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Monday, September 22, 2003

Rutgers Hillel to increase security

This from the Daily Targum
Pie in the face prompts Hillel to improve security at events

By Carmen Cusido, University Editor

After Israeli Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky was hit with a pie in the face as he prepared to address a large crowd on peace in the Middle East last Thursday on the College Ave. campus, Rutgers Hillel said they would conduct bag checks for future events and speakers.

Uniformed officers, Community Services Officers, and plainclothes officers were all present at the event, said Lt. John O'Neill of the Rutgers University Police Department. O'Neill said the initial plan was to monitor the crowd. There were approximately eight RUPD officers and at least two CSO's, he said.

Bag checks at controversial events are really left to the discretion of the organization sponsoring the event, O'Neill said.

"If there's a controversial speaker, [the event sponsor] should let us know so we can better prepare," O'Neill said. He also said organizations should directly contact the RUPD to properly prepare for an event.

Rutgers Hillel Rabbi Esther Reed, the staff coordinator for Sharansky's talk, said if the security risk is significant enough for speakers considered controversial, then bag checks should be performed.

There were no refreshments served at the event, and Reed said the pie-thrower "must have brought his own pie." Despite the incident, "Sharansky handled it beautifully by making a joke," Reed said. "The event was a success despite the actions made."

Reed also said Rutgers Hillel worked with the RUPD for the event, and Sharansky had brought his own security.

But Abe Greenhouse, a University College senior, said he was tackled by the RUPD when he was arrested and claimed he threw an alleged kosher strawberry cream pie. He said he would not comment further about the event or whether or not he was searched, because he hadn't had the opportunity to speak to an attorney.

According to O'Neill, Greenhouse was arrested by Capt. Laura Kull of the RUPD and charged with disorderly conduct after the pie incident. He was later released.

"The rest of the events went without incidents," O'Neill said.

Greenhouse said he suffered a black eye and a broken nose at the event when he was restrained. "I didn't see who hit me," he said. He said he had no opinion on whether security should be stepped up at events featuring controversial speakers.
This kid, who assaulted a visiting dignitary from another country, is allowed to continue in good standing at Rutgers? faces no disciplinary action? Excuse me?

Richard L. McCormick, President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Telephone: 732/932-7454
Fax: 732/932-8060
Email: president@rutgers.edu

Emmet Dennis,
Vice President for Student Affairs
Email: dennis@oldqueens.rutgers.edu