A security camera, mounted on the wall of the second and third floor hallways outside of the girls’ restroom, is a new feature installed in an attempt to discover who is vandalizing the restrooms.
An unknown person has repeatedly thrown rolls of toilet paper into the toilets, creating difficulties for those who use and clean the restrooms.
“The vandalism had gotten to a point where the faculty needed to protect the facilities and the students,” Director of Student Life Devin DeMartini Cooke said. “Hopefully the camera itself will be a deterrent.”
The cameras are designed to track bathroom entry and exit. The footage will only be viewed if needed, and nothing beyond the restroom doorway is visible, DeMartini Cooke wrote in a school wide email.
All students were notified of the installation through an email from DeMartini Cooke earlier this week.
“I really respect that the school sent out an all school email telling us about the cameras. That was really honest and respectful of them,” sophomore Samantha Stovell said. “But there is a very fine line between keeping the community safe and installing invasive surveillance — I feel like it’s getting very Orwellian.”
Some students say the cameras make them feel uncomfortable.
“I actually saw the camera when I was walking to the bathroom,” sophomore Izzy Gutierrez said. “Yes, you have to go to extreme lengths to figure out who is vandalising the school, but I also feel that it is a major invasion of our privacy.”
These are not the first cameras on campus, as the Main Hall and staircases have been monitored for two years, according to DeMartini Cooke.
“Convent is a place where people feel comfortable,” Stovell said. “I feel like I’m being watched or spied, but at the same time I understand that there is an issue going on.”
DeMartini Cooke encouraged any student with additional information about the vandalism to contact herself, Head of School Rachel Simpson or any teacher on the Student Support team.