Chautauqua Institution Returning To Normal Amid Heightened Security

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CHAUTAUQUA, NY (WNY News Now) – The Chautauqua Institution is returning to a near-normal environment after famed author Salman Rushdie was attacked there just over one week ago.

At the Chautauqua Amphitheater, where the attack occurred, performances returned only a day after the incident, following a rapid deployment of enhanced security measures.

“In consultation with our advisors and regional police officers, as well as our own police officers, we are implementing additional measures including checking bags at a station, not permitting bags within the venues, as well as using metal detection technology,” Chautauqua Institution Senior Vice President Emily Morris explained.

Shortly after the assault, attention also turned to the gate pass which the alleged attacker, 24 year-old Hadi Matar used to access the grounds.

“In order to be on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution during the summer assembly, you are required to secure a pass, and there are various pass types,” Morris told WNY News Now. “We have implemented some additional measures according to our advisors to support us understanding who is on the grounds.”

Despite the heightened security around the campus, Morris emphasized the fact that Chautauqua will not change the product it brings to its audience.

“We think it’s really important that we continue to pursue our mission, bringing people together to explore critical issues, and to think about those across multiple disciplines and multiple perspectives, including multiple religious perspectives,” Morris said. “And so, to the extent possible, we are absolutely trying to do that in as normal a way as possible.”

Morris did not want to disclose too much information regarding new procedures, but stressed the fact that Chautauqua is a safe community.


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