Pastides ‘guardedly optimistic’ about safe weekend
Free shuttles will run along two routes between campus and Five Points this weekend.
From 9:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, shuttles will pick up and drop off students on campus at the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center on Heyward Street, Blatt P.E. Center, Capstone House, Russell House and Greek Village. In Five Points, the shuttles will pick up and drop off at the fountain.
The new safety measure comes in response to criticism of lengthy waits for the university’s free cab service after first-year business student Martha Childress was hit by a stray bullet while waiting for a cab near the Five Points fountain earlier this month. The free cabs will continue to operate this weekend, according to Ryan Bailey, student body vice president.
In an email to students Thursday, USC President Harris Pastides said a safe solution in Five Points will only come through “continued planning and cooperation” in the community.
“While I am guardedly optimistic about the prospects for a safe and enjoyable weekend, the security issues that exist in Five Points after midnight cannot be fixed in two weeks,” Pastides wrote.
He added that the city plans to increase the “security infrastructure” in the popular nightlife district, and “USC will do also do its part by installing additional call boxes and improved lighting on selected routes between Five Points and campus.”
Student Government began a process last year of gathering funds to install five or six new emergency call boxes for a “Safety Pathway to Five Points” along Blossom, Greene and College streets.
That’s still a plan, Bailey said, but the process has slowed down and is now only focusing on Greene Street. SG is still looking for money for the boxes.
Bailey said the shooting has not served as a “catalyst” to move the Safety Pathway project forward faster.
“We are always going to be in a constant state of looking for ways to make campus safer for all of our students,” Bailey said.