Carolina Girl (Cely)
This article is a little lengthy and has nothing to do with a card creation.  This is about an injustice to the USC (University of South Carolina) Gateway students.

These USC Gateway students are TOTALLY being left out for consideration for living on campus for next year.

The USC committee members say the USC Gateway students don't qualify for consideration because they consider these students  "transfer students".  These students "live" on campus at The Roost.  They are assigned USC ID's, USC Carolina Cards, USC accounts, USC email, USC P.O. Box, and even mailed bills from USC, but they are "NOT" to be considered USC students???

Read my letter....then I ask you....do you know anyone at University of South Carolina who will stand up and speak for those great students who kept "their end of the bargain????

Dear Dr. ___,(I left her name out to be nice)

A decision made by a USC Housing committee dealing with housing for next year is appalling and unprofessional.  Mitchell, my youngest, is in the Gateway Program at USC. He lives at "The Roost", a dorm on  the USC campus, but takes his classes at Midland being transported using USC shuttles.  The USC Gateway Program is in first year and is modeled after Clemson, College of Charleston, and Furman programs.  These students were told they were "a USC student in every way" (a quote by several key college leaders and speakers at orientation in front of over 300 parents and students at the Darla School of Business auditorium) and they would be entitled to anything that any other rising USC sophomore would receive.  Wouldn't  that be for the same, equal opportunity to be in the pool for campus residency? This committee has declared that the "USC Gateway students"  transfer students and none would be allowed to live on campus. 

They were "sold" this program and it came with restrictions; they wouldn't be in the lottery/pool for certain sporting events or allowed to hold an office of any kind during this freshman year.  Okay...they accepted the terms.  They were given requirements that must be met to be considered for the Sophomore class at USC.....2.5 GPA and 30 hours at Midland.  Each student "signed" an agreement, and no where on there did it state that they would also be excluded from the pool to have an equal opportunity to live on campus for next year. 

Mitchell's has A's and a B's, not too bad considering he is "Pre-Pharmacy" and taking two sciences together each semester.  He's even tutoring students in Chemistry and Calculus at night in his dorm. Many of these students are maintaining their grade requirements.  They have worked hard to "meet USC requirements" only for USC to break "their" promise.  They feel betrayed! If you could had heard the "Sale's Speech" for this program and now USC is adding a semicolon to their sentence to get out of promises made.  What's fair?....put these Gateway students "into the equation", like every other on-campus freshman, the opportunity to live on campus next year. 

 No, it is not written on paper; it was spoken on phones, in a introduction letter, and in an assembly for students and parents "right" on campus in the auditorium of the Darla Moore School of Business on orientation day.

This is the birth (1st year) of the program for USC, a copy of Clemson,etc as I have already mentioned.  USC will not get good reviews for what they have done.  USC feels students will "settle" for the program "anyway they can get it" next year.  My son and other students didn't go into the program to just "settle" for whatever rules USC wants to change whenever during the course of the year. Remember, they were told they were "USC students in every way"!!

The decision to leave these Gateway students "out of the equation" in regards to  NO CONSIDERATION for a chance for living on campus next year is APPALLING, unprofessional, a travesty and certainly sets a "bad example".  

I'm not a gifted writer and perhaps have not clearly stated and expressed the concerns and disappointments of many of the Gateway students and parents, but I'm more than willing to speak to anyone who is willing to give me an audience.  This situation needs to be addressed. We are talking about 80 - 100 students or less.

No, the students didn't speak to authorities; they called home to moms and dads very upset.

University of South Carolina, these students kept their side of the bargain....you have not.  Again, your actions appalling and disheartening!  Step up to the plate, make it right, make it fair.  Making it fair is all these students are asking.

Problem: USC is closing  3 girls' dorms for renovations and will lack about 500 beds.   (Perhaps USC should enroll 500 students less for the freshman class......take care of the people/students in your house that are there now!) This is the 4th year (that I know of) where housing has been an issue and now they can use The USC Gateway students as a way of skirting around a never ending problem they face each year.



