University of Southern California officials put new security measures into effect last Monday and according to local news reports some who live and work near the campus do not like the new policy.
“It’s ridiculous,” Dontez Sharpley told the Los Angeles Times.
“People getting off work late trying to go through [the campus] and you’re telling them they can’t.”
The new policy prevents Sharpley who is not a student or faculty and others like him from entering the campus between the hours of 9:00 pm to 6:00 am without being registered as a legitimate guest or without identification. Those attempting to gain access to anyone of the campus’ “lightly used” entrances can expect to be met by campus security. The changes were made after a string of violent incidents took place on and near the campus last year including a double murder involving two Chinese students and a shooting at a Halloween party.
“It’s a balancing act,” campus officials told reporters, stating “but our students and staff are our first priority.”
“Campus security is paramount,” wrote one Internet commenter on the subject.
“Restricting entry after 9 pm is a reasonable step to take. However, like any large urban university, USC imposes a very considerable geographical and economic footprint on its neighborhood, and it is irresponsible of them to dismiss this. The university should find a way to accommodate those wanting to traverse the campus on their way to or from work, perhaps by substantiating workplace and home addresses.
“Many of these people work long hours for low wages and ask only to be treated with some dignity when they’re passing through. They are not the enemy, and they shouldn't be treated that way.”
According to Craig Keys, associate vice president of USC’s Civic Engagement, “eight heavily used entrances will remain open at all times including overnight.”
Information about those entrances are available at web http:// web-app.usc.edu/maps/#upc.
“Temporary fencing has been installed to direct people to staffed entrances,” he said.
“Most campus visits take place during the daytime and early evening hours and will be unaffected by the new policy.”
“I think it is extremely irresponsible for USC to lock out a community,” wrote another commenter Joann Smith.
“They are surrounded on all sides (North, South, East and West) with blight, suffering and deprivation and those people look for the conveniences of having pathways of not having to walk miles to their transit connections and stores etc. The school wants to insolate a learning institution and the grounds themselves to a community they sit square dab in the middle of, amazing...not matter any hour (sic). It is just painful and irresponsible. I think there is a responsibility to the students, faculty, etc., to feel and remain [safe but], they must not exclude those they share a tax base with and that is the people in those surrounding areas.”
Meanwhile, officials said they will “monitor the implementation of the security enhancements and will work to improve the process as needed.”