As is the case at any university and in any city, there are dangerous people, and if students are not careful, they may find themselves in a dangerous situation. However, USC provides a number of services to ensure safety. In addition to Columbia’s police force, the USC Police Department (USCPD) monitor campus 24 hours a day via car, bike, or foot patrols. The 100-plus call boxes strategically located throughout campus allow students fast access to not only the USCPD but also the Columbia and Richland County police departments in emergency circumstances. There are also multiple escort services that operate five nights a week between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. and an all-night shuttle if students are alone and do not feel comfortable walking across campus. In the event of campus-wide emergencies, a campus-wide text message will go out, and sirens atop of multiple University buildings will alert people of danger.
In spite of the tight security on campus, crime still occurs. By practicing simple safety precautions (i.e., not walking alone at night, locking up your dorm room, not leaving anything valuable unattended in public, carrying pepper spray, carrying a cell phone, etc.), students can often avoid these situations. Although the USCPD is very efficient in handling crime, students can take huge steps in ensuring their own safety by following simple common sense procedures.