Self-Guided Tour Podcast Transcriptions
(click on a stop to go to the transcription)
*tour stops recorded in March 2020*
Athletics + Greek Life
Transportation, Health + Safety
Russell House + Campus Involvement
City of Columbia
Additional Tour Stops
(click on a stop to go to the transcription)
*tour stops recorded in March 2021*
Athletics + Greek Life
Hey y'all! Welcome to the University of South Carolina! My name is Almeera Lateef and I'm a current senior in the Honors College majoring in biochemistry and minoring in neuroscience. Some of the organizations I'm involved with on campus are Student Government, Undergraduate Research, a service-based organization and of course, University Ambassadors. Hey everyone! Welcome to the University of South Carolina! My name is Carlye and I am a University Ambassador here at USC. I'm a junior student from Cambridge, MD, which is a small town on the Eastern Shore. I'm majoring in public relations and I have a minor in sports and entertainment management. Here on campus, in addition to being a University Ambassador, I'm also involved with Greek Life, the Capstone Scholars program and a philanthropic organization here on campus. My name is Keliah Bonneau. I'm a freshman public health major with a double minor in spanish and business. I'm from Columbia, SC. Aside from University Ambassadors, I'm also involved in Campus Ministry, intramural volleyball, the Athletic Training Observation Program and an off-campus job. Hello! My name is Michaela and I'm a sophomore here at the University of South Carolina. I'm from right here in Columbia, SC, born and raised. I'm a psychology major with a minor in women's and gender studies. A couple things I'm involved with here on campus is studying abroad, Greek Life, and then also I'm an admissions volunteer, in part with also being a University Ambassador. So, I can't wait to take you guys around a little bit.
So we're on our Historic Horseshoe now. It's referred to as a horseshoe, because if you look at the buildings for a bird's eye view, it's gonna be in a horseshoe shape. All the buildings here on the Horseshoe predate the Civil War, so they were all built around the 1800s. Most of these buildings now serve as upperclass residence halls as well as different departments that serve out of these buildings on the first floor. So I'll talk a little bit about all of those buildings now.
The first building to our right is Rutledge College. It was established in 1805. So when this building was first built, it was basically all of USC. It served as a dining facilities, residence halls, classroom building. Also at the time, there's only nine students, so that's all that those nine students really needed. So it's really cool to see how much we've grown from that one building, now with over 33,000 students. Now in the first floor, there's also a chapel inside, used for a lot of cool events. My student government inauguration took place inside of that chapel as well as a lot of local weddings. So, if you find your Carolina sweetheart you could get married right here on our college campus.
Right next to Rutledge is the President's House, which we're standing right in front of. It's really unique to our campus that our President lives on campus with the rest of us. Our President, President Caslen and his wife First Lady Shelly Caslen, just started back in August (2019). It's really cool to see all the great traditions that they've already brought. One really cool thing that you can do is wake up as early as 6 AM on a Tuesday or Thursday morning and workout with the President at our student gym. It's really cool and unique to see that even with our president's busy schedule, he makes a time to go out and actively meet students and provide some hours of every week to engage with our student body here, so that's one really cool tradition that I hope to take part of before I graduate, if I could wake, wake up as early as 6 AM.
Right next to the President's House is Pinckney-Legare, which is the Office of Undergraduate Research. We are Research 1 institution. So what that means is that we have a lot of money given out to students to pursue any kind of research and research is not just limited to STEM students. You could be a marketing major, advertising, music, literally the sky is the limit in terms of all the research opportunities that we have available for our students here at Carolina. The office is very helpful in terms of helping you find a research opportunity and you can get involved with research as soon as your freshman year. All you would do is make an appointment at that office and based on your credentials, your interest and that kind of stuff, they'll help you find some professors who are offering different research positions in their labs. So I would definitely head that way if you are interested in research in the future as a Carolina student.
On the other side of the Horseshoe, the first building is DeSaussure, which is the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships. So we are very competitive when it comes to both national and international scholarships. Just two years ago, we had a Rhodes scholar, who was chosen among 52 other students from all around the world. If y'all don't know what a Rhodes scholar is, it's one of 52 students chosen from all around the world to be given full tuition, room and board at Oxford University, for two full years after graduation and one of those students was a Carolina student. It's because of the great faculty members at DeSaussure that our students are so successful in gaining different scholarship opportunities as Carolina students here. You can apply for the Full Bright scholarship, which is a research-based scholarship and our faculty members will sit down with you for about a six-month process, in terms of helping you write essays, help you with your interview and help you with any kind of portfolio that you might have to come up with, so definitely a great resource to look into as sophomores and juniors when it's time to apply for those different scholarships.
Right across from us is McCutchen House, which is the Office of Hospitality and Sports Management. One really cool thing about that building, it's a student-run restaurant. So when you walk in everyone from the culinary arts team, to the managers, to the advertising team is students. So it's a really great opportunity for someone who is interested in hospitality or culinary arts or anything in that realm, to get a really cool on- campus internship opportunity right on campus. Another cool program through the hospitality school is our hospitality students will choose a local couple from the city of Columbia and plan their wedding. I know it can be super daunting to have hospitality students to plan a wedding for you guys, but the wedding that they did this past year was held at the Williams-Brice Stadium and I have really high expectations for my hypothetical wedding and the wedding that they did this year was phenomenal and met all of my expectations. So definitely a really great opportunity for our students to take part in and to be part of someone's big day.
Right next to McCutchen House is Harper-Elliott, which is the Honors College. So we are the number one public Honors College in the United States and all of our advisors are currently in Harper-Elliott so that's where we go for advising and that kind of stuff. Within the Honors College, if you do choose to apply for the Honors College, you would take 45 credit hours within the Honors College, which is about 18 classes or so, and then you have an additional requirement with the senior thesis. So with being an honors student, you are only taking about 18 to 20 classes within the Honors College. So you're not stuck "per se" with the same 400 students for your college career. About 400 students are accepted to the Honors College every year, but you also have the option to transfer in if something, if the Honors College is of interest to you. So definitely ask questions about the Honors College if that is something you're interested in.
And then right next to you, Harper-Elliot, is the South Caroliniana Library, which is the oldest freestanding library. It is currently under renovation, but hopefully by the time that you guys come to USC, the library will be up and working for you guys to make use of that second library.
Aside from all of these really cool buildings here on the Horseshoe, there is a really huge historic significance here, right here on the horseshoe. So on the floor, you'll see a lot of Greek letters which have some significance in terms of the original societies that were here at USC. So some of the honor societies and leadership societies and that sort of stuff.
In the center of the Horseshoe, you'll find a beautiful monument which is in honor of Jonathan Maxy, he was the first President of USC. The monument is built by Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument. So it's really cool to see that when you think of USC you see this beautiful monument right at the center of the most beautiful place here on campus.
Also in the center, you'll see a lot of bricks with students names on it which is another cool tradition that students can take part in. You can get a class ring but you can also get a brick with your name on it and that brick will be placed here on the horseshoe.
The Horseshoe's definitely, definitely the backyard of our campus and it's arguably the most beautiful spot here on campus so students will definitely make use of it in terms of having picnics out here, walking their dogs or just laying out here and doing homework. So definitely a great spot to be here as a Carolina student.
Here at the University of South Carolina, there are three types of academic classrooms. The first is lab style classrooms and here at the university, we have all kinds of labs, so everything from science laboratories to social media laboratories to computer laboratories and so much more. The second being discussion style. Discussion style classrooms are normally capped around 40 students, and then your larger 300-400 lecture style classes.
A common misconception coming to a large state school is that all of your classes will be those larger 300-400 students, but actually a little over 75 percent of our classes here at USC are 40 students or less. So it's nice to think about when you think about that, you'll be able to get to know your professor one-on-one, but also get to know all of the other students in your classroom.
While you are here, you will have those larger 300-400 student classes, but the university provides so many opportunities for - so many resources for you to be successful in those classes. The first being office hours. Office hours are a period of time where your professor has an open door policy. So you can walk to your professor's office - you can ask them questions, you can get review over the material, you can make up a quiz or a test or do all of those things. But you can also get to know your professor one-on-one, so it's a really nice way for you to make those connections and to learn your professor more and more.
The second is recitation. Recitation is a built-in period to your schedule where you meet with a graduate assistant who is working closely with a professor teaching the class. And you guys will take quizzes in there, you guys will review material, learn some new material.
