If you were to ask LMU students what their favorite location to take photos on campus is, you would be met with a variety of answers: in front of the chapel, the first floor of St. Rob's, maybe even the Lair salad bar. However, the vast majority of students would agree that the Bluff is LMU’s prime location for every student’s inner photographer.
On Sunday, Feb. 30, LMU announced that photography would be banned campus-wide along the Bluff, effective immediately. The ban applies to all students, faculty and visitors on campus grounds.
Department of Public Safety officers will be stationed along the Bluff 24 hours a day, with extra security during sunsets. A safety team will also conduct surveillance online, patrolling Instagram and Snapchat stories to report students who may have snuck in a photo or two of the Bluff.
Large signs were also posted overnight warning students of the restrictions of the ban, including possible fines. If a student is found snapping a quick story of the Bluff, they will be met with an automatic withdrawal of $50 from their meal plan and a 24 hour WiFi ban. The only websites accessible during this ban are Brightspace, MyLMU, and Cool Math Games (For Kids).
University representative Aghatha Tronchbulle II explained the reasoning behind the spontaneous ban: “In partnership with Google, we want to reduce the amount of clutter and repetition that plagues our students’ stories and encourage them to take pictures of the other sights on campus.”
Following the announcement, some students were distraught by the sudden news. Freshman Remus Smith expressed his ample disappointment in the new campus-wide rule. “What am I supposed to send to my Snapchat streaks? A photo of myself?” He has since created the Instagram account @FreeTheBluff, and is organizing a mass letter writing campaign titled: “Make the Bluff Great Again.”
Other students have taken the news much better, and have discovered new locations to snap photos. Sophomore Myrtle Thompson has taken on a variety of new subjects for her Instagram stories around campus, “There are so many amazing locations here that students are missing out on! The University Hall architecture, the steps at Lawton Plaza—I even did a photo series on a family of rats I found in St. Rob's!”
Although the Bluff is no longer a hotspot for the photographically inclined, students can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they’ll never have to see a sunset photo captioned, “I can’t believe I go to school here <3” on their feeds again.