Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ruby Chong signed out at Bachman Hall yesterday as security guard June Gaspang watched. The University of Hawaii administra- tion has installed security guards around the executive offices.

Security around UH
president’s office rises

Officials say a recent protest showed
gaps in building security

The University of Hawaii has increased security at Bachman Hall, at a cost of about $1,200 a week, after protesters occupied the UH President's Office for a week recently.

The sit-in at Bachman Hall over the university's plans to create a Navy University Affiliated Research Center at UH-Manoa ended May 4.

Shortly afterward the university began posting UH-Manoa campus security officers at the base of the stairs leading to the second-floor offices and on the second floor, said Carolyn Tanaka, UH vice president for university relations.

On Thursday, because the campus security officers were needed elsewhere, private Freeman guards replaced the security officers, Tanaka said.

UH-Manoa uses Freeman guards to patrol Hamilton Library and the parking structure, said UH-Manoa spokesman Jim Manke.

The money for the additional security will come out of Manoa's campus security budget, he said.

The increased security also means people going upstairs to the President's Office or the Board of Regents will have to sign in with the guards, Tanaka said.

She said the additional guards are not a response to the protest, but the protest did make it obvious that there was a problem with security.

"If anybody can come into the President's Office without being challenged or stopped, that is clearly a security issue," she said.

"We aren't doing this to stop protesters," Tanaka continued. "It's to protect the people who work in this building, the people who come into this building."

Ikaika Hussey, one of the protest organizers, said the administration is overreacting to the protest.

"It shows misplaced priorities when they would want to increase security for the administration, but what about increasing security against the rapes on campus and the dangers that classified military research would bring?" he said.

Besides the new guards, two rear entrances to Bachman Hall that used to be open during business hours are now locked. The only public access is through the front glass doors.

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