Facebook has blown up today about the new Eagle Eye live feed.
On iTech’s website, there is a tab called “Eagle Eye” where anyone is able to watch a live feed of Starbucks, The Thad Cochran Center in front of Fresh Food Company and Scianna Hall, the new College of Business building.
The Eagle Eye live feed for Starbucks and the Fresh Food Company got up and running around Nov. 22. Scianna Hall’s camera has been there since the beginning of construction 6-9 months ago.
The Scianna Hall camera was to first allow individuals to watch the progess of the new College of Buisness building being built. The camera also takes still shots every five minutes. Once the project is complete, they will be able to combine the still shots to show the building progress.
The other two cameras were installed to show potential students and faculty members what’s going on at USM.
University Provost, Denis Wiesenburg, said the cameras are innovative.
“We wanted to show potential new students what being a student at USM looks like. The live feed of two heavily student populated places was the most innovative way to do that,” Wiesenburg said.
He said the cameras and feed are not an unusual thing.
“Ole Miss has a few cameras, Auburn does too – it’s not unusual to have cameras showing off a college campus. In fact, it was unusual for USM to not have them,” Wiesenburg said.
“We are working on getting a few more cameras set up in outdoor areas to show off the beauty of our campus,” he added. “We really just want potential students, faculty, or staff members to see what The University of Southern Mississippi’s campus and student body looks like.”
He said this is not like ‘Big Brother’ or for crime-related reasons.
“We certainly don’t want people to think that ‘Big Brother’ is watching them or that crime has increased on anything of that nature,” Wiesenburg said. “This is simply to market the beauty that is USM.”
Many students have voiced concerns over the new cameras and live feed.
Shelby Inloes, a junior nursing major, said the cameras have no purpose.
“I believe the cameras are doing no good. If they were put up for security reasons, I understand, but only if it was to be viewed by authority,” she said. “I see no reason why cameras would need to be put up for just anyone to view online. It seems creepy.”
Others seem to like the idea.
Anne Griffis, a senior marine biology major said she feels safer with the cameras and live feed.
“I grew up overseas where cameras and a feed like this is a normal thing,” she said. “So, having them on campus makes me feel more secure due to the fact that when people know they are being watched, they tend to act more virtuous.”
Some students find the cameras as an opportunity.
Connor Holland, a junior entertainment industry major, said he is excited to see how people will take advantage of the cameras.
“I think the cameras are harmless, Holland said. “Would I have done it? No. It is a little bit creepy for sure, but it isn’t in our dorm rooms or anything.”
“This could be a fun opportunity,” he added. “People could organize flash mobs, or just whatever fun scheme they could think of.”
Some students think they’re convenient. Cierra Hodo, a senior entertainment industry major, said it helps her know how long lines are.
“If you have a packed schedule like me, it’s convenient to be able to see how long the line in Starbucks is before you go,” she said. “If you want to use it for creepy purposes, that’s your prerogative and if you’re worried about people watching you, don’t give them a show.”
Wiesenburg added if students have a concern, the best way to approach the situation is to go to the Student Government Association.
“We’d love to hear opinions from students because they are very important to us. If the SGA can collect concerns or opinions, we’d love to address them,” Wiesenburg said.
To see the live feed, visit usm.edu/iTech/eagle-eye.