14 Responses
  1. Carole Says:

    Sounds like your a bit upset, or more likely you are spitting bullets mad. Go get em' girl, Tropical storm Cely is stirring things up in the south. With just cause. So did Hurricane Sandy wreck havoc in your area?


  2. Donna Says:

    So sorry to hear of the unfair treatment these students are getting. And you are just the advocate they need. Stay strong girlfriend!


  3. O am sorry this is going on... I hope things turn around for the better. ... I like Carole's "tropical Storm Cely" ha ha I think Sandy and Catrina have nothing on you!!!


  4. Lola Says:

    I don't understand why they wouldn't just do a lottery for the new students coming in and giving priority to already established students. Good luck and keep up the good fight. Take it to the president! And call the media!!!


  5. NanaConnie Says:

    I can understand their problem with not enough beds, but why automatically eliminate some students instead of treating every student equally? If it really is that big a problem, then why not do a lottery and draw names? At least that way, every student at USC had the same chance of living on campus. To do otherwise just makes scapegoats (and unhappy ones, I hope!) out of those students who are pre-eliminated from the opportunity to have dorm housing for no good reason.


  6. Tammy Miller Says:

    Wow how sad! How sad to hear of the unfair treatment these students are getting. These kids are so lucky to have you standing up for them! You go Girl you are just the person that can make things happen!

    I miss ya!


  7. Billie A Says:

    I agree, I feel the USC should have thought all the details out first and figured other options before punishing the innocent students already enrolled. They have enough problems, concens and don't need their housing to be jeprodized because of your lack of thought on what is best for the students already there. I hope your voice Cely will be heard and a happy fair end will be met. Hugs and thanks for standing up not just for your child but others in the same situation.


  8. Yolanda Says:

    This is heartbreaking and so unfair to the students. Some can't afford to live off campus, come on USC get this issue resolved so these students can continue with their education.


  9. Oh Cely, this is so unfair!!! I too would be hoppin' mad! My son is a high school senior this year so now I know some of the things I have to look forward too. Stay strong and fight! You have lots of folks in your corner!!!

    Linda


  10. Min Says:

    Wow - amazing how a University can make demands of others and not following through on their end of the deal. Apparently math isn't something that they're good at - 500 beds short, 80-100 Gateway students (living up to their end of the deal), where are the other 400 beds going to come from??
    Why not think programs through before PUNISHING kids that are working HARD to better themselves and their community. Keep fightin' girl! I know you're speaking for lots of disgusted parents of hard working students.
    Min
    Min


  11. Cheryl First Says:

    Good for you for standing up for all of the Gateway students, Cely! It is very unfair to the students when the staff introduces a new program without having all the details hammered out first! While there are always some bugs to fix in any plan, this certainly sounds like something that should have been one of the higher priority issues to discuss!
    I agree with the others that mentioned a lottery for incoming students, and priority for existing students; with that said, if the Gateway students are USC students, then that should definitely include them in the "existing students" list! Good luck!


  12. Jackie Says:

    I had to read this twice and I just can't believe it. I was a commuter student at my university and I was treated no differently then residents. All students regardless of where they live should be treated the same. Good for you to be spreading the word and drawing attention to the wrong doings on the University part. You go!


  13. Debbie Says:

    Wow...amazing! I'm kind of dumbfounded by this. I would be so angry and I can certainly understand Mitchell's feeling of betrayal. We wee just at the 20 year Master Planning presentation for my son's school and they plan dorm renovation, but they plan to build a new dorm first to move the students in to during the renovations and then by the time all the dorms have been renovated, they figure they will have enough student growth to start filling all of the dorms. I'll keep your situation and your blood pressure in my prayers.


  14. Scrappy Says:

    This is a travesty! How can they set rules that students are expected to follow, and then change the standards they find inconvenient for themselves? It sounds like a very disorganized program that was not well thought out! What a horrible lesson they are teaching students. Shame on them for not having all the details straight before dragging innocent young minds through all of this. I hope they will reconsider their stance and work out a more viable and fair solution.


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