When I first received my acceptance letter from NSU, I decided to drive to campus and take a personal tour of the school I would most likely be attending. I live just down the street so it was a quick drive. When I got on campus, I started walking around to familiarize myself with the area. The first thing I noticed was how easily I was able to walk into buildings. No one asked me if I was lost or if I needed help finding my class. I could have been on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list and I don’t think anyone would have noticed.
NSU may be a private institution, but it’s still open to the public. Meaning anyone and everyone is capable of walking onto campus. This is exactly what happened last year when a man by the name Mostafa A. Hussaini walked into the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, the Alvin Sherman Library and the Carl Desantis building to videotape himself ranting racial slurs. 24 year old Hussaini was arrested outside of the Shell gas station across the street from NSU on Dec. 13. Thankfully, hateful messages were the only plans Hussaini had when he walked onto campus with no guest or student ID.
As a student, when I’m on campus, my only focus is school. Safety and security aren’t things that usually cross my mind. I don’t walk to and from classes wondering if the people walking around me are here for the same reason as me, but I should. In a perfect world, nothing bad happens at universities. We are working to build that perfect world, but it doesn’t exist yet. Unfortunately, this means we must be more vigilant about our safety and not make assumptions. I don’t mean to be suspicious of everyone you encounter, but rather take notice of your surroundings.
I think wearing your ID around campus could be a good way to eliminate the guesswork of who is who. Assumptions can be critical when it comes to the safety of the people who work at and attend this university; however, I would not like to see NSU turned into a university that is constantly harassing its own students by questioning their purpose for being on campus, nor would I want to see the students wearing their IDs for fear of a tragic event that may never happen. No one should be forced to provide identification, but how are we supposed to know who are faculty, staff, guests, parents, or students? The only time my student ID card is ever visible is when I’m entering the library, printing in the library or paying for food in the UC. So, what are some solutions? Maybe there is a situation that you can think of when someone who shouldn’t have been on campus was on campus. I understand ID cards are not bulletproof, but should student ID cards or ID cards that clearly state our purpose on campus be visible at all times?
Photo: J. Trueba
Written: Dexter Mitchell