U considers banning camera cell phones in locker rooms

Branden Peterson

Technology improvements have allowed cell phones to carry new functions – such as cameras that allow users to secretly photograph objects in front of them while appearing to dial a number.

However, people’s ability to snap photos without others knowing has some health clubs concerned that camera-phone users could photograph other patrons undressing or showering in locker rooms.

Life Time Fitness signs ban photographic devices in locker rooms.

An official said last week the University recreation center is beginning to consider the issue after learning about other institutions’ concerns.

Jim Turman, the assistant vice president for the Department of Recreational Sports, said no complaints have been filed for cell phone misuse.

“We’re concerned about it, but we haven’t had time to deal with the policy,” Turman said.

If the Recreational Sports Department applied a policy on cell phone use in the recreation center, Turman said, he was unsure how it could be enforced.

The University is also unsure whether it can legally make any policy that might limit use of the phones, Turman said.

Surveillance cameras record people in the recreation center’s front-desk area, gyms and isolated areas such as the tunnels, but Turman said there are no video cameras in the locker rooms.

Turman said a department management team will likely discuss the issue at the Student Affairs Advisory Council meeting Wednesday.

The Recreational Sports Advisory Board considers any policy changes; its next meeting is later this month.

Students said they did not care whether officials banned cell phone use in the recreation center.

John Goyde, a computer science graduate student, said although he uses the recreation center at least five times per week, he has not seen people using cell phones in the locker rooms.

Statistics professor Charles Geyer said with technology

improving and constantly getting smaller, it might be a good move for the University to ban the cameras now.

Even if people want to use phones to take pictures in locker rooms, marketing junior Tara Hammer said she is not concerned.

“They don’t take that great of pictures anyways,” she said.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.