November 23, 2008

Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

Perhaps the strangest blog to hit Vassar debuted a few days ago with a strange message and a huge publicity campaign. WatchVassar is either an activist's critique on the recent suggestion of installing security cameras around campus, or just the efforts of someone with way too much free time.

The blog contains four videos featuring birds-eye-views of popular Vassar locations - the Retreat, the CC North Atrium, and two shots from the library. Two of the clips last 20 seconds, and the other two last 47 seconds. Three of the clips are hand-held, with the camera operator zooming in on a student in one clip. The fourth clip is stationary.

There has been a lot of publicity for the blog, with bright yellow flyers placed around ACDC and the Retreat.

While the purpose of the blog and videos is unclear, the blog states: "Your actions are being closely monitored. Are you safe?"

One comment on the blog cites College Regulation 7.02: "The use of electronic or other device to make an audio or video record of any person while on college premises or during a Vassar College sponsored event without his or her knowledge or prior consent, when such a recording is likely to cause distress, is prohibited."

One Mads reader spotted someone filming the North Atrium from the same position of the clip, although at a different time. If this clip is posted, we'll know who is behind this.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

the only question is why it takes some art students to finally install some cameras on this campus. i don't understand why we can't get some security camera on our gates, and on the outsides of buildings. at the very least it would give security something more concrete to tell the poughkeepsie police after a robbery like last week. then they would be more efficient in catching criminals and sending them to prison where they belong.

Anonymous said...

Now I know why someone was aiming a camera at me from the third floor of Main on Friday.

Anonymous said...

is that supposed to bother me? because it doesn't at all.

Anonymous said...

what's so bad about cameras in public spaces? we SHOULD have security cameras in public spaces.

Anonymous said...

"One Mads reader spotted someone filming the North Atrium from the same position of the clip, although at a different time. If this clip is posted, we'll know who is behind this."

Wait, what do you mean? How will you know?

Anonymous said...

I think this is fascinating. It's obviously calling to attention how people react under a 'big brother' or some kind of surveillance. So far, people don't seem so thrilled. What's the cost? Unsuspected crime and lack of security? Or invasion of privacy (even though these shots are in public, weird paradox) by the use of a camera?

Respire said...

Because I bet they identified the person

Anonymous said...

2:40, i think the problem with these cameras is that they're useless. we should have cameras, like other above me have said, but run by security. not some nutty art student trying to make a profound commentary on whatever. and if cameras make people uncomfortable? who cares. in four years cameras will just seem common and no one will pay any attention. we clearly have issues here with crime and vandalism.

Anonymous said...

Security already patrols the halls and is actively policing us. If they just redirected their efforts to patrolling the actual campus instead of the dorms we wouldn't need the cameras.

Also, I think it's rather fucked up that people who don't want to get caught smoking or something choose to go outside because its less likely they'll run into security. It shouldn't be more likely to see security in the halls than around the campus.

The armed robbery wasn't in a dorm, but I'll bet security was when it happened.

Anonymous said...

obvs a media studies final project -- calm down.

Anonymous said...

yeah,that's what i was just about to say it's probably an approaches to media studies project considering that there is a group who wants to do something exactly like this.

Anonymous said...

those videos are yawn city. Besides, If I'm in the College Center/Retreat/outside I expect to be watched. What claim of privacy do I have to what is clearly visible to everyone in public. LAME.

Anonymous said...

can we get some videos in the boys swim team locker room? HOTTTT

Anonymous said...

oh and lets add some for the boys lacrosse and soccer teams. yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Anonymous said...

i mean...video cameras don't bother me..but posting videos ONLINE for everyone to watch really freaks me out

Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less about the videos. Like a commenter pointed out on the site... it's not like the college center is a "private place" so I think if this is some sort of project to "make people more aware" or something like that, it's sorta pointless. Oh, it's also illegal.

What DOES creep me out, alot, is the language used on the site. I hope the college tracks down whoever posted it and makes sure that they are just a misguided hipster trying desperately to "make a difference" and not a psychopath.

Anonymous said...

Someone should get videos of the Frisbee team naked... oh wait...

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, 8:07, that is the best idea I have read in a long time! Sometimes I go for swims just so I can watch the men's dive team practice. Soooo dreamy...

Anonymous said...

Betcha the kid who had the gun stuck in his face would have liked a camera around during his robbery.
If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. I think cameras FOR SECURITY PURPOSES is a GREAT idea. The UK did it and thats how they ID'd the Tube bombers.
We live in a crappy world, so we need to monitor the creeps

Anonymous said...

who will watch the watchers?

Anonymous said...

quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

it sounds better in latin, yo

Respire said...

The people behind WatchVassar are tabling in the College Center right now

Stop by and find out for yourself