The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Brief: Campus Security Camera Standards Revisited in Response to Recent Safety Concerns

The Colgate University community received an email from Vice President and Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin on Feb. 14 — titled “Working Group to Develop Security Camera Standards on Campus” — that addressed increased security measures on campus as a result of recent investigations.

Since [Spring 2023], a number of efforts to enhance campus safety and improve emergency preparedness have occurred, including new bicycle patrols, the installation of an updated outdoor mass-notification system, new training for active shooter scenarios, and additional tabletop exercises conducted by the University’s Emergency Operations Center,” McLoughlin wrote.

The email referenced two incidents of “unauthorized entry into students’ residence halls” that have occurred during the Spring 2024 semester in addition to an incident of laundry theft that occurred in the Fall 2023 semester.

“These incidents […] underscore the importance of our ongoing conversations related to the use of security camera technology as we plan for future renovations and construction on the Lower Campus,” McLoughlin wrote.

McLoughlin noted some possible concerns that may arise with the implementation of increased security measures on campus. 

“The University has an unwavering commitment to campus safety and security. We also value the right to privacy afforded by a small, residential college campus that is fortunate to have very low crime rates, particularly in comparison to many of our peer institutions,” McLoughlin wrote. “While we have some security cameras in use on campus today, we are mindful that ubiquitous surveillance can be unnerving. We have worked to strike the right balance between security without violating privacy.”

McLoughlin outlined the process through which questions about security on campus will be addressed. The Advisory Committee on Campus Security will make recommendations and will then share their thoughts with governance committees such as the University Property Committee, Student Affairs Board and the Advisory and Planning Committee. These recommendations will then return to the President’s Cabinet for final review before a decision is made.

“Developing a University policy with respect to decisions around when and where new cameras should be installed, or not, is important, and we should approach it thoughtfully and deliberatively. These discussions will begin immediately and conclude by the end of the semester,” McLoughlin wrote.

While these conversations will take place within the University’s campus governance system, which is made up of elected and appointed representatives, McLoughlin emphasized that all thoughts about this topic are welcomed and can be directed to him via email.

The email also stated that Director of Campus Safety Terri Stewart will update the campus community on the ongoing investigations being coordinated by the Hamilton Police Department and Madison County Sheriff’s Office by Friday, Feb. 16.

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About the Contributor
Samantha Wotring, Copy Editor
Samantha Wotring is a junior from Houston, TX concentrating in English and history. She has previously served as an Assistant News Editor and staff writer for the News and Commentary sections. On campus, she is involved in the COVE, SAT Tutors.

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