by Kelsey Hausman
The university plans to install surveillance cameras over winter break, according to Maureen Sturgis, director of campus safety.
She said, “We will put them in campus hot spots,” such as the Pierce parking lot, freshman courtyard, and freshman dorms.
She said, “We’ve discussed getting cameras before but financially we couldn’t afford it. Now we are getting cameras in a couple months.” Sturgis has been working at Campus Safety for the past three years.
She believes having surveillance cameras installed will decrease the amount of vandalism on campus. The footage will be live monitored and any suspicious activity will be handled by 24/7 Campus Safety dispatches.
Robert Hannings, maintenance staff electrician, felt uneasy about the homophobic and racist comments that were painted on cars. He said, “We don’t need that with what’s going on in the news,” referring to racial tensions at the University of Missouri and the bombings and shootings in Paris, France. Hannings said that he has been asking the school to invest in security cameras for over 15 years.
Hannings said it was likely younger students or campus visitors committed the vandalism. He said, “At times like this surveillance cameras would have really helped.” He suspects the vandalism was alcohol related.
Though there are no leads on the culprits, Campus Safety is on the look out for evidence. Sturgis said, “We’re trying to keep our ears to the ground.”
Campus Safety is closely watching social media and will be conducting room checks over Thanksgiving break.
If anyone has any information regarding those guilty of the vandalism and would like to remain anonymous Sturgis asked that they call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 603-899-2795.