Message to students on returning after storm

Greetings Gamecock Students,

We are fortunate our campus has largely escaped harm from Hurricane Florence. However, beyond the brick walls of the Horseshoe, our neighbors in the Carolinas have experienced incredible hardship.

In alignment with Richland County government, which as a state agency we are required to follow, classes and normal operations are resuming on Monday, and it’s time to think about your return to campus. Due to a previous announcement anticipating that classes would resume on Tuesday, any student unable to return to Columbia for Monday classes will not be penalized for the absence. Students are still responsible for the material covered in classes on Monday and instructors will be cooperative with students needing to make up this work.

Upon your return, your Carolina family will be right here to welcome and support you. 

A week is a long time to be away during the course of a semester. As an undergrad, I remember an occasional snowstorm which closed school for a day or two at a time, but nothing like this. I hope this isn’t our new normal. However, our seniors might argue otherwise, as this is the fourth fall in a row they have experienced either a flood or hurricane.

I trust that you all have used your time wisely to catch up on some reading or make progress on a semester project. Patricia and I would like to thank all of you who participated in our short essay contest entitled, "This is How We Can Make USC an Even Better University." The response has been extremely positive. A reminder that Monday morning is the deadline, so there’s still time to submit your essay to president@sc.edu

Upon your return, your Carolina family will be right here to welcome and support you. I know we will all be flexible and understanding, yet committed to the task. Despite this lost class time, I especially want you to know that your professors are prepared to work with you to ensure you are right where you need to be by semester’s end.

As you return to campus, I want to remind you that Monday is also national Constitution Day. The day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and provides all of us an opportunity to recognize the freedoms that we have by becoming more familiar with our Constitution. I encourage you to participate in the range of campus activities we have planned on Monday, including a TurboVote movie screening and conversation, followed by a voter registration drive where pizza and pocket constitutions will be provided. These and a full resumption of services and activities will be available to you as well.

I look forward to all of us being back together. The Horseshoe, your classrooms, your professors, and even Williams Brice Stadium will be ready for you. And I know you will come back stronger and more prepared than ever. After all, you are a Gamecock, and nothing if not resilient!

See you soon.

Harris Pastides