USC Campus Encouraged By Arrests
Friends of the victims said they hoped the arrests would bring justice for the loss of Wu Ying and Qu Ming.
Hendrik Makaliwe, an alum from USC's Viterbi School of Engineering and a friend of Wu Ying, said the arrests weren't the most important thing.
“What is much more important and should be done is protection,” Makaliwe said. “Preventing it before it happens, not just solving the problem and finding the murderer after students are already murdered.”
While studying at USC, Makaliwe said he was almost robbed twice near campus, narrowly escaping both times. He said he considered the neighborhoods around USC unsafe, and that this wasn’t the first time that students had died in violence near the campus.
“If you arrest one guy, there are many other carrying guns around USC," Makaliwe said. "They can kill other students.”
Another friend of Ying's, electrical engineering student Ang Li, said she felt relieved after she heard about the arrests. She didn’t understand why the suspects would attack another young person.
“The shots they fired not only destroyed the victims’ lives, but also their own lives,” Li said.
Li said she didn’t understand comments made by USC's defense lawyer in the recent lawsuit brought against the school. Attorney Debra Wong Yang called the complaints about misleading safety claims “baseless.” Li said the lawyer argued a shooting didn’t mean all of the neighborhoods surrounding USC were unsafe.
“What she said is very irresponsible,” Li said. “Residents here all know that neighborhoods around USC are dangerous. There has been a lot of robberies before the shooting. Any person with a conscience wouldn’t say those neighborhoods are very safe.”
For some incoming students, the shooting almost dissuaded them from attending this fall..
Yifan Zhu expects to enroll in the journalism graduate program in August. But she said the shooting made her reevaluate the neighborhoods and her decision to come to the school in the first place.
“It did discourage me from coming to USC," she said. "I was almost driven by fear to turn to Boston University the first couple of days after the shooting, spending hours checking out the safety conditions around USC. Soon I learned that the area is quite crime-ridden."
Jinyang Liu, a newly admitted graduate Chinese student of accounting, also said he had second thoughts, but that he still has faith in the university.
“The shooting did not discourage me. What I care more is the reputation of the school—the master's program of accounting has a really high ranking in the U.S.,” Liu said.