The web is watching campus


Jessica Park / Chief Illustrator

Jessica Park / Chief Illustrator
Jessica Park / Chief Illustrator

Five cameras at SLU go live for public viewing

Over the course of the last several weeks, the Department of Public Safety and other affiliates, such as the Department of Marketing and Communication, have installed new, high-definition cameras on SLU’s campus.

“It is important to differentiate,” says Jeff Fowler, vice president for marketing and communication. “DPS has their own cameras installed on campus… at various locations, these cameras that are installed on campus are public web cameras.” The main purpose of these cameras is simply to allow the public to view campus from an online source. The five cameras, installed last month, are up and running. One camera, attached to the roof of Griesedieck Hall, points out north, and views the Quad, Pius Library, and DuBourg Hall. Three other cameras view various sections of the Frost Campus, and one views the Caroline Mall walkway on SLU’s medical campus. Cameras also face out at Grand Ave. towards the BSC, while another faces the Billiken sports complex.

The second purpose of these new cameras is public safety. Helping the public view the campus internally is something that Jim Moran, the assistant vice president and director of public safety, sees as a priority. Prior to the protests on campus in October, many “conversations amongst campus leaders occurred to increase visibility of events happening at SLU,” states Moran. These brand new cameras have been placed across campus mainly to help the public better understand what is happening, in real time.

“The first camera to go up was the one at the clock tower,” says Fowler. It was put up to allow students, faculty, and staff to view the protests that happened there earlier in October. Fowler and Moran stressed the fact that the new cameras are something mainly for parents whose children are far away. The recent events and developments happening in St. Louis caused a flurry of phone calls and emails from concerned faculty, staff, and parents relating to the level of safety on campus. The way that the department of public safety dealt with the concern was “well received” according to Moran, and the new public camera system was given the same congratulatory response. “Most students, faculty, and parents alike thanked us for putting up the cameras,” stated Fowler. He also noted: “These cameras are public cameras and can obviously be accessed by DPS, but they rely more on their own security system”.

DPS, however, is planning on installing new cameras in order to revamp their own security system. More than 100 new security cameras will be installed in alleyways, parking lots, and other various locations.

These cameras, like the ones currently used by DPS, will not be made public. All five of the live feeds can be found on SLU’s website under the “Dialogue and Security Updates” page and accessed via the campus webcam links.

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