Underwhelming campus security for Trump town hall lets outsiders on campus


Security outside of the Dana Center included officers and metal detectors.

Jordan Tavares, Sports Editor

Reading day is a day where Anselmians put their grit to the grind and prepare for final exams. However, this semester’s reading day was disrupted by a controversial event on the Hilltop. 

On Wednesday May 10th, Saint Anselm College hosted CNN for a town hall event. While this isn’t out of the norm in terms of our school’s history with the democratic process, it featured the most controversial candidate in the 2024 Presidential campaign… Former President Donald Trump. 

Across the Hilltop community, staff, and students expressed their disdain and fears with hosting such a controversial figure. With a former president, and GOP frontrunner, coming on to our campus, it brings an immense amount of security. Throughout campus, local police, security, and secret service were patrolling around to try to make the campus safer. 

The night before the event, drones could be seen hovering around the entrances to the campus to run surveillance. Other than that, the precautions the campus claimed to have in place throughout the day was nonexistent. I asked around the campus if any student or faculty had their IDs checked, if they were stopped by law enforcement. All of which said no. 

The college claimed to have strict security around the campus, this was only true around the Dana Center, even though this wasn’t prevalent till the time the doors opened.

Zachary Castro ‘24 said “I feel like there is a lot of police presence. However, I don’t love that its in the center of campus…we have the NHIOP and Sullivan Arena that are on the outskirts… there is a lot blocked off around Dana and Davison… I am just nervous about what may happen after the verdict from the other day”. 

A student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said they’re “not particularly” safe. They continued saying “I think it could get dangerous if there are supporters and non-supporters of former President Trump who get aggressive towards each other. I live very close to where the protests are being held and it makes me a little worried.”

While during the day the levels of security were rather underwhelming considering what the college was telling everyone, the event itself was rather secured. Upon walking into the Dana Center, those who had tickets to attend the event went through an extensive security screening, with metal detectors Secret Service among the rest of the security staff. 

There was a strong security presence inside the venue. On each wing of the stage there was armed security and law enforcement throughout the Dana Center. Upon exiting the Dana Center it was more of the same of having some security around the building and in the lobby. 

The lack of ID checking seems to be a contributing factor to the presence of some outsiders on campus that day. While protests and the nature of the town hall caused disruption in students’ final exam preparations, no incidents have been reported so far.