And then the last resource that we have is supplemental instruction or SI for short. SI is taught by a fellow undergraduate student who has previously taken the class that you're in and received an A and they come back and take the class with you. They take notes, they meet with the professor and then they hold review sessions throughout the week and students are allowed to come to that optional review session and they can ask the SI leader questions and get review over the material. And last fall, I took a calculus class and my supplemental instruction leader met with our professor once a week and our professor would give our SI leader some quiz questions, but would change the numbers and then he would bring those quiz questions to our review sessions and give them to us and would practice with us and then when we got to the test, we were prepared for the same questions with the same ideas but with different numbers, so it was a really nice way to review the material that I was learning in class to make sure that I had it down pat.
Some people wonder what the difference between recitation and SI is. Recitation attendance is mandatory whereas SI attendance is optional. So attendance will be taken in your in your recitation periods, whereas in SI, it's optional and the student can decide to come or not to come.
So here at the university, we do have our own version of general education requirements. We like to call those our Carolina Core requirements. Carolina Core is a great way for students who come in undecided to find out what they're passionate about as well as for students who know what they want to study, broaden their scoop of learning. So these classes range from everything from like computer information to public speaking to ethics, even an art class. So it's a great way to learn things that you would never learn while you're in a specific major, but to also learn things about the world and about life outside of college, if you don't know what you want to study. So it's a great way for you to see both sides of learning while you're here.
One class that we really like to talk about is University 101. This is the "how to college" class and during this class, you'll learn lots of life skills like how to do laundry, but as well as it'll help you get acclimated to the university. So this class is actually taught by a professor and then co-taught by a peer leader. A peer leader is an upper classman student and, so a junior or senior, who comes back, takes a class with you and they just help you get acclimated to campus. So I meet with my professor once a month still to this day and then I also meet with my peer leader at least like once or twice a month still to this day as well. My U101 class actually went to Quebec, Canada, so that was really cool. We got to go over fall break and I got really close with the students who were in that class. The classes are capped at 19 students, so it's really nice because you get to build one-on-one connections with a smaller group of people. So it's a nice way to come to campus to not know anyone but to also get acclimated to campus by having that mom or dad figure as your professor and then that older brother or older sister. So it's nice because my professor would, she taught us how to do laundry and she gave us a little Tide pods to learn how to do it and then my peer leader actually helped us get acclimated to know where our classes were around campus as well as to know what student life looks like here.
So you're probably wondering like, "well, how do I get into all these cool classes like the ones that go to Quebec, Canada over fall break?" That would be your advisor. So here at the university, you have to meet with your advisor twice per year, so once per semester. As an incoming freshman you'll meet with your advisor at Orientation and they will sit down with you and go over a major map and what that looks like for your specific major. If you're undecided, you'll actually get a first-year advisor that is not particular to any college but particular to you as an individual, and then they'll just go over with you some Carolina Core requirements that you should take or maybe like some things that you're passionate about and try and get you in those classes. So you'll meet with them at Orientation. They'll schedule you to take your classes and then you'll meet with them again in the fall, in the late fall, so around October/November, to schedule your classes for the spring semester coming up. I've changed my major four times here in my first few semesters at Carolina and I'm still on track to graduate in four years and I can say that that is solely due to my academic advisor. Her name is Miss Amanda. She's great and she keeps me on track, she keeps me grounded and I'm really appreciative of her. So yes.
Athletics + Greek Life
Okay guys, so I brought you over here so we can talk a little bit more about athletics. If you actually look over my right
shoulder here, you can see a little glimpse at Williams Brice Stadium, or Willy-B as we like to call it, which is home to over 80,000 of USC's biggest supporters, fans, students on game days in the fall. I'd actually never been to a college football game before coming to college here at USC, so I didn't really get what all the hype was about, but I went to my first game day my freshman year and I have not missed a football game since.
So I'm gonna kinda walk you through what a typical football game day might look like here at USC. On Saturday mornings, my roommates and I all wake up. We have a tradition of going to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast before every game day, so we all pile out of bed and go to Dunkin and then we'll come back and start getting ready for the football game. So girls do dress up for game days. We put on our black dresses and our cowgirl boots and then we start playing Sandstorm, which is our big hype song to get us all excited for the day and then after we're all ready, we're going to head to one of our shuttle pickup locations. So since Williams Brice is a little bit farther away from campus, we do have shuttles that run all throughout the day on football game days, so that students can get back and forth to the stadium. So we'll head over to Russell House, which is one of the shuttle pickup points and then we will hop on a shuttle. There's a student tailgate over there right by the shuttle pickup. So you know, sometimes we'll grab some food and hang out with our friends before heading on over to the stadium.
Once we're over at Williams Brice we will head into the stadium about 30 minutes before kickoff and we will go ahead and find our spots in the student section. In the student section, we will find our rally towels and if you've never been to South Carolina football game, let me tell you what that is. So when we play Sandstorm, which is our big hype song we all have our rally towels and we're waving them up in the air. There's a whole song and dance that goes with it. I'm not gonna do it for you right now, but you should definitely look it up after you finish watching this so that you can get excited for those football and athletic events on campus. But as a USC student, there's really truly no better feeling than being in the student section on game days. I love the feeling of being surrounded by all of my Gamecock family and everyone is just so excited to be cheering on our gamecocks and you can just really tell how proud everyone is to be a student here.
But you might be wondering, how are you gonna get these football tickets? Well, USC actually is one of the only SEC schools that still offers student ticketing included in your tuition and fees. So you're not paying any extra for these football tickets and the way that we do that is through a loyalty point system. So you gain loyalty points by going to other athletic events around campus. There's an app that you can download on your phone called "SC Rewards" and it allows you to keep track of all of your loyalty points so that you know how many you have. It also allows you to see what other athletic events are going on. So right before football season, we have soccer season, so you'll see swarms of USC students heading into those soccer games to go ahead and get their point. The way that we do this, we do this for football and basketball, you have to go on to the app and request that you want a ticket using your points but for any of the other athletic events around campus, you can just show up with your Carolina Card and they'll go ahead and scan you and let you in for the game.
But if you're not a Division I student athlete like myself because clearly, I'm not. There are other ways for you to stay active here on campus. One of those is through intramural sports. This is kind of the bottom baseline, least competitive option, and the way that you can kinda go about getting involved with those, you can form an intramural sports team with some of your friends and then you would actually play against other USC students, maybe once a week to kinda stay active in that sport.
The next level up is gonna be club sports. So the way club sports work is you actually try out for that club sports teams and then you practice a couple times each week and then you actually play against the club teams at other colleges and universities. So it's gonna be a little bit more competitive than that intramural level. My friend Katie is really involved with the club women's volleyball team and she really loves it because she was very competitive with volleyball back in high school and she wanted to keep that up here when she came to college. She also really likes the traveling aspect of it. They actually got to fly out to Denver last year for their club women's volleyball Nationals so she really likes that aspect of it as well.
But for me, I've never played on a sports team in high school. I was a dancer, so I really like to utilize Strom Thurmond Fitness Center, which is our main student gym here on our campus. We're not gonna be going there on our tour today, but I definitely encourage you guys to check it out. It is very expansive, it's actually the largest gym in the state of South Carolina. There's indoor and outdoor pools, a whole rock climbing wall, volleyball and basketball courts, a whole weightlifting floor, cardio machines, you name it, they definitely have it there at Strom. One of my favorite parts, though is the group exercise classes. So I really like doing you know, barre, pilates, cycle classes and they actually have a pass that students can purchase for $20 and that gets you unlimited classes for the entire semester, which is a really good deal.
But while we're talking about Strom, I do wanna mention Greek Village, which is right next to Strom. If anyone's interested in getting involved with Greek Life, I would definitely encourage you, you know, to check that out. I've really loved my experience with Greek Life, but Greek Life does comprise about 27 percent of our student body, so it's definitely there for you if you're interested in it, but if not, there are plenty of other things here on campus to get involved with. Greek Village is home to 20 of our beautiful fraternity and sorority houses and like I said, I've really love getting involved with it. I think it's really helped me to make a lot of friends, especially coming in as a freshman and not knowing anyone here on campus, it really provided me a way to start getting involved here at USC. But that kind of concludes my tour stop. Thank you!
Okay, so right now we are standing inside of the Thomas Cooper Library, which is the main library on campus for our students. It's actually seven floors, so I'm gonna kind of go floor by floor and and tell you guys a little bit more about each one.
So floors one and two, the bottom two floors, those are gonna be your quiet study floors. So if you really like to study with absolutely no background noise, this is gonna be the spot for you. And then heading up to floors three and four, those are gonna be your quiet group study floors. These are my favorite spaces to study because it's definitely going to be quieter here than the main floor, but it's still gonna, you know, be able to talk a little bit with your friends, maybe you're working on a project, so that's my favorite spot. But floors one through four, they actually all have group study rooms, so if you are working on a group project, you could actually go onto the library's website and book out a study room you know to have for a couple of hours.
