Busting the Bike Ban
In a fight against what some USC students say is growing trend towards banning bikes, students plan to ride through bike ban areas established by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Wednesday.
Students will meet at the Finger Fountain and bike down Trousdale Parkway between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
More than 2,300 USC students say they plan to participate in the organized civil disobedience Wednesday via Facebook.
The Facebook group, created by Devin Schwinn, calls the event "a grassroots movement arising out of the need to give students a voice about the issue."
According to the Facebook page, the group grew from one to 1,500 in one day.
"The entire campus is a free speech zone," said Capt. David Carlisle, DPS Media Relations. "Students are welcome to demonstrate and are encouraged to express their opinions as far as bicycles."
DPS prohibits bikes on Trousdale Parkway between Bovard Auditorium and the Tutor Campus Center, according to USC's SCampus Student Guidebook. According to DPS, 40 people reported injuries in bike-related incidents last year alone.
"Bikes are a safety issue," said Carlisle. "Our whole goal, as far as DPS is concerned, is to create the safest atmosphere for everyone."
The Vice President for Student Affairs, Michael Jackson, responded to protest plans with an email to all students Tuesday night.
In the email, Jackson stated that "the University has no plans to ban bikes from campus."
Jackson also said "we hope to continue a university-wide dialogue on this issue, in which we will consult extensively with students and student leadership, so that our campus stays a vibrant, attractive and safe space for all members of the Trojan Family."
According to the email, Student Affairs has created a "" Facebook group to encourage conversation about bikes on campus.
The "Bikes at USC" does not exist as of Wednesday morning, according to staff at Student Affairs.
Schwinn responded to the email from Student Affairs on the group's Facebook page, saying "it [the email] does nothing to address the issue of removing bike racks and the consequences of students getting their bikes taken by DPS officers because of this policy."
Schwinn attached a picture of a DPS officer loading bicycles into a DPS truck. Schwinn said, "If there are no available places to dock their bike, students must lock them off to the side. DPS takes these bikes then resells them at a profit."
On September 14th, the Office of Campus Activities opened its Campus Conversation Series on September 14th with a discussion "Creating a bicycle-friendly community on campus."
The program was led by Dr. Charlie Lane, Associate Senior Vice President for Career and Protective Services.