New safety policies take effect
The Dept. of Public Safety implemented new security measures, spurred by the October shooting, on the University Park Campus on Monday.
A gunman, who was unaffiliated with the school, wounded four people during an altercation withÂ one of the victims, who was also unaffiliated with USC. The incident occured outside of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on Oct. 31, 2012.
President C. L. Max Nikias sent out a school-wide email on Nov. 6 announcing the measures, a week after the Halloween shooting.
â€śWhile the situation was resolved quickly and without physical harm to students, faculty or staff, an event such as this is a sobering reminder that we must work constantly to ensure the safety of our university community,â€ť Nikias said in the email. â€śMy administration has taken a number of steps over the last few years that have significantly improved the security of our campus and neighborhoods, but this incident made it clear that more must be done.â€ť
While some of the policies, such as prohibiting USC organizations from using outside event promoters, went into effect immediately, Monday was the first day all the changes were fully enacted.
According to DPS Capt. David Carlisle, department representatives had been meeting on a weekly basis with senior members of Career and Protective Services as well as other departments to create new security measures that could go into effect in the start of the spring semester.
The policies currently only apply to the University Park Campus but might be instated on the universityâ€™s other campuses.
â€śWhile the focus at the moment is the successful implementation of these new security measures at the University Park Campus,â€ť Carlisle said, â€śwe are continually reviewing crime prevention and safety best practices that could impact the hospital in the future. We are always looking for new and better ways to do things to create as safe a campus as possible at the university and health center campus.â€ť
The campus will now be closed between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. New fences have been built at the openings of Jefferson and Exposition boulevards to limit access to the school during these hours, reducing 27 existing entrances to eight that will be guarded by approximately 20 additional officers.
Students and faculty who enter campus during these restricted hours will have to present photo ID, while guests can be registered online at visitor.usc.edu.
In addition, 38 security cameras have been installed on campus and the license plate of every car that enters campus during the restricted time will be checked to ensure the car was not stolen.
Administrators do not believe that the measures will cause traffic flow problems as they are not in place during busy hours for the university.
â€śStudents, faculty and staff members with ID will quickly be able to pass through security checkpoints,â€ť Denzil Suite, associate vice president for student affairs, said in an email. â€śInitially, there were some concerns about access to events on campus, but since the restricted access does not start until 9 p.m., those concerns were alleviated because the overwhelming majority of events start before that hour.â€ť
For events that do begin after 9 p.m., other accommodations, such as using a guest list, will be made.