Security Cameras on Campus: Our Safety, and Wallets, Need Security

January 27, 2011 Opinion

Recently, there have been rumors that Rollins has been considering placing security cameras inside the residence halls. This, however, is not true. As of now, Rollins has no immediate plans to put security cameras on campus. “Once you come into the res. hall, you should have some kind of privacy,” Explained Scott Bitikofer, director of Facilities Management. “We don’t want to be Big Brother.”

Ken Miller, director of Campus Security, said that if Rollins were to put cameras anywhere, they would start with the parking garage, not with the residence halls. If they were to add extra security on campus, then they would only put cameras at the entrances of the residence halls.

One of Bitikofer and Miller’s biggest hesitations in placing cameras in the dormitories is that it would absolve the students of their responsibilities to the building and to each other. “My biggest problem is how the students treat each other,” said Miller, but he believes that if cameras were put inside the buildings to monitor their behavior, the students will never learn how to act like mature adults and live in a community with other people.

While I agree that it would be saddening if it came down to cameras being mounted in the dorms but I would rather not be charged for things I did not do.

At least if there were cameras in the hallways and common areas, there would be more of a chance that the person or persons responsible for doing stupid things will be charged and not innocent residents. Also, knowing that there are cameras inside might give people more incentive to think before they act.

Bitikofer and Miller both said that placing cameras inside the buildings would be a last resort. Miller said: “It would have to be a representation of a failure of the programs and resources” to employ the use of cameras. Thankfully, Miller says that the number of thefts, vandalism and other crimes within the dorms has vastly decreased in the last five years.

Bitikofer added that installing cameras would be extremely expensive and would cut into funds that could be used to improve something else on campus, “One has to measure cost versus outcome,” Bitikofer reasoned. With all of that in mind, I understand why Bitikofer, Miller and the people at Res Life do not want to rely on surveillance cameras on a college campus.

However, I am not totally against the idea of these cameras, especially if it will mean that I am not charged because some idiot threw cake off the second floor balcony

About Julia Campbell

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