Then heading up to four five, that is home to two important offices here in the library. So one of those is going to be the Technology Lab. One common question that I get is, "do I have to bring a computer to campus?" So I'm here to tell you that you are not required to bring a computer to campus as a student. If you decide not to bring a computer, you will have access to all of the computers here on the main floor of the library, as well as the ones downstairs in the Technology Lab. You can also rent out laptop computers from the Technology Lab for a couple hours at a time. But if you do decide to bring a computer, there's no preference over Mac or PC, so it's really up to you and your personal preference when you go about choosing those.
When we're talking about technology, I do want to mention that there is a student wide Wi-Fi network all across campus. So whether you're studying here in the library, back at your residence hall or out on the Horseshoe you're gonna have access to student Wi-Fi no matter where you are.
But also on the fifth floor, is the Career Center. So this is really important when it comes to those career counseling, career decisions, job and internship opportunities. I've utilized the Career Center so many times already. One thing that I really like is their resume critiquing services. So you don't even need to make an appointment with them for this, you can just bring downstairs a printed copy of your resume and they'll go ahead and look over that for you and help you make any necessary adjustments. You can also schedule a mock interview downstairs with them. So I know I had never had a real interview before coming to college and so when you start applying for those job and internship opportunities, maybe you want some extra practice, so you can go ahead and schedule an interview with them downstairs.
As well one thing I like to talk about is Handshake. So if you guys know what LinkedIn is, that's like an online networking website, we have Handshake here at USC, which is exclusively for USC students. And when students log onto Handshake, they can find a lot of different job and internship opportunities, not only in the Columbia area, but all across the United States as well. A lot of employers will hire USC students in the past and they want to hire USC students again because they like their work so much, so this website gives them a way to reach out to those USC students and present them with those opportunities. It's actually where I found my internship for last summer, so I definitely think it's a great resource for our students.
Now heading up to the main floor, in this back corner here is a Starbucks, which is just one of the very many across our campus. So if you need some caffeine to get you through those 8 a.m. lectures like I do, there's definitely plenty of spots for that around here around campus. And then up in this front corner, it's going to be the circulation desk. So they have just about every textbook for any class here at the university. So maybe you forgot your book in your residence hall and you find yourself here at the library wanting to do some studying, you can just go over to the circulation desk and check that book out for a couple of hours. There's also plenty of desktop computers here on the main floor for students to utilize and we also have printing services right up here in the front part of the main floor. Students can pay for printing using their Carolina Cash on their Carolina Card.
And now heading up to the mezzanine floor, that's home to our Student Success Center. So the Student Success Center is focused on making sure students are staying successful in their classes here at the university. Supplemental Instruction sessions are based out of the Student Success Center. So for certain lecture classes, there might be a Supplemental Instruction session that are attached to those lectures. Those sessions will be led by a Supplemental Instruction leader, who is a student that has actually taken that class before, they've received an A and so they hold these Supplemental Instruction sessions every week for students to come to. It's completely optional, but I would definitely recommend it. My first semester as a freshman, I was actually taking a calculus class, and math is definitely not my strongpoint whatsoever, so I found myself taking, going into these Supplemental Instruction classes just about every week to get some extra help. They also have peer tutoring services upstairs in the Student Success Center and they are completely included in your tuition and fees, so there's no additional fee for that. Like I was talking about with my calculus class, I also went to peer tutoring to get some even more help. I met with the tutor named McKenzie and she was so helpful making sure I was, you know, getting some extra practice in the areas where I was struggling, so I was still saying successful in my hardest class here. They also have a Writing Lab upstairs, so maybe you're working on a paper or an essay and you want them to look over it for you before you turn it in to your professor. You can just bring that upstairs and they'll go ahead and sit down with you and start to work on that. But that concludes the library here in Thomas Cooper.
Transportation, Health + Safety
Alright, welcome over to our health center. So here at the University of South Carolina, you are required to have health
insurance, but do not fret because if you do not have that right here on campus, then you are able to enroll in the University insurance with us.
So here inside the health center, we have a variety of things that you can use. Whether that's gonna be your primary care team, that's a doctor that you will see throughout your entire four years here, build up that relationship with them. Or you're gonna be able to have your physical therapy, your pharmacy, women's health, travels health, immunizations, all the things that you may need. I like to say, beside surgery, is gonna be right inside the health center for you.
But not only do we have them right here, right next door, is also a place where we focus on your mental health as well. So here at the University of South Carolina, we are very big on making sure you maintain your mental health. So everyone every now and then's gonna have a bad day. Maybe they're feeling a little bit depressed, they have a really bad exam and so right next door in the health center, that's where you're gonna be able to take care of all those needs for you. And in your tuition, you do have 10 free counseling sessions every semester should you need them. So I know for me, I pretty much use those any chance I get just because they're available for me but also not only do you have to make an appointment, you can also do some of those walk-in services as well.
But coming back over here to the main building, I use a lot of these things whenever it comes to stress management. So I know some days you're gonna have a bad day or maybe you're having a really tough finals coming up. So here inside the health center, we have a lot of those services for you and we're actually standing in them right now, which is our C.A.L.M. Oasis. So here if you know you wanna do some meditation, maybe you wanna get some yoga here and then, some mindfulness. That's gonna be right inside the Oasis room.
But one of my favorite ways that I get any stress management is gonna be seeing an animal. Yes. I'm a dog lover. And that is Indy Barkenstocks, which is our therapy dog here. She is the cutest thing in the world. She's this English Cream Golden Retriever. And me and my roommate, whenever we first found out that she was even on campus, we looked up how we can see her and she has her own pup hours here. So me and my roommate, since we live right across the street, we would walk over whenever we had a big exam coming up, go to her pup hours where she's just walking around off leash, just being really cute, coming up to people to get those puppy cuddles in, and then we'd go on our way, instantly feel better for that. So it's something that we have here on campus, very dog friendly and that starts right here in the health center.
Also inside, if you know you wanna eat some really good food that's gonna be right over in the nutrition kitchen, which is two doors over from where I'm standing right now.
But one of the main things I always do while I'm in the health center, is taking some self-defense classes. So if you guys have never taken self-defense before, I highly highly recommend it. It's a really fun class that you get to take. It's taught by our USC Police Department, but whenever we took it in the health center, it was free for students. So if you wanna talk about stress management, that's probably the best way to get it. You're punching a lot of things, you're screaming a lot, but it's also a good way for you to maintain how you can be safe, not just on- campus, but also off-campus, no matter where you are.
So here that leads me to talk a little bit about safety here on campus. Here we have a wide variety of different resources, should you need them. But one of the main ones that you'll probably first notice whenever you come to campus, is gonna be standing by our blue call boxes. So those boxes you'll see the blue lights at the top, every time you press that button it acts as if you're dialing 911, so someone will come over the loud speaker and then they'll also send someone in your direction as soon as you press that button for you, that way you have any help needs that you may need.
The second thing that I pretty much always use is gonna be my Rave Guardian app. So they make you download this as soon as you come to Orientation that way you have it on your phone, which most everyone has their phones with them nowadays anyways, and it gives you a wide variety of resources at your fingertips. Whether it's a safety timer, so making sure you get some place in a certain amount of time or it'll alert your emergency contact or whether that's gonna be the Carolina Alert system.
Now parents, you guys will probably love the Carolina Alert system. I know my mom absolutely adores it and that's just because you know sometimes how us students, we're really slow at letting our kids know like what's going on and so with the Carolina Alert, it keeps everybody in the loop at the same time, whether it's by email or text message. So, a really funny story is that here in South Carolina, if you're from here, you will hundred percent relate to this, if you're not, you'll probably laugh at this, but we do not handle snow very well at all. In fact, anytime we get a little snowflake on the weather app, chances are we're probably getting out of class that day For me, that's pretty great because that means I can catch up on some of my school work, maybe I can go hang out with my friends, grab a bite to eat. But since I am from Columbia, my mom always gets those messages and so she always has me sent home. So parents, if you really wanna make sure you're keeping track of your kids, that's gonna be a really good way-signing up for that Carolina Alert system.
But switching gears over into parking. We're gonna be covering a lot of different things of how to get on and off-campus, but the really main thing about being here at the University of South Carolina, is that we're very pedestrian heavy. So whenever you're walking around, chances are you're not gonna see cars driving through campus. You may see some bikes here and there, or some skateboards. We are a very pedestrian heavy campus, you walk everywhere on and off-campus.
