NOTE: This is our transcribed version of the SCOCC Debate. It is by no means a perfect transcript and should be read and interpreted with a grain of salt.
Tiff Chang: An environmental Econ major from Marin county, CA. She’s running to be SCOCC because she’s really excited for Laurie; SHe has a three-part platform. Within community Council, there are people who don’t talk at all…
Zak FIsher: Junior polisci major from Las Vegas. Two years in the SGA — Midd’s most valuable asset is their sense of community. He wants to keep us surveillance camera free; focus on trust; eliminate pubsafe walk-throughs.
Durga: Junior from Bangalore; involved in a wide variety of campus activities; sexual oversight committee, diversity committee; good grasp on issues; the only candidate currently on community council…
First Question: What’s the purpose of community council?
Durga: CC address non-academic aspects of Middlebury. Recent vote on surveillance cameras outside of dining halls; fire safety fines…represent different aspects of student life. WE right now only have one varsity athlete, one int’l student on CC. She wants a wider variety of people on CC.
Zak: Different groups, diff interest: students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of CC is to unite these three groups. Right now, CC doesn’t do a good job of making sure students know this. A lot of people haven’t heard about CC. Wants to make sure we use CC well as a resource, decide things in a way that involve everyone.
Tiff: Purpose of community council is to funnel ideas from community members, bring them together on issues, pass resolution.s. Wants to improve meeting facilitation to create a sense of trust, make it easier for outsiders to come inside by marketing meetings better. Wants to do more project delegation, get students on CC who have experience pursuing projects, get more done during the year.
What do you think about surveillance cameras on campus?
Zak: I went to the forum on Thursday, and I do have strong opinions about this. One of the reasons I’m happy to fly thousands of miles to be here in VT is because we have a good sense of community….people here trust each other. If we put up a few cameras, maybe we’ll be able to deter a few thefts in the future. I’ve had my guitar and my bike stolen on this campus. But I don’t think that potentially stopping those few thefts is worth having security cameras.. send the message that this isn’t a campus where people trust watch other. Some people grow up in a place where security cameras mean very different things to different people.
Durga: Voted yes on cameras, but clarification: they didn’t recommend that sec. cameras should be put in front of dining halls. Instead, that they should take a vote once they see the document. Ideas that they’ve been throwing around: the cameras would only be near the dining hall cubbies. Footage would only be viewed in the case of a theft. She was originally opposed, but she thinks that it’s important to acknowledge that the people who are stealing are usually not in the college community…She just voted yes on making a more informed decision on the cameras.
How do we know that
Durga: There have been 30 thefts this year….thefts have spiked (seen from pubsafe logs).
Tiff: Empathizes with the people who’ve had computers stolen. Was at the meeting today, and in general cameras can help. Cost benefit analysis: on one hand… for the past ten years, thefts hve been going up. 6-year high-low plan…Costs are high, too. People feel like they’re being watched, like we’re watching for ‘outsiders’. Also really affects marginalized communities. For people of color, a symbol of the police state can make people feel uncomfortable. She wants to bring in all of the stakeholders; people who’d be affected (ask WOC, DMC).