Letter to the editor: Halloween shooting


The Black Student Assembly, Program Board, and the Undergraduate Student Government wish for the welfare, health, and recovery of everyone impacted by the incident of October 31, 2012.  The intent of the event was to create a safe, secure, and alcohol-free environment on campus for students on the night of Halloween. We did not foresee the tragedy that would transpire. Our organizations are working with the university administration to actively prevent such a misfortune from reoccurring in the future.

These are times of hardship not only for the Trojan family but also for communities well beyond the boundaries of USC’s campus; it is therefore critical that we hold one another accountable while also taking great care not to denounce the members of our own community. Condemning one another will only further stratify and marginalize our family at a time when we each need harmony, support, and encouragement. We especially ask all Trojans to be cautious of isolating and targeting your fellow students, many of whose very lives have been affected by the incidents.

For decades, USC’s Black Student Assembly has executed its mission of developing leadership, educating its members, fostering community, and service to others. The assembly is a major voice and resource for African American students at USC, and its activity over the years illuminates the strength of diversity for both current and future students at USC. From hosting hundreds of college applicants at our annual Multicultural Overnight, to working with dozens of high school students on college applications, to hosting formal affairs recognizing the brilliant achievements of its members, and much more, it continues to provide value to the university’s devotion to academia, diversity, and public service.

The act of one individual outside of our event, is not a reflection of our purpose. Responses to the incident, however, are an indication that BSA’s service to the USC community is far from complete.

In moving forward, the Black Student Assembly has decided to suspend hosting parties and other socially driven events for the remainder of the semester. Instead, BSA will focus its energy on cultural programming and providing immediate relief, recovery, and long-term reform at the University of Southern California.  Program Board will also increase the scrutiny placed on outside organizations during the review process of co-sponsorship. Our efforts are first and foremost to serve the USC student body, while at the same time fostering an inclusive community in adherence to the USC strategic vision.  We believe that in doing so, our organizations fulfill their efforts of providing the best undergraduate experience for all USC students.

Lamar Gary
Executive Director — Black Student Assembly
Juan Espinoza
Executive Director — USC Program Board
Michael Geragos
President — Undergraduate Student Government
  • New Trojan Parent

    Nothing to Fear, thank you for asking for clarification. It appears to me that the assumptions by much of the public and media is that the shooting happened because USC is located in South Central L.A. We disagree and think that this assumption significantly damages USC’s reputation and defeats the progress that USC has made in securing the campus. It appears that this shooting happened on the USC campus because social media marketing and this particular event drew the shooter and victims to the USC campus.

    Personally, this Trojan family disagrees with the students, parents and other members of the community who are calling for a closed campus or for USC to move to a “safer” location. Nowhere is safe from the risks of social media (not even Haren, Netherlands). Walls need to be taken down, not built up.

    • Nothing to fear but fear itself

      Thank you for elaborating. And I love your comment as I am in complete agreement and would want likewise. It’s great that there are others out there not so quick to capitulate!

      But today is a sad day that the (in my opinion) university has given into fear, with not just its policies but the position that imbues the policies, feeling that a never-ending implementation of isolating procedures is needed to buttress the neighborhood’s social-economic status.

      As you pointed out, it was the effects of social media gone awry — and possibly-or-probably the promoter and those at USC authorizing the event. Yet, the remedies (the support of science of blood-letting as cure) falls on the Trojan community and the larger surrounding community.

      All this (policies/procedures) will have done is to create fear and suspicion and reward superstition of the most base kind.

      • New Trojan Parent

        Yes, we are in agreement, and I thank you for the opportunity to clarify that.

        I am still digesting NIkias’ response. He says they will beef up security—isn’t there already ample security/police presence? DPS/LAPD seem to always be in sight. And from the DPS reports I have seen, they have a remarkable record of catching perpetrators, including the Halloween shooter.

        • another USC parent

          I agree as well. The shooter was drawn onto campus seemingly due to laxity implementing existing policy. USC admins seemingly did not check the background and rave offering of this promotor. Students invited a high risk individual onto campus. No students who might have seen the Twan tweets inviting outsiders apparently exercised a sense of protectiveness for USC and also turned a blind eye. Both factors likely led to no outside promotion allowed. I regret the closed campus, but given the number of violent incidents in the past year, this seems unfortunately necessary to preserve USC’s integrity as a safe campus, at least to the outside world observing.

