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Saturday, October 25, 2014

MSA, RHA members support camera installation

RHA Vice President Chris Rucker cited the graffiti incident at Hatch Hall to show the benefits of having cameras.

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A camera is perched outside Hawthorn Residence Hall. The Missouri Students Association passed a resolution that will be voted on Tuesday by other student organizations in hopes to implement cameras in older residence halls.

James Militello/Senior Staff Photographer

At the joint session meeting Wednesday, members of the Missouri Students Association and the Residence Hall Association will present their resolution to support installing cameras outside residence halls.

"The resolution stemmed from the rape incident at Laws earlier this semester, and that is why we want to potentially install cameras outside the residence halls,” MSA Student Affairs Chairman Tyler Ricketts said.

RHA Vice President Chris Rucker said the resolution is in support of initiating the process for installing cameras outside the residence halls.

"We've been talking about future plans for putting cameras outside the residence halls, and we want to fast-track that process,” Rucker said.

Ricketts said the cameras would deter crime and supply the resources to find suspects of crimes.

"The safety of students is paramount,” Ricketts said. “We are advocates for student safety."

Ruckers said the graffiti incident at Hatch Hall showed how beneficial cameras were when it came to student safety.

“We've seen what could be done with the Hatch incident and finding the suspect, and more cameras would allow us to do that again,” Rucker said.

MSA has already passed the resolution, and it was presented to the Policy and Rules Committee on Monday evening at the RHA meeting. RHA will vote on the resolution at the joint session meeting.

“We want to encourage Residential Life to invest more in installing cameras," Ricketts said.

There was an option to put wireless Internet in all the rooms in the residence halls, but that idea has been put on the back burner because rooms already have a connection to the MU network through the ethernet, Rucker said.

“Right now, it looks like we must choose one over the other, but the other will not be crossed out for the future," RHA Treasurer Connor Wangler said.

Wangler said people are more concerned with safety than they are about Wi-Fi and installing cameras is a great way to improve safety on campus.

"A lot of rooms already have Wi-Fi, and the safety of residents far outweighs Wi-Fi,” Wangler said. “We are not against Wi-Fi, and it isn't ruled out.”

Rucker said safety is more important than Wi-Fi, but having Wi-Fi in all the rooms is something RHA wants to pursue in the future.

Ricketts said it was not a binding resolution.

“We don't have the authority to actually change anything,” Ricketts said. “We just want to encourage the administration."

Rucker said MSA and RHA both have the same goals, and they want to do what is best for the students.

“We value the safety of residents and students on campus,” Rucker said. “This is our number one goal, and it trumps other luxuries like Wi-Fi."

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