Photo by Keila MacPherson
Between 9:20pm on Saturday, October 4 and 8pm on Sunday, October 5, there was a break-in and theft at the Trent Central Student Association office that resulted in approximately $11,000 in stolen items and damage.
The Peterborough Lakefield Community Police are investigating the incident and the TCSA has invocated a State of Emergency through the Extraordinary Measures bylaw, thereby permitting the executive to make purchases that will be approved retroactively by the board in order to reduce the extent of the interruption of service caused by the break in.
“Someone had broken into our office by destroying the lock itself,” said TCSA president Braden Freer. “They proceeded to come into the office, they stole six of our Macs which were not bolted down […] as well as our two safes were broken into and basically destroyed.”
Only three of the TCSA office computers were left, two of which were bolted to standing desks and the third being the front desk computer.
“Of the money that was in the safe […] the money that was taken quite specifically was money that was raised for Trent Gives,” said Freer, expressing that the incident was made even more unfortunate by the loss of student-raised funds to support the youth emergency shelter.
While the largest cost of the break-in damages was the loss of the computers, the stolen cash and damage to the office lock and safes adds to the total. “The value of stolen goods was about $9,900, the value of stolen goods and damage put together was about $11,000,” said Freer.
Once the break-in was discovered, the TCSA needed to take action.
“We have the option to do emergency board meetings,” said Freer, “We tried to get one, unfortunately trying to get 50 per cent of our board members together during the week, especially when it’s the week before Thanksgiving, wasn’t easy so it didn’t look like we were going to be able to get quorum.”
Because the emergency board meeting was not going to work, the TCSA moved to enact the Extraordinary Measures bylaw on Tuesday, October 7, placing the TSCA in what is known as a state of emergency. Written consent from a minimum of three board members was required to enact the bylaw.
“Basically [enacting this bylaw] is the executive committee stating the reason why we have to do something that will violate our operating resolutions and our normal process,” explained Freer. By doing so, the executive was able to take the actions required to ensure minimal disruption in TCSA service.
In this case, it meant that the TCSA was able order new computers for the office prior to receiving approval from the board in order to minimize the downtime in office productivity.
The board will meet to retroactively approve the purchase of the computers at a later date.
Freer is hopeful that the new computers will be installed and operational shortly and anticipates that the TCSA will be operating at full capacity by next Wednesday.