They’re watching you…

DKS Editors

We’re no fan of Big Brother. We believe in privacy. But we also believe in staying safe. So we have to agree with the Kent State Police Department installing surveillance cameras on campus.

The proposed cameras would be placed near the Esplanade between Kent and Cartwright halls. It is being placed in this location because of the area’s lack of good visibility for those walking through at night.

But the cameras will not be watched at all times. They will exist only to check afterward when a crime has been reported at that area. Police are hoping that those who are planning to commit a crime will be deterred from doing so just by knowing or seeing the cameras exist.

Well, maybe. But not all crimes are planned. There are crimes that exist when people are intoxicated and just decide off the cuff to make a poor choice. There are also criminals who could honestly care less whether they are recorded. There are also such things as disguises, which some criminals utilize in the first place so their victims can’t describe them.

There are also many criminal acts that occur on campus that never get reported. Sexual assaults, for example, often go ignored because of embarrassment. We cannot assume people will be more than happy to come forward just because cameras exist.

We understand part of the reason police aren’t going to monitor the cameras 24/7 is because they don’t have the funds to pay an extra person. But this is a serious matter of safety we think the university should consider helping out with.

Grades are often a primary concern for students, and they have too much on their minds with merely that to worry about their safety. We think this is a great step to take, and we’re hoping it will, in fact, make a big difference both for how safe students feel and how safe they actually will be. But let’s not stop here. Hiring another person or having the money to pay an existing employee for working extra hours may be the extra inch that saves one more person from harm.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board whose members are listed to the left.