Recently, at Queens College campus ID scanners were introduced for each classroom. These scanners grant access only to those registered for a scheduled class. Queens College has been one of the most open CUNY campuses in comparison to others such as Baruch or John Jay which are heavily militarized. So one must ask, why this recent addition? The past 3 years Queens College has also seen an escalation of activity by progressive and revolutionary students. One of these activities has been the confrontation of pro-zionist forces on campus. There have also been demonstrations being held in solidarity with LGBT-Q victims of violence. There was also a “hoodies and hijabs” rally and march held over the murders of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi. The biggest action held was a walkout with close to 1,000 students over tuition hikes and budget cuts. This involved liberating students from classrooms and occupying the Long Island Expressway for 20 minutes.
With this increase in militancy on behalf of students at Queens College, there has been an increase in the militarization of campus. Queens College has seen an increase in security personnel, installation of more cameras, undercover security at student organizer meetings, harassment and intimidation of organizers by security forces, more security vehicles, ID scanners at the library and gym, all which have been added in the past 2 years. It is with these measures that the administration at Queens College has put itself in contradiction with the whole of the student body. The limiting of space has put forth the significance of access only to limited few as opposed to the community as whole which was the original intention of CUNY.