Nikias announces new security measures

In response to last week’s Halloween shooting, President C.L. Max Nikias announced new campus safety measures Tuesday morning, including restricting access to campus from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and requiring anyone entering campus after-hours to show appropriate identification.

Several changes to event-planning policies went into effect immediately. The new policies include banning the use of outside event promoters for all social events, both on-campus and on The Row. All student event applications will also be subject to a higher level of review by Student Affairs, and Dept. of Public Safety officers are now responsible for checking IDs of anyone attending on-campus events.

Nikias also announced several policies that the university will begin implementing now, but will not go into full effect until classes resume after winter break. Access to the University Park campus will be restricted to students, faculty, staff and their guests between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. seven days a week, and anyone who wants to enter campus during those hours will be required to show identification to DPS officers. Anyone who wants to enter campus during the day on weekends could also be required to provide a valid form of ID.

Security personnel will also check identification of students entering residence halls on campus, and DPS will increase the number of their officers and yellow jacket ambassadors on and around campus. The university will also install more security cameras around the perimeter of campus and near entrances to campus.


Read the full text here:

Dear USC community,

The safety of USC students, faculty, and staff on campus is a top priority for me and for my leadership team.  Like you, I was unsettled and troubled by last week’s shooting.  While 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.  My 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.

Let me begin by recounting what we believe led to this incident.  A student group held a Halloween party on campus and used a third-party promoter that advertised the event throughout Los Angeles, even though the event was open only to students with student IDs.  As a result, many non-students arrived on campus who were not admitted to the party.  I want to emphasize that the USC students who organized the party never intended for this situation to develop.  A disagreement took place between two non-students outside the event that led to the shooting.  This incident does not reflect our neighborhood safety, but instead was a case of the wrong people being drawn to campus by a promoter.  The measures I will describe are intended to prevent that circumstance from arising again.

Immediately following the incident, I directed USC’s leadership to conduct an expedited review of our campus security and event policies.  After consulting with students and community leaders, we agreed on some key changes that I would like to share with you.

Effective immediately, we are making a number of changes to our policies related to the planning, approval, and hosting of events.

  • Use of outside event promoters will no longer be permitted for USC social events in university facilities or on Fraternity and Sorority Row.
  • All future student event applications will undergo heightened review by Student Affairs.
  • At on-campus events where IDs will be checked, USC Department of Public Safety officers will be responsible for checking IDs of all individuals attending on-campus events.

The following additional measures to improve campus safety will start to roll out immediately and be fully implemented when classes resume after winter break, on January 14, 2013.  I emphasize in the strongest possible terms that we remain and always will be a campus that welcomes all our neighbors for recreation, entertainment, education, and the community programs that have made USC a proud University Park neighbor for 132 years.

  • After-hours access to the University Park campus between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. will be restricted to students, faculty, staff, and their guests, including guests at university events, seven days a week.
  • Anyone who enters campus after 9:00 p.m. will be required to show appropriate ID prior to entrance, including students, faculty and staff, and their guests.
  • Showing appropriate ID prior to campus entrance also may be required during weekends when the number of access points into the campus is limited, with the exception of days featuring large campus events, such as football games or the Festival of Books.
  • We will increase the number of Public Safety officers and yellow jacket ambassadors on the perimeter of campus, at entrances, and on campus, as we already have in the neighborhoods around the campus.
  • We will have security personnel on site 24-hours a day to check IDs at the entrances to USC residence halls on the University Park campus and will further secure all other entrances to those buildings.
  • We will install additional security cameras on the perimeter and at campus entrances.

These new policies and safety measures are important for the entire campus community, including our neighbors who spend a great deal of time on our campus.  Each of these actions builds on the extensive safety improvement efforts that we have undertaken over the past several years and that have resulted in a significant decrease in crime incidents in the surrounding neighborhood.

