Grounds For Concern

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Open campuses allow visitors to come and go as they please without any security checkpoints, booths or safeguards of any kind. LIU Post is one of the local universities with an open-campus policy, with both entrances on Northern Boulevard providing easy access to campus grounds.

On March 17, several students on campus reported receiving a vague email alert about an incident that occurred near the Post campus. As published reports would later confirm, a 27-year-old woman was found with a bag taped over her head and her hands either cuffed or tied (various sources provide conflicting reports) after campus security was alerted to a woman “screaming for help” in the woods near the school.

According to published reports, the woman later told police she was trying to commit suicide. The school’s newspaper, The Pioneer, reported that since that incident was declared a suicide attempt, it did not qualify as public record and as such, there is no incident report available.

Journalistic suspicions aside, even if this incident was a suicide attempt as claimed by local law enforcement and the school’s public safety department, it should raise campus security questions for universities and schools across Long Island. Besides the March 17 incident, The Pioneer also reported student accounts of a man on March 2, who was neither a student or an employee, wandering around the LIU Post campus approaching several female students and asking intrusive questions.

And LIU Post is not alone in having an open campus: Adelphi University, Farmingdale State College and Hofstra University all present a relaxed approach to security at their front gates. Parents often worry about unthinkable scenarios when sending their young adults off to live in a college dorm—shouldn’t our local halls of academia take a more intelligent approach to preventing the unthinkable from becoming a reality?

 

 

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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