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USC announces new security measures in shooting aftermath

PHOTOS: Shooting at USC Halloween party

In the wake of last week’s shooting on campus, 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.”

PHOTOS: Shooting at USC Halloween party

He said the vast majority of non-USC visitors will not be affected, including those who attend concerts, lectures or athletic events that begin before 9 p.m. He said that USC will remain a campus “that welcomes all our neighbors” for recreation, entertainment, education and community programs.

Under his plan, entrance to the campus will be restricted to students, faculty, staff and their guests in those late-night and early-morning hours and anyone coming to the campus during that time period will be asked to show identification. Late-night guests will have to be escorted in by a USC-affiliated person or be confirmed as a legitimate guest by phone, he said.

Other measures will include stronger advance scrutiny of proposals for large student events and parties, increased security patrols and more security cameras at campus entrances and perimeters.

The steps are being announced Tuesday in a letter and email sent to the USC community of students, faculty and employees.

A 19-year-old Inglewood man, who is a licensed security guard, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the Halloween night shooting. Authorities said the shooting stemmed from an argument between two people not affiliated with the school.

The incident occurred just six months after two graduate students from China were fatally shot in a robbery less than a mile from campus. Both incidents raised concerns about campus safety and whether potential applicants would be scared away from the school south of downtown Los Angeles.

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-- Larry Gordon

Photo: USC Department of Public Safety officers patrol campus on bicycles last Thursday. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times.

 
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