More guards, cameras at NYU dorms this year to curb intruders

After NYU president Andrew Hamilton ordered an investigation into security lapses at the university’s residence halls, new measures are being implemented to prevent intrusion incidents.

A+collage+of+two+photos.+On+the+right%2C+a+purple+patch+with+the+NYU+Campus+Safety+Departments+logo+on+the+shoulder+of+an+officers+uniform.+On+the+left%2C+a+white+pole+with+three+surveillance+cameras+against+buildings+in+the+background.

Alex Tey and Manall Shareh

NYU’s Department of Campus Safety will step up its dorm security measures during the spring semester after a string of intrusion incidents last year. (Alex Tey and Manaal Shareh for WSN)

Tori Morales, News Editor

Security will be toughened at NYU’s residence halls after intruders repeatedly trespassed on dorm buildings last year, unimpeded by guards stationed in lobbies. The university’s Department of Campus Safety said that it has posted additional security guards at four dorms and is installing new surveillance cameras across the housing system.

The security upgrades are the result of an investigation ordered by NYU president Andrew Hamilton after last year’s intrusion incidents. The university community will receive an email later this week from Fountain Walker, head of the Campus Safety department, detailing the changes.

“The Department of Campus Safety starts from the premise that our student residences are our students’ homes, and even one unauthorized entry into the building is one too many,” Walker writes in the email.

Campus Safety has added additional staff to entrances at Lafayette Hall, Third Avenue North, Weinstein Hall and Palladium residence hall. It is also in the process of installing 25 additional security cameras in 14 residence halls, which are not set to be fully operational until the end of March. The department will also introduce new training for staff on the importance of preventing intrusions, and said that it may test buildings and their security guards to assess “preparedness and resiliency.”

The investigation also found that a slate of renovations were needed, including the installation of more secure turnstiles at two residence halls and a redesign of the lobby area at Rubin Hall, scheduled for 2023. Additional turnstile replacements at five dorms and renovations to the Carlyle Court, Weinstein and Seventh Street residence halls are also planned for the coming years.

The university will also improve communication strategies for intrusion events, and begin a safety education campaign during the spring semester, which will include guidance for residents on how to report intruders.

Campus Safety will partner with the Office of Facilities and Construction Management, Student Affairs, and the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services to create a standing task force dedicated to addressing safety concerns involving residence halls.

“We know that a secure environment is important to well-being and academic success,” Walker writes. “For Campus Safety personnel, making students feel — and be — safe in their residence halls is a grave responsibility, and one we take very seriously.”

Yezen Saadah contributed reporting.

Contact Tori Morales at [email protected]