AS drone purchase shot down by risk management
A DJI Phantom drone owned by a Biola student. AS senate approved the purchase of an aerial drone and GoPro camera but was later denied by Biola's risk management. | Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES
Biola’s risk management department denied an initiative approved by Associated Students deeming it a safety concern for students, although University Communications and Marketing already owns a drone.
In the first senate meeting of the semester on Aug. 28, the AS senate approved the purchase of an aerial drone and GoPro camera. When word reached risk management, they decided a drone controlled by students would prove a safety risk, said Michael Pierce, vice president of finance.
Anders Corey, vice president of AS marketing communications, who proposed purchasing the drone, said that he did not predict the complicated process of gaining approval to operate it on campus.
In his four years at Biola, Pierce said risk management had never denied an AS decision.
Risk management expressed concern regarding students safely operating the drone. Students would need training to fly the drone to ensure the safety of others, Pierce said.
Ultimately, the key difference between UCM and AS owning a drone is that it would be utilized by employees instead of students, Pierce said.
CONCERN OVER DRONE SAFETY
One of the chief safety concerns involved the use of the drone indoors, Pierce said. At events like Mock Rock or Punk N’ Pie, it would prove disastrous for it to fly into the crowd or hit the rafters and fall.
However, AS does not intend to use the drone at indoor events, Corey said.
“I went through and told them that we were only going to be flying it outside. We weren’t going to be flying it indoors at any sort of event,” Corey said.
However, AS finds administration's decision understandable, said Matthew Porter, vice president of AS finance.
“We had cool ideas, but in the end we respect their decision,” Porter said.