So that leads me to say that, yes, your first year you are allowed to bring a car. However, you really won't be using it at all. Now. I'm someone from Columbia. so I thought that I was gonna have to bring my car just to get home. I was gonna be home all the time most likely because I live about 15 minutes down the road and so I purchased one of our two main options, here on campus, which is our garage pass. Now when it comes to that garage pass, I purchased a spot for about one section in that very large garage and they're more centrally located but with that it's mostly meant for upperclassmen or commuters just because the people who park in that lot are gonna be driving every single day to get that guaranteed space. But since I did not realize this, I realized the hard way just how expensive it can get because it is about $400 a semester. That's a lot of money. So whenever I realized I was really only driving my car whenever it came to the breaks or maybe late at night when most of the commuter lots are already open anyways, I decided my second semester that I was gonna downgrade to more of our surface level lots.
Now the difference between this and the garage pass, is that the garage pass as I mentioned, is a lot more centrally located. However, whenever it comes to the surface lots, those are more on the perimeter of campus. So for me, I thought this was gonna be a con. But in fact, it turned out to be a pro. Not only did I get a lot of exercise, but for me, the price was a really good thing, because I would walk there about once every weekend, if even that, it was about 10 minute walk from my residence hall, but I did only pay a $110 and that was for the entire year, including the summer as well. So I'd say just weigh your pros and cons as to whether you need a car or not.
But I will say here we still provide a lot of public transportation for you. Whether that's taking the shuttle buses. They'll take you all around campus for no fees since it's included or whether that's going on our Carolina Airport shuttle or if you need to get back to Charlotte to fly home. That's for a small fee where they'll take you on the breaks, take your luggage with you and they'll drive you up to the Columbia or Charlotte Airport.
But the main thing I will say is that you make a lot of friends that way. So my residence hall, I was one of the only people that had a car, but you bet I made a lot of friends by the end of the first month because anytime I was making a Target run or maybe you want to drive out and go hiking a little bit. I would just put in our little residence hall GroupMe "Hey, does anyone need a ride anywhere?" and I made a lot of friends that way and ended up being super close to the people in my residence hall.
By now, you guys may be thinking "Okay, this is a lot of information, where do we go from here?" I'd say the main thing whenever it comes to health, safety and transportation is just weighing your pros and cons of what you need, but also just think about all these different resources that you have available for you, because I promise you'll be using a lot of them whenever you come here at Carolina.
Russell House + Campus Involvement
So this is our Russell House Student Union and we're currently on the second floor, so I'm going to talk a little bit about student organizations and what you'll find here on the second floor. So the current room that we're in right now is the Leadership and Service Center (LSC). This department houses all five hundred student organizations here at Carolina. The second week of school, we'll have a organization fair outside on Greene Street where we'll pass out flyers and some information about how to get involved as a Carolina student here. So we do have over five hundred student organizations and if you don't see an organization that you want to join, you can just make your own student organization. The process is relatively easy, you will come here to Leadership and Service Center and have ten people who also want to join your club, a teacher advisor, as well as a treasurer. And with that relatively easy process, you can make any organization a reality here at Carolina.
So a little bit about my experiences with different student organizations. Like I said, I am involved in Student Government. Student Government is something I have been involved with since my freshman year. It's probably the best way to have a direct pipeline to our administration in terms of evoking some kind of change that we want to see here at Carolina. So I was involved in Freshmen Council my freshman year, which is an organization that focuses on first-year events for our freshmen students. Then I moved on to Senate, which is kind of the legislative branch here at Carolina and in terms of passing bills and legislations that we want to see change here at Carolina. And this year, I currently serve on Cabinet, which it's just like the US government. We have 14 secretaries that operate over different departments and I serve as Secretary of Student Services. So Student Government has definitely been on one of the most eye-opening experiences for me because it has shown me that I'm very interested in politics. It's something that I hope to pursue in the future as a physician as well. So that's one organization and it's a really great leadership opportunity. We have anything from Student Government to Skydiving Club to Pizza-Eating Club, so honestly the sky is the limit when it comes to all the different organizations that you guys can get involved with here at Carolina.
Another organization I'm involved with here, is called the Big Event, which is a service-based organization where we convince 700 students to wake up early on Saturday morning to go out into the city of Columbia and do a multitude of different service projects. And so that's a really big passion of mine in terms of giving back to the community and engaging with community members through service. So again definitely, sky's the limit in terms of all the organizations.
Aside from student organizations here in the LSC, we also have our student theater right around the corner, which shows movies every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. We like to say it's the cheapest date on campus. So guys if you ever want to take your girlfriend out for a cute date and go to the student theater, for a free movie and popcorn, followed by dinner downstairs. Also, we have a couple of ballrooms in the back that are used for events that are thrown by different student organizations here at Carolina. Yeah that's just a little bit and we'll go downstairs and talk about food.
So now we're on the first floor for our Russell House Student Union. So, downstairs you're going to find a lot of your different dining options. So we have 13 different locations with 34 different options, so if you don't like what's being served here, you're able to go to one of the other 12 locations right here on campus. So every first-year student is required to be on a meal plan. This meal plan will range from 14 meals per week to 21 meals per week. The best tip that I can give to future students is to start off with a 14 meal plan and work your way up, instead of paying for the full 21. Because if you buy the full 21 meal plan and decide that's too much food for you, you won't get your money back if you go back down. So start off with 14. If 14 isn't enough, bump it up to 16 and if 16 isn't enough, bump it up to 21. So that's one of the biggest tips I can give to you guys.
So if you guys look around, we have a couple of different dining options downstairs. Most of the options on the first floor are fast food, so we have a Chick-fil-A, a Panera. We have an Asian option called Spice and then we also have a Creamery in the back as well and then some more options upstairs.
Talking a little bit more about our meal plan. Each meal of the day has a different amount of money allotted to it. So for breakfast you get around five dollars, for lunch you get close to six and a half dollars and for dinner, you get about seven and a half dollars. So whenever you go to these different options, that's how much money you have available to you to spend for that meal of the day. And whenever you go to these different dining options, you'll see a handy little poster that will tell you exactly what you can get in one swipe. If you do go over the amount of meal, the amount of money allotted for that meal, totally fine, you can just take care of it with a credit card, debit card or cash.
Aside from food, here on the first floor we also have a bookstore in the back where you guys can definitely buy Carolina gear if you guys ever find yourself on campus. But we also have all of our textbooks there, so students are able to rent and buy textbooks from that facility right back there, as well as if we find a cheaper deal online, we're able to get a price match right downstairs at the bookstore.
In our basement level of the student union, we have a postal service downstairs so that if you ever have any packages or mail or anything coming, being delivered to USC, you'll get an email to head right downstairs and pick up any kind of packages that you have. We also have a department downstairs that will renew your passports for you. So we have about 60% of our students who do study abroad, so it's really handy to have a department downstairs that will help renew your passports for you, because I don't know too many eighteen-year-olds who know how to do that by themselves. So just a lot of great resources, great food options and student organizations is what you'll find yourself, find here at Russell House.
Hey guys, welcome over to the humanities side of campus! On this side of campus, you'll be spending a lot of time at your first year here at Carolina taking classes, getting involved, but also it's a really good way to get involved beyond the classroom as well.
So starting to the right of me, this is our National Advocacy Center. So if any of you guys are interested in being pre-law, that's gonna be a very good way for you to get involved beyond the classroom. Just throwing out a couple facts with it - they serve about 20,000 prosecutors and attorneys each year, but the only way for you guys to intern in this building, is if you are a University of South Carolina student, so it's a really good way that the federal buildings right here can be able to give back to students and for us to gain experience.
But a place where I spend a lot of my time is gonna be right behind me, directly next door to the National Advocacy Center, as we call it the NAC here, and that is gonna be our Close-Hipp building, Now whenever I first started off here at Carolina, something I knew I was really interested in and my mom always told me, is that you want to go abroad, you want to go see different cultures, see different areas of the world. But I knew for me that anytime my mom kind of tells me something, I sometimes go the opposite way. So I really wanted to go ahead and kind of explore my boundaries. So I talked to a couple of my advisors here on campus and the first thing that they told me was that you really want to go ahead and start meeting different cultures.
So through that, I decided to apply for our domestic buddy program called Buddy's Beyond Borders and I was partnered with a student here from China. So if you guys know anything about being in Carolina or being in the South, you know that we absolutely love our food! I'm a really big foodie and so the first thing that me and my buddy did, Zoey, is that we cooked each other our favorite meals from home. So I'm from the South Carolina, so I knew that anything you'd see on a southern Thanksgiving plate, that's exactly what I made her. So I had the fried chicken there, the mac and cheese. I tried to make her collard greens - it didn't really work out too well. But then for me, she cooked her favorite meal from home. We kind of had this friends-giving with her and her roommates here in our international house on campus.
