Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stalked by Dominican?

On a nice day last spring, students Jim McQuillan, Shelley Hintmann, Amy Preston, and Stephen Bala were eating their lunches in the quad, completely unaware that they were being watched...and photographed.

Photo taken from myDU

But they were being photographed. Sure enough, come fall 2008, one of the pictures taken of them that day was plastered on the myDU website for the Amazing Possibilities Campaign.

Ok, they are Dominican students and we all (probably?) signed some kind of consent form at one point, but still. Personally, I don't think I would be thrilled if my picture just appeared on myDU without my knowledge that pictures were ever even taken in the first place.

"When I first saw the picture of all of us on myDU, I thought it was cool. For like a second," said junior Amy Preston. "Then I realized it was a total stalker picture, and got kind of creeped out."

Preston admits that she was surprised when she first saw the photo and slightly offended. "Maybe they didn't have to ask our permission, I know they were going for an objective view, something not staged, but you would have thought they would have asked us to take the pic. I find it strange they didn't."

Perhaps the mystery photographer was trying to capture the "essence" of Dominican. I still don't think it would have been ridiculous for the photographer to ask for permission, or at least make the students aware that Dominican was going to use the photos.

What do you think about this? Would you care if this happened to you? Do you find it creepy, or not a big deal?

The Amazing Possibilities Campaign is over. But that doesn't mean more pictures won't be taken. Be on the look out for these photographers, because otherwise you might end up another oblivious student on the myDU website.


  1. Maybe it's due to me being a part of the modeling industry, but I'm a total camera ham and love having my picture taken. I suppose I personally wouldn't mind showing up randomly somewhere on the site. I'd probably welcome it, even. However, I completely understand why people would be freaked out by that voyeur-esque photo. It's as though someone climbed a tree and silently waited for some students to come sit under it. Creepy.

  2. As you mentioned in the post, all this stuff is covered by the consent form students sign or don't sign when starting out at Dominican. I believe a part of the agreement is they don't have to ask for your permission; you simply sign over the rights to your own "image," if you will, to the University for them to use however they see fit.
    One of my roommates was asked by the University to be on banners and promotional material a couple years back, and they asked his permission, probably so they could set up a fancy photo shoot and everything. But that kind of a thing is way different from just taking a picture of a random group of students and throwing it up on the internet. Perhaps these agreements should be more detailed so students can be the judge of what kind of exposure they might want to have, should the University choose to use their image for some reason.

  3. If it were I, I'd be grateful to see my image used in a positive way.

    It's the photos of you that you never see that aren't so great. Just a thought to keep it in perspective.