News Archive

March 15, 2017

Message on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety

On March 15, 2017, the Community Safety department received a report that graffiti containing anti-Black and anti-Semitic threatening messages were again found on a washroom wall at York Hall, Glendon College. We take this incident very seriously and Toronto Police Service is investigating.

Hate graffiti and defacement of university property will not be tolerated and there is no place for it in our community. Additional security measures are being put into place. Anyone who may have information about this occurrence is asked to contact the Community Safety department at 416-650-8000 extension 58000 or contact Toronto Police Service.

March 14, 2017

Message on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety

The Community Safety department received a report today that on March 7, 2017 graffiti containing an anti-Black threatening message was found on a washroom wall at York Hall, Glendon College. Upon receipt of this report, the Community Safety department responded immediately. Visible security patrols have been increased in the area and we will be working with the Toronto Police Service in their investigation. Expressions of hate and anti-Black racism are taken very seriously and will not be tolerated. Staff are reaching out to Black student organizations and others to offer support.

Community members are asked to immediately contact the Community Safety department at any time that they become aware of graffiti or any other types of occurrences that condone or promote hate on campus.

Anyone who may have information about this occurrence is asked to contact the Community Safety department at 416-650-8000 extension 58000 or contact Toronto Police Service.

March 10, 2017

Message on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety

At approximately 9:00pm on March 9th, a threatening message was reported on a washroom wall at York Hall, Glendon. This is the same washroom stall as the incident of March 8th. Toronto Police Service was notified immediately and an investigation occurred. The area was searched and cleared. These incidents are taken seriously and the safety of our community is of the highest priority. Visible security patrols have been increased in the area. We are working closely with the police on the investigation.

March 9, 2017

Hate Graffiti Will Not Be Tolerated - Message on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety

There has been a report of anti-Semitic graffiti located in a washroom stall in York Hall, Glendon College. The graffiti is being removed. This hate graffiti and defacement of university property will not be tolerated - there is no place for it in our community. Hate graffiti causes harm to individuals and to society as a whole. It is contrary to our University's core values of respect, diversity. equity and inclusion. Staff are reaching out to Jewish student organizations and other groups on campus to offer support. The Community Safety Department has reached out to the Toronto Police Service and has made them aware of this occurrence. We are working closely with the police to ensure that our campus continues to be safe and welcoming for all.

Please report any instances of graffiti to the Community Safety team at 416 650-8000 or for urgent matters at 414 736-5333.

March 9, 2017

Message on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety

Late night of March 8, York Security responded to a report of a bomb threat message located in a Glendon College York Hall washroom. Toronto police were immediately notified and an evacuation of York Hall was ordered. A search was conducted with nothing found by early morning. The investigation into this incident continues.

March 1, 2017

We Stand Against All Forms of Hate - Message on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety

We stand against all forms of hate, and anti-Semitism is not tolerated on our campuses and does not reflect our value of inclusion.

On Monday, February 27, in the morning, swastika symbols and an anti-Semitic statement were found in a classroom, in the Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Faculty.

York Community Safety responded immediately to the report of the hate graffiti and reported it to the Toronto Police Service (TPS). The scene was secured and the areas that were defaced are being repaired. We will continue to work closely with TPS as the investigation unfolds.

We have been working proactively with Jewish students and other campus groups to support a safe and inclusive campus. The safety of our students, staff and faculty is taken seriously and we support a community where everyone can learn, work and live safely.

Anyone with information about this incident should please contact Toronto Police Services or York Security Services  416-650-8000.

December 14, 2016

York University Board Approves Sexual Violence Policy

At a Special Meeting this morning, the York University Board of Governors approved York’s new Sexual Violence Policy. The policy confirms the University’s longstanding commitment to foster a culture where attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate sexual violence are rejected, survivors are supported, and those who are found to have committed sexual violence are held accountable. Through this new policy, York commits to working collaboratively with our community to build effective training and education programs to address sexual violence and rape culture.

This policy, through its “Commitment and Statement of Principles,” recognizes the intersectional experiences of survivors and the barriers they face.  We are determined to break down those barriers wherever possible and we are committed to providing survivor-centric supports and services.

