Readers Respond: NYU residence hall intrusions

Members of the NYU community told WSN how they feel about the recent intruders at residence halls.

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Samson Tu

File photo: Some responses to the recent dorm intruders. (Samson Tu for WSN)

The Washington Square News asked NYU community members what they thought about the university’s response to the recent intruders at multiple residence halls. These are some of their answers.

‘Reactionary tone’

The recent incidents make me really nervous as an on-campus student. Living in the dorms was supposed to be the safer option for me, but if anything I feel unsafe entering NYU buildings. I get more harassment showing my Violet Go at Upstein than I’m sure these intruders ever get. I’m tired of being paranoid when I walk through dorm hallways. Because NYU is an open campus, it’s fairly easy for anyone to enter buildings. But the university’s reactionary tone to incidents makes me feel like the appearance of caring about student safety is more important than actually ensuring student safety. I’ve heard people say that Campus Safety isn’t allowed to directly stop anyone hopping a turnstile — in that case, what’s the point of their presence?

— France Violet Jones, sophomore student living at Coral Tower

‘Alarming’

It is honestly concerning how nonchalant NYU has been about these intruders. I live in one of the halls that was compromised, and it was alarming how little we were being told about the situation during the lockdown. My roommate was in class during the initial lockdown process, and she had no idea until she got back. This safety concern is definitely something I knew was a byproduct of living in New York City, but Campus Safety was more vigilant about me checking my parents in than the literal intruder. There needs to be a better system to inform students, especially since Third North has a dining hall.

— Julia Diorio, first-year student living at Third Avenue North

‘A broader issue with NYU’

I think that it reflects a broader issue with NYU. I’ve lived in the Bronx my whole life. You can go to a hotel or fancy establishment just to look around and you will feel security’s eyes on you before they eventually kick you out. They are very attentive. So for NYU to be a private institution and for people to be able to get into bedrooms — that says a lot. 

— Samara Richards, first-year student at Brittany Hall

‘Something needs to be fixed’

I believe that this is a direct result of the university’s approach to student safety. Something needs to be fixed. I’ve walked into my daughter’s dorm twice without security giving me a second look. My son also walked into the dorm with ease. Each time the security attendant was paying more attention to their cell phone instead of paying attention to people walking into the dorm. NYU needs to step up its security measures. This is serious. Look at what’s happening on other college campuses. NYU must do better. 

— Dr. Angela Bess, parent of a sophomore student living at Alumni Hall

‘I saw the Lafayette intruder’

I was waiting for the elevator when I saw the Lafayette intruder — a tall, old, white guy with saggy pants — hop the turnstile. I really don’t know what the security guard was doing, but he was facing the cameras and somehow didn’t see him go over. He literally went into the elevator with a bunch of students so I didn’t go in. A student waiting with me had to alert the guard about him. To his credit, the guard reported it right away, but I have no idea why he wasn’t paying attention.

— Felice Fischer, junior student living at Lafayette Hall

‘It’s astounding’

The strangest part of this to me is how strict guards have been with me in the past about using the correct form of the Violet Go pass. I had been using a screenshot for months until one day a guard I’d been walking by twice a week decided not to let me in even though it’s not possible to suddenly fall out of compliance with the vaccination requirement. If this guard has been so strict with someone they know isn’t a problem, how is it possible that other people are getting in without any pass at all? It’s astounding. It makes me wonder exactly what sort of instructions or training these guards are given to begin with.

— Cassidy Byron, senior student living off campus

‘I do not feel safe in my own home’

It’s absolutely ridiculous to imply that this is just something we have to put up with living here. What is the point of the guards sitting at the front of the buildings? Every time something like this happens we get an empty, repetitive apology from leadership and a condescending reminder to lock our doors. If there’s no magic solution to ensure that nobody who’s not supposed to be here will ever enter our buildings, what NYU can and absolutely should do is radically reform its transparency policies. Why didn’t Lafayette residents get a safety notification in the moment like Third North residents did last week? Why is the status quo a repetitive meaningless email from the Building Leadership Team days later, after news stories and pressure from students who only heard via word of mouth? I may not know the exact way to magically solve this problem but I do know that I do not feel safe in my own home.

— Emma Burstein, junior student living at Lafayette Hall

‘Incompetence’

These intrusions are very disturbing. How come there are guards in front of every dorm hall turnstile but they manage to never catch or stop these intruders? New York City is not a very safe city, but university security should not blame their incompetence on others when it’s their job to protect us. We pay a lot of money to live in those dorms, and our families put their trust in NYU to keep us safe but NYU keeps failing again and again. I’m just so disappointed. 

— Sophia Herzog, sophomore student living at Palladium Hall

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writers. Contact the Opinion desk at [email protected]