How long will we ignore the lack of security surrounding our campus?


Photo courtesy of Mia Adduci

The main entrance to the University, April 10, 2022, West Haven

It wasn’t enough when two students were robbed at gunpoint last fall outside the university’s convenience store. As a result, increased patrol vehicles were visible across campus for just under a week, before all activity returned to normal. The random man made his way onto campus, armed, in the middle of the night, seemingly effortlessly.

Last weekend, a man was involved in an assault on public transportation. After making his way through multiple major buildings on our very own campus and was eventually arrested, there’s no way of telling how much UPD will up the ante to ensure that students and faculty on campus can guarantee their everyday safety

For a small university, this one has a considerable number of entrances.

The primary entrance into the university’s Office of Admissions has an ungated security booth, despite its road spitting visitors into the epicenter of activity on the academic side of campus.

The entrance behind Westside has a successful gate that only opens with keycard access; however, only a few yards down the road, people from outside of the university have the ability to pull in past Dunham Hall and Celentano Hall to the center of the residential side of campus, conveniently in front of the C-Store, where the armed robbery occurred.

The library parking lot is also mostly unsupervised and unsecure. At the off-campus housing site, Forest Hills apartment complex, there are only security personnel at certain hours of the night, and unrestricted access throughout the day.

There’s also the entrance through the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, making it easy to enter the outskirts of the residential side undetected.

For an institution that has just over 6,000 full-time students, we still struggle to ensure the safety of what would otherwise be, objectively, a very controllable population. Considering how, over less than half a year, two instances placed numerous university lives in danger, with students crossing paths with undeniably dangerous individuals who should not have gained access to campus in the ways that they did, such a lack of security is unfathomable.

For the university to send out a vague email indicating that an individual who assaulted someone on local public transportation posed “no need for concern” downplays the lack of safety ensured across our mere 82 acres of campus.

There is no reason why every entrance to campus should not be, at the minimum, guarded at all hours, and at the most sensible, gated at all major entrance points, especially at the main entrances off of Boston Post Road and Ruden Street.

We have security guards signing in guests who live on campus into other residential buildings, monitoring sets of doors that are locked by keycard at all times, but almost none stationed in areas that grant outsiders access to roam freely on campus. There seems to be a promotion of the idea that having residents in buildings that are not their own is more dangerous than non-university community members trespassing undetected.

Is it that the school is, after this much time, unable to adequately allocate their budget towards priority needs, or is it that they find there to be more pressing matters than ensuring safety on campus and filtered entrance to it?