New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Over 3,000 Cameras Are Watching Us, but Students Don’t Care

NYU’s robust security camera system feels excessive to some students.
Security camera nearby the NYU campus. 3,179 cameras are currently surveilling the campus community. (Staff Photo by Jared Peraglia)

Over 3,000 cameras currently overlook the university’s New York City campus, but some students think the surveillance won’t make people safer.

Tisch first-year Cassie Vega went to a small high school in Ohio, and said she was nervous about moving to one of the most targeted cities on earth.

“A camera can’t prevent something from happening,” Vega said. “Right now it feels like anything could happen, especially in such a large city.”

Vice President for Global Campus Safety Marlon Lynch told WSN that the 3,179 cameras on campus are not continually surveilled by NYU Department of Public Safety personnel.

“It’s a scary time to know that your privacy doesn’t really exist anymore,” Tisch first-year Octavio Kaufman said.

Despite his peers’ doubts, Tisch sophomore Nick Muhart said he has no problem with the surveillance.

“I don’t care,” Muhart said. “I’d rather be recorded than dead.”

Other than the thousands of cameras that continually keep watch, 400 administrative and uniformed personnel work to secure the university’s main campus every day.

“There are some occasions when [Public Safety] actively monitors cameras due to specific security concerns, for instance during large-scale events such as Grad Alley [and] Welcome Week,” Lynch said.

Even though a public safety officer isn’t monitoring the footage 24/7, some students expressed concern about where the footage ends up.

“I feel as if the greatest threat to campus freedom and security comes from what is done with the footage collected, how closely the footage is monitored, what constitutes as actions worthy of being flagged and the placement of these cameras,” Tisch first-year Calvin Ramelan said.

Public Safety also lends expertise in security and emergency management to portal campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi as well as overseeing security technology and safety standards at 11 of the university’s Global Academic Centers.

Lynch said that Public Safety continually trains personnel and makes enhancements to their security technology. Part of this initiative was the launch of the Safe NYU App.

Despite slim safety concerns at NYU and the protection of privacy, most NYU students remain indifferent to the cameras on campus.

“[I] will absolutely do my utmost to sneak in a rude gesture to them now and again,” Ramelan said.

Email Jared Peraglia at [email protected].

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