Despite the initial shock of the news of Wednesday night’s shooting on campus, many students and parents remain confident in the safety of the USC campus, but wonder if the university is doing all it can.
“USC’s claim regarding safety is that you must be cautious outside of campus, but on campus you feel completely safe,” said Lexi Chamberlin, an undeclared freshman. “This will change a lot of people’s opinions.”
Students’ concerns are coupled with hopes of seeing improved security on and around campus. Many students noted the importance of enacting more stringent policies when it comes to letting non-USC students on campus, and said they would like to see more detailed and timely emergency alerts.
“We need to be more proactive checking people when they come into campus instead of DPS being active after things happen,” said Jake Huhn, a senior majoring in communication. “I think DPS did a good job of responding to it and I think the Trojan Alerts worked really well.”
Trojans Alert, the university’s mobile alert system, sent out a message informing students of the shooting. The alert went out roughly 30 minutes after four victims were shot, one critically and the other three with non-life threatening injuries.
The incident is the second shooting that involved university students in or near campus this year. Six months ago, two graduate students from China were killed in a botched robbery blocks from campus. In the wake of these two incidents, parents also hope to see more attentiveness to the university’s security policies.
“It definitely concerns me that there were non-USC students on campus after hours on an evening that is notorious for trouble,” said Jamie Ratliff, mother of Mary Pat Ratliff, a freshman majoring in international relations global business. “Halloween is a night that things happen. The policy should be enforced and even more stringent.”
Some parents believe the university should create stronger security policies.
“We’re not panicking, but the department needs to take a closer look at their system,” said John Schoff, father of Jonathan Stoller-Schoff, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics and law. “It comes down to running drills and having an immediate response team put together, and, in the weeks to come, I would like to hear from the department what they learned from this so we know they’re listening to our concerns.”
President C. L. Max Nikias said he will announce new security policies early next week, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I feel really safe here,” said Emily Rosenfield, a freshman majoring in studio guitar. “They reacted quickly, and it didn’t involve any USC students or faculty. … It doesn’t change the fact that I feel safe on campus.”
Mollie Berg and Chelsea Stone contributed to this report.