For the first time in its 132 year history, USC will be a closed campus at night spurred by safety concerns amplified by a Halloween shooting that injured four people just a few months after two grad students were killed in an off-campus robbery attempt.
Student Rikin Metha was inside the building where that was party was being held. When non-USC students were denied entry, an argument broke out and shots were fired, police said at the time.
"There are open gates so anyone can walk in anytime of the night," Metha said.
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That is about to change with new chain link fences already in place along the campus perimeter, which used to be open on Jefferson and Exposition boulevards.
Starting on Jan. 14, between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., eight of the campus’ 27 entrances will be open, and they’ll be open exclusively to students and staff with university-issued ID.
Guests will be allowed on campus at night but students must first register them online, an added step some called a necessary nuisance.
"It's a slight bit of hassle but it's not that bad and it helps keep us safe," said freshman Adrian Mendoza.
Mendoza said some students are complaining about the new security measures, including the requirement to both swipe their ID card and scan their fingerprint in order to get into the dorms.
"There's a good amount of kids annoyed by it, Mendoza said. “They don't feel they should have to fingerprint scan to get into their rooms."
Starting Jan. 14, 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.
Changes already in place include barring organizers of events on campus or fraternity or sorority houses from using outside promoters; increased scrutiny for future events; and campus public safety officers are now in charge of checking IDs for all on-campus events where student identification is required.