Our Service Model Validation


The UBC Vancouver Campus and community are constantly changing, and Campus Security is reviewing its service model to make sure it is meeting the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

Over the past decade, UBC has grown considerably and now is similar to a city or town, in addition to being a university campus. With a dynamic and diverse population, safety for everyone is a core value and Campus Security is working to create a safe and secure space for all.

UBC Vancouver Campus Security is taking a look at its services and organizational model to better understand how it can best meet the needs of a rapidly changing community. We are committed to listening, doing the research, and designing a security model that will serve the community who lives, works, learns and plays on our campus.

Three streams of work will inform the Campus Security model validation:

  1. Engagement with students, faculty, staff, and community members (to be completed by June 2023).
  2. Benchmarking to post-secondary institutions and municipal government environments.
  3. Industry review of standards and best practices associated to services provided within the campus security model.

Thank you for your participation

Between March and May 2023, one of the three streams of work to inform the Campus Security model validation project were a series of engagement opportunities hosted virtually and in person. There was a total of 1,652 interactions from students, faculty, staff, and community members, providing feedback on the current service model and input on how Campus Security can support a safe environment for all.

Thank you to those that completed the online survey, stopped by a pop-up event, took part in an interview, an in-person dialogue session, and/or submitted a formal email submission. Your feedback and input are important. The Campus Security service model validation is an opportunity to review Campus Security’s services and how they are provided to ensure the needs of the community are being met.

What we learned from the UBC community

Facilitated by an engagement consultant, Engage Delaney, the UBC community, including students, faculty, staff, and partners (eg., Emergency services),were invited to share their feedback and input into what services Campus Security provide.

Participants shared many insights regarding their experiences with Campus Security, in addition to being asked to reflect on their perceptions and feelings of safety on campus, with connection to how Campus Security can support safety and security needs in the future. Safety is a deeply personal experience and so the nuances of feedback and input were explored in detail.

Results of the community survey

The high-level results of the community survey, dialogue sessions, interviews, email submissions, and pop-ups are indicated in the graph on the right.

Of those who responded to the survey, 50% were students or student employees, 42% identified as staff members, and 7% identified as faculty members.

Quantitatively, respondents to the public survey provided an overwhelmingly positive view of Campus Security’s services, and highly value many of them with the three most valued being First Aid, 24/7 Reporting and Support Line, and Safe-walk.

Nine emergent themes

Through this engagement process, nine themes arose from community input, and this will help our team refine the path forward for the campus security model.

Theme #1: Awareness, Communication, and Engagement

Awareness of certain services such as Safewalk is quite high, but the importance of sharing information on all of Campus Security services, how and when to use them is seen to be very important. Engagement with the community was seen as imperative to increase trust and build awareness.

Theme #2: Presence and Visibility

There was a clear message that there needs to be more trust in Campus Security, and it was suggested that trust could be fostered by:

  • Having more face-to-face time with students and staff outside of emergency situations;
  • Receiving responsive and supportive help when it is needed; and
  • Being intentional about uniforms to ensure they foster a sense of community safety.

Theme #3: Response and Response Time

In some cases, the response times of Campus Security are seen as quite prompt, while others believe response times are much too slow and not meeting expectations. Regardless, there was a sense of the importance of prompt and effective responses.

Theme #4: Staffing and Resources

Participants felt that employees need to be well-equipped and competent to provide a consistent and effective service. Participants felt that Campus Security is overextended due to the large campus and scope of responsibilities in a growing campus and community.

Theme #5: Infrastructure

Many participants spoke of the infrastructure that is needed to increase feelings of safety, primarily, lighting. Lighting is a primary concern to participants, who referenced the feelings of feeling unsafe in dim-lit and quiet spaces on campus. While some participants feel there should be more cameras on campus, others do not.

Theme #6: Scope of Service and Partnerships

Participants believe Campus Security needs to clearly define and communicate its scope, especially in relation to its partners and other emergency responders. Specifically, relationships with the RCMP, transit, and other non UBC partners have been suggested to be the focus of further review and clarification.

Theme #7: Prevention and Monitoring

Preventing security and safety incidents from occurring in the first place is seen as crucial to supporting a vibrant campus. To do this, suggestions were made to increase presence by frequency of patrols, increase the number of cameras, and increase emergency blue phones.

Theme #8: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Equity, diversity, and inclusion was a priority for many participants sharing the importance of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable or those who historically face the most violence and threats to personal safety. A number of participants, including students, shared that currently, the Campus Security team did not seem to reflect the diversity of the UBC Vancouver campus population and there is a desire for Campus Security staff to reflect the diversity of the community they serve. Participants recommend staff should be well-versed and well-trained in cultural sensitivity, disability awareness, and trauma-informed care, although noted, this was not necessarily an experienced deficiency.

Theme #9: Feelings of Safety, Mental Health, and Homelessness

Many respondents already feel safe on campus, while others feel their safety and security is not adequately supported. There is shared concern about a growth in mental health considerations, and a desire to provide appropriate supports to those who need them.

Next steps

Campus Security is committed to providing a safe, secure, caring and inclusive environment for the campus community. There will be enhanced efforts in the implementation of outreach programs and initiatives to build trust and awareness of our services, with a priority on procedural enhancements and associated training to address response quality and response times, presence and visibility, community integration and alignment with a focus on prevention.

While the findings from this engagement process are being considered, further data from the industry review and benchmarking exercises will provide a comprehensive review to help inform Campus Security’s decision-making regarding their service delivery model. Further details will be shared as project decisions are made, with the vision and path forward seeking to be established by Spring 2024.

Thank you for your support and participation.