Colleges Ramp up Stadium Security for Events
Some schools are changing bag policies as a possible response to the recent Paris attacks.
Colleges across the country are increasing their security measures and changing security policies at their stadiums for upcoming sporting events.
Virginia Tech, Penn State, Ohio State and the University of Maryland are among the schools that have elected to beef up security for football and basketball games this weekend.
In most cases the schools are telling fans to anticipate a longer wait at security lines as they enter the stadium and some schools are alerting students of changes in bag policies.
At the University of Maryland, school officials announced a new bag policy that only allows fans to bring small bags 8-inches by 11-inches by 12-inches large or smaller into the stadium. Similarly, at Ohio State fans can now only bring small bags 4.5-inches by 6.5-inches or clear bags (bags made of plastic, vinyl or PVC), according to thelantern.com.
At Penn State, school officials are strongly urging fans not to bring bags to Beaver Stadium or the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend. The latter venue will be hosting a three-band concert.
At Penn State gates will be opening 30 minutes earlier than usual to accommodate the increased law enforcement presence for security screening at stadium gates. Everyone entering the football game will be required to open their coats and outerwear, be patted down and some patrons may be asked to empty their pockets, according to psu.edu.
Virginia Tech is not publicly sharing its new security measures but doesn’t expect a “significant disruption” to fans, according to wsls.com. Clemsen Chief of Police Eric Hendriks says his school will beef up security for its football and soccer games, reports the Washington Times. Visual measures will include more officers outside of gates, limited re-entry points and more thorough bag inspections.
Other schools that are increasing athletic event security include NC State, the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota.
Although the Department of Homeland Security has said there are no known threats against collegiate stadiums, schools are taking precautions in the wake of last week’s Paris attacks. One of the locations of the Paris attacks was outside the Stade de France, where four people were killed, including three suicide bombers.
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