Intruder at Quinnipiac

Jeremy Wiss

Editor’s Note, Jan. 31, 2022: The Uber driver’s charges were later dismissed. His name has been removed from this story.

Last week’s security breach should be sounding alarms  for students and faculty throughout the university about our serious security shortcomings.

As you well know, we had a stranger hop off of a bus and walk directly onto our campus with no security screening whatsoever. On his Facebook page, Matthew Allen said that he wanted to sell bang energy powder.” These are only his expressed intentions. Who knows what he would have done with more time on campus.

Allen has an extensive arrest record. The State of Connecticut has ran numerous tests on this individual to see if he was mentally fit to stand trial after prior offenses. A brief examination of his Facebook page culminated into one daunting conclusion: this incident could have been a lot worse.

A few weeks ago this individual posted on his Facebook, “[C]ome here with any weapon including an RPG or a machine gun and we’ll fight to the death.” A concerning post like this aimed at a Federal Courthouse further highlights the need to screen campus visitors. Unfortunately, this is not the first safety scare for Quinnipiac.

Last November, an Uber driver was arrested and charged with stalking, threatening and criminal trespassing. He followed a female student into a residence hall with uncertain intentions, which heightened the concern of many of the Mount Carmel residents. Again, he had no problem entering the campus.

These incidents must serve as a wake-up call to the student body, school administrators and most importantly the Department of Public Safety. Anyone who has entered our campus knows that the security is a well-orchestrated facade.

If you want to drive into campus, a smile and a wave are sufficient. Nothing more, nothing less. Only occasionally they will ask for your Q-Card, but this is an anomaly. Even so, what protections does this afford the campus?

Even more surprisingly, there is zero security screening for any person who enters on foot. Anyone entering on Mount Carmel Avenue or New Road can enter our campus with no security clearing whatsoever. All security experts agree the easiest way to keep threats out is to limit the number of entrances to a given location. Our campus has seemingly endless entry locations.

What’s more, there is no security to enter our cafeteria and Tator Hall from the New Road entrance, even with a car. The guard shack is located passed the Tator Hall entrance. No security shack guards the campus on New Road, leaving the campus vulnerable to trespassers. Only a plastic chain blocks the driveway by the Mountainview dorms.

Campus safety must be a top priority for our university. The university is fortunate to have evaded serious disasters. These incidents should serve as a catalyst for change at our university. Today, schools have become targets for people with dangerous intentions and the university must make security a top priority. Feeling safe on our college campus is a fundamental right, not a privilege. The screening of visitors must be heightened. The number of entry points on campus must be reduced.