University Policies on Surveillance

The following university policies are the principle policies governing the purchase and operation of surveillance cameras by university affiliates, notwithstanding compliance with applicable state and federal laws regarding video surveillance.

Purchasing Surveillance Equipment

When purchasing surveillance equipment, individual colleges, departments, programs, or organizations will ensure compatibility with the university centralized surveillance system. To that end, Communications Network Services (CNS) has provided a job aid, linked below, offering advice on purchasing surveillance systems that will be compatible with the enterprise-wide system. This job aid is intended to protect departmental investments by providing an interim solution to surveillance, while being mindful of the Safety and Security AUP.

University Policy 5617: Key Points

Surveillance Authorization Process

The use of any surveillance cameras requires prior authorization by the Surveillance Oversight Committee (SOC). Authorization for the procurement and use of said cameras may be obtained by written application to the appropriate dean or vice president. If approved, the application will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for review. The application will then be submitted to the SOC for final review. For a complete listing of the application process, see University Policy 5617.3.

Exceptions to Authorization Process

Surveillance equipment used for research purposes is governed by the Institutional Review Board, and is excluded from University Policy 5617. Recordings of public performances and general use Webcams are also exempt.

Prohibited Surveillance

With the exception of surveillance for law enforcement purposes, surveillance in the following locations is prohibited:

  • Student dormitory rooms in the residence halls

  • Bathrooms

  • Locker rooms

  • Offices

  • Classrooms not used as a lab

Release of Recordings

Requests for the review or release of surveillance recordings to university affiliates should be directed to the Chief of Police. All other requests, including Freedom of Information Act petitions, should be directed to University Relations.

Retention of Recordings

Surveillance records shall not be stored by individual departments. All surveillance records shall be stored in a secure university centralized location for a period of 15 days.

Contact

Address
330 Sterrett Drive (0523)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Emergency
911

Non-Emergency
540-382-4343
Online Report Form

General Information
540-231-6411

Safe Ride
540-231-7233 (SAFE)

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