HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Fans need to be aware of two updated safety measures before heading to The University of Southern Mississippi for any athletic event this year.
USM announced both a clear bag and golf cart policy to go into effect September 2, 2017, when Southern Miss Football hosts Kentucky at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
According to USM, the updated clear bag policy enhances safety and expedites fan entry at Southern Miss athletic events.
"This new policy will allow for an extra level of security and protection for those attending events, but will also decrease wait times at entry points and dissuade those who may attempt to bring items into the event which would prevent them access," said University Police Chief Bob Hopkins in a press release from Southern Miss Athletics.
Only one clear plastic bag, no larger than 12x6x12 inches, or a one-gallon, resealable clear plastic storage bag, per person will be admitted into the athletic venue. Fans will also be allowed a small clutch purse. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
According to Southern Miss, no other bags will be allowed inside athletic venues. All items, including clear bags and clutch purses, are subject to search at the gates.
The university is also implementing a new golf cart policy, restricting golf cart access on campus three hours prior to that day's kickoff.
The change in the golf cart policy resulted from a review of Safety and Security for major events on the Hattiesburg campus. USM said the change in policy allows for an extra level of security and protection in providing efficient access for spectators attending M.M. Roberts Stadium on Saturdays this fall.
"We remind fans to obey all barricades and signage. Only Southern Miss vehicles, law enforcement, fire, medical, or the official Southern Miss game day shuttle/escort service will be allowed access to this secured perimeter. No privately owned golf carts or other non-traditional modes of travel will be authorized," said Hopkins.
The University Police Department also reminds all those who bring a golf cart or other modes of non-traditional transportation on to campus that they are considered vehicles under state law. That means golf carts must have a licensed driver, insurance, tag and proper equipment.