2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
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The Night Shift

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Mark Gadsden

Mark Gadsden discussing his book and safety tips for TC students.

As a security professional, Mark Gadsden takes his job seriously - and always has. In fact, you could say that he's written the book on it, Memoirs of a Bouncer: The Real Men in Black (Authorhouse, 2006). 

Gadsden, currently the overnight security officer in the TC dorms, has worked in professional security for more than 30 years including for major artists and corporate executives and as a bouncer at clubs, lounges and restaurants throughout the New York area. When his son and his college friends wanted to go out clubbing in Manhattan, Gadsden sat them down and told them everything they should be aware of-'"from which clubs were safe to how to behave so that they would not get "bounced," to how to avoid trouble with people who might cause them harm - and they encouraged him to put it in writing. "After I spoke to my son and his friends that night, they told me my input was very valuable," Gadsden said.  "Three and a half years later, I came out with my book." 

Gadsden hopes his book will increase awareness about nightlife protocol and safety. "If a bouncer or a security professional is not doing proactive things to maintain order, you might be in the wrong venue," he says. 

On a recent afternoon in the Gottesman Libraries, Gadsden discussed some of the information in his book, including the chapters: "Who Are the Hunters?", "Dress Code", "A Damsel in Distress" and "I'm Not That Drunk." He encouraged TC students to contact him if they are thinking about going out to clubs so that he can tell them which are the safest and which to avoid. 

Gadsden also shared his perspective on the recent murder of Imette St. Guillan, a Manhattan graduate student who was found dead on February 25 after leaving the Falls bar in Soho. Gadsden believes that the bar could have done a number of things to prevent her death, starting with the hiring of a licensed bouncer. (The bar's bouncer is a suspect in the case.)

These are the kinds of situations that Gadsden hopes his book will prevent. Each student at TC, he said "is a precious jewel and I don't want to risk them going somewhere where security is not safe."

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