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Security deals with imaginary friends

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Everyday the battle between chaos and order at the University of Calgary is waged behind the scenes, away from the public eye. The men and women of campus security put themselves at risk and deserve respect. We at the Gauntlet salute them every several months with a recap of the dangerous and strange events they deal with.

These are the true stories of the U of C Campus Security beat.

January 2011
Total reports - 163
Total Loss - $42,649

Campus Security responded to a report from Den staff who were refusing to allow a male entry due to signs of extreme intoxication.

When approached, the man refused to leave and began talking with an "imaginary friend." The conversation became heated between the companions and the man was turned over to Calgary Police.

Campus Security also assisted Den staff in removing eight non-students from the line-up who were know for their violent behaviour.

A man was jumped and received serious head injuries after leaving the Den. He was transported by EMS for treatment.

U of C head of security Lanny Fritz said the Den has seen improvements since the Students' Union reduced the number of non-student guests students can bring to the campus pub from two to one.

"It looks like it's going to be rather effective as far as one student, one guest," said Fritz.

Campus Security received complaints of property damage and excessive mess in the Mechanical Engineering Building after students held a non-sanctioned party for Engg Week.

In a separate incident, students in Engineering blocked off a hallway to play drinking games and, when confronted, said they were allowed to. Their event was disbanded.

Approximately 170 medical students were consuming alcohol in Libin Theatre at the Health Sciences Centre without a permit. The event was shut down, but the recently renovated theatre suffered damage from spills.

Fritz said these type of events are dangerous, both to people on campus as well as property.

"First of all it's an unlicensed event," said Fritz. "It's against the liquor laws to have open alcohol and consume alcohol in a place that isn't properly licensed. We can not allow clubs or any groups to have a party situation on campus without a license."

Campus Security responded to a fire in residence where a small stove-top fire broke out after food was left unattended. The occupants, who were in bed when the fire started, had dismantled and removed the suite's fire alarm.

Campus Security responded to calls about a male running on the track in the Olympic Oval during speed skating practice. He had been asked to leave, as skaters could have become distracted and fall.

The man said the track's rules "weren't convenient for him."

He was identified as a U of C student and track and field athlete and agreed to leave after security informed him he had lost access to the Oval. His coach was also contacted.

According to Fritz, the athlete has not been allowed back to the Olympic Oval.

February 2011
Total reports – 160
Total Loss – $33,567.12

Security responded to a Den altercation where a non-student assaulted a Den manager by spitting in his face. The man was banned from campus, but before leaving he smashed a bottle and urinated in the parking lot.

In another incident, a non-student was arrested for assault when he attacked a Den manager on a Thursday night.

Two males were found trying to access classrooms in the science complex. When questioned, they were found to be heavily intoxicated and said they were looking for the Brentwood LRT station. They were escorted off campus.

A U of C alumnus visited security to complain about a trespass ban. The man handed a letter of complaint to security saying he would commit suicide. Proper authorities were contacted.

Two students requested security assistance for a man they believed to be responsible for locker break-ins in the kinesiology locker room. The man was charged and gave the names of others involved in the thefts.

Fritz said thefts in this area are a reoccurring problem.

"General members of the public bring their own locks. In most cases they're all cheap locks, not like the high security locks that the SU gives to students," Fritz said. "Once or twice a year we catch a group of people that are somewhat organized. They sit and wait and watch people close their locker for a tennis game or whatever and they realize that now they have some time to cut the lock and get the stuff and get out of there."

A burst radiator in the TFDL link resulted in severe flooding to the basement of the MacKimmie library. During this time the Health Sciences building also faced frozen pipes and flooding.

Fritz said pipes froze which led to a fire alarm, causing fans to shut off which in turn saw more pipes freeze.

"It was a chain reaction on a bad day," said Fritz. "Probably the two biggest losses we've had in the last 10 years were in the MacKimmie Library and the Health Sciences area."

Fritz said the loss was extensive and in an excess of $1 million.

"The water all ran into the basement of the MacKimmie Library where there were 9,000 boxes of books," said Fritz. "They're in the process of trying to be restored and dried out."

Campus Security received a report that a student had threatened to shoot other students and then commit suicide. The student has since been suspended.

Fritz said the police were contacted and the matter has been dealt with through non-academic misconduct.

A fire alarm in Cascade Hall brought security officers who found a suite in flames after a student's cooking lit a nearby combustible on fire. Repairs began immediately and the student was relocated.

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