October 2019
In This Issue
  • Talking Points
  • Family Weekend 2020
  • Housing reminders
  • My Carolina Alumni Association
  • On Your Time Initiatives
  • Bursar's Office
  • Student Health Services
  • Answering your questions
  • University news
  • Important dates
Cocky's parents enjoy Family Weekend!

What a joy it was to celebrate Family Weekend with many of our Gamecock families this past weekend. Seeing so many parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members reconnect with their student was heartwarming.

Sharing in these moments is part of the Office of Parent & Family Program's mission. Our staff work to ensure you're able to support and encourage your student throughout their time at Carolina. We know how important family is to student success, so don't hesitate to reach out to Parent & Family Programs through the Parents Assistance Line (800-868-6752) or by email ( scparents@sc.edu) should you or your student have questions.

October is sure to be a busy month with midterms and fall break coming soon. Many students are looking forward to celebrating Homecoming the week of Oct. 28 with events like the Cockstock concert, Carolina's Got Talent and much more. In these busy days encourage your student to get regular rest, eat well, seek academic assistance from the Student Success Center or just take a brain break by staying active.

Here's to another exciting month at South Carolina!
Anna C. Edwards, Ph.D. 
Associate Vice President for Student Life 
The parents of UofSC mascot Cocky enjoy the Family Weekend Tailgate Party before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats. Photos from Family Weekend will be shared on the Parent & Family Programs Facebook page in the coming days.
Family Talking Points
By October, many students have set their daily and weekly routines with their classes, homework and project schedules, meal times, social activities . . . etc. Despite this, many families often feel discouraged by a lack of weekly contact with their student. As you and your student continue to navigate the semester, we encourage you to keep these communication tips in mind:

  • Students often hold different hours than they did in high school. They're staying up later and usually sleeping in longer -- especially on the weekends. Because of this, be mindful of when you're reaching out to your student, but also understanding that their free time may be at an odd hour.

  • Sharing news is an easy way to keep your student connected to life at home. Be honest about anything going on, while also sharing updates about family pets or reminders of plans for upcoming breaks.

  • Your student may come to you with concerns about their experiences. Sometimes your job may be only to listen to them vent and air their frustrations. When there is serious cause for concern, reach out to our office so we can assist you in navigating those concerns with your student.

  • Staying informed of events happening around campus through the Family Calendar & Handbook and the Family E-News can guide conversations with your student.
  • Are they excited about the football game coming up?
  • Do they have plans for Halloween?
  • Are they going to the Cockstock concert?
  • Are they nervous about midterm exams or projects?

  • Make your phone calls part of their routine. Maybe you talk Sunday mornings or Wednesday afternoons after their last class. Let your student take the lead on what time would work best for their schedule. These conversations can easily become part of their newly established semester routine.

Want additional conversational topics to discuss with your student? Be sure to review the "Conversation Kick-Starters" tab on the Parent & Family Programs mobile app for additional discussion ideas.
Save the Date: Family Weekend 2020
Family Weekend 2019 has come and gone. Our team enjoyed planning and hosting this annual event, and we are already looking forward to  Family Weekend 2020 , which will be held  Sept. 11-13  (UofSC vs. East Carolina)! Mark your calendars and begin making your accommodations for an unforgettable Gamecock weekend!
Housing Reminders
Break Closings
University residence halls will remain open for fall and Thanksgiving breaks to allow students to stay on campus. (Please note this is an update from the information shared in the 2019-20 Family Calendar & Handbook). Fall break takes place Oct. 10-13 and Thanksgiving Recess begins Nov. 27 and ends Dec. 1.

Upperclassmen Housing
Online interest forms for on-campus housing for the 2020-2021 academic year are open to returning students beginning Oct. 1. 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.
My Carolina Alumni Association
South Carolina Official Ring Ceremony
Students who've purchased their official Carolina ring can take part in the time-honored tradition of the Official Ring Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. President Caslen will present each student with their ring on the grounds of the historic Horseshoe. Students need to register to take part in the ceremony by Oct. 23. Families are welcome to attend.

