Former Charles Sturt University employee blows whistle on security

A former Charles Sturt University employee says students are more vulnerable than ever. 

The past client services officer – who would only speak under the pseudonym Max – said only one security guard was patrolling the grounds every 12 hours. 

That is one security guard, watching the university’s biggest 640-hectare campus, at one time. 

Max said this was not always the case.

He said prior to 2015, there were up to six security guards roaming the campus at any one time, with three vehicles always patrolling the site.

But according to the university, there was only ever one or two guards on site at any given time, unless extra staff were required for events or activities. 

Union members and cited time-stamped rosters showed this statement to be false, confirming the Wagga campus streamlined security staff.

That duty of care isn’t happening anymore.

CSU client services officer

“So now one person has to lock up the whole university and that takes almost eight hours in itself,” Max said. “That’s hours taken away from protecting the students.”

The whistle-blower said he didn’t want to rubbish the university, but said higher numbers and higher visibility were needed for safety.

“What happens if there is an assault called in 10 kilometers away?” Max said. “What happens if that one guard gets a flat tyre?” 

Max said security should “never have been streamlined”, especially when the population had “almost doubled in the same period”. 

“The uni has to supply security as a responsibility to students,” he said. “That duty of care isn’t happening anymore.”

The reveal follows the Human Rights Commission’s report into sexual assault and sexual harassment released in July.

In response to the report, CSU’s vice chancellor said it would seek to improve training, education, leadership and reporting avenues.

The university said CSU Safe provided “instant access to around-the-clock campus security”.

Wagga campus head Miriam Dayhew said there was only ever one or two security guards on the grounds at one time, unless necessary.