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Georgian College is committed to ensuring the safety and security of students, staff and the general public at our seven campus locations. We ask you to be vigilant both on and off campus.

Safety tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Trust your gut, leave uncomfortable situations.
  • Walk in pairs or groups when travelling across campus.
  • Do not wear earphones when travelling in public.
  • Walk only on well-lit, regularly travelled sidewalks and walkways.
  • Avoid shortcuts. Keep far away from shrubbery or bushes.
  • When walking to your vehicle, have your keys ready in hand.
  • When you get to your vehicle, lock your doors and leave immediately.
  • Do not walk and talk, or walk and text, on your phone.
  • Park near your last class or office. If you have to park far away, return mid-day and move your vehicle closer to the building.
  • Do not study or work alone at night.
  • Do not walk around campus alone at night.
  • Do not walk to your car alone at night.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency phones.
  • If using the Athletic Centre, avoid showering if there is no one else in the locker room.
  • If, while waiting for an elevator, you find yourself alone with a stranger, let them go first and wait for its return. If you are on an elevator with someone who makes you uneasy, get off at the next floor. Always stand near the control panel where you have access to the alarm and floor buttons.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, do not run blindly – head toward a well-lit area, and do whatever you can to attract attention and summon assistance. If you cannot reach a safe place before your potential attacker catches up, stop and face them head on. Do not give them the advantage of grabbing you from behind.

Security escorts are also available at the Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound Campus. See Contact for instructions on how to request a security escort.

Stay safe with Safe@Georgian app

Images of three phones with wording Keep us in your back pocket! Download Georgian's new safety app today.

The Safe@Georgian app features quick access to Campus Security – you can easily send your location and a photo to security staff with the single tap of a button. You’ll also get a personal safety toolbox including a flashlight and loud alarm, campus maps, on-campus support resources, and more. Plus, it’s free!

Download the app today!

Available on the AppStore
Get it on Googleplay
Get it at Blackberry world

Emergency lockdown procedure

Although extremely unlikely, the possibility of a violent, life-threatening incident on one of Georgian’s campuses is a reality. The college has adopted a new lockdown procedure that emphasizes three courses of action:

  1. Get out, escape if possible
  2. Hide and barricade if escape is not possible
  3. Fight, as a last resort

This procedure is recommended by emergency planning experts and police, and is being adopted by many other postsecondary institutions in Canada.

We have also created a document that all students, staff and other visitors should reference during a violent incident. Its purpose is to provide direction on how to respond during any incident in which a lockdown might reduce damage, injury or death. This procedure provides general principles and guidance.

Please download and read the procedure below so you are prepared in the case of such an incident.

Georgian College Lockdown procedure

Tools and tactics: Be ready!

We want you to be ready for the challenges of an emergency situation. That’s why Georgian will continue to hold regular emergency drills including Lockdown drills throughout the year.

In the winter semester, fire drills will be held during the third week of the semester.

Instead of practising a Lockdown drill on the same date as the Lockdown Test Notification is given, you’re encouraged to take the time to complete a self-directed learning exercise:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the college’s Lockdown procedure.
  2. Watch a video that covers a number of scenarios and the best course of action. We believe the information in the video could save your life. Due to the nature of its content, we recommend you watch the video with a friend, colleague or classmates so you can talk about it after.  Remember, free and confidential counselling services are available through Georgian if you ever need support.
  3. Review the FAQs we’ve provided below and engage others on what to do during an emergency.
  4. Provide feedback (after this exercise or at any time) to help with continuous improvement. 

Downloadable version of the self-directed learning exercise (pdf)

Frequently asked questions

Why are we preparing for a lockdown when the scenario is so unlikely?

The possibility of a violent incident occurring on campus is a reality – and we want you to be ready.

Georgian’s new lockdown procedure emphasizes three courses of action recommended by emergency planning experts and police. These actions may save your life:

  1. Get out, escape if possible
  2. Hide and barricade if escape is not possible
  3. Fight, as a last resort

Violent incidents evolve quickly and are typically over in a matter of minutes. If you ever find yourself in harm’s way, you’re going to need to take quick and decisive action. Knowing your options will help you take control of your personal safety.

In the past, we’ve been told to hide. Why the change?

