Security measures decrease at Pitt buildings

By Gwenn Barney

Students on campus Monday noticed the disappearance of visibly heightened security, but a Pitt… Students on campus Monday noticed the disappearance of visibly heightened security, but a Pitt spokesman denies the decrease in security.

“[People] are going in through the front door of the Cathedral, and the signs [directing students to a single entrance] are down in the [William Pitt] Union,” sophomore Michaela Danko said about the security measures that have been in place for the past three weeks.

In response to the recent rash of bomb threats, the University placed security checkpoints at campus building entrances where guards would check bags and require valid Pitt IDs for entrance. There were also a limited number of open entrances and restricted access for many campus buildings.

Over the weekend, about a week after the most recent bomb threat, the visible security measures vanished at many buildings, including the William Pitt Union, Cathedral of Learning, Alumni Hall and Hillman Library.

The Barco Law Building, where law students are currently in the thick of final exams, still has the security measures intact.

Pitt spokesman Robert Hill denied that a change in security measures had taken effect.

“The successful, intense and less disruptive safety and security measures that were established for the week of finals continue to be in place,” Hill said in an email.

When specifically asked about the visible removal of security checkpoints, Hill said, “The University does [not] wish to give details of this phase of the enhanced security to avoid compromising it; thus, I have no additional comment.”

Sophomore Michael Scheetz wasn’t alarmed by the change in visible security.

“Once the bomb threats stopped, I didn’t think they’d have any reason for security,” he said.

Pitt law student Mike Pisarcik said that in the past the law school has restricted access to the Barco Law Building during the late evening and nighttime hours of finals week, but never during the day as the current restrictions stand. The School of Law installed a security checkpoint in the building after receiving the first bomb threat directly targeting it on April 16.

“It’s not typical at all,” Pisarcik said.