Sequoyah has had security cameras for many years, but this year Sequoyah added a few more security cameras. And even with new cameras facing the parking lot exit, Sequoyah could not use any footage to catch the thief who stole Van Wilder because they were not working. Some students are not happy with them, whereas others are fine with them. If people do not like them, and they do not always work, especially when we need it, why do we need them?
According to Sal Lagunas, Director of Operations, Sequoyah has had the security cameras for about four years. The purpose of having them is to ensure that unwanted trespassers do not get in. If they do, we can use the cameras to find the security vulnerabilities on the Sequoyah campus.
Lagunas says that their main purpose is not to be used for catching people, although they have been used at least once for that purpose. Three years ago some student skateboarders who were not Sequoyah students were caught by the cameras skating on the patio and painting graffiti on the kiosk. Sequoyah contacted their school with the help of the security cameras.
The cameras are placed along the perimeter, wherever possible. There is one new camera near the field, and other old ones around the basketball court, and others that are placed around the upper. There are spots on campus where the security cameras would not catch, or would not catch in detail, the trespasser, like the pedestrian gate on California Avenue. Lagunas is not worrying about that spot, as there is a camera pointed in that direction, but somewhat far away. The cameras are recording all of the time, and Lagunas estimates that the hard drive can hold about three weeks of footage (about 500 hours). The computer automatically deletes the oldest footage whenever there is not enough space.
There are spots on campus where the security cameras would not catch, or would not catch in detail, the trespasser, like the pedestrian gate on California Avenue. Lagunas is not worrying about that spot, as there is a camera pointed in that direction, but somewhat far away.
There are also alarms and door sensors in each and every room of the new buildings on the Upper, including the bathrooms. Lagunas says that the alarms, if not deactivated in time, will go off at certain times, like at night and during the weekends. The alarms will alert the alarm company, which will alert Lagunas. If Lagunas can not be reached, they will alert Rudy Lara (Sequoyah’s Facilities Coordinator), if Lara can not be reached, they will alert Roberto Dimas (Facilities Staff), and the last person that they would contact is Josh Brody, Sequoyah’s Director.
Students have mixed feelings about the cameras. Momo Moran from the Junior High said that he felt the cameras are “invasive and cruel, personally.” On the other hand, Brayden Mandavia in the Over There does not mind about his privacy. “I feel safer with them,” he said. “They’re basically watching over us.”