DPS urges safety over weekend

Halloween is on the horizon. As students plan parties, don costumes and consume candy and other substances, the Dept. of Public Safety said it plans to keep a close eye on festivities.

“It’s parent’s weekend, Halloween and there is a major home football game,” DPS Capt. David Carlisle said. “Add in the party at the Shrine, and I am confident DPS will have a busy weekend.”

The Shrine is hosting the fourth annual HARD Haunted Mansion, an electric music festival, on Friday and Saturday.

After attending HARD last year, Jackson Roddy, a then-freshman majoring in accounting, fell out of a window on the sixth floor of Birnkrant Residential Hall. Roddy sustained serious injuries, but is expected to return to USC in spring 2012, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson.

“The vast majority of students are able to take care of themselves and remain in control, but students need to take care of each other and help each other out if necessary,” Jackson said.

Carlisle said students should not hesitate to contact DPS or another emergency service if they need help.

“From the time students attend freshman orientation until they are seniors, DPS encourages them to make smart decisions,” Carlisle said. “Smart decisions mean students who use alcohol use it responsibly, illegal drugs are avoided and students adhere to Trojans Care For Trojans. This means that students should not let their fellow Trojans make poor decisions.”

Conner McMains, a sophomore majoring in health promotion and disease prevention studies and biological sciences, said he believes programs like Trojans Care For Trojans help keep students safe at raves and similar events like HARD, which does not classify itself as a rave.

“I’ve attended a rave before and the keys to staying safe at these types of events are hydration and staying around people you know,” he said.

Though McMains said he was alarmed when he first heard about Roddy’s fall, he said he will not avoid rave-like events because of it.

“The bad stories are the ones you hear about, and they happen rarely,” McMains said. “If one is conscious, cautious and plans ahead, the event should be safe and fun.”

Cliff Liu, a sophomore majoring in print and digital journalism, said he plans to attend HARD but does not plan to take drugs or drink alcohol.

“I don’t need to take any precautions — none,” Liu said. “I don’t do drugs or drink and it is not my problem for those students who go too far with alcohol and drugs. They should monitor themselves because it is their bodies that they are damaging.”

Jackson, however, said students should watch out for each other at HARD and other Halloween parties.

“DPS can only do so much to ensure student safety,” Jackson said. “It’s a matter of common sense. Go out and have fun, but keep your wits about you.”