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Student assaults lead to safety questions

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | March 9th, 2009



A robbery and assault leaves two Fanshawe students injured and raises questions about safety.

On February 18 two Fanshawe College MIA students were walking home on Second Street when three men demanded their belongings.

The incident occurred steps away from the college at approximately 2:45 am.

The 24 and 21-year-old males (whose names have been withheld) did not sustain major injuries.

According to Police, the three men attempted to rob the students for their money and property while punching the two young men in their heads.

A get away car waiting on Mardell Street near Second Street was clearly identified by the 24-year-old student for London Police.

The vehicle was described to Police as a Green Pontiac Grand Am with license plate AZMS 656 and since the occurrence has been reported stolen.

“Yes, it was a very unfortunate situation that occurred...the fact that two young men were robbed close to their home in the late hours is disturbing...I have asked other staff members who have been working in our program for a while (over 30 years), and as far as they know, this is the first time this has happened,” said Steve Malison, coordinator of the Audio-Post Production, School of Contemporary Media at Fanshawe College.

Alternative ways could have been used as a means of getting home safely that evening.

Ed Pimentel, Manager of Security Services at Fanshawe College suggests calling a cab or using the safe walk program to ensure extra safety precautions.

Studio times are allotted by professors of the MIA program at the college, according to Malison.

“We schedule the teaching studios for the students such that their studio time is maximized during their time in the program...in fact, all of our studios (six in total) and lab run 24/7,” explained Malison. “The only times that students are not in the studios and labs are during teaching time and maintenance schedules.”

Malison added that students of the program do not schedule their own studio times and the scheduling is done in rotational blocks to ensure fairness amongst the peers.

Students are free to exchange the three-hour studio times with each other. The time slots, which are standard in the industry, are from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 am. Every student will eventually get one of those time slots.

There are no guarantees an incident of this nature will not occur again.

“As far as a solution to this, we have already provided some relief in that three of our newest studios (built March 2008) are not teaching studios, and run throughout the day,” Malison said. “We must look at all of the factors, the history, logistics, performance levels and so on to see if the teaching studio times need to be modified.

Pimentel advises students to always be aware of their surroundings, despite the time of day or night.

London Police are currently investigating the occurrence and are looking for three males between the ages of 18-25.

They are approximately 6' tall and weigh between 170-200 lbs. All men were dressed in black and had their faces covered.

If anyone has any information, which may lead Police closer to finding the three men in question, you are urged to contact crime stoppers at www.londoncrimestoppers.com or call 1 800 222-TIPS.

All calls are confidential.
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