Fairfield University joined the ranks of soft targets across the nation Wednesday as Resident Assistants were informed that the university would implement strict security measures, effective Thursday at 2 p.m., in response to the heightened level of security across the nation concerning a terrorist attack.
In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s Orange alert level and a memo sent to colleges and universities around the nation from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the school has been put on an “indefinite lockdown” according to Sergeant John Ritchie of security in an unofficial statement. Effective at 2 p.m. Thursday, all persons entering campus must produce identification, have their cars registered and be prepared for a long backup at the gates.
Many university students were shocked to hear rumors of the impending lockdown because of the realization that many colleges and universities across the United States may become targets of terrorist attacks.
“All gates will be closed during the weekends except for the main gate on North Benson Road,” said Ritchie. “During the week, the gate by Southwell hall on Lower Rd. Hill Road will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. along with the main gate. No other access to campus will be available.”
Ritchie states that students must carry their Fairfield identification at all times and that they should be ready to produce these when asked. Any guest who plans to visit the campus must have photo identification and must be logged in by security to be able to enter through the gates. All gates will be manned by a member of security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People without official business at the university will be denied access.
“Everyone has to be patient and polite, please.” Ritchie stated. “People who do not cooperate will not be helping the community.” Ritchie also stated that security will try to keep traffic flowing under these strict limitations.
“I feel that it will actually help the campus in general,” Ritchie said. “I think this endeavor will keep everyone on their toes and help with solicitors on campus and help just crime in general.” There has yet to be a set date when the rest of the school’s gates will re-open. Check back with The Mirror Online for continuing updates.