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USC security measures limiting late-night access take effect

January 14, 2013 | 10:39 am

Heightened security measures at USC — created after a Halloween shooting on campus that left four people wounded — will go into effect Monday, limiting late-night access to the university.

Between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the number of campus entrance points will be reduced and limited to students, faculty, staff and their guests. Anyone arriving on campus during that time will be asked to show identification to security guards stationed at the entrance points.

Late-night guests must also be registered online by a student, faculty or staff member.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias explained the new measures to The Times in November, calling them "a small inconvenience given how strongly I feel about the safety and security of the campus." He said USC will remain a campus "that welcomes all our neighbors" for athletics, entertainment, education and community programs."

No students were injured in the Oct. 31, 2012, shooting, which occurred outside a Halloween party promoted by a non-USC firm that invited people from across the city. Student witnesses described a chaotic scene after shots rang out near the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, located in the heart of campus.

A 20-year-old Inglewood man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the incident. He pleaded not guilty in November.

The shooting came six months after two graduate students were fatally shot in a botched robbery less than a mile from campus. Both incidents raised concerns from many parents and students about campus safety, and whether potential applicants would be scared away from the school.

A week after the Halloween shooting, Nikias told The Times the university would also change its policies on events, including a ban on outside promoters working at campus facilities or nearby Fraternity Row, and stronger scrutiny of proposals for large student parties. Security patrols and the number of cameras on or near campus would also be increased, he said.

In an letter addressed to students, faculty and staff, university officials said most campus visits occur during daytime and early evening hours and "will be unaffected by the new policy." The letter, dated Monday, also invited feedback on the changes.

"We will monitor the implementation of the security enhancements and work with faculty, staff and students to improve the process as needed," the letter read.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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