          Perhaps this enforced turning in will finally bring a period of reflection and discussion about what the optimal social venues are for USC undergraduate and graduate students and a concerted effort for all to work together to continue to elevate the social, along with the academic stature, of USC.

  • New Trojan Parent

    In response to Nothing to Fear’s comment,
    I sincerely appreciate your efforts to “correct and unpack all the added commentary to the story. ” But I suggest that you drill down further. On the day after the shooting, I did my own research (ah, the power of the internet!), and suspected the shooting was a gang hit. This has now been confirmed. Per the national media, police are stating that the shooting was gang-related. Yes, the hit could have happened anywhere (check out rioting that occurred in Haren, Netherlands when a 16 year old posted a public invitation to her party on Facebook). But the shooting happened on the USC campus because of a lack of understanding of LA Hype’s market and other big mistakes in judgment. I have no doubt that the BSA and USC leadership realize this They now owe the good people of the BSA and the rest of the Trojan community accountability and appropriate corrective action. And in the bigger picture, and for the benefit of the school and surrounding neighborhood’s reputation, the conclusion that the shooting happened because of USC’s location needs to be corrected.

    • Nothing to fear but fear itself

      Thanks for your comment. However, I was unsure of the intent of your last sentence.

    • another USC parent

      A final point to add:

      Whether one embraces, agrees or disputes– USC’s “party school” reputation is firmly established in the media and broadcast worldwide. Here is a sampling:

      From “Betches Love This”
      http://www.betcheslovethis.com/article/betches-love-this-college-university-of-southern-california

      From “LA Weekly”
      http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/04/usc_sex_nude_photo_fraternity.php

      From “Playboy” (Courtesy of USNWR) http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/09/26/playboy-uva-is-nations-top-party-school-playboy-uva-is-nations-top-party-school

      USC social life, “boring,” as attempted to be portrayed in recent comments? Seems more a poorly executed, transparent pr attempt in response to the Row’s perennial problems. From last year’s Daily Trojan:http://dailytrojan.com/2011/04/04/the-row-in-need-of-reform/

      And this year’s Daily Trojan:
      http://dailytrojan.com/2012/09/19/row-imposes-social-ban-amid-university-concerns/

      Of particular note is this comment from the 2011 DT article:

      “The fact that Jackson and others feel the policy now needs to be enforced means Greeks no longer enjoy a favorable “blind eye” from the university”.

      Two concerns are apparent:

      (1) The USC admin “blind eye” again seem “wide shut” with regard to a minimum of due diligence regarding the promotor or type of “party” (rave) the weeknight exemption at Tutor Center was offered for.

      (2) The Row is not the lilly white social alternative as it has had its share of problems and continues to into 2012 (see fight and arrest inside a Row fraternity house reported in today’s DT Roundup).

      My call is for the entire Trojan Family to focus careful attention on evaluating openly the current social and party atmosphere at USC. Is it in keeping with the stature of a Top 25 and rising school? Are we inviting those looking for a “party school” atmosphere either to exploit commercially or to join? Is USC meeting the social needs of the high caliber undergraduate and graduate students we are attracting and want to continue to attract?

      I am enormously impressed with the rapid rise and justifiable academic stature USC has recently attained. I look forward to the day USC earns equal recognition for its social offerings. Both are necessary to maintain the interest and attendance of the best and brightest students and support of their parents.

    • Manny

      Source?

  • Pingback: Stranger Than Fiction: USC Shooting Suspect’s Surprising Profession » Breaking News | Latest News Headlines | Top Stories()

  • Concerned Student

    It saddens me to see a lot of these posts. I hope the students on my campus aren’t as culturally insensitive as their “Trojan Parents”. If you do not want your children to go here, please do us all a favor and make them transfer. Disbanding the BSA, firing Michael Jackson, or attempting to ban all outsiders from entering campus will NOT make this a safer campus or world. If you have not taught your children to deal with the complexities and dangers of the REAL WORLD then I suggest you do so before they graduate. The BSA made a mistake in hosting an event with LAHype and they have acknowledged that. Let’s just pray for those that were affected and thank God that no Trojans were hurt.

    • Nothing to fear but fear itself

      If there was one comment, one response that could be highlighted as to what we should think, what we should feel, and how we should act, I wish it were the above comment. It is simple. It is concise. It is absolutely correct. And it is absolutely merited.

