Have you ever tripped on the perpetually broken escalators in University Hall? Or cried on the LeVecke Bridge after completely bombing a final? Or nearly drowned after being thrown into the birthday fountain? Well, odds are anyone watching LMU’s Lioncams witnessed your humiliation.
The Lioncams stream a 24/7 live video feed from 10 campus locations directly to the university’s website and Youtube channel — those locations include the first level of University Hall, the Alumni Mall, the school’s Lincoln Blvd. entrance, and the Tongva Memorial — we see you, cigarette smokers!
Live Lioncam │ LaVecke Bridge
Mason Stockstill, the interim director of Media and Public Relations at LMU, explained that the Lioncams are installed “mainly to show off the beauty of LMU’s location.” Stockstill added, “prospective students, their families, or visitors planning to come to campus can use them to catch a quick look at campus life.”
Although the Lioncams are not super easy to find on LMU’s website or social media accounts, the live footage captured by the cameras is accessible to anyone who happens to come across the link — not just to people affiliated with LMU. Although Stockstill didn’t know exactly when the cams went live, he did say that they’ve been broadcasting for at least a decade.
Live Lioncam │ University Hall
Because LMU is a private university, it is legal for the institution to record around its premises — allowing Lioncams to film students without their knowledge. This unawareness is a recurring theme for students when asked whether or not they knew they were being watched by the Lioncams.
Live Lioncam │ Sunken Garden
Sara Lighthart, a junior screenwriting major, had no prior knowledge that the Lioncams even existed.
“I think it’s really weird that anybody can hop on and watch me,” she said. “It’s disrespectful to the privacy of the students who go here.”
Kaila Vyemura and Eliza Segal are both freshman studio art majors who don’t see the need for the Lioncams.
“If they wanted to showcase the beauty of the campus, they could make a compilation of videos,” said Vyemura.
“It’s kind of creepy,” Segal added.
On the other hand, Elena Orozco, a junior computer science major, says she finds the existence of the Lioncams entertaining — and an excuse to up her game.
“I’m fine with it,” she said. “I’m going to act more cool now that I know I’m being filmed.”