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On-Campus Housing Lacks Security Cameras

Jessica Piland

FGCU’s campus is a pretty sight to see. There are multiple swamps, lakes and lots of wildlife. Some of the most picturesque areas include boardwalks connecting the main academic corridor and North Lake Village. Although these are scenic, they may not be safe with the lack of security cameras.

FGCU only provides housing cameras in the South Village (SoVi) dorms and the West Lake Village (WLV) entrance. Other open areas are not secure, such as most of the outside areas of South Village, North Lake Village (NLV) and WLV. Anyone can easily walk around these areas, student or not. 

Despite the lack of cameras, the university has its own safety measures on all its housing properties. SoVi and NLV are aided by the Code Blue Poles that can dispatch UPD if needed.

WLV, being away from the main campus property, has its own security gate that closes at night. However, it still has open, unfenced access where anyone can easily walk in. Although these areas have many outdoor public spaces, they are also within private spaces for student dorms. According to Florida Law, it is illegal to have camera footage of private property.  If cameras were to be deployed here, they would have to be positioned where no footage of dorms would be captured.

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Although the law states that cameras should not infiltrate private dorm spaces, should they still be installed in other open areas? I think they should because it’s important for the safety of the university and for the students living there.

To keep the cameras in legal operating conditions, they should not be inflicting on a student’s personal dorm space. They should be positioned strictly toward a public area. These areas could include parking lots, open walkway areas and boardwalks.

I took some time to read about what has happened regarding campus crime on Eagle News’ own UPD Beats and FGCU crime logs. According to previous UPD Beats and FGCU monthly crime logs, there have been incidents within all three housing spaces where cameras could have helped UPD’s efforts to keep students safe. These include parking lot incidents, thefts involving vehicles and unusual acts by people in outside spaces among others.

Some of the locations of these incidents are also in open areas where the surveillance feed would not interfere with private student property when placed correctly. These areas would be perfect for new camera installations.

If FGCU doesn’t increase surveillance in open spaces, what could happen? I think the worst-case scenario would be a person intending to do harm to FGCU students, running loose in unmonitored areas in one of the villages. This scenario can be diminished with live camera feeds aiding the manhunt if something bad were to happen. Obviously, no one wants any bad people in areas where they should feel safe. It is just like how in most schools nationwide there are camera feeds just in case something bad were to happen and footage needed to be tracked down.

As long as they are in public and not private spaces, FGCU should invest in more security cameras. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

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About the Contributor
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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