University officials assured the community of a safe environment and an interesting program on campus in the weeks to come at a g8 information session, on June 5, 2002.
Up to 15,000 people are expected to come to Calgary during the g8 summit and co-ordinator of the Office for University g8 Activities Bill Warden is concerned about the representation of the g8 in the media.
"The media does a disservice by focussing on violence of the past and because of that, people are intimidated," he said.
The big misunderstanding is that only a small percentage of visitors engage in violence, while the large majority attends workshops and discussions, not violent confrontations.
Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz anticipates a peaceful environment without threats or reason for higher security on campus.
"We expect to continue with business as usual," he said. "It isn't the first event of this size--we had heads of state at the U of C, hosted summits and managed Bermuda Shorts Day."
Activities will be monitored by 15 cameras and 24–hour foot and bike patrols. Opportunities for students and visitors to join in discussions and workshops on campus are also provided.
"We are encouraging large participation in the events," said Warden, whose office invited world leaders to speak at the U of C. "A respectable group of over 60 people from all over the world will speak on campus."
While prepared to handle conferences, officials are concerned with the lack of a location for a Solidarity Village.
"We strongly encourage the city to find a location for the protesters, because otherwise they might end up on campus in search for a location," said Warden.