Video camera on Tanaka Hall

Security Cameras Just One Tool to Keep Students Safe

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ATHENS, Ohio – More cameras will be watching over Ohio University students by the beginning of the year, but no one will see those feeds in real-time.

Housing and Residence Life is installing 400 new video cameras inside and outside dorms.  Peter Trentacoste, Housing and Residence Life Executive Director, said the cameras, expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, are just a tool to help keep students safe.

“This is not a cure-all for any safety issue,” he said. “I use the word ‘tool’ a lot. It is a tool in the toolbox for our police department and the investigations.”

The first video security cameras appeared on campus in 2012 in the lobby of Voigt Hall. Not everyone knew Voigt had cameras.

“I honestly did not know we had cameras,” Nathosa Rankin, a Voigt Hall Resident said.

She said she just felt safe knowing Voigt is an all-girls dorm.

Video camera at Luchs Hall
Video camera at Tanaka Hall
Front view of Tanaka Hall
Entrance of Voigt Hall
Lobby camera at Voigt Hall
A blue light system that students can push for help
Video camera on Voigt Hall's entrance
The blue light tower on the bike path near the Convocation Center

She said the new video cameras would make people realize they are being watched.

“I feel that adding more cameras makes the whole campus feel safer,” Rankin said.

And given the increase of sexual assaults on campus, students are eager to see the cameras installed.

“There was a time where folks were like I am not sure I want these cameras around,” Trentacoste said.

He says now people want the cameras installed tomorrow – not an easy request.

“It is not quite that simple, but the intent is to have them done before the end of the year,” he said.

Trentacoste said the cameras will not be monitored in real-time, but if a crime occurs, OUPD can look at the footage. If someone wants the footage, they would have to submit a request for Real-Time or Historical Video Surveillance Access to the OUPD Chief of Police.