The policy is the culmination of many months of work undertaken by our Sexual Violence Policy Working Group. In the last several weeks, more than 35 consultations have been undertaken, with close to 600 members of our community participating, the vast majority of whom were our students. With candor and insights, members of our community helped to guide and shape the final document approved by the Board. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Working Group and all those members of our community who participated in this important process.

We also wish to acknowledge the leadership of the Province of Ontario for bringing sexual violence to the forefront of their agenda by requiring all post-secondary institutions to address this issue and to work collaboratively with their student communities to strengthen supports and procedures for survivors of sexual violence.

As a university community, we know that sexual violence is prevalent in society. We also recognize the important role that we and other universities and colleges can and must play in ensuring that sexual violence is understood by all members of our society as unacceptable.

The approval of York’s Sexual Violence Policy is an important milestone for our community. In January, the University will be providing the community with more information about how we intend to implement the policy, along with key institutional commitments stemming from our community consultations.

For more information about York's new policy, please click here.


Rhonda Lenton, Vice-President Academic and Provost

Gary Brewer, Vice-President Finance and Administration

November 18, 2016

Message forwarded on behalf of Samina Sami, Executive Director, Community Safety.

Recent reports of increased acts of intolerance and hate across North America can serve as a reminder to our community to continue to practice respect and tolerance. Our core values stand in stark contrast to statements or acts that malign individuals or groups or attempt to marginalize members of our community.

York University is committed to upholding and promoting the values of respect, equity, diversity and inclusion across our campuses. Hate propaganda causes harm to individuals and to society as a whole.

We therefore are deeply disturbed by reports that posters promoting intolerance have been sighted on our campus. The University has strict policies regarding posting of materials on campus and these policies are being enforced. The offensive posters have been removed where found. The Community Safety Department has reached out to the Toronto Police Service and has made them aware of this occurrence. Community Safety is also contacting the organizations responsible for the posters to require that they cease and desist their use of University property.

York University expects all community members to actively engage in our shared responsibility to protect the dignity and human rights of all individuals. We have zero tolerance for hate – and there is no place for it in our community.

Please report any instances of hate to the Community Safety team at 416-650-8000 or for urgent matters at 416 -736-5333.

December 2, 2016

YorkU Draft Sexual Violence Policy for Community Review

To members of the York Community:

The Sexual Violence Policy Working Group has continued to develop the draft Sexual Violence Policy since communicating with the York community on November 21st.   Throughout November, representatives of the Working Group have held direct consultations with 35 campus groups, including two public consultations – one at Keele and  one at Glendon (the complete list of the consultations is available here), representing over 60 hours of consultations.  We have incorporated many of our community’s suggestions and recommendations into our current draft policy, which we are pleased to share with you today.  It is our hope that you will take the time to read the draft policy and provide feedback December 9, 2016.  The draft Policy is available at the following link:

Draft Sexual Violence Policy - December 2 2016

There are two modes are available for you to provide feedback on this important issue. First, for those who would like to make a confidential submission, you can do so by going to one of the following links:

For English:

For French:

For those who would like to engage directly with members of the Working Group, we will be hosting a drop-in consultation next Wednesday, December 7, 2016 between 1:00 and 5:00pm in Founders College Senior Common Room (305 Founders College).   ASL interpreters will be available throughout the afternoon.

While the Working Group is widely representative of the community, with over 20 members, half of whom represent student organizations, it is still important that as many people as possible take the chance to voice their comments, questions, and suggestions. Your recommendations and comments will help form the final draft of the policy which will be presented to the Board of Governors for approval in two weeks.  In January, the formal release of York’s new Sexual Violence Policy will be accompanied by a number of key commitments to ensure effective implementation of the policy.

To ensure we meet community expectations shared during our consultations, a key commitment the University is making today concerns the Sexual Violence Response Office, which is currently a part of Office for Student Community Relations (OSCR). Over the next several months the University will be transitioning the Response Office to a stand alone office, with increased staff to meet the needs of our community. While the Response Office will maintain operational connections with OSCR, it will have its own location and governance structure.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Rob Castle, Chair

On behalf of the Sexual Violence Policy Working Group

November 21, 2016

Public Consultations on YorkU Sexual Violence Policy

Throughout the fall term, the Sexual Violence Policy Working Group at York University is consulting with constituent groups across the University community to obtain their input on the draft policy and related processes and supports.

