North Carolina State U. Officials Put Cameras Inside Frat Houses to Watch Students

The university defended the cameras as an important aspect of safety policy


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North Carolina State University is treating its students like zoo animals. The administration installed video cameras in several fraternities—ostensibly for security reasons, but students residing in one of the houses have complained that the cameras can see into their living space.

NCSU's security plan requires cameras at the entrances to all buildings on university property, which includes several fraternities, according to Campus Reform.

But in at least one of the houses, there are cameras in common areas that can see into private living spaces. The students living in the house are concerned that the angles of some of the cameras make it possible for university officials to see into their bedrooms.

This is such an obvious and appalling violation of students' privacy rights, I'm shocked that university administrators would bother trying to defend it. But defend it they did.

"Video cameras are a part of the university's security plan designed for the protection of students," a spokesperson told Campus Reform. He made assurances that the cameras were "zoomed out" so that they aren't actually a bother to anyone.

Brothers at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house took matters into their own hands and covered up some of the cameras. In response, the administration demanded to know the names of the perpetrators so that they could be reported for violating the code of conduct.

The university's behavior is disgusting. While fraternity houses occasionally play host to sexual violence and lawbreaking, that's no excuse for routinely depriving fraternity members of their privacy. Indeed, the idea that university officials can watch these guys all day long is more than a little perverse.

If sorority sisters were the targets of this kind of spying, I suspect everyone would immediately recognize the policy as akin to sexual harassment (the Title IX accusations would surely fly). The fact that some young men are the victims here should make absolutely no difference.