Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts, has announced plans to install 400 surveillance cameras in an effort to catch students in the act of committing hate crimes.
According to a report from the College Fix, Westfield State University has approved an initiative that will result in 400 surveillance cameras being installed around campus to capture students committing hate crimes. The initiative came as a result of a string of incidents that involved racist notes being slipped under student’s dorm room doors and into their mailboxes.
In one instance “three males reportedly approached the woman from behind and the shoulder of one of the males ‘checked or bumped her,’ knocking her backpack to the ground,” reported a local Massachusetts news outlet. “A second male then reportedly kicked the backpack and a third male ‘made a threatening racist comment to her.’”
In another incident, “a senior at Westfield State shared a photo on social media alleging someone wrote “n****** live here” on a name tag taped to her door,” the local outlet reported. “The alleged incident reportedly happened in New Hall, a housing complex on campus for sophomore, junior and senior students. ”
Just this weekend, a bomb threat message was found in one of Westfield State’s residential halls. “A bomb threat message found in Scanlon Hall prompted the evacuation of that residence hall at 2:30 a.m. The Massachusetts State Police, City of Westfield Police, and Westfield State University Police responded to the incident and completed a search of the building with bomb-sniffing canines,” the university reported on their website. Students returned to their rooms at 5:10 a.m. after no threat was found.
According to an email sent to students, the decision to install the cameras came as a response to the recent spike in concerning behavior on campus. “The purpose of this initiative [cameras] is to provide our community and the department of public safety with another tool to address, and possibly prevent, the continuation of hateful and destructive acts that have disrupted our living and learning environment,” the email read.
Many students praised the initiative, claiming that the cameras will aid in deterring the kind of behavior that has seen an increase over the calendar year. “This campus is really small and for all this nonsense to be happening on a campus this small is absurd. I think the security cameras will be really helpful,” one student said.
“I thought it was crazy at first, but when reading into it a little bit, I think its necessary. It doesn’t really affect me personally, but I’m glad they’re doing something about this racism stuff on campus,” another offered.