Campus Security and Emergency Services

Campus Security and Emergency Services

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Protect Your Belongings During Exams!

Belongings left unattended for an extended period outside exam halls or at empty desks in libraries present an easy opportunity for a thief to walk away with them. We’ve listed below some options and tips to help protect your belongings during this time.

While studying in the Library:

While it is tempting to leave your items on the desk and take a quick jog to the nearest Tim’s for coffee, or even take a quick bathroom break, 30 seconds or less is all it takes for a laptop to be stolen from a desk. The moment your laptop is out of your sight, thieves have an opportunity to take it. In most cases people leave their laptop with the thought “I will only be gone for a few minutes, nothing will happen during that time”, and they return to find their laptop missing. Here are some options for securing your belongings in the library when you need to leave your desk:

  1. Take all of your belongings with you. While leaving your belongings may prevent people from taking your study spot, you run the chance of someone taking your belongings instead. If you do decide to leave items behind to take a quick washroom break, take your valuables with you. A good way to determine this is to ask yourself: If I had to give up this item right now, could I do it? If the answer is no, either because of the item’s value, information on it, etc, then it is too valuable to leave unattended.
  2. Ask a trusted friend to stay and look after your belongings. While it might be easy to ask the person sitting across from you to look after your items, you don’t necessarily know them, or know how long they will be at the desk. If they also leave to take a washroom break, then your belongings will be left unattended all the same.

While writing an exam:

If an item isn’t permitted inside the exam hall, you will be required to leave it outside. This includes laptops, purses, bags, phones, etc. However, exams staff are not responsible for watching belongings left outside the hall. While Security and exams staff do regular rounds of the exam halls, belongings are not monitored 24/7, and so there is the chance they may be stolen. Here are some options for securing your belongings while writing an exam:

  1. Leave it at home. Belongings are safest at home, inside a locked house. But be sure to remember to lock your door when leaving for your exam!
  2. Leave your items with a trusted friend. If you have a friend who is also studying on campus, ask if they would be willing to hold onto your items.
  3. Last option would be to lock your items in a locker on campus. If you do not have time to return home to drop off your belongings as you are cramming in some last minute lecture notes before the exam and are unable to leave your items with a friend you trust, you could lock your items in a locker instead. Day use lockers are available at the ARC, and some departments offer their students locker space in their buildings as well. Check with your department or faculty to see if they offer this. If you don’t have a lock on you, or forgot your lock at home, they can be purchased from the ARC customer service desk for $10. But do not leave your items in an unlocked locker in the ARC! Majority of thefts from the changerooms are due to items left in unlocked lockers.

You can visit the exam office website for more information about exam policies and regulation.

Best of luck during exam season!