New cameras at Rosie’s capture student activity

Steve Bushong

A new security television is stationed above the ordering kiosks in Rosie’s Diner. Cameras in the lobby show the around the corner of the line. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

A hidden camera recorded Will Huffman’s every move.

The sophomore biology major was in Rosie’s Tuesday to order waffles with apple topping, butter and syrup – an innocent act.

But a television, hanging from the ceiling near the ordering kiosks, playing back his motions, alerted him that maybe someone didn’t think he was so innocent.

Kent State Police Services Officer Alice Ickes said that the camera recording Huffman is more for his protection than prosecution.

Ickes said police services’ goal is to make the campus as safe as possible; to make it safe from pilferage, theft and drunken behavior.

The TV is there to let people know they’re being recorded, Ickes said. At least four cameras currently monitor the area. The video camera system was installed last month.

“We’re trying to make students feel comfortable and bad guys feel uncomfortable,” Ickes said.

Lt. Bill Buckbee said theft and other crimes aren’t as prevalent this year as in the past at Rosie’s.

“I don’t think it’s an issue of someone coming in and stealing, rather people are there by themselves,” Buckbee said.

He said Rosie’s is like a 24-hour convenience store, where clerks, working alone at night, sometimes become nervous. Video cameras and televisions help provide a sense of protection.

“We’re not only trying to provide security to students, but staff too,” Buckbee said.

Ickes said Rosie’s is a public place, and outsiders, who may not have good intentions, sometimes find their way in.

Rosie’s manager Cindy Nichols said she supports the use of video cameras.

“We always think we have a rowdy crowd on bar nights. I’m not opposed to (video cameras) at all,” Nichols said.

The video camera system is currently installed in the rotunda only, but cameras will eventually be added to Rosie’s. Ickes declined to say when the cameras will be installed or how many will be mounted.

The video camera system in the rotunda operates the same way the systems at the Dix Stadium parking lot and Bursar’s office do.

Buckbee said it’s important for people to know that no one is monitoring the cameras.

“If someone sees a video camera, they shouldn’t think, ‘I’m OK, someone’s watching me,'” Buckbee said. The cameras are fed to a digital video recorder that keeps video for a couple days.

Buckbee said he’d like to be able to see the video live, but there are currently too many technological barriers. Such technology would allow first responders to be better aware of a situation’s circumstances before they arrive, he said.

The video camera system in the rotunda, and eventually in Rosie’s, is part of a larger system in the Tri-Towers’ area, which monitors the second floor of the rotunda. There, a new studio for architecture students is nearly finished.

The College of Architecture and Environment Design purchased the digital recording equipment, the system’s most expensive component. The college’s goal was to protect its students’ projects and equipment, which can be very expensive.

When furniture for the studio space is delivered, architecture students will move in and begin working on projects, Director of Architecture Tom Euclid said.

“We piggybacked on the architect’s system,” Buckbee said. “It’s unusual for different departments to get together; they’re really protective over their funds.”

The video camera system was a collaborative effort between Police Services, Dining Services, Residence Service and the College of Architecture and Environment Design.

Contact safety reporter Steve Bushong at [email protected].