There are many ways to avoid walking alone on and off campus. Listed below are some suggestions on getting around USC, safely. Also, the Department of Public Safety offers various seminars to students, staff and faculty. Information on these seminars: Personal Safety, Theft prevention, Alcohol Awareness, and Self-Defense for Women can be obtained by calling the USC Crime Prevention and Community Education Unit at (213) 740-6224.

  1. Check with roommates and others in your complex concerning class schedules and studying at libraries. Possibly others are going to the same location and you can walk together.
  2. Check with others in your classes to see if they are going to the same location as you after class.
  3. Commuter students: Ask if there are other commuter students in your last class and inquire on the possibility of parking in the same area or lot when you arrive. After class is over you will be walking together to the parking area.
  4. When walking, stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you - don't become lost in thought or daydreams.
  5. Walk with a self-assured stride; keep your head up; look around.
  6. Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.
  7. Have your keys ready before you approach your vehicle or home.
  8. At night, stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
  9. Know the locations of the 24 hour Parking Attendant Gates (Gate 3 at Figueroa and McCarthy Way and Gate 5 at Jefferson Blvd. and McClintock Ave.). Know the location of the Department of Public Safety Office which is open 24 hours every day of the year (located on the westside of campus in Parking Structure A on McClintock Ave. near Downey Way).
  10. Know the locations of the Emergency Phones, i.e. all elevators in university operated buildings have call boxes; exterior tower-like phones on the campus will have a blue light on top; all USC parking structures near the elevators on each level.
  11. Try to keep one hand free when carrying books, packages, etc.
  12. When waiting to cross the street, stand a foot or two back from the curb.
  13. If you hear someone behind you, turn and look.
  14. If possible avoid walking alone, especially when upset, depressed, or after drinking.
  15. Be wary of people requesting help (directions, change, time, a cigarette, etc.). Some rapists, purse snatchers, and other criminals use this approach to judge how compliant a person is, and to get physically close to them. At USC on several occasions, a person being asked the time or directions has ended up being a robbery victim; the victims are both males and females.

    Some approaches may be very dramatic: "My mother is having a heart attack!," "My baby is locked in the car." Be cautious if someone is trying to make you go into any building or attempting to get you close to a vehicle, alley, etc. Going to a phone or to an open business and calling "9-1-1" or USC Department of Public Safety Emergency at 740-4321 may be a better way to handle these types of situations.

  16. At night, stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
  17. Be cautious around people asking for spare change or money to wash your car windows, etc. A number of these people are taking advantage of the current economic and homeless situation; they use the money they receive for alcohol and/or drugs and some of these people are very dangerous.
  18. Instead of walking alone, get a friend to walk with you, or check the Tram Schedules or call the Campus Cruiser (escort service), or the USC Yellow Cab if the Tram does not operate in your area.
  19. For immediate service, program the DPS emergency phone number into your cell phone. UPC (213) 740-4321, HSC (323) 442-1000, or
  20. Text to 274637 with "TC4T" in the body of the message along with a message along with a description of the situation and the location.  DPS will then send an officer to handle the situation and if required, Student Affairs will be called in if DPS determines they need extra resources.