USC announces new security measures after death of student

USC announced new safety measures to improve security on the University Park Campus and the surrounding neighborhood on Thursday.

The measures include adding additional neighborhood security ambassadors, upgrading security technology, instituting new safety education measures and expanding the service area of Campus Cruiser.

The announcement comes three weeks after Xinran Ji, a 24-year-old male graduate student from China, was killed in an attempted robbery outside of his apartment. Vice Provost of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry said that the new safety measures were put in place after the annual review process and were based in part on suggestions from the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Department of Public Safety.

“An important part of moving forward will be creating a collaborative effort between students, our Department of Public Safety, and the Los Angeles Police Department,” Carry said.

Members of the USC administration have met with Chinese student leaders and parents to discuss safety concerns. DPS Chief John Thomas also reiterated his call for students to participate in a student safety committee to further encourage such collaboration.

The university will continue its effort to improve safety education programs by making graduate and international student orientations mandatory. Undergraduate student orientations are already compulsory. Safety education sessions will be enhanced in all orientation programs.

To specifically address the safety needs of international students, DPS will also forming an International Student Safety Advisory Group and creating an International Student Liaison Officer position.

“One of the areas of concern is that since we have so many international students coming from so many different parts of the world, we need to build orientation programs and security measures that are cognizant of cultural intelligence and what security means in different parts of the world,” Carry said.

Though crimes on and around campus have been reduced significantly over the past two years, Todd Dickey, senior vice president for administration, stated in a press release said that USC evaluates security and safety measures on an ongoing basis.

“[T]he tragic death of Xinran Ji, shows that random criminal acts can take place in spite of our best efforts, and it further strengthens our resolve to find additional ways that we can help prevent such senseless tragedies,” Dickey said in a press release.

A full list of the changes can be seen here.