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Marshall Student Center installs two webcams

Students can view the new Marshall Student Center (MSC) in more than one way — visiting in person or just logging on to the center’s Web site.

Two webcams, one in the atrium and the other overlooking the outside plaza, show live feeds of the area. The atrium camera was installed at the beginning of the spring semester and the plaza camera was put up about a month ago, said Brian Schulte, communications and marketing officer for the MSC.

The plaza camera took longer to install due to technical difficulties, he said.

Since the webcams were part of the original construction plan for the building, Schulte said the MSC did not need extra funding to buy them.

He said $4,000 in the construction budget was allocated for the webcams, $2,000 for each camera.

“Student centers across the country have webcams,” Schulte said. “Students and alumni love seeing the projects and progress around the school.”

Schulte said the idea for the webcams was his and Joe Synovec’s, the director of the MSC. The initial plan was to install both cameras before the construction began to record the building’s progress.

Though the cameras were not installed, the University did upload construction videos on Youtube.

Schulte said the webcams only show live feeds and do not record.

“The atrium [camera] is the main part and we can pan it out to get a bigger view,” he said. “The two locations can give a broader scope to take a peek at what’s going on.”

Schulte said there are no plans to install more cameras.

Students voiced differing views about webcams.

“It doesn’t bother me,” said Christian Bengtson, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences. “It’s a cool thing, because you can see what is going on.”

One student, however, did not share Bengtson’s attitude.

“I don’t know if a lot of people know that there are cameras in here,” said Elaine Jean-Pierre, a junior majoring in nursing. “It’s almost like invasion of privacy, because I could be sitting with my friends and there is a camera watching what we are doing.”

Angel Herrera, a senior majoring in civil engineering, said the cameras may help make the MSC safer.

“It’s actually good because it helps in the case of security,” he said. “I don’t mind it.”

The webcams can be viewed at msc.usf.edu/webcams.htm.