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Briarcliff Campus Officials Consider Spierer Case

The story of missing Edgemont student Lauren Spierer has colleges throughout Westchester reflecting on how best to make sure students are safe both on and off their campuses.

Vincent Beatty, the director of safety and security for Pace University’s Westchester campus in Briarcliff and Pleasantville, said that police come in to talk to students during orientation sessions. Safety tips they give include never leaving your drink attended if you’re out at a bar, and what items to carry for safety.

Pace also has Closed Circuit Television cameras in dormitories and parking lots, which are recorded and monitored by security guards, and card access control for all dormitories.

“I don’t know if anything could have been done to prevent the (Spierer) incident. It seems to have been an off-campus incident,” Beatty said.

Spierer, a 2009 graduate of Edgemont High School, was last seen in the early morning hours of Friday, June 3 near Indiana University, where she is a sophomore. Police are continuing to search for her.

Mercy College officials said their safety office met regularly with students to keep them informed. They additionally use New York Alert to send safety updates to students' e-mail addresses and cell phones.

Iona College in New Rochelle works closely with the city’s police department to monitor their off-campus residents, said Vice Provost for Student Development Charles J. Carlson.

"We have limited resources, but we feel the investment is worth it," Carlson said about the additional cost of protecting off-campus residents.

Carlson said Iona College works with New Rochelle police and off-duty officers on weekends to patrol on and off campus to ensure that students are respecting their neighbors and each other.

Purchase College in Harrison took a more on-the-ground approach to protecting students by increasing the number and visibility of emergency phones on campus. Director of Residence Life John Delate said the school has taken extra precautions in recent years that have only been reinforced by Spierer's disappearance.

"We don't want people paranoid, but they can't be complacent either," Delate said. "This incident happened in a relatively safe place."

Vice President of Manhattanville College Doug Geiger said his school sends direct messages to students to remind them of the dangers they could encounter.

"The thing we convey to our students is that they’re not immortal. They think they are, but they’re not," Geiger said. "Because of that, we have to instill in them that they need to think about their own safety and think about being aware of their surroundings."

Are you concerned about college safety? Leave your comment below or email tlee@mainstreetconnect.us.

remind them of the dangers they could encounter.

"The thing we convey to our students is that they’re not immortal. They think they are, but they’re not," Geiger said. "Because of that, we have to instill in them that they need to think about their own safety and think about being aware of their surroundings."

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