So after I did that, I realized that I really did want to go abroad, my mom was right all the time. She still teases me about it to this day. But not only that, but I wanted to go see as many different countries. So what I did is I went inside our Close-Hipp building, just a floor above the Buddy's Beyond Borders program, and I decided I want to go on a May-mester last summer. So here at University of South Carolina it's very easy to go abroad, there's many different ways to do it.
The first way is going to be our exchange program, so they send one student here, we send one student back. The second way is gonna be our May-mesters, which is what I did. So I was in Panama for about two weeks at a time and I got to really get some of that internship experience that I really enjoyed. Or you can go through some of our third-party programs, which is separate from the University; however, they make it to where if you want to go abroad for let's say a semester, a summer or a year-long service, then you're able to go ahead and do all those things. But I will say that study abroad is so common just for a couple of three reasons that really made it attractive to me.
The first one is that whenever I talked to my advisor, they made sure that whatever classes I was going to be taking abroad, I'd be able to bring back and apply to my major. So as someone where an internship is a requirement as a part of that, I really enjoyed being able to do that internship while I was in another country, serving a pre-vet organization, which is what I wanted to do at the time. The second thing is that is extremely affordable. So if you know that money is gonna be an issue for you, good luck with you, because I will say that financial aid, grants, scholarships for those exchange programs, they do go with you as well and you'll still pay the same tuition that you pay here. So I promise you I'll be doing as many exchange trips as I can.
But then another program that's gonna be really focused on study abroad and getting beyond the classroom is straight behind me and that is our Capstone residence hall. So the Capstone Scholar programs is a two-year program here at the university. It's a really good way where if you know you really want to strive on your academics but also get really good leadership and beyond the classroom skills, that's gonna be the program for you. They do their invites for that in March.
But a place that I spend a lot of my time right within this building is gonna be at the very top and that's called Top of Carolina. So me and my friends, we always love going out to fancy dinners whenever we could, because you know you are on a college budget here and then. So we would go upstairs, we dress up to our nines, I try not to trip on the bricks that you see all around campus, because it happened all the time. But then the cool thing about top of Carolina is not only do we get to go do that for some of those meal plan holder nights, you rush and make those reservations, but it's a rotating restaurant. So me and my friend sat down and we did not know this at first. When we sat there, we tried to go to the buffet for all the nice food. We sat down, we thought we had this one view, went and ate it and then we looked over and we had a completely different view than we had before it. So it's a really good opportunity that you have here on campus. Made the most of my first year. But I will say that this is not just a side of campus where you get to get some good food, meet a lot of different people, but it's also side where you take a lot of your classes as well.
Going over to the left of me, these are a lot of our humanities classroom buildings. So starting off with Gambrel Hall, that's going to be a place where you take a lot of your history classes, your social sciences, your social studies, all of those different classes are going to be right inside of there. Then also right next door to that, if you know you want some really good food while you're on campus that does count for your meal plan, it's gonna be right inside our Colloquium Cafe. So I love going into Colloquium every now and then because I know I love to go at the top. They have a really nice skylight type of lounge area, but they also - we called it our Panera Bread on campus before we actually got a Panera Bread, so it's one of those many meal plan options I'm sure you'll hear about on our tour.
But another place that's really dear to my heart, that I always spend all of my meal plan dollars at, is gonna be the Starbucks right across the street in our Humanities Building. Now it is true that campuses across the country are gonna be very big on coffee, and college students do run on coffee, but I will say that we are very big Starbucks campus. So whenever my mom, I made the mistake of giving her my password to see all of my meal plan dollars and she knows that they were going down super, super quick. She didn't exactly know why within the first month I was always at half that amount, but what was the reality is that it happened that my residence hall was right next door to a Starbucks. So every morning, I would go downstairs, I'd go grab me a cup of coffee, go to my classes, come back, probably get another cup of coffee. But that's a really good thing that we have that on our meal plan because you do get to kind of have that luxury.
A couple other buildings that you may see on the humanities side of campus besides the humanities classroom building, which is home to our foreign language classes, is going to be Nursing. So if you know that you're interested in the nursing building, you want to get used to this side of campus because it's where a lot of your classes will be.
I absolutely love the humanities side of campus! I spend all of my time here, whether it's taking some of my classes in my psychology major or whether it's just hanging out with friends. And I'd say during a class change, you'll really see how lively this area gets because you'll see just swarms of people walking up and down. But thank you guys for hanging out with me on this stop and we'll get ready for the next one.
So behind me is Women's Quad. Women's Quad is an example of our Living-Learning Communities here on campus. Living Learning Communities are a way for people of similar interests to come and actually live together. So for example, I live in the engineering community where my roommate, as well as other people on my floor and in my building, are all engineering majors. Women's Quad is an entire community of women. There's also a men's community, as well as our Capstone, Sport & Entertainment Management, and Business community. So anything that you can think of, there's probably a living-learning community that goes with it. Women's Quad is also an example of our suite-style residence halls. There are three different styles of residence halls here on campus. The first being suite, this is where you and a roommate share a bedroom and you're connected by a jack-and-jill style bathroom to another roommate and two other suite-mates on the other side. You will never share a bathroom with the opposite gender, so it will be like two women to a bathroom to two women to the same bathroom that you guys have.
The second style of residence hall here on campus is your community style bathrooms. This is where you and a roommate share a bedroom and then five or six rooms actually share a hall bathroom, so it's a great way. Those bathrooms are cleaned once a day, so every single day that they're cleaned. And then suite-style and the last style, apartment style, are actually cleaned once a month by our housing staff.
So apartment style you get your own room and you have someone who also gets their own room and then the two of you share a bathroom and you're connected by two people on the other side who you're connected by the living room and a full service kitchen and then there are two other people who have their own room and own bathroom on the other side as well.
Something that is universal to all residence halls here on campus is laundry. It's included in your tuition and fees, so you don't have to pay anything extra. As well as a kitchen on every floor, if not in your room, study rooms on every floor or in the residence hall, and classrooms. So, some people will have classes in residence halls. With classes being held in residence halls, they actually close at a certain time, so you have to have your Carolina card to get into the residence hall after a certain time, as well as onto the elevator or into any rooms you have to have a specific key to get into your room or a key fob to get into that area.
Also universal to all residence halls are resident mentors (RM). This is a upperclassmen student, so we like to call them our big brothers or big sisters here on campus. My RM sends us information about what's happening during the week as well as what's happening during the month or that day, as well as she just is there as an added resource. One day in fall semester, actually the first day of classes, I was actually lost on campus and I didn't know where I was going and I called my resident mentor and she came and she walked with me to class. So it's just nice to have them here to help you get acclimated to campus as your first year, as it is your first semester here on campus, as well as your first year. Just nice to have that upperclassmen who already knows what they're doing.
As well resident mentors - there will always be a resident mentor on duty. So if you ever forget your key and it's late at night and you don't want to wake your roommate up or your roommates not there, you can call the resident mentor on duty and they will actually come open the door for you. As well as the resident mentor will always sit at the front desk of that residence hall, so there will always be someone at the front desk for that just as an added security benefit here on campus.
Freshmen are required to live on campus their first year, but after their first year, most students do move off campus and this is solely due to the fact that off-campus housing is open 12 months out of the year versus on-campus housing which is only open during the school year. So lots of students like to get summer internships or summer jobs as well as just to stick around in Columbia, so it's really nice because they can go out and they can grab an apartment or a house and then live there throughout the summer and not have to worry about trying to find somewhere to live only during the school months. While we say off-campus housing, it's actually quite close and convenient to campus and if it's not close and walking distance to campus, most apartment complexes have a shuttle system from their apartment complex. So it allows you to just hop on the shuttle and so just ride it all the way to campus, so it's nice to know that you don't have to bring your, you don't have to get in your car and worry about parking. You can walk or grab the shuttle from that upperclassman living.
City of Columbia
Okay everyone, right now we are standing in front of Long Street Theatre, which is home to our theatre and dance department. But while we're on this part of campus, I do want to talk a little bit more about the city of Columbia and everything there is to do here. One really big thing for me, when I was looking at different schools, was having something to do on the weekends. Being from Maryland, I knew I wasn't going to be traveling home very often, so I wanted to make sure there was gonna be something for me to do and keep me busy outside of classes. And the city of Columbia definitely has that for me. We divide the city up into three main districts, so we have Five Points, Main Street and the Vista. You'll run into the Five Points district if you walk about ten to fifteen minutes in this direction, right along Greene Street and that will run right along Harden Street. I like to say this is where there's a lot of cool student hangout spots, there's some really good hole-in-the-wall restaurants for our students. One of my favorites is Pawley's Front Porch. Guy Fieri actually went there and said it's one of the best burgers he's ever had. I also like to go shopping down in that district, you know get some garnet and black game day clothes, some great spots for that as well.
