After a Halloween night shooting left four people wounded, USC announced new security policies Tuesday that will limit access to the University Park campus at night.
The changes were outlined by University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias in a letter to students, parents, faculty and staff.
The university southwest of downtown Los Angeles will prohibit outsiders from being on campus at night, and students, employees and their guests will have to show identification to get onto campus between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The changes are designed to address the Wednesday night shooting that prompted further anxiety at USC, which was still recovering from the April deaths of two grad students in a brutal off-campus robbery attempt.
Brandon Spencer, a 20-year-old Inglewood man accused of opening fire outside the on-campus Halloween party, pleaded not guilty Monday to four counts of attempted murder. He's being held on $2.04 million bail.
"Like you, I was unsettled and troubled by last week’s shooting," Nikias said in the letter, which was posted on USC's website.
Nikias noted that his administration had made security changes in recent years, but said "this incident made it clear that more must be done."
The Oct. 31 on-campus event was open only to students with USC identification, but an outside party promoter had advertised the event throughout Los Angeles, Nikias said. Many non-students tried to come to the party, and a disagreement between two of them prompted 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," Nikias wrote.
The changes to be made immediately include:
- organizers of events on campus or in fraternity or sorority houses will not be allowed to use outside promoters;
- applications for future events will get increased scrutiny;
- and campus public safety officers will be in charge of checking IDs for all on-campus events where student identification is required.
Starting Jan. 14, after winter break, the following changes will be implemented:
- between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the University Park campus will be restricted to students, faculty, staff and their guests, with all those entering campus required to show ID;
- the number of public safety officers at campus entrances and around the school's perimeter will increase;
- security personnel will check ID at the entrances to all on-campus dorms 24 hours per day;
- and more security cameras will be installed around the edges of campus and at entrances.
Nikias stressed in the letter that the university was not closing its doors to surrounding residents, with whom it has had a sometimes fractious relationship.
"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," he wrote.