      Great post!

    • Manny

      Seems like “ghettobirds” (terrible name, by the way) aren’t the only helicopters around here.

    • New Trojan Parent

      Really Concerned Student? Four people shot in a gang-related shooting in the middle of campus merits just an “oops sorry” and that’s it? No further investigation or consequences? It is not “culturally insensitive” to get the facts and take steps to reduce the future likelihood of a similar event. On the contrary, it would be irresponsible not to do so.

      BTW this Trojan family does not agree with blaming the neighborhood, disbanding the BSA or trying to shut down the campus.

      • Manny

        Where is it proven that this is gang-related?

        Concerned student isn’t trying to deflect blame. She’s/He’s trying to a) simply encourage a reaction and nothing more, especially the heap of garbage in these comments, b) hold those responsible for their actions, and c) get people to understand that these events are anomalies and that USC has a good amount of patrolling and safety measures in place. In addition, the post is dead on: this is the real world, and this event could have happened anywhere. Policy was violated somewhere. All these exaggerations of transferring are ridiculous, especially if parents are forcing it.

      • Nothing to fear but fear itself

        There are too many hysterical-shrill comments from parents and having to correct and unpack all the added commentary to the story is becoming frustrating, infuriating and burdensome.

        Assumptions everywhere and not a correct statement to be found: this was not a gang-hit; USC is not the definitive, archetypal party school (“Coachella, Burning man and Mardi Gras rolled into one”); the community is not a larger-than-life pool of criminals and miscreants; the area does not have the potential to become a rolling, bucolic wonderland (of one’s youth) if it were not for the dastardly university administration; and other tired canards, littering the comments.

        Enough already!

        What is it with this “all or nothing” thinking, as if anyone is advocating “[n]o further investigation or consequences”? This was an unfortunate event! Everyone at USC is concerned about productivity and results; no parent needs to worry about that! This hyper-activism on the behalf of parents (in these comments) is stultifying: Events (negative) that have occurred in the last 5 years and today are no more probable than the distant past; if anything, the University continues to improve in selecting policies that enable a safer campus; but there would not be an ability for improvement if perfection were already in hand, would there?!

  • 1982 USC LAS Alumnus

    My problem with the administrators is that not one of them (e.g., Michael Jackson) who approved this “alcohol-free” nightclub event in the middle of campus has taken personal responsibility for a grave lapse in judgment. He and they should have simply done a few clicks of on-line research to understand the promoters with which they were dealing. They wrongly presumed that college students would not pre-party or drink alcohol prior to the event (as many underage college students do), they ignored the likelihood that non-USC students and non-college students would crash the party (again, as many kids at that age do), they failed to obtain beefed-up security for a large dance event (as nightclubs that cater to college students do), they failed to consider the risks involved with making an exception to the “no parties” after 10 p.m. on school nights rule (a wise rule in retrospect), and they failed to prepare handling an overflow crowd jockeying for admission (thank goodness the shooter did not open fire in Tutor Center). Michael Jackson (and perhaps others) made an egregious mistake that resulted in four people being shot on-campus, blood being spilled, and USC’s image being badly tarnished. Parents are justifiably and reasonably concerned about their children’s safety and outraged by the administration’s failure to protect them; accordingly, he must now suffer the consequences by resigning and/or being fired. He screwed up and must go. There is no room for debate here.

    • another USC parent

      The posture taken by Nikias and Jackson thus far has been to defer and deflect. While they may require time to consider policy changes, a sincere apology to parents and students for obvious oversights in judgement and responsibility are long overdo. For some, the window of contrition may have closed already for Nikias and Jackson which will make a tough road ahead for them. Theirs has been a curious, if not bizarre, response to the Trojan Family.

  • not_that_guy

    The answer is simple, close off USC to non-students and allow DPS to escort any trespassers off campus. It’s sad to say, but you basically have to create a security environment that says, “this is not part of the city – this is a private university and only invited guests are welcome” to curtail these types of tragedies. YES, that means profiling. The hardworking parents who pay $50+K/year don’t expect their kids to get hit with stray gunfire IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAMPUS. Not blocks away, not across the street – the middle of the campus! It’s absurd. Also, no more joint parties with shady outside groups on campus. HypeLA? Really?? That’s the name of the organization you’re going to allow to have a private party on campus? Someone should lose their job over this.

