Security cameras possible crime prevention

By on October 31, 2007

Once again, racial slander has stained the Quinnipiac campus. This time, the Hamden police are actually investigating the matter, though we don’t know that their involvement will actually get to the bottom of the problem.

As many students and faculty point out, Quinnipiac is “not a racist school,” and these incidents are increasingly angering the student body and staff. Getting mad won’t solve this problem, though, unless our anger compels us to act constructively.

I fully support the rights of all people, and even in a society of so-called equality, many of our rights are infringed on. The victims of racial slurs at our school have absolutely been bereft of a right that most people take for granted: the ability to comfortably join the Quinnipiac campus. Even a thick-skinned person would be, at the very least, troubled by becoming a target of such discrimination.

The first kid who suffered such an attack, last spring, transferred to another school. Clearly, an experience of careless hatefulness would undoubtedly screw with a college freshman’s perception of his or her surroundings. If not, then he just didn’t want to go to a school with ignorant pigs.

What’s so awful about these crimes is that there has been no justice at all. How are we to know who’s behind all of this? It could be just one jerk or several. Should we expect this to happen again? It could be dangerous if we consider these crimes to be purely benign. I can’t help but wonder if it might get worse.

We should consider ourselves lucky that Quinnipiac hasn’t had to deal with much criminal violence, while many universities have endured terrible tragedies. Still, we shouldn’t rule out its possibility, unless we make some very real changes around here.

I bet a lot of people won’t like to hear this, but if we installed cameras in dormitory hallways, stairwells, and other public places, these incidents will definitely be minimized and probably prevented.

If the vandals who are still at large were caught on camera, they might not have escaped the crime scenes unscathed. In turn, if President Lahey is true to his word, then our campus would be rid of the guilty parties.

Constant video surveillance sounds really scary, right? Daniel Love, a senior business major, says his “knee-jerk reaction” to the proposition of installing surveillance cameras is that “this would be a total violation of students’ privacy.”

Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be viewed this way. Kids might be worried about being caught for minor offenses like drinking or smoking pot. In this case, I say they shouldn’t be so foolish as to walk around with beer cans anyways.

In spite of his understandable initial impression of cameras on campus, Love concedes that “in light of all the disgusting hate crimes our community has been subjected to recently, this may not be a bad solution. but only to review footage in the event of a crime.”

Nick Solitro, a freshman pre-law student and Dana resident, says that “as long as [cameras] are not in the room or bathroom, it’s fine.”

“I think people would behave more if they knew someone could be watching them,” Solitro says.

At this point, dialogue and fruitless investigations won’t stop this frightening phenomenon on our campus. I’m sure that most of the campus agrees with Love when he points out that “it’s unfortunate how a few ignorant students can tarnish the name of an entire school.”

It’s also unfortunate that these students are jeopardizing the safety and security of the rest of the Quinnipiac community. We all want to be proud of our school and feel safe here; honestly, it’s our responsibility to take serious action in dealing with these sick crimes.


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