I feel very strongly that the safety and security of our entire campus community outweighs small inconveniences such as showing an ID when we enter the campus at night or on weekends.  I appreciate your support and cooperation as we strive to protect and enhance the remarkable campus life and environment that is so special to the USC community and our neighbors.


C. L. Max Nikias

29 replies
  1. Twan
    Twan says:

    Profiling starting at 9pm every night at USC.

    Sounds like progress USC?

    Be sure and VOTE today for someone who doesn’t promote profiling like USC!

    • Manny
      Manny says:

      If it keeps out ignoramuses like you, we’re all for it. Just because USC is in this neighborhood doesn’t mean you get 24/7 access to it. No one is entitled to be on our campus any time they want except students, who, by the way, PAY for it. If you’re gone, well, good riddance.

    • Earl
      Earl says:

      “Profiling?” Someone’s imagination is running a little wild. It’s checking ID’s. It’s just like Traddie’s: no ID, no entry. Simple. Why can’t you get that?

    • Riley
      Riley says:


      • Twan
        Twan says:

        Every time I step outside I am profiled. You people will never understand.

        Hey, the Row don’t deserve anything more than the BSA. Once we have a Black Row, we can talk about loosening things up for the White Row!

        Lastly, I have been out all day working the Get Out the Vote campaign! If you haven’t voted please do so before the 8pm closing time. Our president needs your vote!

        Also, our kids and the schools need Prop 30!

        Despite all you bigots and haters, Peace!

  2. Jack
    Jack says:

    “Use of outside event promoters will no longer be permitted for USC social events in university facilities or on Fraternity and Sorority Row.”

    That’s absurd. Why should the Greek system be penalized for the actions of ghetto thugs? People don’t get shot at frat parties. Nikias is just using this as an excuse to crack down on the Greek system and further restrict SC’s social scene.

    • The Row Did It!
      The Row Did It! says:

      I knew it! It was the Greeks that did it! You guys are responsible for this happening. I don’t know exactly how you are implicated in the now infamous “Halloween massacre” but you did something!

      The Administration is not going far enough! Shutdown the Frats now! Only then will parents be comforted that the campus, the community and greater Los Angeles are no longer under a threat!

      ID checks from MLK to Pico! As a worried parent, I want this NOW!

  3. DPS-LAPD Loves Their New Power
    DPS-LAPD Loves Their New Power says:

    How long has the campus existed within an urban core?

    It is 2012 and 20 years from the L.A. Riots and some 3rd-rate punk-, reprobate-, criminal brings the campus to its knees! Seriously? This event is what merits that the campus enter lock-down mode, enact a police-state (welcome to the new stasi) and “a taser for you?!”

    What’s next?

    Because there is always a next! Laws-Policies-Procedures never get rolled-back; they never get rescinded. They only grow and grow and grow (like a cancer). But no, it is not politically expedient to limit power, is it?! So what’s next…construction of a new USC jail coming to a corner-of-campus near you!

    Seriously, hasn’t the US had enough of the growing encroachment on personal liberties? Does USC have to model the Federal government in abuse of power — everyone had better have ID on them at all time, or you will be thrust out onto the edges of the street, to be eaten alive by the wolves (sarc).

    I know what should happen; let’s do this: ALL THE ADMINISTRATION and everyone living outside of the 90007 zip code should sell their homes and move into the area. (1) You would feel all of the policies that you are creating, for yourself (2) You would learn how bad or good the neighborhood actually is; therefore making informed policy changes (and just how many of the administration are in the area at 2am) (3) You could look yourself in the mirror, knowing you are no-hypocrite.

    • Manny
      Manny says:

      A “police state”? You’re an idiot. They’re adding measures so non-USC students aren’t welcome at night on campus. Which they’re should not be unless they are given permission.

      • DPS-LAPD Loves Their New Power
        DPS-LAPD Loves Their New Power says:

        You’re the idiot: Use your imagination.

        There are many entry points to the campus. So what is intended? Are they going to lock-up vast areas of the campus, funnelling everyone into select entry-points? And you must have ID! Yes, you are the potential criminal until you prove yourself otherwise. You are naive and ignorant and scared.

