Sunday, May 31, 2020
October 1, 2019

U of T installs barriers in building where student died by suicide



As reported in the National Post, Canada’s largest university has installed temporary safety barriers at the computer science building on its downtown Toronto campus, where a student was found dead by suicide on Friday.

The University of Toronto said little about the circumstances surrounding the student’s death, but the union representing education workers at the school said it was the fourth confirmed suicide on the St. George campus since June 2018.

“The safety and well-being of our students are our top priorities,” said Sandy Welsh, the school’s vice-provost of students, in a written statement. “We’ve listened to concerns about the building and are putting in place measures that will improve safety.”

Welsh said the school has been working with architects to design permanent safety barriers in the Bahen Centre since spring, when another student died in the building.

A university spokesman said the building had unguarded “areas of elevation” that are now blocked off. Construction on a permanent solution is set to begin later this fall.

He said three people killed themselves on the St. George campus in 2017, and another three in 2018, though one of those people was not a member of the “school community.” The numbers for 2019 so far are not yet available.

The spokesman noted that there are a number of resources for students in need of mental health supports, including recently introduced same-day counselling.

The education workers’ union, CUPE 3902, said a drop-in centre was available in front of the Bahen Centre on Monday for all those needing support.

Keep reading in the National Post