Surveillance cameras are misuse of funds

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With the break-ins that occurred last semester, Contra Costa Community College District is now considering installing surveillance cameras in heavy traffic areas on campus.

When making a decision as big as installing security cameras there are some questions everyone should be asking.

Who will be looking at the tapes? How much will they cost? Where will they be installed? Are they really just looking for suspicious people? Will the school use an outside security system provider? What happens when criminals find their way around the cameras? Is this an invasion of student privacy?

While we at Diablo Valley College are nowhere close to being like the dystopian world in George Orwell’s “1984,” is installing surveillance cameras really necessary?

When the Inquirer tried to contact President Peter Garcia to ask him these questions he declined to meet with us. Already there seems to be disconnect between the student body and administration. It seems there may be other motives to installing these cameras.

Chief facilities planner Ray Pyle said cameras would only be installed at campus entrance points and child care building exterior entrances. This means most cameras would be limited to parking lot entrances and exits. He said these cameras may cost the district up to $1 million dollars to install, which seems like a high price considering you can buy industrial sized surveillance cameras online for around one thousand dollars each.

This money would be coming out of the $450 million dollars granted by Measure E to the district in June 2014. It doesn’t seem like much when you look at how much money the bond is for, but that money has to be distributed to three separate schools and their extensions.

That money could be used for other campus needs. Though DVC passed their accreditation, there were areas specified in the report that we needed to work on, one being providing facilities at the San Ramon campus equal to those at the Pleasant Hill campus.

We could also use this money to provide better services for students on campus who need medical or psychological help. When students have problems at home or need moral support, there should be more outlets provided by the school for students who don’t have support at home.

There seems to be more important things the school can spend their money on. Installing campus surveillance cameras  is simply unnecessary and a misuse of funds.

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