SIUC’s homeland security continues as war progresses

By Gus Bode

a href=”https://www.dailyegyptian.com/contactus.html”bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

SIUC’s homeland security continues as war progresses

University officials urge respect during time of war

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As the war in Iraq progresses, SIUC’s safety and security is a continuing concern for administrators.

But homeland security is nothing recent for university officials, who have taken steps since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Department of Homeland Security has identified U.S. universities as “soft targets” and SIUC is equipped to handle a possible threat, said Glenn Poshard, Vice Chancellor for Administration.

This means that events where large crowds gather are important to keep a watchful eye over, Poshard said. Security measures at recent athletic events include having security guards who are in view of all exits and guarding the door to the arena’s communication system, he said.

Poshard also urged those on campus to respect the international population of SIUC.

“If we belittle one student on this campus, we will have failed,” he said. “I hope that people conduct themselves well.”

There is also a group called the Building Emergency Response Team, which aids in communication throughout the campus if dangerous situations arise.

Chancellor Walter Wendler said security has continued to be a concern for the University since Sept. 11, 2001.

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“When 9/11 occurred, we stepped up all measures of campus security,” Wendler said. “We started to reinforce our sense of campus security. We’ve been in that mode since 9/11.”

Wendler also noted that despite additional security, the changes made at events such as athletic games are not that visible.

Lt. Todd Sigler said areas that SIU Police will continue to keep in mind include large gatherings, demonstrations and protests.

He said schools in the Washington, D.C. area are likely to need more stringent measures than a university in the Midwest.

“I would suspect that they’re facing somewhat different, more pressing issues just by the nature of their location,” he said.

Safety should remain important, but people should continue their work about SIUC, Poshard said.

“No one anticipates anything happening on campus,” he said. “We just want to make sure that our apparatus is in place.”

Reporter Ben Botkin can be reached at [email protected]

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