NYU Law to bolster security after fake ID incident last fall

After an individual entered an NYU Law school residence hall with a fraudulent NYU ID last fall, the university is promising upgraded security.


Kevin Wu

File photo: the lobby of the NYU Law School in October 2021. (Kevin Wu for WSN)

Jenny Seo, Staff Writer

NYU’s School of Law is modifying its security practices after an intruder used a fake NYU ID to access the school’s Hayden Hall residence in November. The law school is upgrading security cameras installed in its buildings and improving coordination with security officers from NYU’s Department of Campus Safety, according to Shonna Keogan, a spokesperson for the school.

These changes come after a campuswide review of security protocols, which was spurred by a string of intrusion incidents in student housing. During the law school trespassing incident, the unidentified person was able to enter the building — despite the fact that the doorman stationed at the building’s entrance realized at the time that the ID the intruder presented was fraudulent. 

“Door staff at NYU Law buildings have been instructed that, if there is any question about whether a person is allowed to enter, they are to prevent entry until the confusion is completely resolved,” Keogan told WSN.

The doorman, who is unaffiliated with Campus Safety, confiscated the ID, and later reported the incident to the NYU department. According to university spokesperson John Beckman, Campus Safety does not have a presence inside Hayden Hall. NYU Law’s website, however, says that Campus Safety — referred to as Public Safety, its former name, on the page — provides 24-hour “security services” for law school residences.

Hayden Hall relies on doormen to check student IDs manually instead of using an electronic system and does not have turnstile entrances, unlike many other residence halls. Other university buildings that do not have turnstiles at the entrance, like 20 Cooper Square, require students to tap their IDs to verify their identity.

Representatives from Campus Safety — alongside NYU’s maintenance, residential life and student affairs offices — re-examined security practices at every NYU dorm after President Andrew Hamilton instructed administrators to conduct the review of security at residence halls.

Campus Safety is currently in the process of adding 25 new surveillance cameras to 14 student dorms, a task which is expected to be completed by the end of March. The university has continued to assess building security and will make adjustments as needed throughout the year, according to Beckman. 

“Both Campus Safety and Facilities and Construction Management have started routinely testing emergency entrances and ADA compliant entrances to ensure alarms sound and notifications of their opening are transmitted,” Beckman said. “We are also launching a safety education campaign that includes guidance on reporting intruders.”

Beckman also said students should immediately alert a Campus Safety officer, or file a report through the “Report an Incident” channel on the Safe NYU app, in the event that they see a suspicious individual. He added that they should pay attention to university emails and text messages.

Some law school students, such as Maja Ruhl, said it does not appear as if security at Hayden Hall has changed since the incident. Ruhl said that situations where an intruder has a fake ID, including the one in November, might be difficult to guard against despite the new security protocols. 

“It’s been the same,” Ruhl said. “They’re pretty diligent actually, the people there, so I don’t know that it can be improved.”

Bruna Horvath contributed reporting. Contact Jenny Seo at [email protected].