  • New Trojan Parent

    1982 Alumnus, Another USC Parent, Herman, Frances,
    I appreciate all of your postings to this site and hope that you are writing/emailing the USC President’s Office also.

    Our students were not endangered by the surrounding neighborhood “creeping” in.

    The danger was INVITED on campus. USC needs to take responsibility for failure to understand the type of event , the reach of social media and of the seediness of LA Hype and their disgusting promo video/ads.

    I struggled to allow my son to attend USC due to the cost and party school reputation. Did we make a mistake in allowing him to go there? I am watching closely to see how the university handles this and awaiting their policy changes. I think that the President should give the community specific facts and describe all of the circumstances that led to four people being shot in the middle of campus. I recommend town hall meetings and campus education initiatives to educate students— their irresponsible behavior can make a laughingstock of their USC education.

    • another USC parent

      Excellent post New Trojan Parent. The larger concern is that their is a social/party atmosphere at USC such that students apparently thought they were in keeping with the party norm to invite LA Hype to campus, reinforced by USC admin approved. No one of the many various students who knew of the character of this rave planned or its morphing to a open party sounded an alarm.

      Meanwhile, many other USC students stayed in their dorm to avoid this type of party. It was their Halloween as well and their campus to socialize on. It appears there are many fewer options for the socially and academically highly qualified students who are looking for something other than what earns USC a national “Party School” reputation. Your suggestion of town hall meetings and campus initiatives is excellent. I suggest, also, students be surveyed to determine if their needs are being met with the current social scene at USC. Perhaps modifications or additions are necessary, as well as greater sophistication and seeming interest in the social needs and desires of students beyond Greek Thursday/Saturday parties.

    • Nothing to fear but fear itself

      Nope. This is NOT a party school.

      I have 10 years with USC. I am a graduate of USC and have been around innumerable other campuses and can see a stark difference in other schools that care much less about “performance.”

      Instead of relying upon 3rd party entities to detail the “reputation”, you should visit this campus more, gain more experience and see how dull it can be! Yes, this is a big campus (lots of students) and it is vast in its amenities and events. But that does not mean it is a party school!

      But that is not the real problem, is it? Rather, this event (shooting) affords many their ability to reflect their true nature, their inner demons of fear!

      The real problem is fear: the administration fear of the future; the administration fear for the wrath parents would bring if life ushers another unforeseen or unfortunate event; the administration fear of not improving upon gains of predecessors or losing status.

      The parents fear the loss of protection to an “over-protected” child. And the students (as not yet full-adults) take all the sympathy and attention that this “news” gives them, as they are no doubt getting much from parents and other classmates, so there is something to gossip about.

      This is really reflective of the state of our country (and it sucks): Fear of the bogeyman.

      An ugly, tragic event that happened this Halloween (for THE victims) is not in question. But be forewarned of a greater tragedy, impacting a larger number of victims as we live under this rubric of fear–because how do some people love their fear!

      A future where USC Trojans are no longer recognizable as they are turned into the monsters that lurk within each of us as a result of fear — the future of becoming a “weak, timid, and ineffectual person.” A wimp.

      THIS IS NOT WHAT BECOMING A TROJAN IS ABOUT!

      • another USC parent

        Dear NothingTFBFI,

        You are bizarrely off base and seem to have some more generalized, personal issues with society you are confabulating with the USC shooting.

        Many parents are highly successful professionals and businesspersons quite capable of recognizing responsible and effective problem solving and leadership. Inviting a rave by this promotor to the Tutor Center for Halloween was fraught with perceivable risk. It also calls into question whether a heavily promoted by video butt on crotch event is desirable for the sole Halloween party at our Tutor Center.

        As far as USC being boring given the nature of its Thursday and Saturday Row Greek parties, you must be comparing USC to Coachella, Burning man and Mardi Gras rolled into one.

        Overprotectiveness? Nope, just an expectation for a quality social atmosphere consistent with a top 25 and rising university.

        • Nothing to fear but fear itself

          The party’s organization was a mistake. The mistake needs to be accounted for and corrected. However, too many broad generalizations are being made from that mistake.

          And those generalizations are akin to conflating “something reminiscent” the football team and its supposed “loss of institutional control” with a similar demeanor that exists generally within the institution itself.

