November 2019
In This Issue
  • Talking Points
  • Fall Commencement
  • Housing reminders
  • Winter Session
  • Bursar's Office
  • Off-Campus Living
  • Student Health Services
  • Answering your questions
  • University news
  • Important dates
The trees are a golden hue in the middle of fall on the historic Horseshoe
Greetings!

It's been an exciting start to fall at South Carolina! Homecoming Week is always a great celebration, the Gamecocks are doing well on the field and court and students are feeling more comfortable and confident in their semester.

As students make their final push before end-of-the-semester exams, encourage them to take extra time to utilize the resources around them. Students can take their professor out to lunch. They can connect with the writing lab for help on a research paper or lab report. Students can also make time to meditate and shift their mindset in the midst of a busy season.

For many students, fall break is nice to rest, but many are looking forward to Thanksgiving break to truly rejuvenate before the end of the semester. I hope that you, too, are looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday and having your student home with you to celebrate.

During the month of November, I like to reflect and share my gratitude for the many people who make the work in Student Life possible. I am most grateful for you, our Gamecock families, as our work in Student Affairs would not be possible without the encouragement and support you share with your UofSC student!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful month!
Anna C. Edwards, Ph.D. 
Associate Vice President for Student Life 
Family Talking Points
The middle of the semester often means added stress for college students. Between large-scale course projects coming due, midterm exams and needing to make plans for the holidays and next semester, your student may be feeling overwhelmed. Unfortunately if left unaddressed, these feelings can lead students to misusing drugs or alcohol to cope.
 
The Office of Parent & Family Programs has partnered with South Carolina's Substance Abuse Prevention and Education team to provide an in-depth guide to talking with your student about alcohol use during their time in college. Highlights of this guide include:
 
  • Tips for starting the initial conversation with your student
  • How alcohol works in the body, including reactions to medicine
  • Why students choose (and don't choose) to drink in college
  • Answering the "Did you drink when you were a student?" question
 
Backed by comprehensive research, this conversation guide is available to download for University of South Carolina parents and family members. Use code "UofSCfamily" as the username and password when logging in to access the guide. We encourage you to read and review the information before seeing your student at Thanksgiving or visiting with them during their next trip home.
 
If you feel concerned at any point during your student's time at South Carolina about alcohol or drug abuse, you can refer them to receive assistance through the STIR coaching program as part of Substance Abuse Prevention and Education's many initiatives to assist students in making good and healthy choices during college.
 
Want additional conversational topics to share with your student? Be sure to review the "Conversation Kick-Starters" tab on the Parent & Family Programs mobile app for additional discussion ideas.
Fall 2019 Commencement
Students celebrate around the Cocky statue after Commencement.
Monday, Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m.
Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC 29208

Colonial Life Arena Clear Bag Policy
Students and guests attending the fall 2019 Commencement exercises will need to follow Colonial Life Arena's  Clear Bag policy . While bags are not encouraged, the following bags are permissible: 12" x 6" x 12" clear plastic bag, 1-gallon freezer bag, 4.5" x 6.5" small clutch bag. Please note that helium celebration balloons and gift bags are not permissible inside the arena.

Grad Dine
My Carolina Alumni Association invites all fall 2019 University of South Carolina graduates to dine in their new alumni home with family and friends, Dec 16 at 11 a.m. Families can enjoy a meal together while celebrating their students' accomplishments at the Pastides Alumni Center. A professional photographer will also be available for family photos. Online registration is required and closes Dec. 4.

Guest Tickets
Students approved for degree candidacy can request up to five guest tickets for fall 2019 Commencement until Nov. 10. If tickets remain after Nov. 10, students will be able to claim additional guest tickets beginning Nov. 18 in their Account Manager.
University Housing Reminders
Break Closings
University residence halls will remain open for Thanksgiving break to allow students to stay on campus. (Please note this is an update from the information shared in the 2019-20 Family Calendar & Handbook). Thanksgiving break begins Nov. 27 and ends Dec. 1. Updated dining hours will be shared on Carolina Food Co.'s Twitter account.

Upperclassmen Housing
Online interest forms for on-campus housing for the 2020-2021 academic year are available to returning students. Students must complete and submit an interest form by Nov. 15 if they are interested in living on campus next year. Students should select the community that best suits them while answering all questions on the form to the best of their abilities. The interest form allows students to find out their housing options without paying the advance fee.

If students have questions, they can contact University Housing at 803-777-4283 or schedule a one-on-one consultation with an assignment coordinator.
Online Winter Session Courses
Students looking to catch up on missed courses or get ahead before graduation are encouraged to talk with their academic advisor about winter session courses. These three hour classes take place over three weeks and are all online. A variety of subjects are offered, allowing students to stay at home or travel while working on additional credits.

Winter session course fees are included with spring semester, so any additional aid or scholarship fund allotted for spring can be used. For UofSC upperclassmen, winter session often means the difference between a spring or summer graduation. Considering the cost per additional semester would be approximately $12,390.50 for resident students and $23,010.50 for nonresident students, winter session provides a great advantage!

Encourage your student to review the On Your Time Initiatives website and speak with their academic advisor about winter session opportunities.
Bursar's Office Reminders
Tuition and Fee Payment
The final installment of the fall 2019 payment plan is due Nov. 11. Monthly payments can be made in person, mailed to the Bursar's Office, or processed electronically via your student's Self Service Carolina (SSC) account from a checking account or credit card.