        What level of staffing is needed to “enhance” the monitoring of the campus? Restrictions on mobility and social life are certainly key attributes to a police state. But don’t fret, I am not comparing USC to North Korea. Rather I am highlighting “the direction of” increased authority to a “security apparatus”.

        Maybe USC is getting dumber? Who was the guy that committed the shooting? Oh, yeah, he was someone that works in security; someone with state-licensing; but these are the guys worthy of “controlling” your movement! By going along, you are playing the role of the idiot, the useful-idiot: You are not a criminal (assumingly) but you are okay with ALL of the negative repercussions falling onto you!

        • Manny
          Manny says:

          “Naive, ignorant, and scared”? I was a student for four years and did just fine by being aware of my surroundings and not getting involved in shady business. Are you even a student? If not, what business do you have on private property at night? None. If you’re not, you don’t pay tuition. Therefore, you don’t deserve to feel the entitlement to enter the premises. It’s simple, and apparently, you just don’t understand. You know who the guy was who did the shooting? A non-USC individual. People blame our neighborhood, but he was from Inglewood. If I was still a student, I would have no problem with these mandates. If you aren’t affiliated with USC, you don’t deserve to be there any time you want. This is no different from any other privately owned institution.

          And no one is saying they’re keeping out the “potential criminals” except you – some students have been involved in wrongdoing, no denying that. They’re keeping out people not authorized to be there. It’s USC’s property – it belongs to students that pay for the privilege of attending, and thus, they are allowed to make their own rules. Leavey Library, for instance, already kicks out non-students after 10 PM. If any of these measures offends you, who cares? I have no problem with the surrounding community, and the community can adopt USC as their school. However, it still doesn’t make you a member.

          This party was intended to be for USC students. LA Hype expanded the scope, and look what it got us. And I laugh at the fact that you’re expanding to include “LAPD” in your username. These aren’t measures involving LAPD – it’s an internal matter, and that’s how Nikias is handling it. All this shows is your paranoia. There is no naivete here. Measures like some of these have been requested for years. Example: when people who don’t live in USC housing try to enter for whatever purpose, be it to collect recyclables or not, it should not be tolerated. You don’t live there, GTFO. How would you like it if I just walked into your place a) without your knowledge and/or b) without your permission?

          Sorry I’m not sorry.

          • DPS-LAPD Loves Their New Power
            DPS-LAPD Loves Their New Power says:

            Without divulging my status (because I don’t want to know who you are), and from reading the expressions of who you claim to be, I can assure you that I have stronger, deeper and more significant ties than you; and as far as my permissibility on the campus, procedurally, the policy will have no impact on me, regardless of the hours that I am on campus, if need be. So, FO. Your comments are offensive to me. Your arrogance is offensive to me. The school that I cherish and its evolving (devolving) hypersensitivity is offensive to me. (And it is sickening that is come to this.)

            My prior interest in commenting was not to make personal attacks but to explore the issues. Unless you want to control the comments too? Unless you would you like to check my papers before I voice my comments in this text, I think I have the right to extend the argument.

            Since, you want to challenge the intelligence of others; what is your intelligence? I mean: Can you answer questions? What makes you think that new policies will change anything? When has there been evidence that the policies proposed are reflective of past, negative events, thus potentially limiting said events? What is the relevance of non-campus policing and how will that be impacted? Is there a greater need for control on-campus or off-campus, respective the data? If those who commit crime do not care about laws to begin with, what makes you think “procedures” will have an impact on their thinking? And no doubt, there are “events” that happen all the time and at all-hours; why are these hours excluded? When is more crime committed: in the evening hours, on campus, or off-campus and other hours? What level of cost is justified? How much cost should be expended for security? How many “agents” (DPS, LAPD) should be employed to enact an appropriate level of security that makes you feel comfortable? If approximating a closed campus is effective then why limit it there: and extend to erecting greater walls, absolute restrictions? Why limit the prospective, new procedures to those periods? What quantitative effect does it actually have? Do you have any evidence to weight the proposed procedures as cost-efficient from just closing the campus, if having an open campus presents a threat? Where are the lines? Why do you approve certain lines (arbitrarily) and then react against others drawing alternate lines? At least existing lines have historical precedence; do yours? Or does your support of existing lines have any precedence or weight or merit; or is it just what you want; is it just your prejudices, fear, naivety, superstition evident?

