By: Colin Macfarlane
Last year there were maybe three visible video cameras on campus. Two in the academic quad prevented me from peeing on the Bennie “The Bleeder” Rush statue and one random video camera kept me from caring about some old dude painting in the library. With such limited security, I still felt I had a great balance of campus safety and unrestricted freedom.
Then I arrived at Dickinson this semester and discovered that there must have been some elaborate Carlislilian gang heist over the summer because there are video cameras everywhere! How am I supposed to awkwardly hook up in the Morgan stairwells with a camera hovering over my shoulder? They are scattered around the library, perched and waiting at every dorm entrance and obnoxiously positioned pretty much everywhere in the HUB. How did we go from 3 cameras to 100? And who is even watching all that film?
I decided to dig deeper into our distinctly Dickinsonian voyeur system by infiltrating DPS’s surveillance room over at Kaufman. I started by working on a clever series of disguises depicting Durden’s grandson, Lee Tankle’s ghost, and the Deli C rent-a-cop to get past security. Then I remembered that Kaufman is such a shanty, off the tracks, psychology student storage room that it has no security. So I simply waltzed in, saw that all the DPS officers were off sending alcoholic first years to the Carlisle Hospital, and made my way towards the video surveillance room.
I entered the control room and checked out the twenty or so flashing monitors when my jaw hit the floor. Had I discovered Dickinson’s dirtiest secret? Under a false pretense of protection, the college had built up one of the most successful adult spy sites on the Internet. In these troubling economic times, pornography and voyeurism may be the only way to save our beloved college institution! I logged into go-hard-big-dickinsons.com and discovered that 4.2 million people actively view such streams as “Ladies of the HUB,” “Awkward Depot Dances,” and “What Happens in the East Asian Studies Room, Stays in the East Asian Studies Room.” Hits piled on for weekly footage favorites like, “Yes, I Do Own a Longboard. And Yes, That Does Make Me Special,” and “The Health Center Condom Bowl: Livestream.” With quality entertainment like this, even I was compelled to sign up for the yearly membership.
The great minds at Dickinson should be commended for their bravery in putting forth such an ingenious surveillance program to both deter crime and bring in record endowments to the college. You can rest assured that every time you flash one of those inconspicuous video cameras that you are putting food on the table for this community! Each common room hook-up is just another heroic step forward in funding for sustainability, study abroad programs, and clubs for your peers. Every naked run through the hallways is really just a way to say that you care. So next time you worry about the hundreds of video cameras recording your private social life, just ask yourself one thing: do you care about Dickinson College at all?