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USF increases on-campus security with cameras

Posted: 5:41 PM, Sep 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-30 21:41:31Z
University of South Florida is stepping up security measures on campus.
 
The school has put up hundreds of cameras outside of dorms to make sure students stay safe. Administrators say students are putting themselves in jeopardy without even realizing it by leaving doors to residence halls open for friends.
 
They’re also essentially leaving the door open to anyone. That’s why cameras have been put up to keep the wrong people from coming in.
 
Jessica Machala has lived on campus at USF for the past two years. She said safety has never been a concern but realizes the people who leave residence hall doors open for friends are also allowing easy access for strangers. It’s why she supports USF’s plan to put cameras in dorms.
 
“I think the cameras will definitely help if anything were to happen,” she said. 
 
Michael Talavera
 
“I mean anyone can easily walk into here, so I think it’s a good idea,” he said.
 
More than 5,600 students live on campus. Much like security cameras for a home, the type the university has installed are keeping an eye on who’s coming and going. 
 
“This was launched as a proactive measure as part of an effort to enhance the safety of our community,” said Ana Hernandez, assistant vice president for Housing and Residential Education.
 
The footage will be used to investigate inappropriate uses of access cards and any potential criminal activity. While most students are for the added protection, others feel like it’s an invasion of privacy.
 
In addition to dorm entrances and exits, the cameras will also be in laundry rooms. But where students actually sleep is off limits.
 
“I don’t think they should be in the halls, but if they’re just putting them up in the doors then I think it’s a good idea, just to monitor who comes in and who comes out,” Talavera said.
 
The university spent more than a half million dollars installing the cameras.