual and their needs. Support, services and/or accommodations are available whether or not a survivor has filed a formal report/complaint of an incident.
Personal Counselling Services
Location: N110, Bennett Centre for Student Services
Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line & Leadership (SASSL)
For 24/hour on-campus peer support and information you can contact SASSL.
Crisis Line: 416-650-8056, Office Line: 416-736-2100 ext. 40345
Location: 4th Floor of the Student Centre, Room B449
Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape (TRCC/ MWAR)
Crisis Line: 416- 597-8808
Assaulted Women’s Helpline GTA
416-863-0511 GTA TTY: 416-364-8762 Toll-Free: 1-866-863-0511 Toll-Free TTY: 1-866-863-7868
Women's College Hospital Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC)
Telephone: 416-323-6040, Fax: 416-323-6489
Location: 76 Grenville Street, Main floor, Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
The Women’s College Hospital SA/DV centre is located in the Acute Ambulatory Care Unit (AACU) on the 1st floor in Room 1305.
For more resources and information please see the York University Guidelines for Responding to Sexual Violence.
For information on Mental Health and Wellness at York please visit http://mhw.info.yorku.ca/
Stress – Feeling Overwhelmed
Many students become overwhelmed with the pressures of academic life (e.g. increased anxiety, sadness). Sometimes it helps to clarify your feelings by talking with someone. Residence Life Staff are not healthcare professionals, but are trained to work with students and the problems they face. They are knowledgeable about available resources on campus and in the Toronto area. Residence Life Staff are and have been university students and bring understanding and empathy to their support role. They are here to support you when you need it!
If you are looking for additional resources, there are lots of people on campus who can help including:
Personal Counselling Services (PCS) where counsellors provide counselling (individual, group and workshops) to York students for a wide variety of personal issues that students typically face.
Other units within Counselling & Disability Services offer help with developing study skills (Learning Skills Services) or support for students with disabilities (Learning Disability Services, Mental Health Disability Services and Physical, Sensory and Medical Disability Services.) In addition to various issues that many students find themselves facing, some students may also experience confusing or upsetting thoughts or feelings or may find themselves acting in ways that are not familiar or usual. If you are experiencing any of the following we strongly encourage you to contact Residence Life Staff:
- Unusual thinking (the feeling that something odd or strange is happening);
- Thoughts of harming yourself;
- Suspicion (feeling that others are laughing at, or talking about, you);
- Misperceiving sounds, smells or things seen (hearing your name called, but no one is there);
- Disorganized thinking (trouble getting your point across or trouble understanding what others are trying to say); or
- Social withdrawal (you don't feel like being around other people).
If you are feeling like you might harm yourself, call 911 immediately. Please follow-up by calling Security or a Don to let them know that an emergency vehicle is on its way to you. They will assist Emergency Services in finding you and can also arrange for someone to accompany you to an emergency facility.
Good2Talk (1.866.925.5454) is Ontario’s Postsecondary Student Helpline. If you have concerns about anything big or small, need someone to talk to or are looking for information or resources, Good2Talk will listen and provide you with options and help. Good2Talk is a free, completely confidential and anonymous service that offers you professional counselling, mental health information and connections to local resources.
Crisis If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, we encourage you to call 911(Emergency Services) for help immediately and follow-up by alerting Security Services at ext. 33333 from a campus phone so they can help Emergency Services locate you. Because you are a member of the Residence Life family at York, don't be surprised if the Residence Life Staff or Security follows up with you afterwards to make sure you are okay and that you have the supports you need.
While Residence Life Staff, PCS, or Security may be the first to lend help when you need it, in the case of crisis, there are others that can help. The Critical Incidents Coordinator and other staff in the Office of Student Community Relations (OSCR) support students impacted by critical incidents. This includes contacting the student and/or his/her family and assisting them by arranging appropriate referrals and support, both internal and external to York, related to well-being, financial, academic and housing concerns.
OSCR works directly with the Office of the President, Security Services, Housing Services, the Registrar’s Office, Student Financial Services, the Centre for Women & Trans People and any other University unit that may be involved. For more information about OSCR.
If you are experiencing a non-life threatening crisis you can go to Personal Counselling Services during office hours and be seen right away for a crisis intervention session. Additional Toronto community support:
- Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours): 1-866-996-0991
- Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH): 416-535-8501, press “0” and ask for “Emergency” or go directly to the CAMH Emergency room located at 250 College St., Toronto for assessment and referral (open 24 hours).
- Toronto Distress Centre (TDC): 416-408-4357 or 416-598-0166 or info@TorontoDistressCentre.com
- The Centre provides 24-hour, immediate emotional support, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and face-to-face counselling for people dealing with the effects of suicide and homicide.
- Good2Talk (24 hours): 1-866-925-5454
- Good2Talk is a free, completely confidential and anonymous service for post-secondary students that offers you professional counselling, mental health information and connections to local resources.
Residence door locks utilize key cards that are used to both unlock and lock the door when you leave. You have complete control over the locking and unlocking of your suite and/or room door so that you don’t get inadvertently locked out but you must be diligent about locking up. NEVER leave doors unlocked for the safety of both you and/or your suite/roommate, not to mention your personal possessions. Don’t lend keys/key cards. Lending keys jeopardizes the safety of everyone in residence. You must open the door for guests. Giving your keys to someone, even your family, is a serious breach of security and a violation of the Residence Housing Contract. Lock your room door every time you leave your room/suite to protect your possessions. Lock up when you go to sleep – you should never leave your door unlocked. Don’t write on key cards or attach personal information to key rings. Keys should never provide information that would identify your room/suite if lost.
Lose your keys? Not sure?
Lost keys can present a huge safety risk to the entire residence community. It is important you report lost or stolen keys immediately! You can report them to the Housing office during the day or to Security Services after hours. If you’re not sure your keys are lost or think you may just have misplaced them, let Housing know right away. Depending on the situation, we may be able to give you more time to find your keys. But in the meantime, we can at least work to mitigate any safety concerns. If the key is truly lost, you will be charged a replacement fee that can range as high as $100, depending on the circumstances that led to the loss of the key. Students who repeatedly lose their keys or who are found to have used keys in such a way as to compromise community safety will be held accountable under the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities and may face consequences above the replacement cost. Such breaches of safety are considered very serious and will not be tolerated.
Your cooperation is required; do not prop open any doors, especially fire doors or exterior doors. You may be allowing an intruder in. Propping exterior doors open is a violation of Residence Community Standards.
(Insurance for Personal Property)
You should take out your own insurance for loss or theft of personal property, for damage or destruction of property by flood, fire or any other causes (e.g. loss of utilities). The University is not liable for any personal losses. Tenant insurance is available through private property insurers or you may be able to get an insurance rider on your parents’ home policy.
If you do not feel safe in your room or need to talk about your feelings of personal threat, please speak to your Don, DOD or RLC. You can also call Security Services and ask them to send a Security Official over to do a walk-by and make sure everything in your area is safe. Sometimes it’s just a feeling you have and you don’t know why. Trust your instincts and report it.