          • Manny
            Manny says:

            I already said what status I have, and I’m not afraid of it. Perhaps your comments would compromise yours, so I’m not going to force you to give that up. What I do encourage yourself to do is question your disparaging: “a taser for you,” “the new stasi,” “USC is getting dumber.” You talk about my arrogance. How arrogant are you that you feel you can disparage my university? And if you call arrogance the feeling that one’s own property should be protected from others that need not involve themselves, then fine. I won’t hide from that, and I don’t care if you think that’s offensive. In order to avoid yourself becoming “arrogant” like me, I hope you are open to someone coming inside your house or some institution you subscribe to with their own intents at any hour, lest you look hypocritical. There’s freedom, and then there’s taking advantage of that freedom. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. In USC’s case, it’s a private institution just like many others with investments that need to be protected. No one just has a right to walk in whenever they feel like it. Even with just this in mind, these changes are logical.

            You mention the Watts riots and how this small-scale (though not less tragic) event is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve got news for you: times have changed, and danger still exists. It has even gotten more sophisticated. It’s one thing to call out beefed-up security measures, but what you’re doing is extrapolating by calling it a “police state.” What it’s doing is limiting the property to a group of people that have paid for it. If non-USC individuals weren’t there, would this have happened? You can look at all the statistics you want, but they’re meaningless – “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” You can manipulate the statistics for anything you want, but that’s all they are: anything you want.

            You ask what the cost of all this is. Well, if you desire fewer incidents and decide to lower risk to protect life and property, then it’s common sense. Do you have bars on your windows? If so, was the cost worth it? Additionally, if so, why put them there besides cost? It’s not just about the money. It’s what the cost provides: a heightened sense of security among students, faculty, staff, etc. who don’t care to share their campus (at certain hours of the day, mind you) with people who haven’t paid or been selected to be there.

            You can call it nothing personal, but to simply disparage a university for reacting in the best interests of the students (yes, I said it – people have been wanting this for years) is rather pathetic. I don’t agree with your position, but nowhere have I tried to limit your argument. I’m calling you out on it.

            My question above all is this: why should the details you request concern you? If they don’t impact your checkbook, student or not, what difference does it make? And you can claim to have significant ties all you want; omitting them doesn’t exactly boost your credibility in this issue over those that attend this university, and especially those that experienced the recent incident. All you’ve done is extrapolated to call USC a “police state” just because you don’t seem to like the measures, for whatever reason that might be. My guess is, like others, you equate this to profiling, which is BS. If you think that I am dealing in hypotheticals of the benefits of these changes, then what do you call what you’re doing with the potential costs and risks of them?

            I’m not discouraging a debate over these. I am simply in support of action being taken, and, as a recent vocal critic of the failure to act quickly, I feel good about these changes. Just because these changes were made to make USC less accessible, which apparently, as you’ve stated, doesn’t even affect your status of entering at the particular hours during which the campus is closed, doesn’t make them “a police state.” If you have so many questions for me, I ask you one back: what do non-USC individuals (i.e. those that aren’t students, staff, or faculty) need to do so desperately at night on campus that they don’t need one of the members in parentheses for to accompany them?

            If measures had been enacted to close the campus completely, then, yes, I think that would be an overreaction. But to enact these measures, which students are reacting to positively anyway, isn’t going overboard. I have been on the record stating the past incident was isolated. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from it.

