Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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3 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Not the most beautiful school and not much green space. The horseshoe is the greatest, but nobody goes over there because there's no classes. Strom workout center is really nice. Library is nice, lots of space to study. Very environmentally unfriendly. Wifi is terrible.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Great Campus I just don't like alot of the people here.

5 College Senior

Campus Quality: This school and campus is absolutely beautiful. There's something about being a Gamecock that is unlike anything else in this world, the whole school is united in this.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: The campus is beautiful with a blend of old and new architecture to make spaces unique and interesting. There are lots of green spaces and areas to relax and study in outside. The library is top-notch and provides a wonderful array of services for students.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: Just like other state schools, I would imagine.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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With all of the improvements that have been made on campus, students seem to be very satisfied overall. The Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center houses five basketball courts, indoor and outdoor pools, an indoor track, a climbing wall, racquetball courts, and strength training equipment. Students really enjoy taking advantage of the long hours and brand new equipment in this multi-million-dollar facility. There is also the Colonial Life Arena, which is the largest arena in the state, seating 18,000 and featuring a state-of-the-art sound system and a four-sided scoreboard.

The Russell House University Union is where students get food, check their mail, see free movies in the Carolina Theater, attend group events, and watch entertainers and speakers ranging from USC students to nationally recognized talent. Built in the 1950s, it may be termed average in comparison with some of USC’s other facilities, but it seems to meet the needs of students. The Thomas Cooper library (seven floors, five of which are underground) contains 3 million volumes and microforms and more than 200 computers. In addition, USC has been working to create a program that would allow students to access resources at all of the university libraries throughout the state.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
358 acres
Student Centers
  • The Russell House
  • University Union
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Popular Places to Chill
  • Cool Beans coffee shop
  • The Horseshoe
  • The Russell House
  • University Union
Bar on Campus
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
Starbucks in the Russell House University Union
Movie Theater on Campus
In the Russell House University Union
School Slang
  • BA Building: The Business Administration building or Hipp-Close building.
  • Blackboard: An online tool that students and teachers use for assignments and discussions on class topics.
  • Five Points: An area of Columbia where many students go to find a drink or a good place to eat; you can get there from campus by heading down Green Street.
  • Gibbes: Gibbes Court Cafeteria
  • The Gimp: Short for Grand Market Place (GMP); the cafeteria on the first floor of the Russell House.
  • The Horseshoe: USC's central lawn on campus.
  • The Quads: South Quad and East Quad are upper-class, apartment-style dorms.
  • RHD: Residence Hall Director.
  • RuHo: Russell House University Union
  • SG: Student Government
  • SLED: South Carolina Law Enforcement Department
  • The Strom: Strom Thurmond Fitness and Wellness Center on Assembly Street
  • USCPD: University of South Carolina Police Department.
  • VIP: Visual Information Processing; Web site where students can pay tuition, register for classes, look at their transcript.
  • The Vista: A strip of restaurants and bars on Gervais Street.
  • First Night Carolina: The night after moving in, don't be surprised if you see hundreds of students bunched in front of the Russell House and shuttle buses lined up for blocks down Green Street. This is part of First Night Carolina, an opportunity for freshmen to get to know each other, and a way for USC to welcome them to the college. Students are transported by shuttle bus to a secret location where a special program awaits them, which usually involves free food and loud music. It is a great way for students to get involved on their first night away from home, and also gives them a chance to meet new people.
  • Sorority Bid Day: Every fall when the sororities at USC offer membership to those who rushed is a celebration. Occurring on the Horseshoe, each sorority and its members take up a spot on the grass, while the girls hoping for a bid gather in front of the McKissick Museum. These hopefuls are handed a letter, telling them into which sorority they have been accepted. They then run down the Horseshoe's length amidst hundreds of screaming girls and other onlookers to their respective "sisters."
  • Tiger Burn: The week before the big Clemson/USC football game, the University holds a variety of activities to get the students excited about the huge rivalry. One of these events is the Tiger Burn pep rally where the cheerleaders, pep band, and students come out to get pumped up about the big game. It is during this time of the year that school spirit is at its greatest. Even though all students may not be able to get tickets to the game itself, it gives them even more incentive to come to Tiger Burn and revel in the prospect of smoking the Clemson Tigers.
  • Top of Carolina: On Sunday mornings, the rotating restaurant on top of Capstone opens for a Sunday brunch. The brunch features an all-you-can-eat buffet, including a belgian waffle station, omelet station, a hot buffet line, and other items to choose from. Just as impressive is the amazing view of downtown Columbia from the top of an 18-story building. Reservations are available from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and can be made by calling (803) 777-0848.
Urban Legends
  • Longstreet Theatre -- The center for USC's theater and dance department is said to be the most haunted building on campus. Serving as both a hospital and a morgue during the Civil War, students have reported uneasy feelings while wandering the building at night. Longstreet is often featured on news reports that examine Columbia's "most haunted" around Halloween.
  • The Third Eye Man -- This is a popular ghost story at USC, relating to the "catacombs" of the University and its fabled tricloptic resident. The story started in the 1940's, when students reported seeing a man garbed in silver and equipped with an extra eye engrained in his forehead before here disappeared in USC's underground tunnels. Though no reports have happened recently, his tale still lives, and the university punishes any students who wander down into the "catacombs" with expulsion.
Favorite Things To Do
Many students enjoy going to see flicks for free at the Russell House, which are usually playing several nights a week. Similarly, there is almost always a theatrical production showing at Longstreet Theater or Drayton Hall, which draw rather large crowds. The University also hosts Late Night Carolina every semester, where students can get free food, watch movies, and participate in games and other activities like making their own music videos or doing arts and crafts. If music is your thing, the Koger Center hosts bands and orchestras, as well as dance and theatrical performances. The new gym has also given students more incentive to get in shape. There is always a big crowd lifting weights, swimming, running, playing basketball or racquetball, or climbing the 52-foot climbing wall. Whether you are in the mood for burning some energy or getting some rest and relaxation, the facilities at the University of South Carolina provide several options for students when they want to get out of their dorms. Whether you want to get buff at the gym, watch a fine theatrical production, read a book, grab some grub, see a free movie in the student center, or attend a game at the Colonial Life Arena, there is always plenty to do on campus.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organizations
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
The Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center has been ranked as one of the top student recreational facilities in the nation.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 129 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 27 responses

