The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Metal Detectors at St. John’s

In an attempt to increase security, St. John’s University has implemented metal detectors for searches, security, and package inspection at late night events on campus this semester. Hand-held and walk through versions of metal detectors will be used at any event that exceeds 200 people.

Margaret McCann, executive director of Public Safety, said that Public Safety will be administering the metal detectors to detect weapons and other dangerous metal objects that may be brought to the events.

“The metal detectors sort of add another layer of safety,” said McCann.

McCann also explained other ways Public Safety is increasing security at events, such as not allowing large crowds to gather, as well as not permitting large bags into events that can carry alcoholic beverages or anything else that can disrupt the social affair. “It is not just the metal detectors, but a whole new sense of protocol,” she said.

Although McCann confirmed that there was a weapon found a few weeks ago in bushes near the UC, she said it was not the reason metal detectors were brought into use at St. John’s.

“It was not directly related to anything,” said McCann. “We had been looking at it [metal detectors] last semester and we looked at it again this semester.” The weapon is now in police custody, where a forensics team will determine whether the weapon had been used and possibly who it belongs to.

“So I think it [the metal detectors] resulted more from a careful and thorough analysis of how we oversee a successful event, and not a specific episode,” said McCann.

“It makes my job a little more difficult because it takes a lot as far as getting people in and getting the event started on time,” Maela Jones, secretary of Haraya, the Pan-African Students Coalition, said. “But if they have to take those measures for the safety of the people on campus then it√≠s understandable.”


Event Management staff member Elizabeth Michel said that so far control over the people who attend events is easier, and that there is a sense of safety knowing what is being carried onto campus.

Event Management staff member Elizabeth Michel said that so far control over the people who attend events is easier, and that there is a sense of safety knowing what is being carried onto campus.

Michel also said that long lines have resulted because of the metal detectors and package checks and have caused frustration by attendees. But Michel said that the students and guests of the events should cooperate just as people have cooperated with the extra security at airports since the World Trade Center attack last year.

“The long lines that form are a hassle. But knowing that our safety is being watched makes up for it,” Soufyan Khadir, senior marketing major, said. “I’ve attended a few parties in the past and they do tend to get out of hand. Maybe with metal detectors people will concentrate more on having fun knowing that everything is safe.”

McCann said that Public Safety would be available to arrive at events early if requested to prevent long lines and delayed start times of events. The organization and those attending the event have to come early as well, she added.

According to Jody Fisher, director of Media Relations, metal detectors are going to be implemented in sporting events in the near future.

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