2013 assaults and UBC response

In October 2013, the RCMP have alerted the public to six reported stranger sexual assaults on UBC’s Vancouver campus.

This is a very serious concern for the University. UBC considers safety to be a top priority for our campus community.

Regular security activities

UBC Campus Security works with the RCMP on a day-to-day basis to ensure people feel secure and free from harm. University staff practise their response to emergencies regularly. Resources like Blue Phones, the AMS Safewalk programand others are available throughout the year. Safety information is also provided to students, faculty and staff at orientations in orientation programs.

New UBC actions

Enhanced security

In addition to an enhanced RCMP presence, UBC Campus Security has significantly increased patrols now on a daily and nightly basis. UBC has also added nightly security patrols around residences. We are working to ensure campus lighting is working and as bright as possible. Blue phones are being checked regularly. The AMS Safewalk program has been extended to 4 a.m. each night. UBC is communicating proactively with nearby pubs and restaurants and those planning evening events, to ensure patrons are aware of safety information and resources. Safety whistles are being provided in residences and at Campus Security.

Questions have been asked about increasing video surveillance of the UBC campus. A working group has been struck to look at this issue, and ensure due campus consultation and review of privacy issues.

The investigation

UBC is doing all it can to support the RCMP investigation. We have been told that the RCMP is making this a top priority, and that they have increased their security presence on our campus. On Nov. 5, RCMP released a composite sketch of the suspect linked to the attacks. Efforts have been made to distribute the sketch as broadly as possible across the campus via UBC's Stay Safe web site, mass e-mail, and throughout student residences and other campus buildings.

Safety alerts

There have been six related incidents on campus starting in April 2013. Following the second attack in May and each subsequent incident, the University has issued safety alerts to the campus via its broadcast e-mail system, student information channels, social media, and posters and bulletins in student residences and campus buildings.

After the Oct. 19 2013 safety alert, emergency meetings were held in student residences. Messages conveyed information about the assaults, safety directions, and a list of security services (911/RCMP, Campus Security, AMS Safewalk) and support services (the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre, UBC Counselling Services, UBC Student Health Services, RCMP Victim Support Services, Employee Family Assistance Plan).

UBC is developing further communications for campus digital signage, to campus neighbours, to those who have applied for special events on campus, and to reach out to nearby pubs and restaurants to ensure patrons have plans for safe travel at night.

Enhanced support programs

AMS Safewalk

This service run by the Alma Mater Society has been providing enhanced services to students. Hours of service have been increased until 4 a.m. each night. After that time, or at any time when needed, students can reach Campus Security at 604.822.2222 and a patrol will provide a campus escort home.

Counselling support

UBC is working to promote services like the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre and UBC Counselling, as well as services for staff and faculty (find contact information for support services on our main page). UBC has recently also increased hours of availability.