Now the next district we're going to talk about is the Main Street district and that will be 10 to 15 minutes in this direction and that will run right along Main Street. I like to say this is home to a lot of the professional development opportunities here in Columbia. We have the State House here, since it is the capital of South Carolina. I like to mention my friend Hannah, she was actually a freshman last year and as a freshman she interned at the State House. So I know that the stigma is that, you know, these internship opportunities are only for juniors and seniors, but that's definitely not the case. You can have some of those experiences right here on campus or close to campus as a freshman, so those are available for our students. There are also about four hospitals within a 10 to 15 minute range of campus. So maybe you're interested in some of those health fields and those opportunities, there's lots of opportunities for that as well.
But one of my very favorite parts about Main Street is Soda City. Soda City runs from about 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every single Saturday here in Columbia. They will block off a couple blocks of Main Street and there's gonna be a big farmers market, so lots of produce stands, food trucks, stores and boutiques will set up. I love to walk down Main Street on Saturday and you will catch me there every single Saturday that we don't have a football game here in Columbia.
Now I'm going to talk about the Vista district next and that is if you walk about 10 to 15 minutes in this direction and that will run right along Gervais Street. I like to say this is where you bring your parents when they come to take you out to eat, so maybe more of those fine dining restaurants. My parents were actually here in Columbia this past weekend. Their very favorite restaurant here is Blue Marlin. It's a really good seafood spot down in the Vista, but you'll find some students hanging out down there as well, we have Urban Outfitters, Chipotle and Panera, so there's some good student spots in that area too.
But those three districts definitely don't encapsulate everything there is here to do in Columbia. I know I love going to concerts, there's a lot of really cool concerts that come here to Columbia, there's a lot that come to Colonial Life Arena. I actually saw Ariana Grande a block away from my apartment, so that was really cool. I saw Thomas Rhett my freshman year. But maybe you're more of an outdoorsy kind of person. The Congaree River is just a mile or two away from campus, so when the weather's out, when the weather's nice, students can rent out inner tubes and just float down the Congaree or walk along Riverwalk, which is the trail right alongside the river.
But that kind of covers everything I want to talk about here. I do want to mention where we are on campus right now, so right behind you guys here is the School of Journalism and Mass Communications - that was actually recently renovated in 2015. And then on the block across from that here is Wardlaw, which is home to the College of Education. And then right behind us, like I said before, is the Long Street Theatre, which is home to our theatre and dance department, so some of their performances are held here. Now the brick building next to us, on the corner, is Sumwalt, which is home to pre-professional advising. So any pre-law, pre-med students, they will get advice for their classes there. Now the two buildings behind that are Coker and Jones, so that is home to our science departments and our science building, so biology, chemistry, physics, marine science, those classes will be held there. And if you keep walking down Greene Street in this direction, you'll run into the Darla Moore School of Business on your left-hand side. So if anyone's interested in the Business School, I would definitely encourage you guys to head down there. But that concludes this stop. Thank you guys!
Additional Tour Stops
Hi there, my name is Olivia L., and I'm a junior here at USC. I'm also a University Ambassador, and I'm going to be talking to you guys about our Historic Horseshoe. So this will be the first stop on your self guided walking tour. If you walk right outside of our McKissick Museum, which is where our Visitor Center is located, you'd be staring directly at this big green space on campus. And it is one of our main quads here on this campus with this statue right in the center. So I'm going to give you guys a bit of history about the Horseshoe first, so you can kind of learn where our university has come from, and kind of how we've expanded since then. And then I'll talk to you and walk you around in a circle, just like a tour guide would on a guided tour to show you what all these buildings hold for our students now.
So kind of getting into some history, our university was founded in 1801, under the name South Carolina College, and at that time, the entire university functioned out of this first building, which will be located to your left if you're looking straight out onto the green. So this first building, you'll see it's labeled Rutledge, that was the entire university. So if you can picture that all nine members of the first freshman class actually ate there, slept there, they took their classes there, and professors lived there as well. So kind of an interesting dynamic, um, there's also a chapel located inside. So we like to joke around now and say that if you find your college sweetheart here at Carolina and you want to get married, you can do so in our historic Rutledge chapel, have your reception out here on our Horseshoe, and then Cocky will come to your wedding for free, which is kind of cool if you're into that sort of thing. So that's our Rutledge chapel. And that's our Rutledge building. And right now it serves as an upperclassman residence hall. But that's what everything functioned out of, at least in the first early years of the university's founding.
Fast forward a couple of years into the 1860s, during the Civil War. If you guys aren't familiar with Sherman's March to the Sea, it actually came directly through Columbia, South Carolina. And he chose to keep the Horseshoe and all of these buildings that y'all are looking at right now intact, because they served as hospitals for both the Confederate and the Union side, and veterans could go there and be treated during wartime. So a lot of the buildings that are surrounding you right now are very historic, although the inside has been renovated. There is a lot of historic charm, which I think is really, really cool. So kind of moving forward to present day and what all these buildings serve as for our students now, starting off to the left.
So if you're looking directly out on to our historic green here, to the left, you'll find our Rutledge chapel and our building. Right now, I just mentioned that it is home to upperclassman housing, and all three floors of that building actually serve as such. So a lot of the common theme you'll see, as I'm naming these buildings, the bottom floor will be some kind of office and the top two floors will be upperclassmen residence halls.
So moving over from Rutledge, the building right beside it with the flags hanging from the front, that's actually the university President's House. So his name is Bob Caslan and his wife, Shelly Caslan actually live there, right on campus with our students. I think that is a really cool thing about USC, that our President and First Lady, they are so hands on. It's actually only their second year here at Carolina, but we absolutely adore them. Bob actually hosts workouts in our fitness center every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6 a.m. If I'm being honest with you guys, I have not been to any of them yet. But if you go to 10, you actually get a coin of excellence, which is a very coveted honor here on our university's campus. So that's Bob and Shelly. And they live there, up on the second and third floor. The first floor there is reserved for dining and entertaining. And they've actually hosted a ton of different events in there for students to take part in their living quarters. So whether that's ice cream socials when a club team beats another team, or whether that is trick or treating on Halloween or Christmas caroling, you can expect to find that at the Caslan's house, which is located directly beside Rutledge.
Moving on, so the next building beside that you'll see, a tan building with some black shutters at the bottom, that is Pinckney-Legare. That's our Office of Undergraduate Research and the top two floors there serve as an upperclassman residence hall. The bottom floor there, so that office really focuses on getting students involved with research, as well as matching them with research, research mentors, excuse me, and then publishing that research. So I am not a STEM major. I'm actually a public relations major. So I never expected to be doing any kind of research here. But that office really helped me through my entire research process. So I actually went abroad for two weeks during my freshman year and did a bunch of research in counterfeiting fashion products and open air markets abroad. And that office is the one that helped me in publishing it and getting it on my resume. So they really held my hand through the whole process. So that's Pinckney-Legare.
Right beside Pinckney-Legare, so you'll see a red brick building all the way at the end of the Horseshoe now if you're walking this way with me, and that is Lieber College. So that red brick building there is actually the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. So when you apply to USC or if you already have, your application will actually be filtered directly through that building. We also have admissions counselors that take walk in appointments down there in Lieber.
Now across the way from Lieber College, so right now it is under a bit of renovation, so I'm sure maybe when you're listening to this, it will also be, it's been taking a little bit of time to get it just right, you'll find our South Caroliniana College. And that's our library down there with the big white pillars in front of it. So it's a brick building, huge white pillars, you cannot miss it. That's at the opposite end of our Horseshoe. That's actually the oldest library on any college campus that's free standing, that even predates Harvard's library. So I always like to joke around and say that, if you're deciding between here and Harvard at the end of it, maybe this will tip the scale a little bit, I don't really know. But that's our second library on campus, it's definitely more of a vintage feel, as opposed to our main Thomas Cooper library, which you can listen in on this podcast to learn more about in just a little bit. That is a really cool kind of old-timey feel that students are invited to go in, if they want a quieter study environment. Of course, given that the renovation is finished up.
Moving back up towards the Visitor Center. Now from the South Caroliniana, you'll find Harper-Elliot College. That's another tan building with black shutters located at the bottom. And the office down there is for the Honors College advising. So if you're a member of our Honors College here, all of your academic advising appointments would take place on that first floor. And the top two floors are upperclassmen housing.
