Starting as “Safety Day” at McDonald Campus and continuing downtown over the next four days, the second annual Safety Week took place at McGill last week. The event was opened by Principal Heather Munroe-Blum, and included a series of presentations, games, and a closing barbecue.
“Safety Week’s purpose is really to get as much of our information out to the community, and for the community members to know exactly what we do, and who we are,” said Pierre Barbarie, associate director of university safety.
A Safety Week tent was located on Lower Field where tables representing security, emergency measures and fire prevention, and environmental health and safety were accessible to students and staff.
In addition, some student clubs, such as McGill First Aid and McGill Walksafe, were at the tent, as well non-McGill organizations like the Commission for Health and Security at Work (CSST), who showcased what they do for the university community.
“That was a positive for us too, to really get our partners involved in Safety Week,” Barbarie said.
Issues including hostile intruder, ergonomics (health and safety), and self-defence were among the topics of the presentations. Ten different sessions were held throughout the week, which people could attend by registering online.
While last year’s concept was kept the same in terms of what McGill Security offers to the community, Barbarie explained the marketing and advertising aspects were done differently this time around. Emails in the form of “All-notes” to students and staff were used as an attempt to attract more people, and the registration was done through myMcGill, which brought a lot of positive feedback.
“We tried to get out there a little more in terms of trying to attract more people, so we did a little more advertising,” Barbarie said.
On average, attendance increased to 25 people per presentation compared to six or seven last year according to Barbarie. The number of people who came into the tent and stopped at the tables was also greater than it was last year.
“We really want to keep this an annual thing [and] visibility is huge, so we definitely want to increase the numbers,” Barbarie said.