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Student Senate zooms in on security camera, safety needs


Video by Grace McDonald, Traeton Harimon and Kolton Maturey

The Student Senate is looking into purchasing more security cameras for UNK. The UNK Police Department currently has under 200 cameras scattered across campus.

The goal is to improve students’ safety and also their feeling of safety.

“Student Government became interested in getting more security cameras on campus due to conversations with students that revealed that not all students feel safe on campus,” said Emily Saadi, student body president. “We want campus to be a home for all students during their time at UNK, and every student deserves to feel safe in their own home. So it is our highest priority to do everything we can to ensure that our students are as safe as they can be on our campus.”

Chancellor Doug Kristensen promised his office would match each dollar spent by the Student Government on security cameras. Representatives from Student Government are also working alongside the UNK Police Department and Facilities. 

The collaborative team is looking into different camera options that are both beneficial and cost-effective.

“I’m very comfortable with the cameras that we have now for our students’ safety,” said Jim Davis, UNK Police chief. “But there are always nooks and crannies that I’d like to have cameras in. The crimes of opportunity are the things that we would like to use these new cameras to keep an eye on.” 

Infographic made by Bailee Sterling

Purchasing more security cameras is just one of the many steps being taken. The UNK Police Department and the Student Senate are looking into further ways to deter criminals and improve safety.

“Additional measures are being taken, including Facilities updating automated door access to all academic and residential buildings,” Saadi said. “Further, we are looking into updating lighting on campus and awareness of cameras through signs with the goal of crime deterrence.”

These cameras are not intended to violate privacy but rather to be utilized retroactively in the case of a crime. If students have any safety concerns, they are encouraged to reach out to the Student Government and UNK Police Department.

UNK Police can be reached at 308-865-8911 or dispatched by a 911 operator.

“We want students to feel that they have all the tools that they need to be safe and they’re not afraid to use those tools,” Davis said. “We as your law enforcement agency want to make sure that number one, you’re safe, number two, you’re successful and number three, you graduate and are very proud of your school.”

Audio by Kolton Maturey

Photo Story by Kolton Maturey and Traeton Harimon

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