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King's Briefs: February 17, 2011

RAZING OUR ZONA?

Zona Roberts, the Wardroom canteen’s reliable matronly icon, is considering moving to Iqaluit, Nunavut this summer. She says it’s a move that may be permanent.
“I’m getting old, I need money for retirement,” she said. “I just don’t want to leave my job.”
After talking to a student from Nunavut, Roberts learned there are lots of opportunities to make money up north. She has a list of a few hotels where she’s looking to work. She said some employers provide housing.
Roberts is finding it enticing. She’s worked at King’s for the past 10 years, but her boss, Celine Beland, has had to fight with the head Sodexo office for a raise every year because the Canteen isn’t profitable. Roberts usually gets the raise, but it’s only by a quarter. “You’d think after 10 years that they’d be paying me more,” said Roberts.
She plans to work in Iqaluit this summer and see how it goes. She says that she may return in the fall, or she may stay.
But it’s going to be hard to leave the students, who don’t know what the Wardroom will be without her.
“Who’s going to replace her? It’s not going to be the same,” said Stephanie Duchon, who is in her third year at King’s. “The first years and incoming students will have no idea who she is and how great she was for all of us.”
“King’s is definitely going to be damaged,” said Jaime Sugiyama, a fourth-year student. “I wouldn’t come to the canteen if Zona wasn’t here. I feel obligated sometimes. It’s like going to visit my mother.”
– Evey Hornbeck

PATROL AT ATTENTION

On Feb. 3, an 18-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted at the corner of Coburg Road and Oxford Street. It’s a corner in range of the external rounds usually performed by King’s student patrol.
Unlike nearby universities Dalhousie and St. Mary’s, King’s security is entirely student-run. Patrol staff monitor the campus to ensure student safety, and are supported by dons and Dean of Residence Nicholas Hatt.
According to Hatt, this is the way it should be, and the way it will remain.
“With a professional force, people often expect someone else to take care of the responsibility,” he said. Hatt said that King’s security is built upon a community response model where everyone contributes to keeping the campus safe. He suggests that this cozy system makes King’s much safer than many larger institutions. “The strength of the system is if something happens,” he says, “we know about it pretty quick.”
However, the alleged assault occurred just metres from campus, and Patrol supervisor Madeleine Goldsmith only found out about it when she was approached by a CBC reporter.
“It wasn’t reported to us right away that day,” said Goldsmith. “Because it wasn’t a student who reported it to the university directly, we didn’t know about it.”
Goldsmith said she has never felt threatened or unsafe at King’s. “I think Patrol being run by students is such a great thing for the community of King’s,” she said. “I wouldn’t give that up.”
But, she added, it’s important to “recognize that we are just students, we’re not a policing force.”
Second-year patrol staff David Lewis echoed that sentiment, and suggested a further concern. “I think there should be co-ed shifts,” he said. “I feel sketchy that there’s only girls working shifts at 4 a.m.”
Hatt recognized the concern but said that “there’s strength in numbers,” referring to the policy of doing rounds in pairs.
Hatt also said that the school’s administration is constantly re-assessing the safety needs of the university. “We’re always developing strategies and looking at emergency needs to ensure students are safe,” he said.
And if a professional force becomes necessary?
“We’ll implement that,” he said. “Our goals are absolutely to reduce risk at all times.”
– Gabrielle Willms

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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