Student petition about trail ownership closed after meeting with college


An online student petition calling for the college to gain control of the wooded trails surrounding Trafalgar Campus has been closed after getting 525 signatures.

Computer Systems Technology student Hamza Jami, who started an online petition directed to Mayor Rob Burton, President Jeff Zabudsky and Ward 5 Councillor Jeff Knoll calling for Sheridan’s freehold ownership of the forests around campus, says he was asked to a meeting with Sheridan administration Thursday.

Jami told Sheridan’s JNM Journal the college has promised to improve safety by springtime.

Mary Preece, vice-president academic at Sheridan College promised Jami in a meeting Feb. 6 that the college would widen the pathways, clear excess foliage and install more lighting in the area, according to the JNM Journal story.

Jami gave in to pressure from both the town of Oakville and Sheridan College, and agreed to remove the petition.

Knoll, whose ward is home to Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus,  and Burton, are also members of the Halton Police Services Board.

The petition states:

“We the students of Sheridan College here in Oakville are getting frustrated with the constant reports of sexual assaults occurring within the Forests right next to our school.
Since September of 2013 we’ve heard of over 6-8 incidents of attempted assaults and yet nothing has been done to prevent these attacks from occurring. After hearing of these attacks, news crews and the public community started to express their concerns about the safety of the forest, however, nothing could be done because the forest where a lot of students walk is owned by the City of Oakville.

This petition is focused so that we can fight for our school to earn the land rights to the forest so that the school itself can earn Freehold rights to install security cameras and increase security measures across the board.”

– with files from JNM Journal


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7 Responses to Student petition about trail ownership closed after meeting with college

  1. Wendy Merkle February 7, 2014 at

    I am very upset about this. My daughter attends the school and lives in Rez. I personally sent this school over $30,000 a year and I am sure the student who put up that petition sends the school a lot of money too. If the college and town are focusing on pressuring a student to take down a petition they are NOT focused on the problem! So? Why are cameras an issue? I appreciate that they are going to make the paths wider and remove brush and put in more lighting, but that is going to happen at the end of this term (because that is when spring happens.). The school needs to communicate better with the students and parents about what they are doing NOW. I appreciate the new tables and chairs and small improvements the school has made. The giant “S” is cool, but 6-8 parents are getting a call that their daughters have been assaulted is too many and I DO NOT WANT THAT CALL!

  2. satyarth mishra February 5, 2014 at

    now here because of snowfall and cold security guys are not showing up outside much now a days and by taking a advantage of that situation some eggheads doing sexual assaults.

  3. frank February 5, 2014 at

    And why exactly does Sheridan need to own the land in order to do something about a serious issue affecting its student body?
    What would that change?

    Would the police actually stop campus security from including the woods in their patrol radius?
    Would the Town actually prohibit the school from putting up the money to install lights and cameras to protect its student body?

    This freehold business is suspect, especially considering Sheridan’s future development plans.

    For me, the ‘student’ petition has a decidedly corporate feel which is seriously undermining the serious issue at hand.

    If Sheridan admin want to protect their students , they needs to open their wallet and take action –


    • Wendy Merkle February 7, 2014 at

      Frank, Digital Video Cameras require lines to be run, conduits buried and cameras hung on poles (tree grow and then the cameras don’t continue to work.) It is considered a capital improvement and I would imagine it is a grey area regarding the Colleges land lease. HOWEVER, I think we should discuss it with the Town and the School. So as a parent, even though cameras feel a little like parking the ambulance at the bottom of the hill, I want this guy caught!

      You wrote, “So if Sheridan wants to protect their students, they need to open their wallet and take action'”. So if not cameras, What would you like to see happen? What should the college spend their money on?

      • Frank February 7, 2014 at

        If Sheridan students are being assaulted on Sheridan property, repeatedly, in the same areas, wouldn’t you make that area priority number 1 for security?

        Sheridan has a very visible security force – they drive around in the parking lot with their sirens blazing every day. A strong deterrent to unlawful parking.

        If those sirens were blazing around the woods they would have the same effect, but in a way that actually benefits students.

        So I’m saying that Sheridan’s security should make ‘rape woods’ their absolute top priority. Twice in a week is unbelievable – either the criminal is becoming fearless or the existing security measures are nothing to be feared.

  4. Josie February 5, 2014 at

    6-8 incidents is too much? ONE INCIDENT IS TOO MUCH. There should be a ZERO tolerance policy for this type of criminal activity in our community!!!!!

  5. Joanna February 5, 2014 at

    6-8 incidents is too much. Something needs to be done. Given that fact the some students do not live around the area either, makes me cringe at the though this problem not getting solved.