Faculty Senate to discuss campuswide surveillance

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    The university is considering installing security cameras campuswide along with other safety devices to build a safer environment for students, the Faculty Senate secretary, said.

    Keith Whitworth, Faculty Senate secretary, said the Neeley School of Business and the Campus Recreation Center already have cameras installed in their facilities, which is an issue that the Faculty Senate needs to discuss.

    “The discussion is that there needs to be a uniform policy across campus that ties in with the campus police, rather than allowing individual buildings to have their own security systems,” Whitworth said.

    Jill Laster, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources and Risk Management, said her department, along with others such as TCU Police, are working on developing standards for security camera installment in university buildings. The standards will address issues such as how many cameras are installed, what types of cameras and systems will be used and where they will be located, Laster said. The standard will also take into consideration the building’s usage, hours of operation and the number of people who go in and out of the building, she said. The university will choose in which buildings it will install cameras based on these standards, she said.

    Whitworth said because of incidents that have occurred on other campuses, security is an important issue for the Faculty Senate to address.

    Sheri Neill, Faculty Senate chair, said recent incidents like the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 triggered the discussion about security.

    “Actions breed reactions,” Neill said. “What are we doing here? Sometimes it takes something horrible to happen to wonder where you are.”

    Whitworth said panic buttons might be installed in buildings across campus. The idea is for the campus to have a central response system for immediate assistance when there is an emergency, he said.

    However, the Faculty Senate still bears the question of what to do during bad weather, Whitworth said.

    Neill said the Faculty Senate will continue to discuss the issue in its next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 2.