November 19, 2018

By JESSICA MARTIN

There’s no halo over their heads, but they’ve got you under their wings.

Security at Conestoga College serves multiple purposes. Whether you want company walking alone at night or you would like to buy a parking pass, security will do its best to meet your needs.

The Walk Safe program is available from 6:45 to 10:45 p.m. and is run by security guards and students with security licences. Each walker is accompanied by two people on duty who will escort you to your car anywhere on campus, to a nearby residence or to the residence building.

Samantha White, a first-year student in pre-health science, said the program is beneficial.

“I’ve never had to utilize it but I think it’s a great idea and it’s nice to know the resource is there.”

Other students didn’t know about the program but supported the service when they were told what it was.

“I think the program is a really cool idea,” said Ishpreet Singh, a second-year general business student.

“Yesterday I was walking with my friends and I felt safe. It’s a mental thing. People need to feel mentally safe.”

Security Services also has a bike patrol which has been running for a couple of years.

“We started it because we have a lot of geography here plus we have all the forests and green space by Lot 1,” said Barb Eichholz, security supervisor.

“We do the bike patrols all night because out back they can get to where vehicles aren’t and they can do it very quickly.”

Security also looks after parking at the school.

Each year they sell more parking permits than what’s available, but they check the parking lots twice a day to count all of the empty spaces.

“That’s something we monitor,” said Eichholz. “We don’t just throw out a number and say this is what we are going to sell. It’s something we watch very closely.”

Kaylen Fugard, a second-year protection, security and investigation (PSI) student, disagrees with the system.

“It’s ridiculous. You’re not even guaranteed a spot,” she said. “But I’ll pay it because I have to. I need to park so I don’t have a choice.”

This year an annual parking pass costs $435, which has gone up from previous years. Becky Kestar, a second-year practical nursing student, doesn’t mind.

“You have to pay them regardless, so I’m not going to complain,” she said. “I need to go to class and I’m not going to pay per day.”

The money from the parking passes goes toward maintenance such as snow removal, salt, sand, filling in pot holes and putting new paint down. When Lot 14 was made two years ago it was also paid for by the money received from parking passes.

Eichholz said it’s quite expensive to keep up parking lots but those fees don’t usually cross people’s minds.

She would also like to remind students of the severity of creating fake passes.

“People need to understand that this is a criminal offence. It’s creating a forged document and we deal with these forgeries every year,” she said. “We work with the PSI who help us do sweeps and we can nail a lot of people.”

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