The new model – Get out/escape, hide and barricade, and fight – is your best chance for survival. These are courses of action recommended by emergency planning experts and police.  Getting out safely is the best option if you think you can escape.  Fighting is an absolute last resort and something only you can decide if you’re comfortable doing.

Are you really suggesting I attack a person who has a gun?

Are you really suggesting I attack a person who has a gun?

Fighting is a last resort.  Try to escape first.  If you can’t, hide and barricade. Active shooters almost always continue until something happens to stop them.  And they typically don’t respond to reason so you must assume they intend to harm you. If you find yourself confronted by an active shooter and are trapped with nowhere to go, fighting may be your only option. But again, it’s a last resort.

What can I do to fight?

Find an object close by to use as a weapon (e.g. heavy textbook, laptop or lamp), trip the assailant with a chair, yell loudly – be as aggressive as you can.

What is an active shooter?

What is an active shooter? 

An active shooter is someone engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, there is no apparent pattern or method to how they choose their victims. Active shooter situations can be over within 10 to 15 minutes. For this reason, it’s important you’re prepared to take the actions necessary to protect yourself.

What should I do if I need to hide and barricade?

Here are a few general tips:

  • Go to the nearest room or office
  • Secure and lock the door if you can – if you can’t, tie down the door using belts, purse straps, shoe laces, zip ties, a man’s neck tie, whatever you can find
  • Block the door with desks, chairs, anything heavy
  • Shove something under the door to provide resistance to it opening, e.g. a binder
  • Cover any glass panel in the doors and windows, if possible
  • Get to the farthest point away from the doors or windows
  • Turn the lights out and stay out of sight
  • Mute/silence cell phones and be quiet
  • Stay close to the floor
  • Disregard the fire alarm (if safe to do so)
  • Place yourself in a position to surprise the shooter, should they enter the room
  • Do not respond to requests to open the door unless you are sure it’s the police

Do not open the door until police arrive.

Where should I go if I escape?

Get as far away from the situation as you possibly can. Don’t stop until you know you’re safe. That might mean leaving Georgian property altogether. Do not go to your car or attempt to drive off the property. 

I’ve never heard a gunshot before. How will I know if I hear one?

 

The sound of gunfire can vary. Sometimes it can sound like a firecracker.  Other times, it’s more like a pop or loud bang.  Gunshots also sound different inside and outside. The sound of gunfire on campus will be out of the ordinary.  If there’s any doubt in your mind, treat the situation as though it is gunfire.

How will we know Georgian is in lockdown?

We’ll use whatever communications channels we can to keep you informed, including email, our public announcement system, podium lights in classrooms, lockdown lights in hallways and computer pop-up messages.  Please make sure you silence your phones.

I move around all day. Am I supposed to be prepared for a lockdown wherever I go?

Take a moment wherever you are to ask, “What if?” Make mental notes of exits and possible hiding places. This small amount of forethought could make a critical difference in how you react in a real emergency.

What can we expect from the police?

Their top priority will be to find and stop the shooter. They may not know what the shooter looks like, so if you encounter police, don’t run toward them.  Remain calm, keep your hands visible and follow their instructions. Don’t be surprised if they don’t stop to help you right away.  Again, their priority will be making sure the shooter can’t hurt anyone else.

Questions about campus safety?

If you have any questions, concerns or simply wish to speak with a member of Campus Safety and Security, call 705.722.5100 or ext. 5100 from within the college. 

Remember, in an emergency call 911 and, as soon as possible call or direct someone to call security to initiate Lockdown at 705.822.4000 or ext. 4000 within the college.

I just watched the video and feel anxious and upset. What should I do?

It’s okay to be upset. You may want to talk to someone about your feelings – friends, colleagues or family. If you’re extremely upset, consider speaking with a professional:

  • Students can access free and confidential counselling services at Georgian; they can also contact Good2Talk at 1.866.925.5454 – a 24/7 postsecondary student helpline that offers free professional and anonymous support
  • Members of Georgian staff can access the Employee Assistance Program through Shepell at 1.800.387.4765
  • The Simcoe County Crisis Response Service, including a mobile crisis unit, is also available 24/7 to Barrie and area residents at 705.728.5044 or 1.888.893.8333
  • Dial 2. 1. 1. to connect with other local organizations in your community 

How can I identify a person at risk?

