Safety alerts lit up phones all around USC when a hit-and-run suspect ran onto campus on Tuesday morning. The suspect hid in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (ASC) building before leaping off a low-rise balcony and running towards Exposition Park, where he was taken into custody.
Tuesday's incident was the third to trigger an alert from Department of Public Safety this month. Some students say they are beginning to think safety alerts have been normalized on campus.
Justin Sedgwick, a journalism student, said getting safety alerts is not a rarity.
"It's interesting that you get these [alerts] maybe every week or two, so it's the norm now," said Sedgwick. "You're like, ok, it's an inconvenience now. The shock factor has worn off," he added.
Some students, who were stopped by USC's Department of Public Safety from entering the building, said they were not alarmed by the activities.
"It's just another day at USC," Journalism student Alyssa Lyon laughed, who got to the building moments after the suspect jumped off the balcony and ran from the building.
Nazli Ghassemi, an arts journalism student, sat on a bench near the Annenberg building reading a book while police surrounded the building. She explained that it was the nature of the incident that did not alarm her.
"I don't think a hit-and-run person is dangerous, they're just scared and hiding. I don't think it's a threat to our safety," she said.
Danny Deprevoisin, a student worker who witnessed the suspect jump off the balcony, said that authorities were handling the situation well.
"The cops seem to have it under control, there's a lot so I feel safe. There's a lot of students too. It's like another day. It's just a little incident of disturbance," Deprevoisin said.
USC's emergency notification system is called "TrojansAlert" and is operated by the Department of Public Safety. The system reaches students and faculty by text message and email.
"These things are dynamic situations so we don't know what's happening right away, so we make the call as quickly as we can, then it was a matter of our officers on campus keeping students back until we decided it was safe to re-enter the building," said David Carlisle, the assistant chief of public safety at USC.
"We want to make sure that students make sure that they're signed up for Trojans Alert so that they get these important messages," he added.
Carlisle urged students to sign-up for TrojansAlert online to stay aware and alert about possible dangers on campus.