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USC Students Sick of the Gates, Racial Profiling, Security Costs

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Last Halloween, four people were wounded in a shooting on USC's campus, and six days later the administration announced they'd be gating the whole campus. Now USC is locked down tight, with ID checks, fingerprint scanners, license plate readers, and surveillance cameras; with the LAPD, they've also been cracking down on the surrounding neighborhood (even though the alleged shooter was from Inglewood). But a lot of students think all of that defeats the point of an urban college campus--a group called #USChangeMovement is circulating a petition to have the gates taken down, arguing "the gates create a visible barrier that isolates USC from the South Los Angeles community and also serve to increase incidents of racial profiling," according to the Daily Trojan. One leader says the shooting was an isolated incident and that "a lot of people felt like the administration did not consider the long-term implications of the gates ... They just did it out of fear and panic." And while the gates make USC a bad neighbor, the post-shooting crackdown is even alienating students on campus: one junior tells the paper "I think students, if they've been paying attention, have noticed racial profiling and a lack of attention paid to certain students over others ... I've seen students walk on campus and not show their ID because they were of a certain race and then other people get accosted." And then there's the money. The LA Times reported a couple days ago that student organizations are complaining about how much they have to spend on security these days--this year's Welcome Concert had double the safety costs of last year's and "Other groups have either moved events off campus or canceled them outright." Some events, like a Halloween party at the campus center, can't even get approved. The new rules have been especially tough on smaller groups, the kind whose programming is "generally meant to bring greater cultural awareness to campus."
· Students petition to remove fence [Daily Trojan]
· USC Is Pretty Much a Locked-Down Panopticon At This Point [Curbed LA]