ORANGEBURG, S.C. – As South Carolina State University brings on added security for Homecoming 2023, President Alexander Conyers is asking everyone on campus to exercise good judgment while enjoying the celebration.
“I am appealing to our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community stakeholders to do your part in making our campus and this year’s Homecoming safe,” Conyers said. “That means taking personal responsibility to follow all posted rules and regulations concerning safety, and making sure that those you influence do the same.”
With the recent spate of gun violence on and near college campuses, Conyers said SC State must act out of an abundance of caution to enhance security during Homecoming weekend.
What to expect both Friday and Saturday:
· 55 sworn officers on campus.
· Emergency Medical Services personnel.
· Security checks at entrances and the stadium.
· Metal detectors.
· Cameras recording all vehicles and pedestrians entering campus.
· Random vehicle checks.
What SC State will require of you:
· Photo ID for adults entering the campus.
· SC State ID for all students.
· Game ticket to enter the Game Zone, including tailgate areas.
· Clear bag policy in effect.
· Everyone entering the campus in a recreational vehicle must have a game ticket.
· No weapons or drugs on campus. Firearms, weapons and drugs of any kind are prohibited on the SC State campus, including the Game Zone. Any such items will be confiscated, and those responsible will be charged accordingly and dismissed from the premises.
“These increased security measures should give you – our students, employees, alumni and guests – the ability to enjoy Homecoming knowing that we have your backs,” Conyers said. “Your safety remains our first priority at every event, and we will do everything in our power to make this celebration a positive experience for everyone who follows the rules.”
As always, SC State Campus Police will be on hand to maintain safety, but they also will have help from numerous state and local law enforcement agencies. The South Carolina Highway Patrol, the State Law Enforcement Division, the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and other agencies will be out in force both Friday and Saturday.
The additional personnel will not only allow for campuswide security but also act as a deterrent to anyone who might have ill intent.
“We want to make it clear that any attempt to disrupt Homecoming will not be tolerated,” SC State Police Chief Tim Taylor said. “Our intent is to shut down any threat before it can happen.”
Safety tips for the campus community and guests:
· Incorporate the buddy system. Stay with your friends! Never go anywhere alone. Keep someone with you at all times, especially at night. Keep cell phones charged and have emergency contact info handy if needed.
· Remember to lock your vehicles. Secure any valuable items, and never leave anything of value in plain sight.
· Drink responsibly. Staying hydrated is crucial, so remember to drink plenty of water. If you choose to consume alcohol, remember that the legal age limit for possession and consumption is 21. Don’t overdo it — avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
· Stay alert and report suspicious activity.
“If you see something, hear something or know something, say something,” Conyers said. “Our officers and special security officers will be visible and out in full force to make sure you are protected. If you should witness a crime being committed or you see suspicious criminal activity, call 911 or alert one of our uniformed officers and they will respond quickly.
“It’s time we all stand united and determined that SC State University will not tolerate illegal weapons on our campus,” he said. “It’s time for everyone to know and understand — not on our yard.”
To foster safety, law enforcement will have:
· Patrols along fences.
· Security presence at the pedestrian bridge.
· Increased presence around the periphery of campus, including the Goff Avenue, Russell Street and Chestnut Street areas.
· Command stations in key locations on campus.
· A strong presence during Saturday’s Homecoming Parade through downtown Orangeburg and the SC State campus.
SC State also has added security steps for during and after events:
· No unauthorized gatherings will be permitted.
· After the step show and coronation on Thursday, an 11 p.m. quiet time will be enforced. Visitors must leave campus.
· After the Homecoming concert ends Friday at 11 p.m., all visitors – anyone without an SC State ID with the exception of RV tailgaters — must exit the campus.. Law enforcement will sweep the campus. IDs will be checked.
· After the football game Saturday, tailgating will be permitted in designated areas until 10 p.m. Visitors with the exception of RV occupants must leave the campus by 11 p.m. Law enforcement will sweep the campus. IDs will be checked.
· Vehicles leaving the campus will be routed through the Buckley Street gate at Russell Street.
· Quiet time will be observed at midnight on both Friday and Saturday.
· Students returning to campus should enter through the Magnolia Street gate.
“Homecoming is a sacred tradition at all HBCUs, especially here in Bulldog Nation,” Conyers said. “It’s up to all of us to make sure that tradition is enjoyed responsibly, and we will not settle for less than an exhilarating but safe Homecoming 2023.”