SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 20, 2013

Classes continue on local college campuses

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — North Shore college campuses were on edge yesterday, but classes here continued as usual.

Salem State University spokeswoman Karen Cady said the college was mourning the death of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, a 2009 Salem State graduate who was shot and killed during a confrontation with the Marathon bombing suspects. Classes were held, at least for professors and students who were not stranded in the Boston area.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary closed its Boston campus yesterday, but continued as usual at the main campus in South Hamilton.

Gordon College in Wenham posted a notice yesterday alerting students and staff to avoid travel to Boston.

“Our prayers are with the MIT police officer’s family that lost his life last night and the (Mass.) Transit police officer being treated for injuries,” read the statement on the college’s Facebook page.

Rick Sweeney, a spokesman for Gordon College, said the college realized early yesterday morning that some students may have been planning to head into Boston for internships or to spend the day, and wanted them to be aware of the travel restrictions. A handful of faculty and staff live in the affected towns, and yesterday they were working from home, Sweeney said.

North Shore Community College spokeswoman Nancy Barker said the college’s campuses were open yesterday.

At Endicott College in Beverly, “most of our kids live on campus, so we haven’t had an impact that we know of,” said communications director Carol Raiche.

Michael Andreas, director of the college’s homeland security program, said the bombings at the Boston Marathon illustrate the challenges of keeping people safe in a free society.

“We are an open and very complex society, so there are a lot of vulnerabilities,” said Andreas, adding that our dependence on technology also makes us vulnerable.

“Unless we operate at a higher level of security, we will be vulnerable to attacks,” said Andreas. He praised the response of local, state and federal officials in sealing off Greater Boston and searching for the remaining suspect.

“I think they are handling this in an appropriate way,” he said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.