Students react to new safety plan

Several students said they believe new safety measures announced Tuesday by USC President C. L. Max Nikias are improvements to on-campus safety.

The new policies come after four victims sustained gunshot wounds on Oct. 31 in an on-campus shooting. The incident occurred after a suspect, not affiliated with the university, got in an argument with Geno Hall, a former Crenshaw High football star, at a Halloween party promoted by LA Hype in association with the Black Student Assembly.

The new security policies include banning outside event promoters and requiring university identification to enter campus between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The university also plans to increase surveillance and the number of security guards on the perimeter of campus.

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson said student groups were consulted and briefed before the changes were announced.

Several student leaders said the new changes are likely to enhance on-campus security. Mikey Geragos, Undergraduate Student Government President, said banning promoters should give student groups more oversight of their events.

“I think we are all in agreement of having party promoters on campus was probably not a good idea,” Geragos said. “When you get party promoters involved … there is always the risk they could advertise to people who they shouldn’t advertise to and you don’t have control of what’s being put out there.”

Molly Russell, a senior majoring in public relations, said she supports the policy for checking IDs to enter campus at night, but is not convinced that banning promoters will solve any safety issues on campus.

“The ID thing is huge. I think it’s a logical step that should have been taken years ago. This area is not very safe, and that’s always going to be a challenge,” Russell said. “But I don’t think the promoter thing will really help. USC is supposed to be integrated with the community, so I think it’s weird to go back on that by not allowing them to hold events.”

According to Geragos, events will still be open to individuals in the community, but USC will be checking IDs at the door.

“We wanted to make sure there was a good way to monitor [events] without excluding those guests,” Geragos said.

The university expects all new policies to be fully implemented by Jan. 14, 2013 — the first day of the spring semester.

Arya Roshanian, a sophomore majoring in vocal arts, doubts that the Dept. of Public Safety will be able to enforce the new safety measures during times when there is a high volume of students on campus.

“I’m not sure how it’s going to work with crowds,” Roshanian said. “During finals week, so many people go to campus at night to study and everything. How will they handle it when a big hoard of people is trying to get on campus?”

Nikias also said that the university will increase the amount of DPS officers stationed on campus and at campus and residence hall entrances. The banning of outside event promoters will extend to the Row.

Student Affairs consulted the Inter-Fraternity Council before announcing the changes. IFC President Michael Madden noted that the ban on promoters does not apply to party planners.

Madden said some fraternities have already started checking student IDs at the door -— a policy IFC hopes to make mandatory for all fraternities.

“That’s an idea that has been discussed and will probably be implemented next spring,” Madden said. “We are still in the process of working out the logistics of it.”

Some students, such as Sheun Alli, a junior majoring in business administration, said that staying safe is mainly up to the individual.

“People just need to be careful,” Sheun said. “The school can do whatever they want, but we’re still in South Central.”

4 replies
  1. Angry Student
    Angry Student says:

    HOW many donations has USC accepted in the last 2-3 years? $300 million here, $25 million there… I get the idea that donations may have strings attached, stipulations as to what the money is intended for, but does it really make a difference spending $299 million on a building that the vast majority of students here CANNOT EVEN USE (seriously?) and using that extra $1 million on increasing security and other safety measures for people who actually PAY to come here and use facilities, rather than catering to a very small group of student-athletes, many of whom who are going to leave this place after 2-3 years to play for the big leagues anyway. Not placing any blame on athletes here, but rather an administration who clearly seems to be more focused on nurturing and exploiting a very minuscule part of the student population instead of trying to keep our non-athletically-gifted students safe. But thank GOD it wasn’t Matt Barkley who got shot, or Marquise Lee; thank GOD it was ONLY a non-student who was shot FOUR TIMES in the MIDDLE OF CAMPUS.

    Also, Niki-ass, thanks for sending out your statement re: the shooting to the LA Times before letting your immediate constituents, the students who live here, know anything of remote importance.

    Basically Presi-dunce Niki-ass, you’re an asshole; you’re a money-hungry, fame-whoring Niki-ASS only looking for your name in the headlines so you can pleasure yourself to seeing your name in print. Have fun with that while the campus continues to get gunned down around you.

  2. Joe
    Joe says:

    Does USC want prospective students or not? Let’s be real, no parents will allow/pay for their kids to come to or continue to go to a school in an area that is so dangerous, unless they address this complicated problem head-on, be serious! The USC administration needs to make major changes unless they want enrollment to drop substantially.

  3. Pike #1
    Pike #1 says:

    I’m glad they came down on the Row as they have had several shootings and the Administration failed to do anything before.

    • Andrew
      Andrew says:

      Because the two are definitely mutually exclusive. Don’t blame the University for cracking down on the Row, blame the Row itself. It has been embarrassing USC for years.

      And don’t even start with “they failed to do anything before.” The administration added the yellowjackets a few years ago, they’ve increased DPS patrols, LAPD has increased its presence around USC (for better or worse), and the administration responded quickly and decisively when an on-campus shooting happened.

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