Safety resources abound at USC

In light of recent crime, taking precautions, using services essential

With daylight savings time approaching in less than three weeks, it is imperative we as students take steps to keep ourselves safe at all times. Earlier nightfalls and later nights at the library create circumstances that require us to be cognizant of possible danger on and around campus. USC provides a number of services that students worried about traveling on campus late at night can take advantage of.

In terms of travel safety, the university offers several travel options to ease students’ concerns. All shuttle services are available Monday through Friday while classes are in session. There are two evening shuttles, which operate from 5:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The routes may be found on the Parking Services website and on the listings detailing the other shuttle routes near bus stops. A strobe light makes these shuttles identifiable.

Additionally, a late night shuttle runs from 12:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and can be dispatched by calling 777-3351. APO Escort is another free service available thanks to the Iota Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. The service is available from 8 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and can be called for a pickup at 777-DUCK (3825).

If all else fails, the campus police can escort you safely to your residence hall or car; they can be reached at 777-4215.

Other steps we can take to minimize our risk of endangerment late at night include walking along well-lit and busy sidewalks and roads, traveling in groups and having a plan in mind before going anywhere in Five Points. It’s always a good idea to let someone know where you are at all times.

Generally, it is safer to drive somewhere than it is to walk. It is also probably safer to park in a garage than by the Coliseum or in the Bates lot. That being said, there is no security guaranteed at any of the garages or lots, and lighting is often poor.

Due to the ever-increasing parking dilemma, most commuting students won’t be able to park at the garages around exam time anyway unless, perhaps, they’re on the board of trustees. The best bet for these students may be to park at a faculty or graduate lot after 5 p.m. and utilize one of the evening shuttle services once they are ready to leave campus.

Last but not least, trust your intuition.

If your gut feeling about someone you meet or somewhere you go is bad, trust yourself and take appropriate action. If you are in an unfamiliar area with unfamiliar faces, it’s best to stay sober. According to the U.S. Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, almost half of all sexual assaults occur when the victim, perpetrator or both are intoxicated.

Never be embarrassed to leave somewhere if you feel uncomfortable. If you witness something that bothers you, or raises your suspicions, contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
College is a time for experiencing life on your own and having fun, but there is real-world danger that we must be aware of. Here’s to hoping “fall back” brings us more sleep and less crime.

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