There is no way to accurately predict who may become violent, but there are certain behaviours that can indicate someone may be in trouble. For example:

Behavioural changes – angry outbursts, agitation, poor hygiene, visible weight change, intimidation and bullying, altercations with others, intoxication or substance abuse, uttering hostile or offensive remarks, strange or disturbing behaviour

Performance – repeated absences, missed deadlines, significant drop in performance, inappropriate or incoherent writing, frequently interrupting, and disruptive behaviour

Social/emotional – significant challenges interacting with others, isolated or withdrawn, extreme or prolonged sadness, emotional outbursts, devoid of any emotions, erratic mood swings, and excessive fatigue

 

What can I do to help someone who I feel is at risk?

Trust your gut.  You can always call counselling services or Security (705.722.5100 or ext. 5100) for advice.

Free, confidential counselling services are available to students:

  • Barrie Campus, Room B110, 705.728.1968, ext. 1523
  • Orillia Campus, Room A200, 705.325.2740, ext. 3113
  • Owen Sound Campus, Room C607, 519.376.0840, ext. 2099
  • All other campuses: 705.728.1968, ext. 1523
  • Email counsellor@georgiancollege.ca
  • On-call counsellors are available in person or by phone Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For additional support, students can contact Good2Talk at 1.866.925.5454 – a 24/7 postsecondary student helpline that offers free professional and anonymous support for students in Ontario.

Staff can access the Employee Assistance Program through Shepell. For immediate, confidential help, call 1.800.387.4765. The Simcoe County Crisis Response Service, including a mobile crisis unit, is also available 24/7 to Barrie and area residents at 705.728.5044 or 1.888.893.8333. Dial 2. 1. 1. to connect with a local organization in your community.

What other steps can I take to prepare myself for a lockdown?

Imagine various scenarios playing out where you take classes, study or work.  Where are the exits?  Do the doors lock?  What would make a good barricade or weapon? Ask yourself, “What if?”

Please familiarize yourself with the location of manual fire alarm stations, fire extinguishers and building exits in buildings at your campus to avoid confusion when a fire emergency arises.

If you discover smoke or fire

  • Leave the area immediately
  • If safe to do so, close all doors and windows – do not lock
  • Warn others in your area to evacuate
  • Sound the fire alarm by pulling a manual pull station (located at most exits)
  • Call Security Services (705.722-5100 or ext. 5100 from a phone within the college) from a phone outside of the affected area to provide details of the exact location of the smoke/fire
  • Follow guidelines for fire evacuation (below)

If you hear a fire alarm

  • Evacuation will begin with the sounding of building fire alarms
  • Evacuate immediately – do not assume it is a drill as all tests/drills are pre-announced
  • If safe to do so, close all doors and windows – do not lock
  • Evacuate using the closest designated emergency exit and stairwell – do not use the elevators
  • Use an alternate exit if you encounter smoke or fire
  • Move at least 30 metres away from the building, leaving clear access for emergency services
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized by the fire department, Security Services or Campus Safety and Security
  • If you have mobility issues such as requiring the use of a wheelchair, move to an area of refuge at the top of a stairwell, well off to the side to allow those evacuating to continue to exit the building. Tell as many people as possible that you are there and will require the assistance of security or attending emergency personnel. Never try to help carry a person in a wheelchair down the stairs unless the person is in imminent or extreme danger. For more information, see Fire evacuation for persons with disabilities (pdf) and Assisting a person in a wheelchair in situations of extreme danger (pdf).

Weather can impact driving conditions and operations at Georgian College campuses. It’s important to consider your personal safety in deciding when to come to class or to work.

Read Georgian’s Campus closure procedure.

Your personal safety is one of our foremost priorities. Read the information below to stay prepared.

Wondering if your campus is closed due to poor weather conditions? Here’s how to find out:

Note: We only announce the names of campuses that are closed. If your campus is not named in a closure, it is open.

  • Daytime closures and information about specific campuses and services will be posted on the Georgian website and other channels, typically by 6:30 a.m.
  • Closures after the start of classes will be announced as they occur.
  • Evening closures are typically announced between 3 and 4 p.m.

Remember, if the risk is too great to travel, you must take responsibility for your personal safety, based on your particular circumstance.

As always, safety remains one of Georgian’s foremost priorities. Students and staff live across a broad geographic area at some distance from their campus and may encounter a wide range of travelling conditions. Often, one area is getting hit by poor weather while others remain unaffected.

