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Ongoing debate in UA community about security cameras on campus

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat

Adding more security cameras around campus has been widely debated, especially after the death of a University of Arizona student near the Cherry Avenue garage.

University of Arizona student, Forrest Keys, died during a shooting at the Cherry Avenue garage on Saturday, Feb. 20. A petition was made shortly after the shooting to install security cameras in all of the entrances and exits of garages on campus. The petition also wants to push for cameras on every level of the garages.

The owner of the original petition took it down after it had received over 8,000 signatures. 

UA student Mia Sterenberg made a statement on the petition saying, “while there were good intentions with this petition, there are harsh realities that need to be addressed in our country and community. Specifically, how surveillance has been used as a tool of weaponization against the Black community.”

The comment section turned into a debate of whether security cameras should be on campus or if they do more harm than good.  

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“I have been in contact with the Coalition of Black Students and Allies on the University of Arizona’s campus that has helped guide and inform my decision to delete this petition permanently,” Sterenberg added.

The petition has since been taken over by Lukas Pakter, a member of Zeta Beta Tau and fellow fraternity brother of Keys. 

“I honestly just believe it’s the right thing to do and I want to do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again. Right now, that means spreading awareness and getting support,” Pakter stated. 

The petition’s goal is to get to 25,000 signatures. Students shared in the comments of the petition how security cameras would make them feel safer on campus. 

Rene Arriaga, a UA Police Department officer, could not disclose any information on where security cameras are located on campus due to the ongoing investigation. 

“UAPD would always like to see more cameras in and around campus,” Arriaga stated via email. 

The petition has sparked a conversation about many issues that occur in the garages such as theft, attacks and shootings. At this time there have been no updates on whether or not more security cameras will be added to the garages. 

“This is a small change that can make a big difference," Pakter stated on the petition.


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Updated September 22, 2021