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Student Association introduces resolution supporting security cameras

By Emily Abdow     9/13/16 10:00pm

The Student Association introduced Resolution #2 on Student Feedback on the Policy for Implementation of Security Cameras on Campus on Monday. The resolution affirms the SA’s support of camera implementation but also notes student concerns collected from an survey sent out by the Student Association in August.

Concerns about implementation include possible privacy breaches, a loss of cultural liberty at colleges, the use of footage by organizations such as University Court and Student Judicial Programs, the future misinterpretation of the policy and the cybersecurity of the footage.

Specific recommendations made by the SA include defining the term “common spaces” including a residential college commons that should be subject to higher scrutiny before implementation of cameras.

Additional recommendations include establishing a more organized process for reviewing recordings than the current “randomly review[ing],” defining when cameras can be viewed in “real time,” elaborating on repercussions for violating the policy and stating that the Chief of Police and Security Systems Manager consult with residential college government on camera placement.

The SA resolution also contains a preamble regarding the mutual trust between all stakeholders and lists priorities for the policy including effectiveness, privacy, transparency, security, continuity, specificity and accountability.

Hanszen College President Kenny Groszman, who introduced the resolution along with four other members of the SA, said that he and his fellow committee members met with President Kevin Kirby, Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson and Rice University Police Department Chief Johnny Whitehead on Friday to discuss the SA recommendations.

“It was a really productive meeting,” Groszman, a senior, said. “They verbally agreed to make a lot of changes to reflect our opinion.”

He said the resolution will continue to be discussed and amended in the next two weeks.

“The spirit of the policy is not only to keep the campus safe but also to foster this trusting relationship between administration, the students and RUPD that is fundamental to the way Rice works,” Groszman said.

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