COLUMBIA, SC — Inside
The University of South Carolina is growing. And so a lot of things are growing around campus.
This year, the state’s flagship college will bring in its largest freshman class in history. Enrollment continues to hit school records, approaching 32,000 – 6,000 more than a decade ago.
To accommodate the additional students, USC has added more faculty, more police officers and new online services.
The school has started an online college and is allowing students to add their community activities on their transcripts.
Later in the school year, the university will ban tobacco and open a new business school building.
Students move into dorms Saturday. Classes start Aug. 22.
Here’s a look at what’s new at USC:
Freshman takeover: The school will add about 325 freshmen from last year for an expected total of 4,950. USC says students are coming because the school “is the place to be” and more accepted students enrolled than expected. Still, the growing student body helps, as state funding has shrunk by $40 million in the past five years.
More on the beat: After recent high-profile incidents and growing enrollment, USC added seven police officers this fall, bringing the size of the force to 70.
Teacher tally: USC added 156 faculty members this fall. That includes about 90 on the tenure track, bringing the total to more than 1,200.
Butt out: A campus tobacco ban starts Jan. 1. Smokers and chewers must be at least 25 feet from a building now.
Log in: Students now can register for classes, access their financial aid information and make tuition payments on new online systems. They also can manage parking information and pay tickets, as well as add money to CarolinaCards used at the university bookstore at the Russell House, 125-plus vending machines, campus dining halls, and Williams-Brice Stadium concessions.
Leading the way: Students can earn a “Graduation with Leadership Distinction” on degrees by tracking their academic work and community service and projects. They will have an electronic portfolio to show their accomplishments on their transcripts.
Clicking for a diploma: Palmetto College, which allows students to complete their bachelor’s degrees online, will have an enrollment of 400 to 500 when classes start.
Business class: The new, ultra-green $106.5 million Darla Moore School of Business building on Assembly Street opens in the spring — instead of winter break as originally planned. The new tenant for the current business school building, the U.S. Department of Justice, needed more time to move.
Walk on the wild side: Pedestrian-friendly improvements to sidewalks and medians along Assembly Street that connect the east and west sides of campus will be finished by the end of the semester.
To your health: The Student Health Center will have expanded Sunday hours from 2-8 p.m., and add mental health counseling Sundays.
Finding success: The Student Success Center that helps students navigate classes and college life will provide every freshman with a “success coach” and expand courses, tutoring and coaching.
Online advice: A pilot online system allows students to schedule adviser appointments, receive reminders and prepare for advising appointments by completing a checklist of short questions.
Quiet quad: The three dorms that make up the 550-bed Women’s Quad will be closed for the year for renovations. Some freshmen will be housed in dorms usually reserved for graduate students. (Greene and Bull streets in front of the construction area have been limited to one-way traffic. But during move-in this weekend, Greene Street will temporarily reopen to two-way traffic.)
Moving around: The bursar and registrar offices have moved from the Petigru building near the Horseshoe to Main Street between Blossom and Wheat after a $5.5 million renovation that includes new state-of-the-art classrooms. The College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office has moved to Petigru from the Gambrell building.
Let’s eat: New in the Russell House are Fresh Burger and Wholly Habaneros. And in a popular move, Chick-fil-A will serve breakfast.
Early Greeks: Sorority rush is being held earlier than usual to avoid interfering with classes. For the first time, students participating in sorority rush moved into dorms Wednesday, three days before the traditional move-in day. Sorority rush starts Thursday. Fraternity rush now requires students to participate in a community service event.