Campus Strictness

Columbia, SC
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: School policies are enforced. I feel safe and that my best interest is put forth on campus.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: I love USC. Sometimes it can be strict, but it is for your safety.

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Depends on your RM, but most are super chill, and if you respect that they're on the hook for you being retarded and acting a fool at 3 AM, then you'll do alright. Strict dorms: Capstone, women's quad, Patterson. Real lenient dorms: Bates, Bates west, Columbia Hall, west/east/south quads (in moderation though).

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Like any campus, the university enforces the rules.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: On campus housing is definitely strict. The visitation policy varies depending on the dorm you are in, but in spring semester, most dorms change their rules to be lenient. Alcohol/drug usage is closely watched for with huge fines and penalties if caught. The campus has gone tobacco-free (January 2014), and though it has not made an incredible impact on students smoking, they can get fined if caught by an overzealous campus police officer. The university police have state jurisdiction, as they are quick to inform you, so just know that they have the most power of any police officer you will run into. That being said, they are usually nicer than the insane, barely-respected, feared Columbia City police. Resident Mentors are probably the most strict people you'll have to deal with on campus, since their job is to find and report anything in the dorms. Some are genuinely there to help, purposely overlooking a beer can in the trash, but immediately responding to a dangerously intoxicated student, but others go above and beyond to make an example of every student that they can possibly find with slightly too-loud speakers or an accidental slur in their word.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 315th
    Strictest Honor Code
  • 1179th
    Most Lenient Parking
  • 1232nd
    Best Campus Police

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Fort Mitchell, KY
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
View all previous student authors

Strictness on campus is pretty moderate, and students can usually find ways to get away with things as long as they use caution. Rules are enforced directly by RAs in campus dorms, the USC Police Department, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Department. The severity of the punishment often depends on who students are dealing with. RAs generally allow more leniency when it comes to drug usage, and most tend not to notice or care as long as it’s done discretely (some, however, may be on a mission to catch students).

Campus police are very strict about drugs and drinking. You can get kicked out of housing, lose your scholarship, or get kicked out of school if the police catch you with drugs. Alcohol is probably the most difficult thing for authorities to monitor, but students do get in trouble for alcohol usage frequently, even though punishment is not as severe as it would be for usage of other drugs such as marijuana or cocaine. The main concern of authorities seems to focus on alcohol usage and making sure that students are safe and that situations do not get out of control. As long as students are not blatantly obvious about drug and alcohol usage, chances are they will not have to worry about getting caught.

Facts & Statistics

Students Are Most Likely to Get Caught...
  • Having candles or other items not permitted in your room
  • Keeping guests in the dorm past curfew
  • Noise complaints in dorm rooms often lead to alcohol violations for freshman and sophomores, and it is not uncommon for students to be apprehended and ticketed while stumbling back to campus from an obvious night at the bars.
  • Parking illegally
  • Smoking illegal substances
  • Sneaking guests into the dorm
  • Underage drinking

Student Polls

Rate strictness of administration policies on the following topics    Based on 187 responses

Very strict
Very lenient
  • Alcohol use in dorms
  • Attendance
  • Creating new student organizations
  • Drug use
  • Honor code
  • Noise violations
  • Parking
  • Protests/demonstrations
  • Underage drinking
  • Visitation in dorms

How do the campus police or safety officers affect your campus experience?    Based on 188 responses

  • 3% Very negatively. They treat everyone like criminals.
  • 9% Fairly negatively. They're only interested in breaking up the fun.
  • 61% Fairly positively. They're pretty easy to get along with if you respect them.
  • 28% Very positively. Officers are kind and helpful.


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