The second General Body Meeting (GBM) of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) held on 26th August 2019, was centred around the college’s decision of installing CCTV cameras on the college campus. Mixed opinions surfaced as the event unfolded.

LSR witnessed the second GBM for the current academic session on 26th August 2019. After receiving great response from students as witnessed in the first GBM which discussed the change in the syllabus and its effects, the second GBM revolved around the recent step of the authorities to “put CCTV cameras in a huge number inside the college spaces”.

The discussion, initiated by the Students’ Union, put into light the issue of installation of CCTV cameras. As the meeting progressed, an enlarged spectrum of opinions was put forth. Two majorly conflicting opinions emerged as we asked the students about their take on the issue.

The first side brings into light the positive aspects which would follow if the college takes the step. This argument was supported as the students talked about the enhanced security and supervision in and around the college. It was further added that the CCTV cameras would reduce underlying violations and, in a way, would establish
transparency. Cameras would also serve as good sources of evidence collection in case of an incident or mishap of a severe turn.

A student who did not wish to be named said, “My first day of college did not turn out to be a delight as I wasn’t informed about the infamous back gate. I do not wish to say what happened but harassment does lurk around the back gate area. I would definitely feel safer if cameras are installed and hence, I support the move.”
Another student from LSR, Arpita, pursuing English Literature, said, “I would say somewhere or the other, students would be agreeing to it, (my remark is) not a direct attack on the facilities of the college, but the hype created for CCTVs is not worth it.” She further added, “Cameras can be used in a strategic manner to take into account the security of the students as well as the faculty, keeping in mind that right to privacy is not curtailed.”

On the other hand, some students did not support the decision of installation as they considered it as an invasion of privacy and not a very viable way of allocating the funds. Royina Chhabra, a first-year student says, “It is quite absurd that the college is concerned more about installing CCTV cameras inside the campus, whereas we all know the back gate is the place which needs more security measures and especially placement of police vans. CCTV cameras are something very secondary and not the need as of now. We have other things to focus on like sports equipment, more chairs, and better infrastructure.”

While we also see a leeway as some students suggest that the installation should be at places which are ‘strategically sound locations’, meaning the locations which walk along the demarcation of privacy and security. “In this way, funds can meet both ends, the near to death, panting fans, and the security concerns, both can be resolved hand in hand,” says a student who wished to remain anonymous.

DU Beat tried reaching out to the Students’ Union and the authorities, but received no response as they state that “matters are underway”. As the GBM progressed, a clear outcome could not be induced. Rather, it was put forth that the upcoming GBM would again draw light upon this very issue. It was further added that a petition or form would be circulated to the students to take into account their mandate. A concrete answer to the question of the conformity of installation of CCTV cameras and its judiciousness remains unanswered.

Feature Image Credits: Lady Shri Ram College Website

Priyanshi Banerjee

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