  • 25% My room
  • 17% The Russell House
  • 14% Dorm
  • 13% The Horseshoe
  • 7% Cool Beans coffee shop
  • 7% Pool
  • 6% The Colloquium Cafe
  • 6% Greek Village
  • 3% University Union
  • 1% 5 Points
  • 1% Riverbanks Zoo
  • 0% Vista

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 26 responses

  • 31% Tailgating on Saturdays for Football games.
  • 18% Tiger Burn
  • 12% I love the free movies that they show in Russell.
  • 8% First Night Carolina
  • 8% Sorority Bid Day
  • 6% Carolina Cup
  • 6% Events on Greene St
  • 5% Top of Carolina
  • 5% Baseball Games
  • 1% Sports games

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 27 responses

  • 26% Spend time with friends
  • 20% Lounge on the Horseshoe
  • 17% Watch Sporting Events
  • 9% Movies at Russel House
  • 9% Strom Pool
  • 8% Farmers Market
  • 8% Go and workout at Strom
  • 2% Go to events on campus
  • 2% Eat

What are the best on-campus student jobs?    Based on 18 responses

  • 23% Library
  • 23% Tutoring
  • 19% Resident desk job
  • 16% Gym
  • 13% Resident Mentor
  • 6% Campus life center
  • 0% Golden spur gameroom attendant

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 26 responses

  • 35% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 50% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 12% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 4% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 120 responses

  • 41% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.
  • 44% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 14% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 1% The student center is in need of a major renovation.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 121 responses

  • 42% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 48% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 6% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 4% I hate my school and have no school spirit.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 13 responses

  • 85% The underground tunnels that run under the campus
  • 15% Three-eyed silver man in the sewers

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 11 responses

  • 100% Russell house



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