Is privacy an issue on Humber Residence?

Cross-posted on

In a matter of seconds, our every move can be recorded without even knowing it and in minutes can be uploaded and spread to the world with the push of a button.  Social networking and technology has taken over.

Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, in New Jersey committed suicide on September 22, 2010 after being secretly filmed by his roommate while having sex with another man. The video was allegedly streamed over the internet without his knowledge.

“It’s an invasion of privacy, so even to film someone with a normal camera and a normal setting, you need consent,” said Derek Quinn, a justice studies student at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Resident Life Coordinator, Phil Legate said Humber Residence is not considered a public building. Only students and staff who have an access card are able to enter. Students who want or need to film in the building must ask for permission before doing so.

Jeremy Johnston, a third-year kinesiology student at GH who lives in a shared suite at Humber Residence said he and his roommate have not come up with ground rules in terms of privacy because there really is no need. “I’m a pretty open guy. I don’t really have anything to hide like that. I have very few borders.” In the T building at Humber Residence, there are approximately 300 shared suites.

“Rumors spread fast, people hear things they shouldn’t. It’s to be expected though when you live in close proximity to so many people, peers at that, for 8 months with very little time apart,” said Johnston.

According to the Humber Residence website, they ‘strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students to thrive in academically, socially and personally’.

Legate said there are security cameras surrounding residence except for places like lounges. “I can think of one example of a privacy issue but typically there aren’t many issues,” he said.

If any situation required police investigation, such as the case with Clementi, Legate said “it is usually a matter that is taken out of Residence Life hands. Typically this type of response would involve collaboration amongst Humber’s Public Safety department, Humber security and local police services.” The Residence Life staff are a part of the department “Student Success and Engagement” (formerly Student Services).

Clementi’s body is still missing and both classmates face up to 5 years in jail.


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