Nfld. & Labrador

Students call CNA response to complaints about security guard 'slap in the face'

CNA students in residence at Happy Valley-Goose Bay say the guard would make inappropriate sexual comments and enter the women's shower room while it was occupied.

Complaints about inappropriate comments, surprise shower room visits

Aaron Dyson and Kendra Williams are two resident assistants who complained about the behavior of a college security guard. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Students in residence at the College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley-Goose Bay are unhappy with how their complaints against a security guard, who they say acted inappropriately, were dealt with.

"I know the girls that had comments toward them didn't feel safe. I didn't feel safe," Kendra Williams, a resident assistant, told CBC News.

"He should not be there. He has the master key which means he can enter any room at any time."

It was Kendra Williams's first year at the Grand River Hall residence. She says she will not be returning if the security guard is there come fall semester. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

According to students, the guard was suspended in mid-April after students filed complaints, but he was allowed to come back because, according to students, the complaints were typed up by the residence's co-ordinator and not by the students themselves.

"We got word back that our papers had been withdrawn because we wanted to keep our names anonymous," Aaron Dyson, another resident assistant, said.

Dyson said the college did a second investigation and gave the students the option to make handwritten complaints or give a filmed interview.

He'd just enter the bathroom while me and some of the other girls were in the shower.- Kendra Williams

He said most of the roughly 20 students in the residence also signed a petition against the guard.

The college has told him that the guard is again suspended until further notice, but Dyson said the man should not have been allowed to return to work following the first round of complaints.

Grand River Hall is a residence facility on the CNA campus in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Jacob Barker/CBC)

"It was kind of like a slap in the face," Dyson said.

"We spent weeks writing up the incident reports and writing up the complaints and for all that work just to be blown away, it was just an insult."

Sexual comments, shower room visits

CBC obtained copies of the complaints filed by several students, as well another security guard.

They outlined many ways in which the students found the guard's behaviour inappropriate. They said he would make sexual comments which included descriptions of sexual violence.

"He felt creepy and I thought this right away," one female student wrote.

A section of Kendra Williams's handwritten complaint about the security guard. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

She said the guard always asked her overly personal questions and more than once told her stories about rape and abuse of students at the residence in the past.

"His detailed words of the incidents are scary," the student wrote.

Williams said the guard would enter the women's shower unannounced.

"He'd just enter the bathroom while me and some of the other girls were in the shower," she said.

"None of the other security guards go in while they're there … They always knock before they enter."

I've seen him check out a few of the girls.- Aaron Dyson

She said said he would also make comments about a girl's appearance.

"Some of the comments he would make to the girls as they're coming home … telling them that they look pretty tonight or how they're shaped," Williams said.

"I don't think a man like him should have the role of making students feel safe when he does nothing but make them feel uncomfortable," she wrote in her complaint.

An excerpt from one of several written complaints from both men and women which were given to the college about the guard. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Dyson also complained about the security guard. He said females in the residence would come to him with their concerns and he witnessed some things which concerned him.

"I've seen him check out a few of the girls," Dyson said.

"When they walk by he says, 'Oh I wish I was younger, I'd be hard after that.'"

Looking for assurances

CNA said it is "aware of concerns that have been brought forward at its Happy Valley-Goose Bay campus, and has followed protocols and procedures in place to look into the matter."

It would not comment further, saying it is a human resources matter.

"I'm returning to college this fall and if he is still working I will not be staying here," Williams wrote in her complaint. "I want nothing but safety for my fellow students."

CBC attempted to reach the guard by phone, text and via Facebook but he did not respond. 

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

About the Author

Jacob Barker

Videojournalist

Jacob Barker reports on Labrador for CBC News from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.