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Are tougher security measures needed on college campuses?

The recent incident where a 26-year-old woman passed herself off as a Columbia University student shows how lax security can be at many colleges and universities.

Birva Patel had been posing as a third-year biomedical engineering student since December 2011. She went unnoticed by the authorities until several Columbia students reported her for suspicious behavior in late August.

While she was seen inside various campus buildings, sleeping in lounges or walking down the hallways without attending any classes, no one thought to call authorities. Without a Columbia ID or key, Patel entered the buildings by asking other students to open the doors for her. Or, she simply blended in with a large crowd when entering the building.

There are multiple ways of increasing security, including cameras and metal detectors, but the easiest and most effective way to strengthen campus security is to encourage students to remain alert, an article in The Wellesley News points out. “If a student sees anyone who doesn’t belong, or if their gut reaction tells them that something is not quite right, they should report it to the campus police,” The News adds.

Read more here.

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