UR Security will be installing three surveillance cameras on the River Campus in an attempt to increase personal safety. These cameras will be placed near the footbridge on Wilson Boulevard, on Faculty Road near the Genesee River, and near Todd Union.
The cameras are intended for integration into the campus security system, and are “not intended to replace any [security] officers,” according to Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin.
The primary mission for these cameras is to discourage theft and more quickly identify trespassers and their escape routes.
Exact locations for the Wilson Boulevard and Faculty Road cameras have been selected, while the third location is still being reviewed. The proposed site is located near several utility lines, and any construction could potentially run into these lines while digging.
No date has been set for the construction to start, but Mauldin said that it would begin “within the next few weeks.” Once started, the project should take less than a week to finish.
While all the cameras will be able to pan horizontally and vertically, the camera near Todd would include much of the Fraternity Quad in its field of view. As of Wednesday, the camera’s intended location is at the intersection of Alumni and Fraternity Roads.
Mauldin stressed that the camera would not be looking directly at people on the Fraternity Quad.
Fraternities showed some concern that the cameras would be used to monitor parties and drinking. Mauldin said that the cameras would not be used for this purpose.
According to Chairman of the Fraternity Presidents’ Council, Matthew Gabler, UR Security made the proposal to them earlier this year as a response to several incidents of theft and burglary.
“We’re glad that security is taking a stance on this and is taking an interest in our security,” Gabler said.
A camera was originally proposed for Todd Union itself, directly across from the Fraternity Quad. There was some concern expressed by the fraternities at the original idea, as it would seem to point the camera directly and only at the houses.
“We were all a little hesitant about that,” Gabler said.
Over the Winter Break, SA President and senior Lonny Mallach talked with security and, according to Gabler, reached the current agreement with UR Security.
President of Delta Upsilon and senior Matthew Groveman, said that there had been a little concern because the camera could “basically see into some windows,” but that members of his fraternity were not in general upset by the proposed placement of the camera.
“Campus safety is important,” Groveman said.
Another location discussed for the Todd Union camera was the traffic circle behind Delta Kappa Epsilon House.
Gabler expressed a preference for this location and its location nearer the river, but no camera is currently planned there.
Gilbert resident Chris Babcock, freshman, didn’t seem to think that the camera on Faculty Road was particularly necessary. “I could care less,” Babcock said, “but I’m sure it will help.”
“I knew some people who got mugged [here] earlier this year,” freshman Greg Savich said. Savich thought that the cameras “seem like good idea.”
The area underneath the footbridge, regarded by many UR students to be a dangerous spot, may be a bigger concern among students.
“If there’s any trouble [on campus], it’s walking over that bridge,” Babcock said.
Other cameras may be added around campus later, but no specific plans have been discussed beyond the first three.
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