White powder, dumb pranks

By Allie Smyth

As a result of anthrax scares crossing the border and occurring on campus, University of Calgary safety authorities added some new terminology to the lists last month.

"White powder spill" is the technical term now used to describe any incident involving a suspicious or unidentified white powder discovered on campus.

Campus Recreation business operations were halted on Fri., Nov. 9 when a staff member opened a letter and white powder spilled onto her work area.

"Campus Security attended along with Safety Services and we immediately cordoned off the work area where the white powder spill took place," said Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz. "As per protocol, the Calgary Fire Department attended, entered the work area and retrieved the envelope, the white powder, keyboard and mouse pad, which were sealed and sent to Edmonton to be analyzed."

Test results confirmed the white powder was not anthrax or any other biohazard, although the substance remains unidentified.

In another incident, Food Services outlets across campus were shut down when a white powder was discovered among rolls of quarters.

"The quarters originated from the Royal Bank main branch," said Fritz. "Calgary City Police sent a detective to the Royal Bank to investigate and learned that a white powder substance is used to lubricate the tubes used to roll quarters."

Several other minor white powder spills have occurred on campus, though none have been legitimate biohazards.

In addition to handling anthrax scares, Campus Security held several meetings with CPS investigators prior to the arrest of suspected sex offender David Gould. Officers were kept busy relaying tips from the university community to investigators and monitoring campus for the presence of the suspect or his vehicle.

"As a community we were relieved that CPS had arrested a suspect using the same MO as the suspect who committed a crime against one of our female students in September," said Fritz. "The person arrested will receive a formal trespass notice from the university, barring him from entering campus."

A student who harassed female classmates was also banned indefinitely from campus and subsequently arrested.

"This student refused to attend any [mediated reconciliation] meetings so his department head drafted a letter that was delivered to him by Campus Security officers," said Fritz. "The letter was read out to him in class and the student spat on the officer, at which time he was arrested for assault."

Two male students found more adventure than they bargained for when they broke into the tunnel system between residence and the Olympic Oval. They stole two radios which were both monitored by Campus Security, and went back to residence to talk with each other.

"They wouldn’t respond to security requests to identify themselves and turn in the radios," said Fritz. "A female security supervisor was able to persuade them to give up their phone numbers so she could talk to them. She was able to determine their room number and pay them a visit."

Fritz added that the property was returned and the two apologetic students made full restitution for damages.

The Campus Security Traffic Awareness Program partnered with the Students’ Union to sponsor the Jaws of Life demonstration and a Rollover Simulator in a recent campus safety awareness campaign. The Rollover Simulator demonstrated to onlookers what a seatbelt can do to save lives in a collision or rollover situation.

"Thirty-nine per cent of the motoring public slow down but do not stop at stop signs," said RCMP Constable Phil Paul, who delivered the sobering message to students. "If I had a hammer, and was hitting your head, would you want me to slow down or stop?"

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