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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Five Things USC's Chinese Community Still Wants One Year After The Shooting

Xueqiao Ma |
April 12, 2013 | 12:28 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Remembering Ming Qu and Ying Wu (Xueqiao Ma)
Remembering Ming Qu and Ying Wu (Xueqiao Ma)
It is one year since the two international students at USC were shot dead in the West Adams neighborhood near campus. Ying Wu and Ming Qu, both graduate students studying electrical engineering at USC’s Viterbi School, were sitting in a car around 1 a.m. on April 11, 2012 when they became victims of a suspected attempted carjacking.

“Crime is actually down in that area,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told KPCC the day after the shooting.

“Across the city, crime is down 77 percent since 1992, in that particular area, comparing this year to last year, violent crime is down 20 percent, and homicides, until of course, yesterday morning, were also down 20 percent,” said Smith.

How do Chinese students now feel about campus safety?

"It's getting much better. They have yellow jackets now and also check  IDs [at] night," said Yuxi He, producer of the film "City of Dreams," which tells the story of Wu and Qu. 

After surveying a number of Chinese students, Neon Tommy compiled a list of the top five safety measures that were said to be needed.

5) More safety orientations

An orientation covering a security briefing is mandatory for all incoming international students at USC. Students who said they had known nothing about the campus also said they found USC's orientation website, which provides videos and safety measures, to be helpful. After the shooting, however, they felt that one mandatory orientation may not be enough.

Jason Xia, a second-year graduate, said he had hoped for more information. "If we can have more orientations about self-protection physically and legal aid, that would be much better," said Xia.

4) More student housing options 

The ongoing University Village renovation near campus will result in a plaza with new restaurants, stores and student housing, a development that students say may help students stay in a closer and presumably safer environment.

"Most of Chinese students cannot afford really expensive rent, they have to choose those cheaper but further ones," Yuezhang Yuan, a graduate student from Viterbi school said. "If school can provide more student apartments around campus, that might reduce some risks."

3) Longer hours for the USC tram system

The USC tram provides three routes across campus and serves as a popular mode of transport. Shiyao Wu, a student in the Thornton School of Music, complained that most school trams do not operate for most of the weekend, running from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Monday through Sunday.

"I think the school is doing really well… But if the bus hours could be extended on weekends, like more buses during the day, that will be great," said Wu.

2) Extended Campus Cruiser boundaries

Currently, the boundaries for Campus Cruiser, a popular shuttle service for students and faculty, extend to Coliseum Drive, Exposition Blvd., Normandie Ave., Jefferson Blvd., Vermont Ave., Adams Blvd., 23rd St. and Grand Ave. Fei Zeng, an engineering student, said he was concerned for those residing outside of the boundaries.

"I know some friends who live a little bit far away from the campus, like out of the safety zone," said Zeng. "Sometimes they have to get home late. If the cruiser could go further, that would be much safer for them."

1) Extend DPS patrol boundaries

The patrol area for USC's Department of Public Safety (DPS) extends farther than Campus Cruiser's, but _____ Yuxi He said students may feel safer with more ground covered.

"I hope that we can have a larger safety zone, like police officers may drive further to patrol in the area," said He.

For safety updates, sign for the Trojan Alert system here.

Reach Staff Reporter Xueqiao Ma here.



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