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USC and Its Relationship to Community

April 04, 1993

I read the City Times article about USC and its community relations ("Walls and Bridges," March 21) and I am upset. Being a USC student, I have had many positive experiences with the community, but I have also observed a disturbing attitude coming from it. USC faculty and administration have tried very hard in the last few years to work with the community and encouraged students to do the same. But many people in the community seem to forget about the progress the university has made and insist on scolding USC for what it has not done. Numerous projects, donations and volunteer work have resulted from USC's efforts and they deserve more credit than they have received.

People complain about what USC has not done for their community but they should ask themselves: "What have I done for the community?" Although USC should continue finding new ways to help the area, the community needs to learn how to help itself.

The issue of the fence that surrounds the university was also raised but unfortunately an important point was left out: Los Angeles is a crime-ridden city and people have a right to protect themselves, including the university. If people in the community were to stand up to crime, then USC could exist without the fences.

The university is a mere component of South-Central Los Angeles. USC will continue to help the community; however, people who live around the university must help to create a more open, safe and prosperous neighborhood. Then we might have a chance at healing and rebuilding our L.A.

JEFFREY MASSEY

University Park

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