Cameras deter theft, vandalism

By Rocio Lopez

Surveillance cameras have been installed in Barsema Hall to deter vandalism and theft in light of past break-in attempts.

Several computers in the atrium area were the target of attempted theft, with visible damage occurring to the cabinet in which they are kept. There was also damage to one of the vending machines in the same area.

Three cameras and a recording system, was installed in late June, said Tim Paige, director of technical resources and facility manager. The system cost the College of Business about $10,000, which covered the equipment and installation.

Two cameras cover the main entrances and traffic areas and a third is located inside a computer lab.

“It’s not out to trap people,” said William Tallon, interim dean of the College of Business. “It’s really out to make potential vandals maybe think twice about it.”

Tallon and Paige both stress the main purpose of the system is to deter any possible damage to the property.

“We don’t want to invade people’s privacy,” Paige said. “We could help to protect our investment in our technology by having cameras here.”

Junior management major Melissa Wojtak thinks it’s a good idea to have the cameras in the building.

“[Dennis] Barsema put so much money into this place,” she said. We gotta keep it nice.”

Wojtak believes the new cameras will discourage people from damaging equipment.

Tallon said the addition has been non-invasive.

“It goes along with our theme of being pretty high up with the technology,” Tallon said.

Paige hopes to have unattended labs in the future by installing more cameras inside computer labs.

Although announcements about the cameras are posted in Barsema Hall, from a legal standpoint, building administrators are not obligated to give notice, said University Police Lt. Matt Kiederlen.

“There is no legal expectation of privacy,” Kiederlen said.

Illinois state law does not allow cameras to be installed in bathrooms or locker rooms.

Studies have shown surveillance systems appear to reduce the incidences of vandalism and theft, Kiederlen said.