          The mistake is an isolated event that needs to be looked into and appropriate recommendations and actions need to be implemented. But that is it. It is not reflective of the institution. There is “no loss of control” within the institution (as it appears to be hinted at in comments to these articles).

          A crazed-madman bringing a gun onto campus says nothing, other than that a crazed-madman brought a gun onto campus.

          But given your deep concerns, why don’t you present a solution as to how the campus should protect itself differently (from crazed madmen), given its location. Because nothing significantly has changed regarding its urban location, residing within the 2nd largest city in the US, for some time.

          And to add, no matter how you try to redefine the problem, you should understand that such a person as the assailant, would be able to enter campus at any time. It is not like USC is hidden and no one knows where it is located, and if it were not for this party promoter, it would never have been “discovered.”

          The guy was a crazed-madman!

        • Manny

          Look, we know there’s risk, and those that brought this on should be reviewed. However, making such a false blanket statement that USC is a “party school” is just stupid, especially if you’re only considering LA Hype as evidence (one event). There may be sections that party, but you will find as much or as little partying as you like here. Pretty much every school is a party school – you just need to choose your scene and the amount – don’t single out USC on this one event. As an alumni, I am well aware of the scenes and the rigorous academics I chose to pursue that landed me with a very successful company.

          And for some to blame the surrounding neighborhood is just plain ignorant. See the example of the shooting on 29th last year: the man involved was from far, far south of our campus. I challenge anyone to provide facts of all USC incidents and where the aggressors are from – you want to blame our next door neighbors? Prove it.

          As students, USC, if nothing else, taught us how to be more aware of our surroundings. We can’t control the world around us, but we can decide what we get into and how we must respond.

  • 1982 USC LAS Alumnus

    “reoccurring” is not a word; I believe you meant “recurring.” Sheesh, is this what USC is teaching?

  • Herman

    Inviting 1500 community college/no college individuals to center campus on a school night who were instructed how to pregame doesn’t sound like a bad idea? Not to mention this whole event was for profit at a Top 25 University. Congratulations on tarnishing your school’s reputation. Obviously USC is to blame as well but the whole premise of this event is ludacrous, selfish, and greedy.

    • another USC parent

      Herman,

      You mention a most significant concern. USC has rapidly risen to Top academic 25 status, its social offering to students have not. Perhaps this is just a delay in development, but it needs to be addressed by USC admins, faculty, alums, students and student organizations with urgency. Either the social offerings rise to meet the academic, or USC’s academic standing will fall as students look elsewhere for a fun, lively, sophisticated academic and social environment.

      A “rave”, butt on crotch grind for our students for Halloween? Top 25? I think not. An invitation for danger, inviting a seedy night club atmosphere onto the heart of campus? Obviously. Yet, admins were clueless as if social media was not their purview for review, only posters. Anyone in the administration could have and should have Googled LA Hype at USC before approving an exemption and seen LA Hypes eye-popping video of grossly inappropriate behavior for Halloween at the Tutor Center.

      And what of the students who knew did view the video and knew exactly who/what was coming to the heart of the USC campus? What of the students who saw the tweets inviting non-students for a fee and the “pregame” comment? What of the Greeks who have posted thus far seeming trying to enhance their yet-to-be-redeemed reputation at the BSA’s sole expense. It was only two months ago Greek parties were shut down for fights on house lawns, being drunk in public and noise complaints. The USC admin response published–“stay inside–out of sight”. The parade of spandex from dorms to the Row resumes. Greeks most certainly knew of this party, the morphing to an open party and the dark atmosphere LA Live brings.

      My point is much soul searching needs to be done and no finger pointing other to ones self. USC has well-earned a “party reputation”, #2 in the 2012 Playboy ranking. The #1 school, U 0f Virginia admins disavowed the reputation, noting their history and academic programs. USC admins have been silent.

      As a parent, I am limited to visits and USC’s fine media, DailyTrojan and Neon Tommy, for information and perspective. The “party school” group seems relatively small, but dominant. I do not see many offerings for students who want to socialize regularly on campus with each other in a more sophisticated way than currently offered, or at least making news, on the Row and the recent Halloween debacle. From my vantage point, the social interests of the majority of top 25 or better students are not currently being considered in planning or met at USC. Doing so is essential for a sustained USC rise and cementing a reputation as a university that attracts and keeps the best and brightest students and faculty.

