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USC Is Pretty Much a Locked-Down Panopticon At This Point

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One of the best things about urban college campuses is that they're urban--they give students the chance to learn about a new neighborhood and get involved in a community beyond the insular one they have on campus. How is USC taking advantage of that incredible benefit? By locking the University Park campus down tight as an underwater panic room and heavily policing that surrounding community. The school's not just keeping out outsiders, they're also scanning everyone's license plates, stepping up LAPD presence, and filming the surrounding neighborhood, just to be safe. In spring 2012, two USC graduate students were killed in a car off campus; the school has responded by kicking people off campus (the men charged live nowhere near University Park, for the record). Gates around the perimeter are now closed at night and "Only USC staff, faculty and students with identification are allowed on campus after 9 p.m.," according to KPCC. Once students make it through the perimeter, they have to have their fingerprints scanned to get into their dorm (only the one they live in). There are now 258 safety officers on campus, plus 30 LAPD officers on the University Park Task Force (doubled since the shooting), which patrols the area around the campus. "The relationship between the university and municipal police departments is seamless," USC's police chief assures. This team has 170 surveillance cameras positioned around the campus and 60 license plate readers "that send scanned plates to the state's Department of Justice to check for stolen vehicles or cars involved in criminal cases. Any vehicle driving on campus has its license plate scanned and read." Obviously the school takes crimes against its students very seriously. Except for sexual assault.
· USC strengthens security with more cameras, closer ties with LAPD [SCPR]
· It's About to Get a Lot Harder to Get Into USC (Literally) [Curbed LA]