Pocket photography

The Calgary YWCA recently implemented a new policy, stating anyone carrying a cell phone with camera capability must check it at the front desk. Concerns arose after two individuals were caught taking photos of people in change rooms and putting them on the Internet.


“Essentially it was an answer to a question a gentleman asked in the media regarding our stance on the issue and we thought we would try to be leaders and put a policy into place,” said YWCA General Manager of Health and Recreation Jan Bloemraad.


The cases took place in the United States and Asia, although Bloemraad believes the policy will become a trend in many fitness centres.


“Each fitness facility has a responsibility to take a look at this issue because of possible implications that could happen,” he said. “Especially with the media attention, I think that each facility will be almost forced to look into this and I think it’s very beneficial. It’s better to take action before it’s too late.”


The policy is based on the honour system, and Bloemraad acknowledges the fact it may be difficult to monitor.


“We’re hoping that anyone carrying these cell phones will check them at the front door,” he stated. “We’re not going to ban someone for talking on their cell phone. However, if someone is caught using a camera, the police may be involved and each individual situation will be analyzed separately.”


The University of Calgary has not reported any incidents and, according to Campus Security, it is not an issue yet.


“It’s just another one of those examples where new technology has come to the surface and now we will have to adjust our thinking and the way we do business to manage that,” said Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz.


Kinesiology Director of Oper-ations John Paulsen wants to “keep an eye on it.”


“Part of the awareness is letting patrons know that they can make us aware of any possible situations and making sure that if they have any concerns, they have a place to go,” stated Paulsen.

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