If you make reasonable decisions regarding attendance at class or work, you will not be disadvantaged. But if you miss a class, exam, assignment or other deadline, you should contact faculty or the appropriate academic office to discuss alternative arrangements. Staff should communicate their decision to their manager.

Tips for safe winter driving

The Ministry of Transportation offers three key winter driving safety tips:

  1. Be prepared: Plan your route, clear your car of ice and snow, and pack a winter survival kit in your vehicle before leaving.
  2. Be safe: Use snow tires, slow down and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

Take two minutes to refresh your winter driving knowledge with this Top 10 Tips to Prep for Winter Driving video.

Or, if you think you know how to drive in winter weather, test your smarts with this Winter Tires Quiz and Winter Driving Quiz.

  1. Extreme weather conditions that make travelling to and from campus dangerous
  2. Significant warnings from the police/emergency services or Environment Canada
  3. Snow removal crews working to ensure parking lots and walkways are safe

Message from the President

At Georgian, we are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, social, recreational and working environment. We strive to maintain a campus free of discrimination and harassment, and an atmosphere of healthy attitudes and behaviours toward sexuality, sex and gender roles.

We take seriously our commitment to supporting those who experience sexual violence, and we work diligently on campus and with community partners on programs, policies and resources to ensure our college remains free from sexual violence.

I urge all members of the college community to review Georgian’s Sexual Violence Procedure and Protocol to learn about options and resources available to those who require support or who wish to support others.

Please help to ensure the college remains a positive space where members of the Georgian community feel able to work, learn and express themselves in a safe environment that champions human equality.

Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes
President and CEO

We all have a right to study and work in an environment free from sexual violence.
Remember – it’s never okay.  #GCconsent

Only YES = Consent written accross a green abnner

What is consent?

  • Voluntarily and clearly agreeing to engage in sexual activity
  • An understandable exchange of affirmative words or conduct that indicates a willingness to participate

Confidentiality

Georgian will respect the confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual violence. That confidentiality will be protected to the greatest extent possible – without compromising the safety of others.

Survivors' rights

As a survivor, you have a right to:

  • Be believed
  • Be treated with respect
  • Be informed
  • Be protected
  • Be heard
  • Be supported

If you’ve experienced sexual violence, we encourage you to:

  • Go to a safe place
  • Get medical attention
  • Seek support and counselling
  • Report the incident

Our commitments

Georgian is committed to:

  • Assisting and supporting survivors
  • Addressing harmful attitudes and behaviours that attribute blame to the survivor
  • Dispelling myths and misconceptions about sexual violence
  • Having a process for internal investigations in place, even if the survivor reporting an incident chooses not to involve the police
  • Ensuring the process for investigation and adjudication of complaints is fair – with due process for those involved
  • Engaging in public education and prevention initiatives
  • Educating the college community about sexual violence and how to respond to reports
  • Promoting a campus culture in which sexual violence is not tolerated

Reporting and responding to sexual violence

A complaint of sexual violence can be made by any member of the Georgian community. Please immediately report any incidents of sexual violence you witness, have knowledge of, or have reason to believe may occur.

We will follow the principles of due process and fairness in dealing with all complaints.

Support and counselling

Students

  • Counselling Services: 705.722.1523
  • Nurse Practitioner-led Clinic (Barrie): 705.722.1581
  • Campus Safety and Security 24-hour line: 705.722.5100
  • Good2Talk support line: 866.925.5454
  • Athena’s Sexual Assault Counselling and Advocacy line: 800.987.0799

Employees

  • Human Resources: 705.728.1968, ext. 1630
  • Employee Assistance Program: 800.268.5211
  • Athena’s Sexual Assault Counselling and Advocacy line: 800.987.0799

If there is an imminent risk to safety, call Campus Safety and Security’s 24/7 line at 705.722.5100 or dial 911.

View a comprehensive list of community resources in Georgian’s Sexual Violence Procedure and Protocol.

To contact Campus Safety and Security

Call 705.722-5100 or ext. 5100 from within the college

To request a security escort at the Barrie, Orillia or Owen Sound campus

  • Barrie: Call 705.722.5100 or ext. 5100 from any of the courtesy phones.
  • Orillia: Use a pay phone (free call) to call a security guard at ext. 5100. You can also ask Campus Connections for assistance (until 8:15 p.m.).
  • Owen Sound: Call ext. 2030.

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