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Pitt Security Needs Student and Faculty Input

On Easter Sunday, April 8th, University of Pittsburgh students received an e-mail informing them of a wide range of unprecedented, new security measures to be implemented in response to the ongoing bomb threats. The University decided to announce these measures on a day when a large number of students were home for Easter; a day when the Administration knew that students would be preoccupied. The measures were implemented unilaterally without any student or faculty involvement in the decision-making process.

Open civil society comes with the inherent risk that there are individuals who may harbor malicious intent. The goal of all terrorism is to disrupt civil society by instilling fear and disrupting normal operations. Pitt has a responsibility to its students and faculty to remain as open as possible, and to keep education as the foremost goal of any policy. By keeping students informed, finding evacuated students accommodations, working with faculty to keep classes running through evacuations, and trying to keep campus life as normal as possible, the administration will do a considerable amount more to combat the terrorist(s) than any of the new security measures. By locking down the campus, the University is aiding the terrorist by disrupting normal campus life

Any change that limits student or faculty freedom should be made in an open manner, with input from all affected. It is the students who are roused out of bed at 3:56am, forced to leave unfinished exams, and frustrated by canceled classes; these same students have no voice in the decision-making process at the University. The faculty has to work around these threats as they try to maintain some semblance of a normal educational environment on campus; these same faculty members have no voice in the decision-making process at the University. The Administration gets to go home and sleep soundly every night without having to worry about being woken up by an alarm at all hours of the night. This same Administration has not even had a public debate on how to proceed, much less let the SGB (Student Government Board) or faculty members decide on how to combat these threats.

The Administration’s secretive decision-making process is unacceptable. The Administration should convene an assembly of students and faculty to decide, or at least publicly discuss, all future policy decisions regarding the bomb threats. This should be done with as much haste as possible. The Administration also needs to find some way of informing the broader student body as to how decisions are being made.

People willing to bomb do not make empty threats; there have been 57 building evacuations as of Monday night with zero bombs found. I personally do not feel threatened, just inconvenienced, and I ask the rest of the student body to feel the same; none the less I will perceive every canceled class as a defeat, every bag search as an insult, every unilaterally enacted policy as a betrayal, but every time the campus comes together is a victory until these threats stop.

A Humble Student,
Daniel A. Glazier

Disclaimer: Daniel is the younger brother of Onward State co-founder Eli Glazier.

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