After nearly five years of planning and building, Sutter Hall is now home to many students on the Chico State Campus. Keeping the dorm in tip-top shape and keeping petty theft and vandalism to a minimum inside the dorm is a priority. That’s why 126 security cameras have been installed throughout the dorm in necessary places like hallways, entry ways, stairwells and public areas. “After an event or situation has come to light through staff channels or student reports we now have a record to go back to” said Chico State Housing & Food Director David Stephen.
Other dorm buildings on campus have cameras, but not as many. Last year thefts and vandalism cost the university more than 60,000 dollars in repairs and that’s why newer buildings will have more cameras. “This is a security system and not a surveillance system and the difference between the two is critical” Stephen explained.
University Housing Director David Stephen says there is no one watching the footage while it is being taped and they cannot see into private rooms or bathrooms. The cameras are not hooked up to monitors and the video must be downloaded to view which is only done after an incident is reported. Never the less, some students are still weary. “I think it’s creepy, I can understand why they would want a few cameras for security reasons outside the main doors and stuff, but the fact that there’s some pointing at the dorm rooms and outside of the bathroom… It just feel like we’re being watched” said Sutter Dorm resident Aubrey Kreckel.
And though some students have their doubts, others appreciate the added security. “It’s been beneficial. We don’t have them in our rooms, so I don’t feel like it’s invading my privacy” said Sutter Dorm resident Nicole D’Onofrio. Daniel Goldman also from Sutter Hall adds “I don’t really mind it, I don’t get the feeling of like big brother looking in on us.”
Sutter hall houses more than 200 students. The university is hoping to add additional cameras to it’s other dorms on campus within the next two years.