            May I remind you that while USC shouldn’t alienate those that aren’t a part of it, those that aren’t should respect our property and person. USC, after all, thrives off precisely those. Sometimes, it’s necessary to look out for #1. There are more important things to protect than feelings.

  4. Ras
    Ras says:

    I fell very unsafe and not assured if the president thinks that the measures he has taken will “….prevent that circumstance from arising again…” Also, how can he state that the shooting does not reflect the “neighborhood safety” when this shooting as well as the shootings in recent history all took place very close to the USC neighborhood. Can’t have it both ways and stop trying to draw retarded lines in the sand saying that USC is not in the ghettos. We need to stop walking on eggshells and call out these idiots when these incidents of violence occur. Otherwise USC and LA at large are being very complicit with these horrible acts of violence and thug culture.

    • saR
      saR says:

      *Places hand on Ras’s shoulder*

      You feel very safe and not assured? Look Ras, take the silver spoon out of your mouth and hop off your mother’s lap. If you are an actual student, you know that even before this event happened USC increased it’s security measures by leaps and bounds compared to what it has been in the past. With all the time you spend behind this computer you should take some time to fact check. On the night of this occurrence there were only 15 DPS officers present, and most (if not all) were inside the party when the shooting happened. There are more officers patrolling bike lanes on Trousdale everyday than at this party which was attended by the masses.

      It’s absurd to me how the “neighborhood” makes you feel unsafe when you specifically have probably never even experienced an unsafe situation. If you don’t go to USC, I’ll give you some homework. Check the statistics on the number of fights, thefts, and rapes that occur every weekend on the row to the amount of “thuggish,” “ghetto” acts committed by the community.

      This is an unfortunate situation, but I refuse to continue to read these ignorant comments. I do agree that LA Hype should issue a statement, but by you making comments such as these provoke even greater measures to possibly ruin the college experience for current and future generations to come.

      It is important that we all become cognizant of the various associations we place with groups of people. The members of the BSA are exceptional people and do not deserved to have the same negative stereotypes that are constantly perpetuated by media sources and “bold” bloggers. There is a sort of generalized skepticism of minorities that has been ingrained in our privileged American minds. As Trojans, you should understand that our reputation is under attack. We cannot rewrite history and I think we can all agree that moving forward, we need to work towards having a collective voice in how the new policies will be implemented. If you want your actual voice to be heard instead of the clicks on your keyboard help us all organize a town hall. Stop being emotional and reactive, and become proactive. If the classes haven’t taught you anything, here is your first lesson on how to lead. Your opinion matters (to some), but don’t have your words fall on deaf ears Rasy.

      Class over..

      • Ras
        Ras says:

        How do you know I do not live in Compton and blacker then a Haitian off a boat? Are you assuming I am a whitey with a silver spoon in my mouth sitting on mommy’s lap? Does that mean YOU ARE PROFILING ME!?!?!?! :) I thought Liberals like you are so against profiling – i guess your hypocrisy has made you blind that that fact.

        If I pay 10’s of thousands of dollars to go to a university – guess what – yes I do feel I am privileged enough to be provided reasonable security. If I think an armed gangbanger should not be allowed onto campus and gun down 4 people because of a “disagreement” then call me an unreasonable racist but I believe I am in the right.

        I can not believe how far political correctness has poisoned your mind that basic common sense and values have all been surrendered for an opportunity to pretend you do not subscribe to the kind of profiling you employed on me when it comes to murdering gangbangers — precisely just because they happen to be black.

        What is most pernicious about your kind of arguments is that you harbor all the same feelings I do deep inside – you are just not able to be honest about it in the open.

  5. Ras
    Ras says:

    Was it really necessary for Nikias to state that the USC students involved in organizing the party never intended for the shooting to occur? I thought that was a parody until I realized he actually made that statement. I still have not heard USC or BSA make some reference to LA Hype, the other party responsible for organizing the fiasco. In fact we have not heard any words of remorse from LA Hype. This is the exact opposite of taking responsibility for oneself. This BTW is exactly the opposite of what an organization like BSA should be reinforcing. Is it any wonder in the black community, young black males father kids and walk away without taking any personal responsibility? I guess LA Hype can create a ghetto event that results in 4 people getting gunned down and neither USC nor BSA has the stones to call them out or compel LA Hype to make some public statement. Shame on you all.

