A.  Purpose of this Policy

The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of electronic surveillance at Valley City State University. For purposes of this policy, electronic surveillance is defined as observing or listening to persons, places, or activities in an unobtrusive manner with the aid of electronic devices such as video cameras, microphones, digital video recorders or network scanning systems. 

This policy applies to all students and employees, as well as, personnel of affiliated organizations conducting business on the properties owned or controlled by Valley City State University (hereafter VCSU). 

B.  Purposes of Electronic Surveillance

1. The use of electronic surveillance at VCSU is limited to the following purposes:

  1. To deter criminal activity.
  2. To deter violations of VCSU and North Dakota University System policies.
  3. To assist in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity and violations of VCSU and North Dakota University System policies.
  4. To assist in the investigation of accidents and to address safety issues.
  5. To identify individuals seeking entry into restricted locations.
  6. To verify authorized use and to identify unauthorized use of VCSU identification cards for the following purposes: to access buildings, restricted rooms and events; purchase of items; check out of equipment, books and other items; use of time clocks that record hours worked.
  7. To verify student identity during VCSU course exam proctoring.

2. Using electronic surveillance for purposes not listed above undermines the purpose of these resources and is therefore prohibited.

3. Exceptions and Clarifications:

  1. Computer webcams, computer microphones, telephones, video conferencing and other equipment intended for telecommunication or computing purposes shall not be used for electronic surveillance purposes beyond VCSU course exam proctoring, without the written consent of the individuals under surveillance and adherence to all provisions in this policy.
  2. Surveillance cameras will not be used to evaluate employee performance unless a formal investigation results in a determination that a safety issue may exist. Cameras will not be used to monitor individual students, faculty or staff, except as necessary for a criminal investigation and in accordance with the terms of a warrant.
  3. Selected webcams or surveillance cameras may be configured to publicly communicate data of general interest to all campus users at the discretion of the VPSA, e.g. progress on a construction project and activity in public areas such as a main sidewalk or main hallway of a public building.
  4. Electronic surveillance of K-12 students and associated student teachers on premises not owned by VCSU is exempt from this policy. Contact the appropriate VCSU academic office for applicable policy and procedures.

C.  Deployment of Electronic Surveillance Systems

  1. Authorization to purchase, install and operate an electronic surveillance system shall be obtained from the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA), the Director of Facility Services, and the Chief Information Officer.
  2. The deployment of electronic surveillance is limited to locations that do not violate the reasonable expectations of privacy. Electronic surveillance shall not be implemented in situations where confidential or sensitive information is likely to be recorded and distinguishable. Electronic surveillance shall not be installed inside individual resident hall rooms, individual offices, locker rooms or lavatories; however, doors to these locations may be covered by electronic surveillance.
  3. VCSU will place signs at public entrances to buildings and at multiple outdoor locations indicating the use of electronic surveillance on or within the premises.

D.  Administration of Live Feeds and Recorded Data

  1. Access to the electronic surveillance live feeds and recorded data shall be highly selective. Typically access to both live feeds and recorded data of all surveillance sources shall be limited to the VPSA, Campus IT Security Officer, Network Administrator, Facilities Services Director(s), and the Chief Information Officer.   Employees working in the campus power plant can view live feeds of all outdoor cameras.  The Director of Residence Life can view live and recorded footage of all cameras associated with the resident halls and Memorial Student Center, as well as outdoor cameras focused on parking lots.  The Athletic Director and Assistant Athletic Director can view live and recorded footage of all cameras associated with WE Osmon Field House, Lokken Stadium and other outdoor athletic facilities. The Director of Data Centers and Virtualization, Data Center System Administrator, Director of Technology Support Services, and the Service Desk Support Specialist can view live and recorded footage of cameras in the Technology Service Desk, adjacent loading area and both campus data centers. The VPSA may authorize additional individuals to have access; however that access will typically be limited to specific locations or purposes. Personnel seeking access shall have an agreement titled, "Permission to Access Electronic Surveillance Data" signed by both the individual and the VPSA on file in the VPSA Office. The Campus IT Security Officer will enable/disable access as directed by the VPSA and provide training in the use of the system.
  2. Requests to access recorded data by law enforcement officials and others without direct access to the surveillance system shall be submitted to the VPSA in writing and must include a basis for the request. Any permission granted to system recordings shall be provided by the VPSA in writing. The VPSA permission shall specify the limitations to the access.
  3. No attempt shall ever be made to alter any recording; editing or otherwise altering recorded data, except to enhance quality or to blur images for investigative purposes is prohibited.
  4. Recordings not related to or used for an investigation will be kept strictly confidential and destroyed within (15) days. Data retained for investigations or proceedings will be preserved for three years by the Campus IT Security Officer, unless law enforcement officials or the VPSA recommends a longer retention for a specified segment of data.

E.  Reporting Violations Associated with this Policy and Electronic Surveillance Systems

  1. Suspected or known violations of this policy should be reported to the VPSA. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action and may also result in criminal prosecution.
  2. Any person that tampers with or damages any part of the electronic surveillance system may be subject to prosecution under university policy and under state law. Suspected or known violations should be reported to the VPSA.

Sponsor: Chief Information Officer

Effective: June 2012

Reviewed with revisions: October 2021, December 2021