The events leading up to Wednesday night’s shooting can only be described with one phrase: playing with fire.
The shooting occurred outside “Freak or Greek,” a Halloween party held at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. The event was promoted by LA Hype in association with the Black Student Assembly, a division of the Undergraduate Student Government’s Program Board. Though USC said non-students were not allowed to attend the party, the opposite stands true: Students at the party reported that many of the attendees were not college students.
The promoters marketed “Freak or Greek” as a party for everyone in Los Angeles, student or otherwise. According to tweets by party promoters, USC students could attend the party, but non-USC attendees were charged varying sums of money to enter the party. One promoter went so far as to tweet that “weird dudes who don’t belong” could attend — if they paid $30. Furthermore, an event page encouraged attendees to “PreGame before the party” because they would be cited if any “substances” were brought on campus.
Simply put, it was outright reckless for the university to allow an outside company to host an on-campus party for individuals who do not attend USC.
This lack of discretion is nothing short of inappropriate, and the groups hosting the event should have better understood that allowing large numbers of non-college, non-USC individuals to attend an on-campus party could create problems. The event not only exploited USC and its resources to make money off outside individuals, but also inadvertently put students — students who perceive the campus as a place of safety and proper enforcement — at risk of injury and even death.
The event’s shameless and inappropriate promotion demonstrates an unsettling lack of judgment and oversight on behalf of the university and the organizations co-hosting the party. Moving forward, it is essential for USC to carefully study and revise its policies on event sponsorship — or face even more dire consequences.
Staff editorials are determined by the editorial board. Its members are Elena Kadvany, Nicholas Slayton, Jennifer Schultz, Eddie Kim, Joey Kaufman and Sean Fitz-Gerald.