      Perhaps my perspective is limited by distance. I’d be interested in the views of others, especially those for whom USC is their day-to-day experience.

      • Herman

        Linking the “Greek” system to this is absurd. Have you ever heard or been to Yale/Princeton/Harvard? Their version of Greek Life would raise far more concerns than anything you’d find on the row on a Thursday night. See the movie W or read anything about Skull and Bones or the Eating Societies at Princeton and then try to put down greek life again. Greek registered parties keep guest list enforced by professional security. That isn’t even the point. The point is that this party endangered innoncent students by knowingly inviting a crowd on campus that engaged in this activity. The Row is much more vigilant as to who goes where. Lets not forget sororities keep armed security on staff. Fraternities do not allow thousands of “randoms” into their parties let alone their property.

        • another USC parent

          Yes, Herman, I get your point and agree, as I am sure most everyone does. I am raising a bigger picture issue. Harvard has never been identified as a party school and has a very different social atmosphere, overall, than USC, one that seems more in harmony with its academic standing.

  • Frances

    Poorly crafted letter. You beg for solidarity in you second paragraph but leave it to the final paragraph to explain what steps you are taking to address the problem. You spend most of the letter tooting your own horn. You offer not a single word of concern for all your fellow Trojans who were placed in harms way that night, including many of your own members. My daughter, like many other students was less then a 100 feet from where the shots was fired, and possibly only seconds spared her from being in the bullet’s path. She ran, like many others, fearing for her life, struggling to find an unlocked building to hide in. Where is your concern for all the students traumatized that night? I do not know what is your heart, but this letter is a complete fail from a public relations standpoint.

  • Parent

    They should resign

    • Mc

      Seal down the campus after hours. It’s too wide open and too many bad people.

    • Mc

      They should ban BSA from function for a few years.

  • Trojan For Life

    Time for a bit of education – USC style. Trojan Parnet (sic), it is difficult to find the sincerity in your statement, which calls for wholehearted unity by the Trojan Family, then questions why some of those members are allowed to have their own organization.

    Clearly, one post on the DT website is not going to be enough to educate you on our country’s long history of racism and oppression … but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

    When it comes to USC’s policy on student organizations, you miss really miss the point. The beauty about USC – and the USA – is that if someone wanted to form a “White Student Assembly,” they could. Asking that USC disband or disallow the establishment of clubs or organizations that highlight and celebrate the experiences of specific groups of students is tantamount to trying to deny the existence and experiences of those groups. Assimilation is one thing, but the extermination of one’s culture or experiences is quite another.

    None of the student assemblies on campus exclude students from membership or participation on the basis or race, ethnicity, gender, or any other descriptor. In fact, they exist as they do in order to encourage members of other groups to step outside of their comfort zone and experience something new or different.

    Unity is not created by forcing (or politely asking) individuals to give up who they are or what they have experienced in order to become part of the majority – that goes for any oppressed group. Unity is created when members of different groups, dominant and subordinate, are willing to look at a situation through their eyes and through the eyes of others.

    Members of oppressed groups (i.e. Black, Latino, women, immigrants, etc.) have historically been denied the opportunity to share their stories and celebrate their experiences by members of dominant groups. Organizations like BSA are one way to try and create equity in an otherwise inequitable situation.

    As for sports being the most wonderful way to “break down barriers,” I’ll offer you two final observations: College football and college basketball are, almost certainly, the only two collegiate sports which turn a profit year after year (at USC and at most schools). Yet, most of the money generated by those sports – which are primarily played by Black students – goes toward paying for sports that are primarily played by white students. Let’s not even get started on the lack of Black college football coaches or female college basketball coaches either.

    The truth is that this incident, which was both tragic and troubling, presents all of us with the opportunity to learn and grow, or the opportunity to fall back into expected and familiar patterns of thought and action. Let’s indeed stop racism in all its forms – and let’s begin here, by being aware of our own biases and privileges and making it a point to support and lift up EVERY member of the Trojan Family, regardless of what group, club, organization they belong to.

    Let’s celebrate all of our colors and all of our backgrounds, including Cardinal and Gold.

