A black, non-student male shot four other black men, also not students, in the center of USC’s campus last Halloween. USC’s response, according to the Daily Trojan, included the following:
“[USC’s Department of Public Safety] plans to add 38 security cameras internally on campus, in addition to the 72 cameras already installed around the perimeter of campus.”
“The campus will also be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and, of the 27 openings on campus only, eight of them will be accessible.”
“The new system will require an on-campus resident to register their guests after 9 p.m. at visitor.usc.edu and have each guest present a government-issued ID when entering campus.”
USC is also, according to rumors, building a moat and a draw-bridge along Vermont and is in negotiations with some of USC’s own marine biologists to breed barracudas to keep kids from trying to swim across. The machine gun-turrets are looking spiff at the intersection of McClintock and Jefferson, and DPS SUVs are soon to be outfitted with rocket-launchers and skin-melting ray guns, say officials who requested anonymity as they were not cleared to speak on the issue.
One USC official had this to say: “You see, if black people shoot black people off campus, that’s fine, it isn’t our problem. But as soon as them folks start creeping onto our pristine, peaceful little campus, well, then we’re gonna give the War on Poverty a facelift! We’re gonna make the LAPD look like a bunch of cub scouts that got lost in the woods looking for marshmallow-roasting sticks!”
The student-body response to USC’s new security measures was diverse. Freshman Rebecca Cormsdorf said, “I can tell if you don’t belong around here, like you don’t look collegiate and proper enough. I can turn on the taser function on my iPhone before I even take my hand out of my purse and then zap!”
Student Juan Elsoza had this to say: “I don’t even go to campus after dark any more. I mean, the first couple times DPS came up to me and started asking me questions about what I’m up to around here, I just tried to brush it off. But, you know, that shit’s troubling. I wasn’t born with a trust fund. I study my ass off around here and work two jobs on the side to be able to come here, and I can’t even walk around without being suspected of something. I can’t bring myself to come here anymore after the sun’s gone down. Getting approached like that, it’s just too humiliating.”
USC takes its image in the community seriously and is planning to buy billboard space in the neighborhood with quotes like, “DPS talks to you so much because they love you <3” and “The fences keep us on our side of the neighborhood and you on your side!”
Tensions on campus are high as the semester winds through its early weeks. The daily opening and closing of campus fences is gradually becoming a part of the daily campus routine. Only time will tell if USC will be successful in keeping its campus safe.