Amidst a growing nationwide resistance to facial recognition on college campuses, school administrators at Michigan’s Oakland Community College (OCC) are blocking students’ organizing efforts to prevent the technology from being adopted.
Last week, the school’s administrators canceled a forum event where the ACLU of Michigan and Detroit Justice Coalition were scheduled to speak on the subject. OCC’s administrators have also blocked attempts by the student government to pass non-binding resolutions that would ban the use of facial recognition on campus.
“The College does not presently utilize facial recognition technology,” the Associate Deans of Student Service wrote in a “reminder” to the organizers after canceling their forum event. “If, at some time in the future, we were to acquire this software (facial recognition), the College would adopt and establish appropriate and legal guidelines for its use.”
In an email to campus organizers, the school’s associate deans also emphasized that “Student Government (and all Recognized Organizations) will not be considering this subject further.” The statement goes on to say that “future [student group] meeting agendas (and all Recognized Student Organization agendas) will be rejected if this item is included.”
In response to administrators canceling the forum event,