Second Hack of University CCTV Footage this Week
THE SANTA CLARA
October 13, 2016
BREAKING: Leaked surveillance camera footage showing people vandalizing a campus art installation honoring 43 kidnapped Mexican students has surfaced online.
A group identifying itself as SCUWatch posted the footage on the video-sharing website vidme on Oct. 12, and emailed the link to several members of the campus community on Oct. 13. The leak is the second of its kind this week—CCTV footage showing two students using their own blood to draw on a poster in a Casa Italiana Residence Hall elevator was posted on YouTube on Monday, Oct. 11.
The post on the website is titled: “Santa Clara University Vandalism of The 43 Art Installation” and reads: “A series of clips showing various examples of vandalism and disrespect shown to an art installation honoring the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa on the SCU campus. The worst of the vandalism was not captured by this camera as it was only pointed at the figures for the second weekend of fall quarter. Also included in this are two clips of good samaritans going out of their way to restore the installation. SCUWatch is watching.”
In the last week of September, it came to light that unknown perpetrators had vandalized the art installation, a tribute to 43 students who were kidnapped in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico in 2014. The memorial, which has since been taken down, originally boarded the walkway in front of St. Joseph’s Hall and was erected last year.
The art installation was comprised of 43 black-painted wooden silhouettes of people and a forty-fourth silhouette constructed out of a mirror, inviting people to imagine themselves as one of the students, who all attended a teacher’s college.
The clips of the leaked CCTV footage are in chronological order based on the date and timestamps included on the top left-hand corner of each video. Although the acts of vandalism are apparent in the video, it is difficult to make out the facial features and other identifying characteristics of the perpetrators because of how the camera is positioned.
In the first video, one person sticks their arm out and clotheslines the wooden figures, hitting several of them one by one—it is timestamped Sept. 19 at 9:48 p.m. In another clip timestamped at 11:35 p.m. on Sept. 20, a person is seen jumping up into the air and karate-chopping one of the figures, causing it to shift and almost fall down from its post.
One clip shows an individual stumbling through the walkway between the art installation, proceeding to punch one of the wooden figures and then promptly running away on Sept. 23 at 11:40 p.m., just minutes after one of the other figure was karate chopped.
In the next video, timestamped on Sept. 23 at 9:43 p.m., someone is shown picking up one of the wooden figures from its post and throwing it on the ground. Right after, another person rushes over to the figure, picking it back up and attempting to position it back to how it used to be.
In the second-to-last clip, which is timestamped at 11:42 p.m. on Sept. 23, a person punches one of the figures and stumbles over it, completely flattening the wooden figure. The last clip, which was captured less than 30 minutes later, shows two individuals approaching the flattened figure and attempting to pick it up and put it in the proper location.
The origin of the leak remains unknown. The university also continues to investigate the leaked CCTV footage from Casa, as Jeanne Rosenberger, vice provost for Student Life and dean of Students, stated in an email to the university community on Oct. 12 in an update about the response to the vandalism in the residence hall.
“The university is working to determine how surveillance video from the ongoing confidential investigation was disseminated without authorization,” Rosenberger said in the email. “The university uses limited video surveillance to protect our students, faculty, staff, and guests while respecting their privacy.”
In response to the leaked footage depicting the vandalization of the memorial, Rosenberger said that Campus Safety and Information Technology “continue to take the lead” on the investigation surrounding the leak of the CCTV footage.
“We continue to be very concerned about how this information is being disseminated,” Rosenberger said.
Contact Sophie Mattson at smattson@ scu.edu or call (408) 554-4849.