Universities beef up security after Irshaid fatal shooting

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The main entry gate at Amman’s University of Jordan. (Photo: University of Jordan)
AMMAN — Some Jordanian universities are tightening up their campus security following the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Iman Irshaid in broad daylight at Amman’s Applied Science Private University.اضافة اعلان

Irshaid was shot six times in the head on June 23. The alleged shooter killed himself days later before being apprehended by police.

The woman was pronounced dead after medics transported her to hospital in critical condition. News outlets said that Irshaid’s autopsy showed that the bullets led to a fracture and laceration in the skull.

The shooting and Irshaid’s death went viral on social media platforms, where many rebuked what they saw as lax security measures which allowed the gunman to enter the university and shoot Irshaid dead without being caught, not even by campus security.

Salama Naimat, vice president for administrative affairs at the University of Jordan, told Jordan News that his institution is keen to uphold the safety and security of its students, staff, and visitors.

He pointed to unspecified measures to be undertaken by the school, which include increasing the number of its security staff and developing their skills.

“The university’s area is about 1,000 acres, with 20 gates and more than 400 surveillance cameras,” he said, pointing to the spaciousness of the property. He did not discuss the number of security staff involved in safeguarding the premises.

Mohammad Al-Zubaidi, the security office’s director at the University of Jordan, lauded the procedures which have in place for several months. But he explained that efforts are undertaken to develop a sense of improved security among the university’s security cadres.

He said there must be stricter security measures enforced on visitors and students, including inspection and identity checks.

Fathi Al-Faouri, the dean of student affairs at the University of Petra, told Jordan News, that the security system already in place “has not changed”.

“We have had operating rooms, surveillance cameras, and strict security measures enforced before this unfortunate incident,” he said, adding that the school is “continuously developing this system”.

Jihad Al-Ithnaiat, the head of the University of Petra’s security office, said procedures in place “are strict to protect our students”.

“We have electronic gates for pedestrians and a magnetic entry card,” he said, adding that the security staff will be beefed up.

On Monday, Jordan’s Council of Higher Education approved several proposals to enhance security at local universities. That included setting up electronic gates at university entrances and exits, surveillance cameras to be deployed in all buildings and university facilities, and beefing up university security, in terms of number and management.

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