  6. class of long time ago
    class of long time ago says:

    I support these measures (particularly the banning of the third-party promoter involvement), although I have to scratch my head at the statement that “this incident does not reflect our neighborhood safety, but instead was a case of the wrong people being drawn to campus.” So where did those “wrong people” came from? Bet they weren’t from Brentwood. But kudos to the president for taking quick and decisive action to make positive changes.

    • Maaan
      Maaan says:

      The perpetrator was from Inglewood, more than 5 miles from USC.

      The vast majority of the serious crimes committed around USC in past years were committed by people from far outside the community. The neighborhood is not the problem. The men charged with the murder of our two graduate students are not from the neighborhood. The robber who was shot by DPS shortly after that incident was from Compton (Compton is more than 12 miles from USC. USC is closer to UCLA than Compton). The man who stabbed a student in the fall of 2008 on Orchard St. was from out of town.

      As an alum I do not like these changes. But they are necessary to satisfy the ignorant parents with no knowledge or understanding of the neighborhood who were complaining by the hundreds for changes, any changes.

      • class of long time ago
        class of long time ago says:

        I call BS on that. If the community is so marvelous, then why does the “first family” live out in Pasadena or wherever? Why is the USC house for its president not right there in the community? Pretending it’s not a dangerous area is a terrible disservice to the students there.

        • Sad
          Sad says:

          You call BS on what? The known identities of criminals in police custody or prison?

          There’s a huge difference between wanting to live in a multi-million dollar mansion with a view of the ocean as Nikias does and avoiding a neighborhood because of its safety. Bring something of substance to the table or go on living with your ignorant prejudices.

      • Riley
        Riley says:

        gangs are everywhere in that area. those kids – victims and shooter – were all gang members. You all know that, don’t you?

  7. RW
    RW says:

    The ‘Trojan Family’ which is touted so often by the administration, is larger than just “Students, Faculty, and Staff’.” Where do alumns fall under the new ID program? Many of us still hold Lyon Center memberships and Credit Union accounts. Will we be denied access to the gym/ ATMs after hours and on the weekends? If so, it doesn’t feel much like the ‘Family’ I remember being a part of, and certainly not worth the quarter-million dollars I spent to join it!

    This is a travesty! One of the main selling points and reasons I went to USC was because of the open campus amongst a bustling city-life. The more ‘SC walls itself off from the community, the more hostile the environment becomes. Common-sense is the best defense and efforts should be focused on stopping the advertisement of campus events to the South-L.A. public, not establishing a walled-off fortress. Lets not forget that the criminals responsible for last weeks tragic events were technically INVITED to campus, whether by accident or not. If you attract criminals to campus, violence inevitably follows.

    As Trojans, we are certainly capable of using common-sense to keep our campus safe rather than resorting to over-bearing policing. Lets take our campus back – As TROJANS – and keep it safe and welcoming to the community as well as current, former, and, most importantly, future students!

    Class of 2011

    • oldsloth
      oldsloth says:

      RW makes some considered points. I have two additional points to offer: (1) On campus social activities should Not be advertised to the community at large; why take any chances attracting strangers? (2) The safety of the students is Paramount and the campus is Private, so why not say that Private property and those associated with the university, or with some legitimate purpose, can be allowed; and those who are not associated or without legitimate purpose can be asked to leave?

  8. Jason
    Jason says:

    Personally, I still feel that President Nikias needs to address the time lag that occurred with the Trojan Alerts System. When I talked with Sargent Alex of DPS, he told me that there is no dedicated person who consistently mans the Trojan Alerts System station. I feel that this must change. We as members of the Trojan community are entitled to a quick system that alerts us to threats that compromise our safety.

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