Say no to hazing
Clemson University’s hazing policy is specific about what constitutes hazing. The university prohibits paddling, physical or psychological shocks, forced consumption of food, water, alcohol or drugs, kidnapping or abandonment, lineups and berating, morally degrading behavior and personal servitude, among other acts.
Recently, the family of Clemson student Tucker Hipps reached a settlement with Clemson University, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and several of its members in Hipps’ September 2014 death. Though no one was ever charged in Hipps’ death, his parents, Cindy and Gary Hipps, believe hazing played a role in their son’s death.…
Despite criminal charges, expulsions and suspensions of fraternity chapters, hazing still occurs. And sadly, the practice will continue as long as group members hold on to the ridiculous and outdated notion that because they had to endure such rituals to prove themselves worthy, future members should, too.
It’s up to current fraternity and sorority members to stand up and say enough is enough. Being a part of a social group should not include humiliation and physical and emotional abuse. Leaders of fraternities and sororities must be willing to say to their peers, “hazing is not who we are.”
Don’t let nuclear die
SCE&G and Santee Cooper may be OK for now with generating capacity, but South Carolina is growing and plans to grow even more as a developing state. Failure to consider long-term needs for power would be a mistake amid the nuclear fiasco. Can nuclear yet be an ingredient here and elsewhere around a country that is totally reliant on the power grid — including for national security?
The answer is “no” — at least for now. And that is a mistake. Nuclear power supplies about 20 percent of the nation’s power, but plants are aging and will go off line in coming years. Will the nation rely on conventional generating sources (coal, natural gas and hydro) to replace the power — or are we truly ready to commit to solar, wind and other sources in ensuring the power we have to have?
The future of nuclear energy is an urgent national matter. A policy and commitment (or lack thereof) are necessary. No utility now is going to venture into nuclear without guarantees that go even beyond those causing so much controversy in South Carolina.
Santee Cooper CEO and Bamberg County native Lonnie Carter stated correctly: “If the federal government wants there to be a nuclear energy sector in this country, they need to step forward and make sure these projects are finished. If they don’t, we won’t have one.”
Over the last 15 years, the University of South Carolina has increasingly embraced the idea of recruiting out-of-state students to such an extent that they now comprise well over 40 percent of the incoming freshman class. Part of the idea is to bolster the university’s coffers with higher out-of-state tuition payments to offset legislative budget cuts.
But the state Commission on Higher Education contends that the policy has actually cost the state because so many of those students are provided in-state tuition as an inducement to enroll.
The policy has been debated during CHE meetings throughout the summer, and reached a critical point in the Aug. 3 meeting, when higher ed commissioner Kenneth Kirkland used a whiteboard and marker to check USC’s calculations. According to a report in The State newspaper, Mr. Kirkland’s arithmetic showed that the university actually lost $23 million last year as a result of out-of-state tuition subsidies.
As recounted in that report, commissioner Diane Kuhl then asked, “Can you explain to the taxpayers of South Carolina why out-of-state students are costing the university $23 million?” Dennis Pruitt, USC vice president for student affairs, responded, “I cannot.”
It’s certainly one question that needs to be fielded more authoritatively by USC. But it’s not the only one. The policy itself deserves a full explanation to state taxpayers as well as would-be students to the flagship university. It can be reasonably argued that state colleges should give greater attention to in-state students, whose parents pay taxes.