September 28, 2020


By ANDREW SOULSBY

College is a sandbox we all have to play in.
However, not all of us have read the code of conduct before entering the sandbox, which is one of the reasons why Safety and Security Services exists.
Tucked away in her back corner office of the Safety and Security Services department is Barb Eichholz.
With a background originating in Conestoga’s own law enforcement and investigation program, Eichholz now oversees day-to-day operations, which includes monitoring activity on any one of approximately 200 cameras on campus.
“I love it,” she said, as she navigated through her computer’s display of numerous views throughout the campus.
There’s no such thing as a daily routine here, she said, as meetings and appointments are sometimes broken at a moment’s notice when emergencies arise.
When they do come up, the first on scene are typically people whose black, long-sleeve shirts have Barber-Collins embroidered on the chest. The security firm is contracted by the school for terms of three years. Their employees on campus are mostly past Conestoga students, said Eichholz.
After the dust has settled and an incident needs further investigation, the second tier of the department’s workforce steps in. These representatives are distinguished by their white shirts.
When an investigation has concluded and a disciplinary action is required, the task moves up and out of Doon’s main building to the office of the vice-president of student affairs, located in the Student and Client Services building.
Mike Dinning, who has been the VP of student affairs for the past seven years, is the last person a student will see if his or her conduct has been deemed unacceptable and requires disciplinary action. After a student code of conduct form has been filled out and investigated, Dinning will sit down with the student to hear his or her side of the story and hopefully agree on an informal resolution.
These often include an agreement between the student and Dinning that the inappropriate action will stop and an apology given to the victim.
In rare cases, students must complete community service or rarer still, the student is suspended or expelled from the school.
Students are generally nice people, said Dinning, which he supported by saying that no one this year has been suspended or expelled.
However, students have been removed from school property in the past, according to Don Willis, director of Safety and Security Services. On average, he said, three to four students find themselves barred from the school each year.
Even though those decisions can only be made by Dinning, Willis said that on occasion when a student’s safety is being threatened by an individual, he has the authority to suspend a student for a few days until the air clears.
Although common sense and respecting one another can go a long way in preventing students from missing class time, Eichholz said every student has a responsibility to read and know the student code of conduct.