Fall Graduation Fair
Students graduating in December can visit the Barnes and Noble Campus Bookstore in the Russell House, Oct. 1-2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to purchase their graduation regalia, official Carolina ring and graduation announcements.
On Your Time Initiatives
may 2013
Has your student been looking for a way to meet their graduation goals? Winter session offers students a variety of three-week, 100% web-based courses that can help your student get back on track or even graduate early.

Students should meet with their adviser to see if winter session would be a good fit for this year. Registration for winter session begins at the same time as spring registration. Financial aid and scholarship funds for the spring semester can be used to assist in funding winter session courses. More information can be found on the On Your Time Initiatives website or by calling their office at 803-777-9850.
Bursar's Office Reminders
Payment Plans
The second installment of the fall 2019 payment plan is due Oct. 10 with the last payment 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

Authorized Users
Students can assign authorized users to their SSC account to allow parents and guardians to view student bills, payment history, request 1098-T information, set up a payment plan and speak with the Bursar's Office about their student's account.

Spring 2020 Bills
Tuition bills will be available beginning Nov. 18 for students who are registered for spring semester courses. The spring 2020 payment deadline is Jan. 8. For more information about tuition and fee payment, contact the Bursar's Office at 803-777-4233.
Student Health Services News
Mental Health Care
Students with urgent mental health needs after regular hours can call 803-777-5223 to be connected with a mental health professional. Parents and family members can also contact this number at any point if they have a concern about their UofSC student.

The nearest hospital to campus is Prisma Health Baptist Hospital, located at
1301 Taylor Street (.9 miles from Russell House). Their phone number is: 803-296-5010.

Flu Shots
Flu shots are available to students through Allergy and Immunizations on the first floor of the Center for Health and Well-Being. Students are encouraged to get their flu shot to help protect them and the Carolina family from this season's flu strains. There is no out-of-pocket cost nor do students need to make an appointment to receive the vaccine.

Telemedicine for Primary Care
Students now have access to primary care physicians through the use of the Mend Telemedicine app. They can consult with a doctor from the comfort of their residence hall or apartment using their smartphone, tablet or computer. Once students create an account and set an appointment, a custom link will be sent to them via a secure video and audio stream. This service is for treating season allergy symptoms, medication refills, request for referrals, colds and a variety of other illnesses. Students and families can learn more about this service and associated fees on the Student Health Services website.
The Office of Parent & Family Programs is your resource for supporting your student during their time at South Carolina. To better assist you, we are sharing one question every month from a fellow Gamecock family in the Family E-News.

My student will be staying on campus for fall break, is anything going to be open? Many of the essential services around campus will remain open throughout fall break. Locations such as the Thomas Cooper Library, the Center for Health and Well-Being, the Russell House and Campus Recreation facilities will share updated hours for fall break on their website. Additionally, Carolina Dining Co. will provide updated hours and availability for dining locations around campus. Fall break is a great opportunity for students to catch up on work or get ahead for the rest of the semester.

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.

"UofSC alumni Hootie & the Blowfish look back on their first big break"

This summer, Hootie & the Blowfish celebrated the 25th anniversary of Cracked Rear View. UofSC caught up with the band to reflect on becoming one of the most popular bands of their generation.
"UofSC is No. 1 nationwide for first-year student experience"

The University of South Carolina has the top first-year student experience among the nation’s public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual undergraduate rankings.
Oct. 1: Housing interest form sign-ups begin
Oct. 9: Greek Village closes at 6 p.m. for fall break
Oct. 10-11: Fall break - no classes
Oct. 13: Greek Village opens at noon after fall break
Oct. 14: Midpoint in the semester
Oct. 22: AlcoholEDU and SAPU part 2 due
Oct. 28-Nov. 2: Homecoming Week
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. 30: Greek Village opens after Thanksgiving break at 8 a.m.
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