Two open forums are planned for this week to receive feedback from the Keele and Glendon campus communities. The dates are:

  • Keele Open Consultation – Wednesday, November 23 @ 12 pm in Founders Assembly Hall, 152 Founders College
  • Glendon Open Consultation – Thursday,  November 24 @ 1pm in BMO Conference Centre, Glendon Hall.

In December, the working group will consolidate the community input and revise the draft Sexual Violence Policy for approval by the Board of Governors. Once approved, training for the University community will follow in 2017.

For those who cannot attend or for those who would like to make a confidential submission, they can do so by going to:

English Machform -

French Machform -

For more information, see the September 20 issue of YFile.

We look forward to seeing you at the consultations.


Sexual Violence Policy Working Group

October 3, 2016

You're invited to the Grand Opening of the York University Community Safety Centre

As part of York University's Community Safety Week celebrations, the Community Safety Department cordially invites you to join them in celebrating the Grand Opening of the new Community Safety Centre and the 10th Anniversary of the goSAFE program on Tuesday, October, 2016.

Noon to 12:30 pm - Grand Opening and Speeches
Noon to 4:00 pm - Community BBQ, Guided Tours and Displays
Location: 228 William Small Centre-Keele Campus

To RSVP for the free BBQ, please register here.

For more information, please contact:  April Nietzschmann at  or  416-889-2235.

The full list of Community Safety Week events are listed below.


September 20, 2016

Message from Gary Brewer, Vice-President Finance & Administration and Rhonda Lenton, Vice-President Academic & Provost

To all members of the York Community,

We are writing to provide the York Community with an Interim Guideline for Responding to Sexual Violence.

The Guideline outlines for students, faculty, and staff existing practices and services to address sexual violence and to introduce new measures based on consultations with the community.  This is an important step towards the development and implementation of York’s new Sexual Violence Policy, in accordance with the Province’s new Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act.  This new policy, which more broadly addresses the continuum  of sexual violence,  will replace York’s Sexual Assault Awareness, Education and Response Policy which was approved by the Board of Governors in February 2015.

An important measure in the Guideline is a change in reporting requirements for sexual assaults.   Notifying police services will now only occur with the consent of the survivor, unless there is an imminent safety risk to the community.

As part of the Guideline, the University has established a Sexual Violence Response Office to coordinate support for all members of our community who have experienced sexual violence.   This new office will be managed and supported during the interim period by the Office for Student Community Relations (OSCR), while we complete final arrangements in consultation with the community.   Additional staff to support York’s commitments will be hired in the coming months.

All survivors of sexual violence are encouraged to contact the Sexual Violence Response Office (W128 Bennett Centre for Student Services, 416-736-5211, to discuss the range of options available to them.  The phone number will be staffed on a 24/7 basis.

During the fall, the Sexual Violence Policy Working Group will continue its work and will increase its consultations with constituent groups across the community:

  • October to November – Community consultations with a wide range of student, staff, and faculty groups or associations, smaller group discussions with survivors, as well as town hall meetings
  • December – consolidating community input and revising the draft Sexual Violence Policy
  • Early 2017 – Submission to the Board of Governors for approval
  • January – February – Training available to the community

This Interim Guideline is an important step forward to help how we, as a community, understand the issue of sexual violence and can respond to survivors in a supportive and meaningful way.

September 15, 2016

Safer Together

To Members of the York Community,

York University is a vibrant community of nearly 60,000 people - the size of a small city.  We are committed to ensuring that York is a place where everyone feels safe to live, learn, teach and work.

At York we aim to take a holistic and intersectional approach to safety that reflects the diverse  experiences of members of our community.  We are committed to working proactively with the York community to build safer and more inclusive campuses. Each of us can – and should – play a role by actively contributing to a safe campus, as underscored in York’s message of “Safer Together”.

