College says they’ve increased security presence in parking lots near EDC after several safety incidents reported

By: Danna Bianca Carreon

Some Red River College Polytechnic students say they feel unsafe using the parking lots around the Exchange District Campus (EDC).

EDC does not have an official student parking lot, requiring students to park on the street or in nearby private lots.

Georgia Sigurdson, a second-year Creative Communications student and multimedia reporter for The Projector, drives to school daily and pays about $240 per month for parking. On August 31, Sigurdson had her car vandalized in the private parking lot frequented by EDC students on Princess Street. 

“I saw that my mirror had been kicked off, and it was lying on the ground,” Sigurdson said.

Sigurdson said it cost her $500 to replace the broken mirror.

Campus security showed Sigurdson footage of the vandalism captured by a surveillance camera in the area. However, the image is of poor quality, making it difficult to identify the person responsible for the damage.

Sigurdson said a month after her mirror was broken in the Princess Street lot, a man tried to block her car as she was leaving the same parking lot after class.

“He looked through my front windshield, and he could see I had my backpack on my passenger seat beside me,” Sigurdson said. “He saw [my bag], rushed over to my passenger door, and started yanking on the door handle.”

Campus security monitors the Princess Street parking lot frequented by students outside Red River College Polytechnic’s Exchange District Campus on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (Danna Bianca Carreon)

Other students also expressed concerns about the available parking near EDC and are calling for more security measures.

Naveen Sharma, a first-year Business Administration student, parks on the street near campus when he drives to school twice per week. Sharma said he would feel safer if there were more surveillance cameras in the area.

“I’ve only parked here maybe eight or nine times, but I’ve had two times where I come out of class and somebody’s trying to look into my car window,” Sharma said. 

Five parking lot incidents have been reported to campus security at EDC in 2023—three reports of vandalism, and two reports from students who had someone try to block their car as they exited a parking lot. Emily Doer, the college’s manager of communications and public relations, said campus security has increased their presence in the lots where the reported incidents took place.

Conor Lloyd, RRC Polytech’s director of public relations, said the security of students and staff is the college’s priority.

“We actively patrol all the parking lots in and around the Exchange District Campus,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said the EDC’s mobile security team monitors campus facilities, parking spaces, and nearby streets during the day and night. 

“We encourage all staff, faculty, and students that should an incident occur in any parking lot around the college, they first report it to the Winnipeg Police Service, so they are aware of it,” Lloyd said.

Campus security also provides Safe Walk and Safe Ride services to help staff and students get safely to and from their cars.