Under Surveillance

Surveillance cameras

Balancing security and privacy sparks debate.

Lindsay Elias, Editor in-Chief

November 11, 2023

The installment of security cameras on campus has been delayed following an ongoing debate.

The initial procedure began around five years ago when the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Council wanted to move forward with purchasing cameras for the campus. 

When the topic was first introduced, there was a lot of support, but since then there has been some pushback. 

While the primary aim is to enhance campus safety and security, concerns have been expressed such as the level of transparency, facial recognition, discrimination, the locations where the cameras will be placed, who will have access to the data and the procedures following data that has been retrieved. 

“We want to make sure we are protecting our students, especially our vulnerable and marginalized student population,” said Sharon Sampson, who is an instructor in the Administration of Justice Department. 

Academic Senate President Dr. Pearl Lopez said, “What are you putting in place to protect our students so that if there is an incident, there is an actual process of how you’re going to support our students and not go to direct punitive measures.”

As of now, it is unclear who in the district can access the footage and when. 

The current plan for the location of the new cameras does not include the parking structure due to not having the proper electrical lines built into it. 

“Our entrances and exits should be monitored as well, and that’s not part of the existing plan,” Sampson said.

Supporters of the cameras argue that having a surveillance system in place will hold those responsible who have committed a crime. They also highlight the potential of cameras to provide valuable evidence in cases of incidents as well as aid law enforcement. 

Grossmont Student Anthony Adams said: “I think it’s a good idea as long as it’s used for safety purposes, like if someone’s car gets broken into or if somebody is in danger. As long as it’s to help keep us students safe, I’m all for it.”   

There is no expected date for the installment of the cameras, but students will be receiving a survey, possibly in the spring, regarding student opinion on the camera installment.  

Students who would like to voice their opinions are encouraged to go to the ASGC office in Building 60.

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