Moving on over, you'll see a building with some Garnet umbrellas outside, and there's a double staircase leading up to two double white doors. That's our McCutchen House here on campus. It's actually a fully operating restaurant that is operated by students in our hospitality department here. So everybody who is cooking the food for you, managing the restaurant waiting on you, doing the books, the front of the house, back of the house, everybody is a student here at Carolina, in that department, which I think shows a lot to how we like to get students involved in what it is they're passionate about. And also giving them that real world experience before they go off into the world. So it's actually a really great menu, it's I think, $12 or $14, for about a three course meal. So we actually have some ambassadors that work there and represent us there as well. And it's a really great treat if you're looking for something special for lunch.
Last building you'll find on the Horseshoe, moving up from McCutchen House is our DeSaussure College. So this is the first building beside the Visitor Center. Now we've kind of made a big u and a loop in our Horseshoe. There's two double life doors and a staircase leading up to it. And DeSaussure College is home of our Office of Fellowship. So on that first floor there, the office that kind of predominantly operates there is really in charge of getting students connected with those post graduation experiences. So whether that's you going to graduate school, going to pre-professional school, or if you're interested in a career in academia, after you leave Carolina, that office will set you up with the scholarships and grants and help you through all of that process. The top two floors of DeSaussure are again upperclassmen residence hall. You guys might have guessed it, but it's a great building. And I can't imagine having the Horseshoe and all the history as my front lawn here as an upperclassman - what a great experience!
So that's a little bit about our Historic Horseshoe, just to kind of conclude things here. At any given day, I'm sure if you guys are here when it's nice weather when you're listening to this, you can expect to find a ton of students out here on our green space. They're throwing around frisbees, footballs, bringing their dogs outside and just enjoying that nice South Carolinian - South Carolina - excuse me, weather and kind of taking advantage of all that USC has to offer. So I hope you guys enjoyed this first stuff on your self guided walking tour today. And I can't wait for you to listen to a bit of the rest. Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Carolina. Thank you!
Athletics + Greek Life
Hi, guys, my name is Olivia L., and I'm a University Ambassador here. I'm originally from Long Island, New York. And I'm a junior. I'm so excited for you guys to be tuning in and listening to this little stuff about athletics here at the university. And I'll also talk about Greek Life during this stop, too. So normally on our campus tours, we would not go past our Williams-Brice football stadium. But I would stand right beside the library and give our tour group kind of a little bit of a sneak peek at what that looks like. But I'm going to do my best to kind of paint a picture of what gameday looks like for you guys that are taking our self guided walking tour.
So if you've never been to a big SEC football game, like I hadn't for my first year, just know that it was like the biggest culture shock for me in the best way possible. To give you an idea of what that looks like, any Saturday where Gamecocks are playing at home, the city basically shuts down, everybody is wearing their Garnet and Black, waving around their rally towels, students are taking the free shuttle down from Greene Street to our Williams-Brice football stadium and enjoying their free student tickets there.
So I also typically will get a lot of questions about the ticketing system and how it is that we make it free. And so the way we do that here at USC is through a loyalty points based system. So we are the only school left in the SEC, that offers free tickets for their students to football games. And this is the system that we use to kind of process all of that. So in order to accumulate these loyalty points, you'll go to a certain number of games before the first football game. So before football is in season, the only two that are available are soccer and volleyball. So I hope you like those. No, I'm just kidding. They are so much fun. And that's actually how I built a lot of community. My freshman year, we would all go to dinner together before a game, we would scan into the stadium, whether it was soccer or volleyball, and they track these points for you on an app that you download on your mobile device. So just to keep it very simple, to request a ticket for football, now, you go into that app, on the Monday before the game, you'd say I would like a ticket. So you'd request one. The Wednesday before the game, they would email you back saying, "yeah, congratulations, you got a ticket!" And then on the Saturday before the game, they would email you with your ticket. And they can actually add into your Apple wallet.
And so on that Saturday as a student, all you have to do is bring that app and your smart device, and you scan yourself right into the stadium. So we're very, very big on efficiency here and convenience for our students. And that's one of the ways we do that. So if you are a big football fan, you probably know more about it than I do. But I've gotten actually a lower deck student ticket to every single game since my freshman year. So I know this system can seem like it favors upperclassmen. But only about 10% of those points will roll over from year to year. So you are in really great shape. And trust me, if I've got a lower deck ticket, you definitely can too. Sometimes I still have to tap my friend and ask when to cheer and stuff. So you guys are in really great shape.
And moving on from football though, if you're not a D1 athlete like myself, and you still want to stay involved in your favorite sports that maybe you played in high school or you want to try something new, we do have two options for you here. So number one, we have what we call club sports, and then we also have intramural sports. Both of these club and intramural are housed out of our fitness center on campus, which I'll touch on in just a bit. I'm just keeping in mind kind of how you get involved in those two things.
Starting off with club sports, it will be a bit competitive, so there will be tryouts. And there also will be cuts. And you'll actually have dues that will afford you the opportunity to travel to other schools in the southeastern region and play your favorite sport against those teams. So for instance, my friend Ray, he's on the club men's volleyball team here, and he's played at all different schools in the southeast region. He's also even had a tournament in Denver one time, and so he's really enjoyed building his community while playing his favorite sport. So being in clubs sports has kind of afforded him that opportunity.
Moving on now into intramural sports, and a little bit less competitive, there will be no tryouts, not cuts, all you need is 10 friends and you actually can build your own team. And we offer everything in intramural that we'd offer for club, so all those typical sports basketball, soccer, volleyball, but also intramural offers some pretty unique sports like Ultimate Frisbee and pool battleships. So maybe you want to try something new. You can grab a group of friends from your hall together your first year and create your own team. Not to say though, that intramural is not competitive. If you do win the bracket, I guess you would call it, you actually get a t-shirt. On the back it says "sought by many, worn by few." And if you're a senior on our campus wearing one of those, you're getting some high fives and pats on the back and so intramural can be a great option if that sounds more of your speed.
So moving on to our fitness center like I mentioned those club and intramural sports are both housed in our fitness center that is on the corner of Assembly and Blossom Street. It again is not part of this campus tour today, even if you want a guided tour, but if you want to check it out after the tour, there's a lot of metered spots and you can definitely park down there and you cannot miss it. It is a huge yellow dome shaped building. It's actually the biggest gym in the entire state of South Carolina. There's a 52-foot rock climbing wall and indoor/outdoor basketball court, beach volleyball court. We have swimming pools in the inside and the outside. Students can take advantage of the sun when we have nice weather outside if they want to lay out. We also offer group exercise classes that you can actually get a group x pass and attend an unlimited amount of classes there for the semester. And that's something I've enjoyed, especially in my first year when I was working out a lot on campus. So plenty of opportunity for you to stay active here, including our sports, and then also just our fitness center.
Moving on from our fitness center, we have our Greek Village that's right beside it. So I normally take this time in our tour to kind of explain the two of them. Because if you were to go to drive down there to Assembly street today, and Blossom Street, you can park there and kind of see both and kill two birds with one stone. A little bit of an overview of our Greek Life. Here, we're about 27% of our student body is Greek. But that 27% is not just social Greek Life, it also includes pre-professional Greek Life. It includes Multicultural Greek Life, service-based and religious Greek Life. So coming from up north, I really didn't know anything about what Greek Life was like. And kind of learning that there are those different avenues was pretty eye opening to me and something I found really cool. So I thought also coming to a big SEC school, you would have to be involved in Greek Life in order to have friends. That is totally not the case here at South Carolina. So if everything I'm about to say does not sound interesting to you feel free to bypass this part of our little podcast. But if you're interested in learning more, my experience was really great. I've loved being a part of my Greek organization. And I'm part of a social Greek chapter. In our Greek Village, you can expect to find 20 houses that are Southern style mansions, exactly what you would expect, probably what you've seen in movies. 13 of those are our social sororities right now, and seven of them are social fraternities. We do have philanthropies that align with each one of our social chapters. That's something I've loved being involved in Greek life for is because I've gotten to participate in community service and be very hands on in the community. And again, that was something I didn't expect in joining a social chapter, if you're interested in a different route. But I've mentioned I can give a little bit about our pre professional organizations. My friend Ray from high school, he's actually involved in both social and pre-professional Greek Life. And he's had the opportunity to intern at the Super Bowl both years just by being a part of his sports marketing fraternity, which is involved with his major. So you don't have to pick just one, you can kind of dabble in a few you like, a couple of those different avenues to kind of figure it out, figure out what it is you're passionate about here at Carolina. So that's a bit about our Greek Life. Again, there's a ton of information online about it. But I want to thank you guys so much for listening to our athletics talk here today. It's one of my favorite parts about being a Gamecock and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.
