FAQs about CSOs

A CSO is a UCLA student working in liaison with the UCLA Police Department to ensure the safety of the campus community. They carry two-way police radios that allow them to contact other CSOs and the police dispatcher, through whom they can contact the police, fire department and campus ambulance. A CSO operates under a non-intervention policy that requires her or him to observe and report crimes or emergencies to the police, without endangering themselves. CSOs act as the "eyes and ears" of the police department.

CSOs perform a number of functions around campus in keeping with their role as a link to emergency services. Most familiarly, they provide escorts for students, staff and faculty in the evening hours, as well as running the UCLA Safe Ride Program that links the Residence Halls to campus and the westside apartments. In the Residence Halls, CSOs assist the RAs and Access Monitors in maintaining a safe environment for residents. On campus, CSOs patrol the libraries and a variety of other buildings, on the lookout for illegal activities or unauthorized individuals. There is a bike patrol program that monitors parking lots and a variety of special events, such as graduation ceremonies, where CSOs stand ready to call Emergency Medical Services or the police if necessary.

CSOs don't write anyone up. They don't break up fights, arrest anyone or otherwise "get physical." They aren't trained in martial arts.

To be a CSO you need to be a UCLA student in good standing, with at least one year remaining in school. Some kind of previous work experience is preferred, but security experience is not necessary. You need to be able to work at least fifteen hours a week during an academic quarter, and have a valid driver's license. A clean criminal record is also helpful.

$12.75 to start, with about two weeks of paid training. There are various promotions ranging from $13.26 - $15.31. Forty percent of CSOs are in promotional positions. There are shifts available 24 hours a day, with most shifts between the hours of 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. (CSOs are paid an extra 62 cents an hour for shifts over four hours in length after 5 p.m.)

You can pick up an application either at our office, located at 601 Westwood Plaza., or from a CSO. Many CSOs have applications in their shift notebooks. Applications are also available here.

It offers the opportunity to feel like you've done something worthwhile at the end of the day. You do interesting work, meet interesting people and make a tangible contribution to your community. Many CSOs say that they like the variety that is available to them: shifts are both outdoors and in, walking or sitting or a combination, free from distractions or in constant contact with the public. Best of all, you never smell like food at the end of your shift.