During the first semester of 2018, information regarding hidden cameras in restrooms on campus was posted on Dankook University’s (DKU) Facebook page and to the online community ‘Everytime’. According to the source, hidden cameras were said to be in the restrooms of Humanities Hall, Business and Economics Hall, College of Engineering–Building, and the Performing Arts Hall. The Student Council of DKU responded by announcing a full investigation into the matter. Despite this response, students have been left with a nagging feeling of absolute panic as they feel the investigation and results have not been properly handled.
This is an accurate timeline of the events surrounding this matter according to interviews conducted by the Dankook Herald (DKH).
In March 2018, the Student Steering Committee and DKU Headquarters held a joint conference regarding campus sexual violence and related crimes. At the time, the Student Council and the Human Rights Center announced the creation of a hotline for the prevention of sexual harassment and assault as a means to address any incidents in an effective manner.
On May 13th, 2018, the Student Welfare Committee investigated toilets in the dormitories, the library, Hyedang Hall, Beomjeong Hall, and Western Hall. No hidden cameras were found.
|▲ The Student Welfare Committee facebook|
On June 18th, another post appeared about hidden cameras in the Humanities Hall and the Business and Economics Hall restrooms on the community page Everytime.
On June 19th, a post about a hidden camera in the Performing Arts Hall’s men’s restroom was uploaded on Wormad, an anti-male site. On the same day, the College of Business & Economics Council investigated all restrooms in the Business and Economics Hall but found no evidence of any recording devices in any of the restrooms in question.
On June 20th, the Student Council of the College of Humanities also investigated their building’s restrooms and reported no evidence of any hidden cameras. However, they did note a space where hidden cameras could be placed in men’s restroom. Limitations on a hidden camera’s radar meant the Student Council representatives were unsure it would actually work from that location. The Student Council of College of Arts & Design also investigated their building’s restroom on the same day. They found two suspicious areas, the corner of men’s changing room on the second floor in Performing Arts Hall and the first floor of the women’s restroom next to the Dept. of Ceramic Arts in the Arts Hall, but admitted they couldn’t find any hidden cameras in either area.
As a result of this hidden camera scandal, DKU’s response will be divided between the individual college councils and the DKU Student Council. At the college level, each college council is required to purchase a hidden camera detector, so that they may investigate vulnerable sites regularly during the semester and keep the students informed of the results. At the University Student Council level, they will conduct a search over the rest of the school property at the beginning of the semester. This includes buildings using by all students such as Hyedang Hall and the library and the results will be posted on their Facebook page. In addition, upon receiving tips regarding hidden cameras, the Student Council will notify the college immediately and take the necessary action. On June 21st, the Student Council, the Human Rights Center, the General Affairs Team, and the Safety Management Team held a joint meeting to discuss what measures needed to be taken to ensure the security of the campus restrooms. As a result of the meeting, all parties decided to turn over the investigation into the online posts to the police. They also agreed that the University Student Council and the Student Councils of each college will inspect their buildings in search of any hidden cameras. In other words, if Dankookians (students of DKU) report a suspicious place on the DKU website VOC, school headquarters will investigate right away.
In order to set up preventative measures, the Student Council will conduct joint hidden camera detection searches along with the college councils in other school buildings. Furthermore, the publisher of the photos of the hidden cameras that were raised in the first semester is being investigated and the head of the Human Rights Center has already given statements about the series of cases to the police.
The Student Council announced, in conjunction with the Budget Team and Security Management that restroom renovations were undertaken during the summer months to block any holes or gaps where hidden cameras could conceivably be installed. After the construction is complete, any suspicious areas are to be reported immediately. They have also asked for the cooperation of the campus restroom cleaners. To further quell fears, the Student Council also said that they will conduct inspections randomly and as often as possible. However, despite these best efforts, there is still a lack of resources required to provide a more thorough investigation by the Student Council. Moreover, even though investigations using hidden camera detectors will take place frequently, students remain skeptical about the reliability and accuracy of the detectors. In order to address this concern, DKU has sought out the help of local police. They are hoping they too will conduct regular checkups of the facilities on campus.
|▲ The Ehwa Womans University is solidifying the silicon to prevent the hidden camera. (Photo by Ehwa Hakbo)|
Meanwhile, the Student Council at Seoul National University recognized the limits of these student-level investigations, so they provided their security guards with hidden camera detection devices and revised their operations manual to include hidden camera detection in the building toilets while on patrol. The results of their investigation are recorded in their security diary and regularly checked by the Student Council, the Budget Team, and the Student Support Department. As such, it is clear that our university needs a more systematic process for a more precautionary system that protects potential victims.
|▲ A police advertisement requesting that citizens report crimes involving hidden cameras. (Photo by The Korea bizwire)|
Last but not least, South Korea has been at war with criminal voyeurism for years and yet hidden camera crimes continue to rise despite the country putting its best efforts into grappling the issue. Equally worrying is that the technological advancements in hidden cameras mean that they now come in the form of harmless objects such as glasses, pens, bottles and so on. DKU is not the only university that has fallen victim to hidden cameras. Seogang University, Korea University, and Sungkyunkwan University, all had their own reports of hidden devices on campus. Awareness needs to be raised in order to protect our own safety, or the matter will become much more serious when these unsolicited videos are posted on social media. Once they are uploaded it is nearly impossible to stop them from spreading and effectively traumatizing the victims. If you suspect or even find any suspicious devices or hidden cameras planted in DKU, Dankookians are encouraged to send a message to the Student Council's Facebook page, or call this number (031-8005-2681), the Human Rights Center, or report it online to the DKU VOC. (http://voc.dankook.ac.kr/tiad/vocm/main.do)
윤진현, 심형석, 신지희, Jane Shak firstname.lastname@example.org