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Westfield State University will install more than 400 security cameras

A series of racial incidents has prompted officials to boost security on the Westfield, Mass., campus

Westfield State University trustees have approved installation of more than 400 security cameras on its Westfield, Mass., campus.

The Springfield Republican reports that as soon as next week, the cameras will begin to be mounted throughout university property. The increased security is in response to recent racial bias incidents reported on campus.

The focus of the additional camera surveillance will center on residence halls.

"The purpose of this initiative is to provide our community and the Department of Public Safety with another tool to address, and possibly prevent, the continuation of hateful and destructive acts that have disrupted our living and learning environment," University President Ramon S. Torrecihla says.

Earlier this month, faculty organized a walkout and submitted a list of demands, including better security, to administrators. A group of parents also has requested the installation of security cameras.

The racial incidents came to light in early September when anti-Semitic graffiti was written on walls in a hall and a note was left under a minority student's door stating that black people are "worth nothing."

Later in the fall, a Latina student alleged she was assaulted and her attackers made racially spurred comments.

In early November, hundreds of students and faculty staged a walkout in protest of the hate crimes on campus, and just a day later, another note and more vandalism were found.

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