    • Mc

      I dint care about barriers in 2012. I’m a minority and I don’t worry or lose sleep about racism. Some of the most offensive racist people I see live around USC and are so belligerent and crude I do nit understand how they can possibly function in society. You want others to treat you how you think you deserve to be treated then act like a good citizen and not a denizen.

    • Ras

      If you really think a group of white students can form a “White Students Association” – especially in a school as politically correct as USC – you are smoking some really good ghetto weed…

      I find it repulsive that when a disturbing crime occurs – we have to pretend we could not have seen this coming – because to do so would have cast ourselves as a racist in this overly politically correct society we have crafted. This is why your children at SC will never be safe. Not only are they smack in the middle of the South Central ghetto – but the Admin and LAPD have to pretend they are not. Therefore the common sense precautions that only make sense will not be put in place for fear of “offending” the ghetto’s usual suspects…

      Keep up the politically correct charade USC – all you are doing is making criminals, muggers, rapists and thugs feel comforted that they will not be too aggressively deterred because USC is too cowardly to act assertive on crime.

  • Manny

    Lamar, as a proud (pretty recent) USC alum, I appreciate providing some of your perspective. I also appreciate, as a vocal critic of the communication between BSA, USC Program Board, USC administration, and LA Hype, your plans to “reform” (in whatever capacity) for the future in the aftermath of this tragedy.

    I despise those who simply throw the race card into this situation. This came from non-USC individuals (doesn’t matter the race, statistics, etc.) who aggregated on campus, creating a dangerous environment, plain and simple. This could have happened anywhere with the events leading up to it. This should be treated with everything in a vacuum, without the emotional and hurtful things said about our neighbors and members of other races, no matter where they reside. It only hits close to home because that’s exactly where it occurred.

    With all that being said, I take umbrage with this statement of yours: “The act of one individual outside of our event, is not a reflection of our purpose” because it misses the point. (Logical, sensible) people aren’t arguing that this reflects against your purpose. We are simply not pleased with the failure to communicate and better enforce policy, stemming from the parties I mention above. I have no problem with BSA, or any organization on USC, for that matter. It’s well-known that LA Hype promoted this over the social airwaves as a public party. They should never have been permitted to make this statement if it involves our campus. Rest assured, I don’t gloss over them either.

    People argue that USC has an obligation to be open to the community. In spirit, that is fine: we host many academic and athletic events (Visions and Voices, tailgating, etc.). However, it was taken advantage of in this situation for the gain of BSA and even more so of LA Hype. So much so that the policy was missed. In addition, we pay tuition to attend this fine institution. Thus, it is, to an major extent, ours. It does not “belong” to the community around it, though many from both sides may adopt one another for support (totally fine). Any non-USC people on campus, take heed: USC is still a private institution on private property with property and students (most of whom pay a pretty penny to attend) that must be respected. You would very much agree that if USC students were on your property, you would demand respect of your property and person. And the same applies in the opposite direction of students: our community, plagued by stereotype, deserves respect. Let’s continue to help it out and make it better to combat ignorance.

  • Trojan Parnet

    Of course, we all can agree that this event was a terrible occurence and we hope for the continued healing of those affected. And I wholeheartedly agree that we need to join together as students, parents, alumnae, administration, police to help ensure the safety for all.

    However, it still shocks me that in 2012, we still have “Black Student Assembly” as an organization. It’s racist plain and simple. Do we have “White Student Assembly?” Of course not.

    We are not going to have “unity” as long as institutions like USC allow organizations to be formed on the basis of race be it Black, Asian, Islander…whatever. Organizations should be based on members having similar interests which would naturally unify those members. It’s why sports are so wonderful…all kinds of athletes from all backgrounds work on a common goal… sports are the kind of organization that break down barriers… not ones that include or exclude based on the color of your skin.

    Let’s stop racism in ALL its forms.

    • Trojan Parent

      “PARENT”

    • Twan

      Black people can’t have a group of their own? Is that what you are saying in 2012? Sounds more like 1952 if you ask me.

    • Andrew

      I’m white and love going to BSA activities. It’s not a racist organization in the slightest. USC also has APASA, El Centro Chicano, and other multicultural organizations.

  • Gabriel

    Okay that’s great. However, why did you scrub the BSA website the morning after the shooting of all things related to the event? Why did people apparently representing the BSA say (some continue to say) the BSA was not responsible for the event?

  • Mc

    Me culpa.