Television station WTAE in Pittsburgh, PA recently aired a hidden camera investigation into the level of security at 5 colleges – Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. While a hardened campus administrator may not be shocked, the results were certainly unsettling.
WTAE-TV Reporter Paul Van Osdol was able to easily gain access into dorms at IUP, Duquesne, West Virginia and Carnegie Mellon. As shown in the video, this was not a “second-story job” requiring terrific athletic skill, but rather an example of simply walking through an unlocked door (at IUP) or by tailgating someone, as was the case at West Virginia, Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne where the reporter walked past a card swipe and guard – twice. Only the University of Pittsburgh stopped the reporter. At Pitt the entrance was staffed and the guard requested and swiped an ID card for each person entering the dorm.
As an industry we sometimes get caught-up in discussions regarding security behind the card, readers and related systems. Those are relevant issues to be sure, but as highlighted in this video the collective deployment of safeguards including planning, staffing and technology must be sound in order to establish at least a reasonably safe environment for your students.
Follow this link to read the transcript and most importantly watch the video. Better yet, demand that those responsible for physical security on your campus watch it. Twice.
To read the transcript (with a link to the video):
To watch the video: