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Tougher USC security rules win praise from students

November 6, 2012 |  2:32 pm

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Reaction at USC was mainly positive Tuesday to new security rules that will restrict access to the school late at night.

Some, however, expressed concern that the campus would become too walled-off as a result of the policies adopted in the aftermath of shootings on campus last week.

Undergraduate student body President Michael Geragos called the measures “a great step toward ensuring safety on campus” and added that “any inconvenience that this might cause the students is outweighed by the positive impact it has on student safety and wellness.” Geragos, 21, a senior from Pasadena, said that students were pleased that administrators said they did not want the new rules to isolate the school from the surrounding communities.

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“This is definitely a good idea at night,” said Danny Razzano, a freshman from Irvine. “I think it will prevent the thing that happened at the Halloween party from happening again because the people involved were not USC students.” But beyond any new security measures from the university, the 18-year-old said that all students should be cautious late at night and look out for one another. “Kids from the suburbs may not understand we live in an urban environment now and it’s easy to be naive about people,” he said.

The announcement of the new measures triggered some debate on the Daily Trojan’s website. One recent alumnus wrote to the campus newspaper that the security rules were “a travesty.” He said one of the main reasons he attended 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.”

In the wake of last week’s campus shooting, USC on Tuesday announced a new set of heightened security measures, including visitor restrictions and mandatory identification checks on anyone seeking to enter the main campus between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

In addition, outside promoters will be banned from working on USC social events held at campus facilities or on nearby Fraternity Row, according to USC President C.L. Max Nikias. Last week’s shooting, which wounded four people -– none of them USC students -- occured outside a Halloween party that had been promoted by a non-USC firm that invited young people from across the city.

The new rules, which will be rolled out immediately and fully implemented by January, will make USC’s main campus a somewhat more closed place, Nikias conceded in a telephone interview. But he described it as “a small inconvenience given how strongly I feel about the safety and security of the campus.”

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-- Larry Gordon

Photo: USC's Department of Public Safety officers secure the crime scene after four people were shot during a Halloween party at the Tutor Campus Center. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

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