Three women were assaulted while walking near USC in the past seven days, according to a university-wide email sent out by the Department of Public Safety. DPS is on the lookout for suspects accused of slapping two of the victims on the butt and groping the third in separate incidents.

According to the email, at least two of the women were USC students and were approached from behind and either slapped or grabbed by a man riding a bicycle.

Two of the incidents happened on campus, and the third happened on the 3200 block of Shrine Place, only five minutes’ walk away from campus. All three incidents happened before 10 p.m.

Incidents like this one continue to occur both on and off campus, according to statistics in the newly released Annual Security & Fire Safety Report. There were 24 reports of rape and 21 of fondling in 2018 unrelated to the incidents where Tyndall was accused of sexual misconduct, an increase from 2017 – In 2017, 17 rape and 17 fondling reports were made.

Eloise Rollins-Fife, a junior studying Cinema and Media Studies said she’s used to the email alerts because “we get one update, and then another update saying everyone’s safe. So I don’t know, it all just blurs together to me.”

USC student Lucy Santora said she felt less safe after receiving the email alerts. However, she believes it is “much better to know than to be in the dark about stuff like that,” she said.

“Fryft” - USC’s supplemental safe ride program - is one of the ways being used to combat situations like these but some students want changes made to the service.

Chadam Ferrari Pires, a senior and Communications major said that she wants the free Lyft ride service “to take place earlier in the day. Just because it’s day time [that] doesn’t mean these things can’t happen.”

DPS Assistant Chief David Carlisle said he recommends not walking alone in the evening because “usually this doesn’t happen in groups.” Students should be aware of their surroundings and take advantage of free Lyft rides and campus cruiser, he said.

The app LiveSafe can be downloaded on a mobile phone, he added.

He also stated that because of the sexual nature of the crimes, the Los Angeles Police Department is involved in the investigation.