Threat assessment threatening privacy

This fall semester, Millersville has instituted yet another task force to monitor student behavior because of the terrible way the school dealt with the lock down last April and called it the “Threat Assessment Team.”

It’s not enough that the university has local Millersville Borough police and its own university police to oversee students, no; they also need a team specifically designated to do the same job with a different name.

The Threat Assessment Team will, according to the email sent out to students on September fourth, “Receive information that may suggest a person poses a threat of harm to themselves or others.” This sounds awfully similar to a 911 call. Furthermore, considering the frequent “Timely Warnings” posted last year, is another watchdog really necessary to inform the student body that people act odd sometimes?

I’m sure it’s “incumbent”- see  improper use in the TAT email- for students to be wary of more stories like, “A male was engaging in suspicious and possibly alarming activity… placing his finger and thumb in a manner to simulate a gun next to his head” (Timely Warning Oct. 23 2007). In any case, where was I when Millersville turned into a police state?

The new cameras in dorms, watching groggy students meander the halls in mornings and squint walking to the bathroom at night, apparently have a direct feed to the police stations and university security. I don’t know about other students, but I’m not comfortable knowing that when I scratch my butt the police are watching.

The worst is that in some dorms the windows have had their latches ripped off so that they can’t open even the tiniest bit, despite brochures for dorms that advertise opening windows. This not only raises concerns about false advertising but also about safety hazards.

What kind of threat does an open window with a screen pose? “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Just some food for thought.