New surveillance policy: bizarre

Last Wednesday’s issue of The Collegian included an article by Brent VonCannon describing revisions in surveillance policy that were passed by the Academic Senate several weeks ago, and needs only the approval of President John Welty before potentially being exercised across campus.

Among other changes, this new policy affords limited video surveillance in laboratories. While we are a little wary of this modification, we can understand how this change may prove beneficial, particularly in settings with especially expensive or valuable equipment.

What we can’t quite comprehend, however, involves a change that would allow undercover police officers to sit in on “public or private meetings of university-sponsored organizations or in university classrooms� with administrative approval.

We fail to see how these “covert surveillance operations� might possibly prove effective in anything other than enormous lecture-style classrooms.
Students are bound to notice the older guy who shows up mid-semester for the first time — without a book. This sort of intrusion will invariably prove distracting and entirely unfavorable to forging and maintaining a comfortable learning environment. Besides, we’re not entirely convinced that Political Science 2 classrooms function as a nexus of drug trade.

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