To support a greater connection to our community, we will be opening our new Community Safety Centre in October located in the William Small Building, designed to make our space more open, welcoming, and engaging for all members of our community.

Also, in keeping with a student and community-centered approach to safety, we will be launching a consultation process this year to shape the vision,  mandate and strategic plan for the Community Safety Department. Information on how to participate in the consultations will be posted on our website in upcoming weeks. We look forward to your participation.

We encourage you to utilize our services to address your safety needs including goSAFE to assist you with safe travel in the evening, safety audits, and personal safety planning to support physical and personal safety needs. You can also download the York Mobile Safety App, which offers many helpful tools and resources.  A complete list of Community Safety services is available on our website

We are also working collaboratively on important issues for our community. Preventing and responding effectively to sexual violence is a key priority. We will be part of community consultations this fall to get input on ways to strengthen supports for survivors and to enhance training and prevention programming.

York continuously strives to foster a culture of safety on its campuses.  A cornerstone of our efforts has been a commitment to transparent and effective communication with respect to safety-related incidents that occur on campus.

When a serious safety incident occurs and if there is an ongoing risk to the community, the University issues a Security Bulletin.  All Bulletins that are issued are emailed directly to your York email account.  This is to allow individuals and groups to exercise appropriate precautions  with respect to personal safety and property.  We also communicate safety information through the York U Mobile Safety App, LCD screens and PA Systems.

Building a safer community is an ongoing endeavour and a shared responsibility. We are continuously striving to update our practices and infrastructure to better respond to emerging safety and security concerns.  We welcome your feedback at

Gary Brewer
Vice-President Finance and Administration

Samina Sami
Executive Director, Community Safety

July 22, 2016

Off Campus Fire at Factory

For your information, please note that there is a fire off campus at a factory near Keele and the 407. There is some residual smoke blowing towards campus but there are no concerns for safety.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact York Security Services at 416-650-8000.

July 14, 2016

Pokemon Go App and Risks for Personal Safety

Please be advised that the popular Pokemon Go App has some risks for personal safety. Accordingly, the Department of Community Safety is offering the York  community some safety tips, if playing this game:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Be alert  and mindful of traffic
  • Do not drive, ride or operate any machinery while monitoring the App.
  • Be mindful of trespassing on private property or going into areas you are not familiar with
  • Consider playing with a friend or as a group
  • Be aware of the potential to be lured for robbery or other purposes

Have fun and stay safe!

June 14, 2016

We are united in our efforts to combat homophobia, transphobia and all forms of hate

The tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Florida has deeply impacted LGBT2SQIA+ communities around the world and all of us collectively.

The Department of Community Safety would like to assure our community that we are mobilized, proactive and engaged in support of our campus communities. Please reach out to us if you have any concerns about your safety.

For urgent matters, please contact Security Services at 416-736-5333 or ext. 33333. For emergencies, please contact 911. For non-urgent matters where you would wish to discuss safety support services, please contact the Director of Security Services Aldo Altomare at 416-736-5418.

For additional resources and support services available, please visit:

June 13, 2016

Statement from President Shoukri, Provost Lenton & Vice-President Brewer: We Stand With Orlando

Dear Members of the York University Community,

On behalf of all of us at York University, we offer our heartfelt support and sympathy to all those affected by Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the worst in U.S. history. As a university community resolutely committed to, and guided by, our values of inclusivity, respect and diversity, we condemn unequivocally this act of hatred and intolerance, and any attempt to divide us or to threaten our freedoms or our right to live without fear of discrimination, harassment or harm.

We acknowledge the collective response of first responders and bystanders, whose actions saved countless lives early Sunday morning, and our thoughts are with all those who were injured or who lost loved ones. Should you need support or wish to speak with someone, please contact York’s Counselling Services

We stand with the LGBTQ community in Orlando, on our campuses, and around the globe. As an expression of our collective support for and solidarity with all those impacted, the flags at our Keele and Glendon campuses have been lowered to half-mast.

Mamdouh Shoukri, President & Vice-Chancellor Vice-President

Rhonda Lenton, Academic & Provost

Gary Brewer, Vice-President Finance & Administration