Nikias announces new campus security measures
After an on-campus shooting wounded four last Wednesday, President C. L. Max Nikias announced plans to implement new security policies, such as banning outside event promoters and requiring identification to access the University Park Campus from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week. Entry to campus will be restricted to students, faculty, staff and their guests after 9 p.m.
The shooting occurred after Brandon Spencer, a 20-year-old from Inglewood, allegedly opened fire during a verbal dispute with Geno Hall, a former football player at Crenshaw High School. The incident occurred outside a Halloween party promoted by LA Hype in association with the Black Student Assembly. Spencer, who pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder on Monday, wounded Hall and three unintended victims.
The university aims to implement all measures, which Nikias said are designed to prevent future incidents, by Jan. 14, 2013 ‚ÄĒ the start of the spring semester.
Michael Jackson, vice president for student affairs, told the Daily Trojan Nikias‚Äô announcement underscores his commitment to ensuring safety.
‚ÄúI want [students] to know their president is concerned about how the campus operates and that he wants it to be safe ‚ÄĒ that‚Äôs the big word,‚ÄĚ Jackson said. ‚ÄúAnd that we are willing to take very affirmative steps toward doing that.‚ÄĚ
Three measures concerning social events went into effect immediately. Organizers for events at USC facilities, or on The Row, are no longer permitted to use outside promoters. In addition, Dept. of Public Safety officers are required to check the IDs of all guests at on-campus events.
Additionally, the university also plans to evaluate its approval process for student event applications.
As part of the changes, USC will increase the number of DPS officers and yellow jacket ambassadors on the perimeter of campus, Nikias said. In addition, USC plans to install more security cameras on the perimeter of campus and at entrances to the university. Security will also be stationed in front of residence halls to check IDs 24 hours a day, according to Nikias.
University officials are still developing plans to restrict after-hours access to campus, especially at larger entrances, such as the intersection at Trousdale Parkway and Exposition Boulevard.
Jackson said he hopes students are receptive to the changes and provide the university with feedback during their implementation. Jackson also said the changes are not meant to interrupt day-to-day life on campus.
‚ÄúWe do not, in any way, want to impede the regular activities of students, faculty and staff,‚ÄĚ he said.
Though increased security is expensive, Jackson said improved security outweighs the extra costs.
‚ÄúThe university is going to find it within its resources for these extra expenses,‚ÄĚ Jackson said. ‚ÄúThey are not inexpensive, but they are important expenditures if they, in fact, enhance safety.‚ÄĚ
The decision to adopt the new polices involved senior administration, DPS and General Counsel, Jackson said. On Monday, Student Affairs briefed leaders of student groups, including Undergraduate Student Government and the Inter-Fraternity Council.