Faculty fights HVCC’s plan to install cameras in science labs

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some faculty members are raising a red flag over Hudson Valley Community College’s plan to install surveillance cameras inside the science wing.

School administrators and faculty are trying to strike a balance between privacy and security.

There are more than 100 of them across campus—a security measure that HVCC’s director of public safety calls indispensable.

“To us, they’re just a valuable tool; they’re additional eyes and ears for crime prevention,” said Fred Alberti.

And in his years at HVCC, the former police officer says they achieve it.

“The few incidents we’ve had, we’re able to investigate property with the use of cameras,” said Alberti.

But now a plan to expand the use of security cameras inside science labs has been met with backlash by some members of faculty.

“It’s rare that we have disagreements, but we’re happy to have this process to reach a resolution,” said.

Dennis Kennedy, a school spokesperson, says the administration is in active communication with the Faculty Association—the president of which has declined to comment.

“The labs make a lot of sense due to the materials that are used in the labs, due to the types of activity to happen in labs,” said Kennedy.

The cameras record video only, no audio, and aren’t constantly monitored.

“I don’t have enough staff to watch hundreds at the same time every minute.”

It’s not just faculty that will be on camera but students too.

“It is kind of an invasion of privacy, but at the same time, if there is a lot going on in the classrooms that shouldn’t be going on, then they should use them,” said Ryan Bradt, a second year at HVCC.

“I don’t think it invades students’ privacy to the fullest extent,” said Mamou Diallo, a first year student at HVCC.

“The fact that we’re being monitored literally by everything at all times is a little unsettling to me,” said Matthew Kuhnel, a first year student at HVCC.

Kennedy says hearings with the union will continue, and a decision should be made in the next few weeks.

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