Two security cameras will be installed to the exterior of Craig Hall

A student has proposed to install cameras outside of Craig Hall after discovering a lack of cameras.

This semester, Missouri State’s Student Government Association passed a student security fund proposal to install four security cameras at Craig Hall.

The project was spearheaded by SGA Director of Administrative Services and junior health services major Patrick Seacrist. Seacrist said Student Body President Abdillahi Dirie assigned him the project to work on at the beginning of the year.

“When we ran for office, students brought up the concern of increasing security measures on campus,” Dirie said. “Our campus is safe, but we should always look to improve it and add more features, so we wanted to focus on what we can add to increase security measures.”

Dirie said the proposal was suggested by senior musical theatre major Sarai Harding.

Harding said her idea for the proposal came from an interaction with a campus security guard in Craig Hall. 

She was working in the academic hall early one morning when, she said, a campus security guard made conversation with her, mentioning how if anything “sketchy” were to happen in Craig Hall, the safety department would not have footage. Harding said the guard informed her the building hardly had any security cameras and the ones that were in place did not actually work.

“As a musical theatre major,” Harding said, “I am constantly rehearsing and in spaces on campus late at night for performances, and the idea of something bad happening with no evidence was terrifying.”

Harding took her concerns to friend and SGA Chief of Staff Tara Orr, where the proposal moved to Dirie and then Seacrist.

“Any student can ask to allocate funds from any sort of funding source we have,” Seacrist said. “We have a sustainability fund, a student initiative fund, a student security fund and that’s the one I used. Really, any student can come up with an idea and try to pass a resolution through SGA.”

Seacrist began initial work on the project in late September, pitched the proposal at the Oct. 29 SGA meeting and saw it passed at the Nov. 5 meeting. Allocated funds can now be sent to the Networking and Telecommunications Department so construction can begin.

A variety of steps must be taken prior to the installation process. Coordinator of Telecommunications Steven Coffman said the department will first order the cameras and other required materials.

According to Coffman, the campus standard for security cameras is Axis because the brand has proved to be durable and high quality.

“Since this project does require some building modifications outside of my department, notifications will be sent to the Campus Construction Team to get on their project list for the building modifications,” Coffman said. Once the materials are received and the building modifications are completed, the camera installation may begin.

Including the cameras, wiring, installation, building modifications and additional items needed to record video, Coffman said the estimated cost of the installations is $8,000.

Of the four cameras, two will be placed in the center of the lobby facing the two main entrances inside. The remaining two will be located outside; one will be placed on the south roof facing the bike rack and south drive, while the other will be placed on the north surface of the roof facing the tent theatre area, Coffman said.

For the cameras not requiring building modifications, they will most likely be completed by the first of January, Coffman said. 

“The others that require building modification will hopefully be completed in the first couple months of 2020,” Coffman said.

Although the main advantage of the cameras is an additional layer of security for the academic hall, Coffman said the cameras will also help the safety department respond to any situations that may arise in the area quicker.

“The video for the campus cameras is stored for 30 days and can be retrieved by the safety department for any incident that they might need to investigate,” Coffman said.

“There are a lot of public events that happen in (Craig Hall), so it is good we have some coverage there to make sure that our dispatch center will monitor when plays and other events are held there,” Dirie said.