Most resident students see the cameras in the dorm lobbies and stairwells, but have no idea there are cameras watching them in the hallways too. Some students say it invades privacy, but the school is allowed to video tape hallway activity as long as they let students know about it. And, in some cases, they don’t have to let anyone know about it. The situation may get a little sketchy, but the cameras are there to stay. Public Safety says that Big Brother has helped solve a number of thefts already, and will continue to be used as a primary resource for preventing crime.
Just the other day I watched this system at its best. It was a serial offense that took place in St. Vincents Hall and was deemed a mystery for weeks. A student walked into the lobby and demanded that public safety use the cameras to get to the bottom of the situation (I thought asking how he knew the cameras were there would just piss him off.) An officer rushed over, PSO Burke, and asked the student what the problem was. The student, irate over the fact his previous complaints had been ignored, threatened to leave the school if the problem wasn’t resolved.
The emergency ? Someone was knocking on his door and running away before he could catch them. The officer handled it like a total professional and solved it without even cracking a smirk. He discovered one of the most complex “knock-and-runs” known to man. The guy’s roommate was actually sneaking out of the room, getting the elevator (right across the hallway), knocking on the door, and taking the elevator a flight up before his roommate answered.
Just imagine if the cameras weren’t there.