Cameras placed in some UConn residence halls

To help welcome students back to campus after a year and a half, UConn plants paw prints outside of Northwest residence halls. The paws are new this year and are visible from North Eagleville Road for passing cars and pedestirians to enjoy. Plans of installing security cameras inside the residence halls in case of damage or break-ins are in place. Photo Courtesy of Erin Knapp

The University of Connecticut is in the process of installing security cameras in some residence halls, including those in East Campus. This action has been met with suspicion by some students, although the university maintains that they are facing externally and installed for student safety. 

Stephanie Reitz, university spokesperson, said the outside-facing cameras are located inside solely for protection from the elements, and do not monitor any student activity in the buildings. 

“UConn is installing security cameras as a safety measure in some locations specifically to monitor the buildings’ external entrances,” Reitz said. “They are installed inside the buildings to prevent damage from weather or tampering, but they all point outward to the entry doors and not inward to the hallways or other common areas.” 

UConn’s Security Camera Policy outlines the reasons behind the implementation of cameras.  

“The primary purpose of utilizing security cameras in public areas is to deter crime and to assist law enforcement in enhancing the safety and security of members of the University community and University property,” the policy reads. “The primary use of security cameras will be to record video images for use by law enforcement and other University officials charged with investigating alleged violations of law or University policy.” 

The Security Camera Policy states, “Video surveillance shall not be conducted in private areas of the campus unless specifically authorized by the Chief of Police pursuant to a search warrant or otherwise.” 

It defines “private areas” as “areas in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, non-common areas of residence halls, residence hall corridors, bathrooms, shower areas, locker and changing rooms and other areas where a reasonable person might change clothes.” 

UConn plans to demonstrate the function of the cameras to student government representatives to reassure them that residence hall interiors are not being monitored. 

“The USG senator for the East Campus area recently raised similar questions [regarding privacy concerns],” Reitz said. “In response, the University is working with the project manager to ensure USG representatives receive a viewing demonstration of how the cameras work, specifically including how they are oriented to only view exterior areas.” 

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