Multiple Break-Ins at Concordia’s Annexes
Organization Members Whose Spaces Were Raided Frustrated at Improper Security Measures
Concordia University’s PR, V and Z annex buildings were broken into on Oct. 14, 15 and 18.
The Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia Union was the most affected, as its office in the PR annex was subject to two different break-ins—the first on Oct. 14 and the second on Oct.18.
After being notified of the Oct. 14 Friday night break-in, the union’s mobilization officer entered the office the following morning. He observed “significant damage to the front door and the second door inside,” according to TRAC Vice-President Becca Wilgosh.
“We noticed our speakers were missing,” Wilgosh said. “They were about a thousand dollars.”
Campus security was promptly alerted.
On the afternoon of Oct. 15, the alarm at the Center for Gender Advocacy’s office in the V annex went off. According to a CGA spokesperson, members of the association showed up on Oct. 17 to assess damages. The door frame to the office had some minimal damage, but the organization lost an undisclosed sum of money left in the space.
The spokesperson added that “security put in some recommendations on different kinds of safes and alarms” and that “[security guards] were very responsive.”
On the evening of Oct. 18, members of TRAC were headed back to their office and saw that “things had been moved,” according to Wilgosh. Upon entering and heading to the second room of the space, where the union’s safe is kept, she said “we noticed it had been noticeably pried open. We could tell they got a look of the inside. Once they realized we didn’t have any money in it, they left our stored documents alone.”
Security was alerted once more. “We’re a bit frustrated that it happened a second time,” Wilgosh said. “We would’ve expected [security] to secure the area after it first happened. It’s a bit alarming to know that they were able to get in again, with the time and tools to also break into our safe.”
“It feels like this is out of our hands and up to Concordia to secure our space,” added the vice-president. “They don’t have a great history of being reliable when it comes to that.”
All valuables were removed by TRAC members and the office was left vacant for some time after the break-in, as it was deemed “not yet safe.” The union had allegedly met with Concordia later in the week of Oct. 22 to discuss the university’s mandate to provide it with a secure space.
Having to carry around their office valuables and be weary of their space’s safety is “mentally distracting,” and “taking away time and energy [that TRAC] would put into serving its members and running the union”, Wilgosh added.
According to Concordia Spokesperson Vannina Maestracci, the university has initiated an investigation with the police and has advised annex occupants to “avoid holding money there, keep valuables out of sight and secured, and call campus security if they notice anything or anyone that appears suspicious.”
The investigation is still ongoing.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 6, published November 8, 2022.