Health & Safety

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Health & Safety


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3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: A few incidents have happened this year, but I've never been too fearful for my safety.

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: In my first semester here at USC, I was enrolled in a freshmen seminar class known as University 101. In that class, we had several lectures and guest speakers who spoke on various topics of campus crime, personal safety, and the concept of sexual assault and how to help prevent it. The topics were not something that I had not been introduced to before, but it was amazing to see that my school cared enough about our safety to not take any chances and go ahead and reiterate the information just in case.

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3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Columbia is kind of scary at night time. I don't feel very comfortable walking through campus alone in the middle of the night. There are call boxes spread through campus that contact the police in emergencies. There have been a lot more robberies this year than normal.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: There are scares, but there are at any school. I don't feel safe at night, but in the day I feel perfectly safe

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Since I've transferred to USC the safety and security on campus has gotten much better. At first there always a lot of on foot robberies going on around campus but the security team has stepped it up and made a lot positive changes. Ever since they started making new changes I've noticed a lot of security guys around campus more often. That makes me feel much more secure and comfortable walking around campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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.

Facts & Statistics

Crimes on Campus
  • Aggravated Assault: 6
  • Arson: 0
  • Burglary: 99
  • Murder/Manslaughter: 0
  • Robbery: 4
  • Sex Offenses: 2
  • Vehicle Theft: 17
Security Office
USC Police Department
1501 Senate St.
911 (emergencies); (803) 777-4215 (non-emergencies)
Safety Services
  • 24-hour help line
  • 24-hour patrol
  • Emergency call boxes
  • Escort services
  • Personal property registration
  • Rape Aggression Defense
  • Shuttle system
Health Center
Thomson Student Health Center
1409 Devine St.
(803) 777-3175
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays 4 p.m.-8 p.m. (urgent care only)
Health Services
  • Allergy shots
  • Basic medical services
  • Birth control
  • Counseling center
  • First responders
  • Immunizations
  • Laboratory
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Preventive health screenings
  • Radiology
  • Referrals
  • Sexual health and violence prevention
  • Specialty clinics
  • Stress management
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Women's care clinic
Day Care Services?
Did You Know?
There are more than 100 emergency call boxes located on campus, and once one is pushed, an officer is on the scene in 30 seconds to two minutes.

Student Polls

What safety concerns do you have?    Based on 167 responses

  • 18% Criminal activity near campus
  • 15% Walking alone
  • 14% Theft/robberies
  • 9% Non-students on campus
  • 7% Sexual assault/date rape
  • 7% Gang violence
  • 6% Excessive drinking
  • 6% None
  • 4% Unlit pathways
  • 3% Drugs
  • 3% Lack of a strong security presence
  • 3% Lack of safety escort services
  • 2% Dorm safety
  • 2% Violence among students
  • 1% Lack of/broken emergency phones

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding sexual assault on your campus?    Based on 58 responses

Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree
  • Alcohol plays a significant role in sexual assault on campus.
  • Campus administrators provide a supportive environment for victims of sexual assault.
  • Campus administrators work hard to actively prevent sexual assaults on our campus.
  • A friend, a classmate, or I have been a victim of sexual assault on/near our campus.
  • Our campus has easily accessible support services in place to address sexual assaults.
  • Sexual assaults are a serious problem on campus.
  • Students take the issue of sexual assault on campus seriously.

How would you rate the quality and convenience of the student health center?    Based on 166 responses

  • 52% High quality, very convenient.
  • 25% Mediocre quality, very convenient.
  • 6% High quality, not very convenient.
  • 13% Mediocre quality, not very convenient.
  • 3% Poor quality, very convenient.
  • 1% Poor quality, not very convenient.

How visible are the campus police on campus?    Based on 166 responses

  • 14% Extremely present and willing to assist students.
  • 56% There if you need them but not overbearing.
  • 21% Just there to bust up parties or give out parking tickets.
  • 7% Not very visible.
  • 2% We have campus police?

How safe do you feel on campus?    Based on 166 responses

  • 18% Extremely safe and secure on campus.
  • 45% Generally safe and comfortable walking alone across campus.
  • 35% More comfortable when in a group, but relatively safe.
  • 2% Relatively unsafe and uneasy about security.
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