Hey guys, I'm Olivia B. I'm a junior here at the University of South Carolina, studying broadcast journalism and minor in Spanish. I'm from Charleston, South Carolina, so not too far from Columbia. But I'm going to be the ambassador taking you guys around our humanities side of campus today. So super excited to be speaking with you guys. But as you're walking over the Pickens bridge, into that humanities side of campus, I'm going to highlight some of these buildings and some of the resources that are going to be located in them.
So as you're crossing over the bridge to your right, you're going to see our Colloquium Cafe, our humanities classroom building. Our nursing building's going to be located back further right. Also, on your right side is going to be our humanities office building, which I'll touch on in a second, Gambrel Hall will be located over here as well. And if you're cutting over that bridge, still straight in front of you, you're going to see our Capstone Scholars residence hall. So I'll touch on that in a second as well, too. And then to your left of the bridge, you'll see our National Advocacy Center, and also our Close-Hipp building, as well. So again, super excited to be touching on some of these resources today.
So kind of starting with that humanities classroom building, this is actually going to be the first building that you'll be a part of, if you do choose to make University of South Carolina your home, simply because this is where you'll take your foreign language placement test. So take a mental picture for sure. Because this will be your first building that you'll get to be in. But in this building, it's a lot of our foreign language classes, English courses in here as well. We have our Rosetta Stone lab in here, as well. So if you want to brush up on those foreign language skills before you study abroad, that's something that you can be a part of, as well. So super fun in there. In this building, as well, we have a lot of our campus computer labs. So if you don't have access to a laptop, feel free to use one of these computer labs in here as well. So that's our cute humanities classroom building.
And then like I said, further back to your right, is going to be our nursing building, home to our nursing students here at UofSC. So just a little bit of a fun fact about this program. For the past three years, we've had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX test, which is basically just that exit exam that our nursing students have to take before they leave nursing school. So I'm super proud of them. Lots of resources that our nursing students have access to simply because we are in the city of Columbia. So whether that be via multiple hospitals that they can do clinical hours at or resources in the nursing building, they do get lots of hands on attention, and just resources. So that's awesome for them.
And then kind of moving on to another taller building that you'll get to see on your right side as well. And that's going to be our humanities office building. So all of our professors here at the University of South Carolina are required to have office hours on campus. So if you want to meet your professor more personally or get to know them, or you have questions about something maybe that they talked about in lecture or in class, go to their office hours, I promise they're not there to bite your heads off. They really do want to get to know you guys. So ask them questions. Get to know them. I had a professor, my freshman year, his wife would always bake cookies just for his office hours. So I always knew that I was going to get a fun little sweet treat, and also get to ask questions as well. So take advantage of those office hours. They have them every single week, open for students, so definitely take advantage of those.
Also on your right hand side is going to be our Colloquium Cafe. So this is just a great lunch spot that we have here on campus. We used to call it our on-campus Panera, and then we got a real Panera. So now we just call Colloquium Cafe, but great lunch spot for soup, salad, sandwiches, flatbreads, things like that. So highly recommend if you're on campus right now, especially during lunch hour, stop by here if you're looking for a place to eat on campus for a great lunch option.
And then also on this side of campus is our Gambrell Hall, this is going to be home to more of those lecture style classes, like African American Studies, political science, courses like that will be held in this building. There's also a fun rooftop garden on the top of this building as well. A little bit of a fun fact, a lot of our students actually don't even know that it exists. So it's a great study spot because it's outside, pretty quiet. I like to go up there and study sometimes, especially when the weather's great. Hope we are walking around and that the sun's out today, so maybe go and look up there as well. So that's our Gambrell building and then again, that residence hall that I was mentioning earlier, that's right all the way down that path.
That's our Capstone Scholars residence hall. I know a lot of people have questions about the Capstone program versus the Honors program. So this Capstone program that we have here at the university is a two year program. It's by invitation only. And a lot of people have questions like "how do I get into Capstone" and you actually don't get in, it's by invitation based off your application. And so this is more based on leadership and service so that outside of the classroom experience here at the university, so they'll be checking to see how you're getting involved on campus, how you're meeting some certain service hours, things like that. All of our Capstone students are required to meet a personal challenge every semester, so your personal challenge could be, I want to read 10 books by the end of the semester, or I want to work out three times a week, it could be anything like that, that kind of extreme. But then it also could be I want to jump out of a plane and go skydiving, why you'd want to jump out of a plane, that's perfectly fine, I do not know. But if that's your personal challenge that you want to meet for the semester, each semester on the Capstone Scholars residence program, they they sponsor a trip for students to go skydiving, so that's just something super fun that they'll get to do in the Capstone building for our Capstone students. If you're a Capstone student, you don't have to live in this building. But it is only reserved for our Capstone students. And then again, I want to touch on that program versus the Honors program. So that Honors program is going to be a four year program more academically based here at the university. Inside of the classroom - a lot of these classes are kept around like 16 students, especially as you're advancing in here. This will be by application and it's a four year program again, so you can apply separately to the university, then you would the Honors College, so just something to think about with that.
Also, in this Capstone Scholars residence hall, at the very top, there's a rotating restaurant. As far as I'm concerned, we're the only campus to have a rotating restaurant on their campus, that just makes us superior in so many different ways. But again, that rotating restaurant, you can go up there certain days a week and have a really nice four course meal. Within the hour, the restaurant will rotate 360 degrees. And so you'll be able to see lots of different beautiful parts of our of our city of Columbia, which is really awesome, I promise you won't get sick or anything, doesn't turn out fast. But you will notice that within the hour, you'll get to see so many different parts of Colombia, which is really awesome. So that's located at the top of that building. And then also, just something super cool, that the Capstone Scholars building does have as well. Normally it's glowing gold at nighttime, but if it's ever glowing garnet, that just means that we did something really awesome. So they really just like to highlight and be proud of our students. And so whether that be our women's basketball team beating UConn, like we did last semester, or our football team beating Auburn, like we did a few weeks ago, super awesome, or our nursing students getting 100% pass rate on the NCLEX test, like that building is going to go garnet so everyone in the city of Columbia knows that the Gamecocks have pride, we're super excited for our students. And so that's just something fun that we get to do. So that building will go garnet if something really awesome happens, which is really cool.
Also on this side of campus as well, I mentioned earlier, is our Close-Hipp building. So if you guys are interested in studying abroad, this is where that Study Abroad Office is going to be. We have three different styles or three different types of study abroad options here at the university. So that first one is going to be that year long program, maybe you're really wanting to divulge yourself in a culture, want to brush up on those foreign language skills, go back to that Rosetta Stone lab that I mentioned earlier, in our humanities classroom building, you can do that year long option.
The second one's going to be the six month option, that's more of that semester long option that you can be a part of as well. A lot of our students do choose to study abroad in the spring, simply because they don't want to miss Carolina football in the fall. And they don't want to spend the holidays away from home normally. So a lot of our students do choose to study abroad in the spring.
And then the third option is just the May-master options, such as two weeks at the end of the spring, you'll go with like 20 other USC students, a professor, you get three credit hours for it. So it still counts for something. But just a shorter amount of time. Maybe you're not wanting to spend an entire semester away from Carolina, that's another option you can look to as well. So that's going to be located in our Close-Hipp building. If you have any questions about study abroad, they can answer them. Exploratory advising is going to be located in this building as well. So if you're thinking about changing your major or just want to see what your options are, you're going visit them in this building, too. And then Close-Hipp also just became home to our College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management last year. So all those classes are housed in there primarily, got renovated as well.
So and then one of the last buildings that I do want to highlight over on this side of campus is the National Advocacy Center. So we like to call it the NAC for short. But it's formerly known as the National Advocacy Center. It's technically not ours, it's federally owned building. And each year, they train 20,000 prosecutors and attorneys every single year, which is really awesome. So again, not owned by the university, but it just so happens that they put it right next to our campus. One also really cool thing about this building is that they only offer internships to USC students. So if you're looking for an internship, that's you know, in political science or anything like that, you definitely get involved here. Or if you're looking for an internship, just in general want to get internship experience, that's a great place to start because it's so close to campus, you can wake up, go to class and walk right to your internship. So that would be super cool. But again, that's going to be housed in the National Advocacy Center. So lots of fun opportunities there. Again, this is where you're going to be spending a lot of time that first and second year here at Carolina. Definitely take again mental pictures of this side of campus because it's a super, super great place to be and a great place to, to study, hang out with friends and things like that. But thank you guys so much for walking around our campus today, I hope that this podcast helped with learning more about our campus, getting to see more of our campus, hopefully through your eyes. Thank you guys for tuning in today and we'll see you soon. Go Gamecocks!