Syracuse Univ. Graduate Raises $94K for Off-Campus Surveillance System
The graduate now works for the school’s Department of Public Safety and raised the money with help from student organizations and private landlords.
Syracuse University graduate Alex Lynch raised $94,000 for off-campus surveillance cameras to be installed in a neighborhood surrounding the school.
Lynch lived in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, known for its large population of SU students, when he attended the school.
He graduated in 2016 from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The surveillance enhancements were part of his Capstone project.
He was subsequently hired by the school’s Department of Public Safety after graduation.
“I just showed them maps and said here’s the crime. They didn’t realize it was such a widespread issue,” said Lynch. “The cameras are essentially a security system for the entire neighborhood.”
In a study conducted by Lynch in 2015, 84 percent of SU students reported feeling safe walking on campus at night while only 18 percent reported feeling safe walking off campus at night.
The university reportedly has 1,100 security cameras installed on campus, landing them in the 10th spot for most cameras per students in the country.
The $94,000 is enough money to purchase necessary equipment for eight cameras, which would be implemented in high-crime areas of the neighborhood.
According to Syracuse police, there were a total of 2,556 reported crimes in the areas of Euclid Avenue and Westcott Street from 2013 to 2015. These crimes included 1,195 larcenies, 480 burglaries, 60 aggravated assaults, 19 rapes and one murder.
$54,000 was raised by student groups while $40,000 was raised by University Hill landlords, according to Syracuse.com.
Getting money from landlords, said Lynch, was easy since the cameras would potentially reduce crimes such as break-ins.
$30,000 of the $40,000 from landlords was donated by Ben Tupper, the owner of 70 rental properties in the area.
“It is my full-time job and focus to provide you safe, affordable housing and an enjoyable off-campus housing experience for my SU and ESF student tenants”, vows Tupper’s rental website. He grew up in the area and has two degrees from SU, according to The Daily Orange.
Before the cameras can be installed, Lynch has to get final approval from the district council, who will cast their votes on Monday.
He received encouraging words from several of its members when he first pitched the plan to the council and Mayor Stephanie Miner.
If the project is approved, the cameras will be linked to the Syracuse Police Department’s surveillance system. The department would be responsible for the maintenance of the cameras.