Content Warning: This warning addresses reports of sexual assault. Resources are available on and off campus to provide assistance. Go to https://eeotix.usc.edu/resources/ for resources and support.
Incident description: The university has received a report of sexual assault at the Sigma Nu fraternity house, 660 W. 28th Street, Los Angeles, CA. The university also has received reports of drugs being placed into drinks during a party at the same fraternity house, leading to possible drug-facilitated sexual assaults.
The Sigma Nu fraternity has been placed on interim suspension. Sigma Nu may not host or organize any activities, social or otherwise, and no parties or other social gatherings may take place at the Sigma Nu house.
The university has reported this information to the Los Angeles Police Department. We encourage any individual who may have information relevant to the crimes reflected in this alert to immediately call the USC Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000 for the University Park Campus (UPC), (323) 442-1000 for the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) or (213) 485-6571 for the LAPD Southwest Division. We also encourage reporting to Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.
No action or inaction by a sexual assault survivor makes that person responsible for another person’s abusive or criminal conduct. The following suggestions may help reduce the possibility of experiencing a crime or may improve opportunities to receive prompt assistance.
DPS wants to remind students to follow these safety tips when they attend social gatherings or parties:
- Use the buddy system; travel in pairs or a small group.
- Buy your own bottled/canned drinks and keep drinks within your own sight at all times.
- Arrange safe transportation to and from home (walking with a friend, using Campus Cruiseror other ride share program such as the USC Safe Rides Program powered by Lyft).
- Use the “Go Safe” feature of the USC Mobile Safety App powered by LiveSafefor convenience.
- Walk in well-lit, populated travel paths.
If you are in immediate DANGER, call LAPD at 911 or the DPS at (213) 740-4321.
DPS issues Timely Warning – Crime Alerts to the university community, in compliance with the Clery Act, when a criminal incident occurs within USC’s Clery geography and represents a serious or continuing threat to the safety of students, employees or others. The purpose of this warning is to aid in the prevention of similar crimes by alerting the community about the incident and to provide information which allows individuals to make informed decisions about their personal safety.
The following additional information may helpful to consider to access resources or provide prompt assistance in response to a sexual assault:
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are time-sensitive decisions to make about preventing sexually transmitted infections, preventing pregnancy and collecting physical evidence.
Individuals who have been sexually assaulted should immediately go to a safe location and call a trusted friend. Preserve all physical evidence of the assault, even if you are unsure whether you want to report the crime to law enforcement. Seek medical care as soon as possible.
Contact USC’s Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) at (213) 740-4900, available 24 hours, for medical resources, emotional support and advocacy.
If you believe you are the victim of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault it is important for you to have blood and urine tests as soon as possible to determine the presence of drugs. Delayed reporting and the passage of time can significantly impact the ability of testing to detect the presence of drugs.
Symptoms of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault may include drowsiness, confusion, sudden physical weakness especially in the limps, impaired motor skills, inability to walk or talk, weakness, impaired memory, reduced inhibitions, unconsciousness and or a strange sensation of being paralyzed. The Violence Intervention Program Sexual Assault Center at LAC+USC and or the Rape Treatment Center Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center can provide necessary medical services and testing for the presence of drugs.
USC Department of Public Safety Recommendations – SEXUAL ASSAULT
- If you observe an assault in progress, STAY CALM AND CALL DPS emergency for UPC at (213) 740-4321, for HSC (323) 442-1000 or LAPD. Do not attempt to apprehend any suspects or perpetrators of crime. Your personal safety and the safety of others around you should be your primary concern.
- Please note that race, ethnicity, gender and/or religious affiliation are NOT considered the basis for suspicion; only behaviors are considered suspicious.
- Be a good witness: It is important to recall what you observed and provide as many details as possible to law enforcement such as: the sex, race, age, height, hair color, clothing, tattoos, scars of any suspects and a description of the make and model of any vehicle used in the crime and its license plate if possible.
Other options to contact DPS, to report crime, ask for help and to receive information:
- Blue light emergency phones are located throughout UPC and HSC. The phones are connected to the DPS’s 24-hour communications center and identify the phone location if the caller is unable to speak. The phones can be used to request help, an escort, report suspicious activity and to report crimes. For more information visit: Emergency Blue Light Phones | Department of Public Safety | USC.
- Security Ambassadors: In addition to DPS officers who patrol a 2.5-mile radius around USC’s campuses, USC contracts with “Security Ambassadors” to patrol street corners in nearby neighborhoods and to observe and report crime and suspicious activity. This security force wears bright yellow jackets so you can easily spot them. If you need assistance, look for a Security Ambassador.
- Get a Ride: If you work, study or take classes at night, you don’t have to walk to your car or home alone. The USC Campus Cruiser will take you to your destination. If wait periods exceed 15 minutes, calls are automatically outsourced to Lyft, which you can take for free, ensuring you’ll never have to wait long for a safe ride home. For more information visit: USC Supplemental Safe Ride Program – USC Transportation.
- Verify your driver and car: Once you have requested a Lyft ride, you can view the driver’s rating. When your ride arrives, make sure the driver’s photo, license plate number and vehicle description match. Never take a ride you did not request or get into a car that doesn’t match the details provided by the Lyft app.
- Go the extra mile: The Lyft app’s “share your ETA” function allows you to invite friends to see your trip in real-time. The app will draft a text message you can share with friends that includes your ETA and a link to a live map that allows them to track your trip. Too much effort? Call a friend and stay on the line while you’re in the car instead.
- LiveSafe APP: To quickly make emergency push button calls to DPS or 911 on your mobile phone, download the Trojan Mobile Safety APP “LIVESAFE” from Google Play or the Apple iTunes Store. For more information regarding LIVESAFE visit https://dps.usc.edu/services/safety-app/.
RESOURCES AT USC
Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP)
(Formerly known as Center for Women and Men)
Sexual Assault & Survivor Support | USC Student Health
There are two locations:
Engemann Student Health Center – UPC
1031 West 34th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3261
Eric Cohen Student Health Center – HSC
1510 San Pablo St., Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Fax: (323) 442-6029
Campus Wellbeing and Crisis Intervention
To request other support resources and accommodations, please contact Associate Vice Provost Lynette Merriman.
Campus Wellbeing and Crisis Intervention (usc.edu)
Center for Work and Family Life
(213) 821-0800 (24/7)
Center for Work and Family Life | USC Employee Gateway | USC
Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
Office of Religious and Spiritual Life | Fostering a vibrant community of spiritual reflection and free inquiry | USC
If you observe or experience discrimination, harassment or retaliation contact USC’s Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX (EEO-TIX) for help:
(213)740-5086 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. –5 p.m.)
USC Credit Union Building
3720 South Flower Street, 2nd floor
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0704
USC Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX – USC HR, Equity, and Compliance
If you are experiencing a university-related concern, conflict, or challenging situation, contact the Office of the Ombuds at either UPC or HSC.
UPC OMBUDS OFFICE
HSC OMBUDS OFFICE
RESOURCES OUTSIDE OF USC
Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center
For information visit: What To Do Following a Sexual Assault – UCLA Health Rape Treatment Center – Santa Monica, CA
If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, call the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center (424-259-7208), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for information and support. All Rape Treatment Center services are free.
If you are outside the greater Los Angeles area, you can find information about victim assistance resources near you by contacting RAINN, 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN is a national, free, confidential hotline available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you have any questions regarding this Crime Alert, please contact the on-duty Watch Commander in DPS at (213) 740-6000.