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Off-Campus Living & Neighborhood Relations

  • Students participating in a campus-wide day of community service.

Neighborhood Relations

The University of South Carolina is committed to providing resources and support to promote a connection between students, the university, and the local community. We strive to build relationships with community members to foster a positive environment for permanent residents and students.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

The city of Columbia has many wonderful neighborhoods where students call home during their time at UofSC. Our office is dedicated to providing resources for students and community members to support livability off campus. If you are a student, we hope being a part of the Columbia community will contribute to your experience at UofSC, with the expectation that you uphold the Carolinian Creed and abide by the Student Code of Conduct. To ensure you are complying with the latest ordinances, please review this executive order regarding large gatherings. 


FAQ's for Community Members

We recognize this fall presents unique community concerns related to COVID-19. This information has been compiled for surrounding neighborhood residents. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can be of support to you or your neighborhood. 

The University of South Carolina expects all students, faculty and staff members to be tested for COVID-19. Individuals should obtain a test shortly before their return to campus or as soon as possible upon their return to campus. UofSC is offering a robust testing schedule for its campus community members. 

Student Health Services has developed contact tracing protocols and procedures in conjunction with public health professionals and public health agencies, such as the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Student Health Services' trained staff will conduct contact tracing and care planning interviews with members of the university community who have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19. Members of the UofSC community who have been in close contact with COVID-19 positive individuals also will be contact traced, while courtesy outreach may also be done for non-UofSC close contacts.

The University of South Carolina requires students to comply with public health directives, including the City of Columbia's face covering ordinance. This requires students to wear face coverings on and off-campus, as outlined in the ordinance. The university is requiring face coverings to be worn inside campus buildings- with few exceptions such as while eating. All individuals in outdoor areas are expected to wear a face covering whenever physical distancing (six feet or more) is difficult or the risk of infection is high. Failure to abide by the face covering ordinance is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. 

The university is coordinating off-campus communication efforts, working with the Dean of Students, Student Conduct, University Communications and Public Affairs, Fraternity and Sorority Life, student leaders, Student Health Service and the private apartment communities to help educate students, communicate expectations and enforce accountability efforts. The #IPledgeColumbia campaign was developed by Student Government to promote social responsibility and a commitment to keeping both the university campus and the city of Columbia safe. Please visit and take the pledge! 

The university will collaborate with apartment managers, landlords, external and internal law enforcement, neighborhood residents and the Office of Student Conduct to discourage large gatherings in private apartments and houses. Community members living in neighborhoods surrounding campus are encouraged to report concerning student behavior using the existing Off-Campus Incident Report process. All reports will be followed up by the Office of Student Conduct and/or the Off-Campus Living and Neighborhood Relations office. 

The University of South Carolina requires students to comply with public health directives. Failure to comply is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. For concerns related to public health directives, please complete the Public Health Directive Concern Report. General concerns about student behavior can still be reported using the Off-Campus Incident Report form. 

The university has established a COVID-19 website to allow various audiences to locate the information relevant to them quickly. It is updated daily and features a Formstack tool for asking questions. 

A system is in place between Student Health Services and Student Life to monitor off-campus cases and provide appropriate follow up and guidance. Coordination will occur between the university, landlords and apartment managers as needed to support students in quarantine.

Please contact Julian Capel, Student and Community Outreach Director at or 803-576-9313.



Tips for Positive Neighbor Relations

Being proactive, friendly and communicative can establish a great foundation for building positive relationships with your neighbors.

Welcome new neighbors in person or with a note as soon as possible. Invite new neighbors to a neighborhood gathering or exchange phone numbers. Meeting your neighbors is a great way to begin building a positive community.


What to share:

Offer your new neighbor important neighborhood information such as trash and recycling schedules, noise and parking expectations, and other resources your neighborhood provides. Suggest they share this information with any roommates so everyone is aware.

Share your contact information and ask for theirs in case you need to communicate with one another to solve problems or express concerns before depending on outside intervention such as the police.

Share your expectations and experiences by letting neighbors know when you need sleep or quiet. Let them know what activities or noise level is not appropriate and when you may be prompted to contact police.

Model neighborly behavior and they will be more likely to return the goodwill. Let students know that you are willing to share resources and provide support, whether it’s a hammer, a cup of sugar or advice.


Report Problems When They Occur

How to address problems involving neighbors:

  1. If at all possible, first discuss your concerns and expectations with your neighbors.

  2. If an illegal activity is occurring, call the Columbia Police Dept. at 803-252-2911 in the city or the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. at 803-576-3000 in the county. If it is an emergency, call 911.

  3. If a code is being violated, report it to the City of Columbia Code Enforcement at 803-545-3430 and report county violations to the Richland County Ombudsman at 803-929-6000. The city and county require proper maintenance of all residential buildings. Enforcement includes, but is not limited to:
    • overgrown yards
    • abandoned vehicles
    • illegal dumping
    • roll carts
    • litter
    • structures in need of repair
  4. Report the incident to the University of South Carolina by submitting an Incident Report. A University of South Carolina staff member will follow up with you about the incident within seven business days.

Need Student Volunteers for a Neighborhood Project? 

Consider partnering with the university's Leadership and Service Center to make it happen.

Contact Carly Zerr at to discuss your idea and find the best avenue to help meet that need.

Service Site Requirements

  • Service typically takes place on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Sites are expected to have enough work for two to three hours.
  • Each group will have at least one student serving as a site leader, who serves as the main point of contact between the site and the student volunteers.
  • In most cases, sites must provide the materials needed to accomplish the project.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.