University of South Carolina
Bursar's Office
1244 Blossom Street - Suite 128
Columbia, SC 29208-0001

Tuition bills for spring 2020 courses will be available beginning Nov. 14 for students who are registered for spring semester courses. The spring 2020 mail-in payment deadline is Dec. 13 and the online payment deadline is Jan. 8. Please note that payment plans do not roll over between semesters, thus a new payment plan must be selected. For more information about tuition and fee payment, contact the Bursar's Office at 803-777-4233.

Self-Service Carolina
Students can access and print their 1098-T tax information on their SSC account or choose to have them mailed to their permanent address. They can also assign authorized users to their SSC account to access the 1098-T information. As an authorized user, parents and guardians are able to view student bills, payment history, set up a payment plan and speak with the Bursar's Office about their student's account.
Off-Campus Living Reminders
Students walk to class in front of Davis College during a warm autumn day.
Worrying about your home and valuables while away can put a damper on any holiday vacation. Help your student enjoy Thanksgiving break even more by reminding them to secure their home before they depart campus!

These tips from Off-Campus Living and Neighborhood Relations can help your student protect their home and belongings while away from Columbia:

  • Lock bedroom, apartment or house doors and windows.
  • Remove all portable items from vehicles. If students must leave something in their car, it should be locked in the trunk.
  • Valuables should be brought home. Store bicycles in the living room or bedroom for added safe-keeping.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch the house and suspend package deliveries and mail.
  • Set indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer or leave a light, radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Move vehicles off public streets.

For additional safety tips and resources please visit sc.edu/offcampusliving or call 803-777-3366 to speak with Off-Campus Living and Neighborhood Relations staff.
Student Health Services News
Cold and Flu Prevention
Viruses and germs can spread rapidly on college campuses, encourage your student to take preventative measures to keep themselves healthy:

  • Getting a flu shot can protect your student and peers around them. The Student Health Center's Immunization Office is offering flu shots to students at no out-of-pocket cost. There will also be several mobile flu shot clinics throughout campus for your student to get the vaccine in between classes.
  • Wash hands regularly and cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to reduce stress.
  • Disinfect surfaces often, including those in residence hall rooms or apartment communities and don't share cups or utensils.
  • Students should familiarize themselves with their instructors' absence policies in case they decide to stay home and rest.

Vaping and E-Cigarettes 
In recent months there has been a significant increase in lung injuries reported across the country due to e-cigarette or vaping use. If your student has recently vaped and has any of the following symptoms, ask them to seek medical attention:

  • Coughing, shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue, fever or abdominal pain

Some patients have reported their symptoms took time to develop over a few days, while others developed over several weeks. If your student needs medical attention, they can schedule a doctor's appointment online at sc.edu/myhealthspace or call 803-777-3175. 

Students who would like help to quit smoking or vaping can contact Student Wellness and Prevention or the Quit for Keeps Program quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. 
My student is having a difficult time getting involved, how can I encourage them?

Many students have a difficult time getting involved in their first year or during a semester with a difficult course load. It's important to encourage them to still get involved, as it will improve their time management, help them feel a stronger sense of belonging on campus and create positive social interactions and friendships. The Leadership and Service Center is a great place for your student to get dialed into involvement. Your student can meet one-on-one with a Leadership Coach to discuss their interests and find opportunities on campus that fit those. They can also attend the Mini Organization Fair taking place Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or the Spring Organization Fair Jan. 22 on Greene Street.

Have a question? Contact the Office of Parent & Family Programs at 1-800-868-6752 or scparents@sc.edu, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for assistance.

"Campus, city thrive together through decades of change"

From growth and innovation on campus to an increasingly bustling city life, the university and the city are thriving together in a symbiotic relationship. In many cases, it’s South Carolina alumni who are leading the change as entrepreneurs and community leaders.
"Gamecock athlete racing toward career in education"

After winning state championships in high school, Kaden Briggs was excited to earn a spot on the University of South Carolina’s track and field team. But he was shocked when he faced an unexpected hurdle – some skepticism about his chosen career path.
Nov. 6: Last day to drop a course or withdraw without a "WF"
Nov. 26: Greek Village closes for Thanksgiving break at 6 p.m.
Nov. 27-Dec. 1: Thanksgiving break - no classes
Nov. 28-Dec. 1: University offices closed
Nov. 30: Greek Village opens after Thanksgiving break at 8 a.m.
Dec. 6: Last day of classes
Dec. 9-16: Finals Week final exams begin
Dec. 16: Fall 2019 Commencement
Dec. 17: Residence halls close for winter break at 10 a.m.
Dec. 17: Greek Village closes for winter break at noon
Dec. 24-Jan. 1: University offices closed
Jan. 8: Residence halls open for spring semester at 8 a.m.
Jan. 12: Greek Village opens for spring semester at noon
Jan. 13: Spring semester classes begin
Please continue to visit the Parents & Families Gateway for information and resources at sc.edu/parents .

Office of Parent & Family Programs
University of South Carolina
Website:  sc.edu/parents  
Parents Assistance Line: 1-800-868-6752