New security cameras suggested for safety of students

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New security cameras suggested for safety of students

Photo taken by Taylor Hereid

Photo taken by Taylor Hereid

Photo taken by Taylor Hereid

Photo taken by Taylor Hereid

by Jessica Wood, Staff Reporter

Simpson will be getting more cameras in residence halls and in parking lots within the next few years. 

Residence life and campus security have been working together to find a way to help students feel safer on campus. Many students have expressed the want for security cameras in past years.

Student Government Association has been asked for a server which is necessary to implement more cameras. This was proposed to them as a one-time cost of $13,054 according to the Oct. 30 SGA minutes.  

Chris Frerichs, director of security, explained the products. The servers cost the most when it comes to things such as cameras. 

“The initial stuff is where it is really expensive because you need to have your servers and other things,” Frerichs said. “Once you get that initial in, then it will be a little bit cheaper because you might just be only adding cameras.”

Luke Behaunek, dean of students, explained Residence Life is working to implement cameras, but there is only so much he can do within his restrictions of the budget. 

“I have spoken to SGA about this,” Bahaunek said. “We do have plans to implement cameras across campus. Although within the budgets that I work with, I only have the capacity to add so many each year.”

Behaunek said Res Life has invested about $20,000 and estimates they will invest another $10,000 to $20,000 in the next few years, with additional funding going into parking lot cameras each year. 

Frerichs and Behaunek explained the idea of cameras is not new, but the perception of cameras is. Over the last 10 years, SGA has tried to fund security cameras as people begin seeing them as helping safety, rather than a signal Simpson is a dangerous place. 

“I think the broader shift of the perceptions around security cameras has shaped this conversation more than any specific event on campus in recent years,” Behaunek said. “People have come to expect that they are present rather than ask why they are.”

According to Frerichs, this implementation of cameras has been broken down into three phases in hopes they will be able to cover the needed and wanted areas. 

“We have a plan that we look at some of the areas and we divided it up into three phases where we were thinking cameras could be beneficial and useful,” Frerichs said. “The first phase was the residence halls strictly, which is why Barker, Kresge and Buxton have cameras. The next phase is going to be more residence halls and also the potential to add some exterior ones in the parking lots. Going forward, it would just be looking at where the greatest need is.”

Behaunek said they might use some revenue from parking registration to help pay for cameras in the parking lot. 

Some students like Noeline Boardman, a junior at Simpson, are for security cameras, but are not sure how much they will help. 

“I have mixed feeling about this,” Boardman said. “I think that we need cameras, but I don’t think cameras are going to do a whole lot. We have security cameras and things still happen. I feel like it is a psychological effect on people. It will help them feel safer on campus.”

Frerichs also addressed the idea of students feeling safer when they see security cameras. He wants to make sure students know they can contact security whenever needed. They are open to all feedback on the security cameras. Frerichs hopes to be able to send out a survey in the future.

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