The Daily Gamecock

President Pastides: Students should 'refrain from excess,' use time off school wisely

October 5, 2016

Dear Students,

When I was in college I can remember an occasional snow day and of course we were all joyful, but never can I recall a three-day break in the middle of the semester like this. While I can understand your inclination to celebrate, I want to encourage you to make the very best use of your time by taking advantage of all the opportunities offered to you. A first stop might be the Thomas Cooper Library – if you've put off writing a paper or studying for an exam, you've just been given a lifeline – grab it! Ready for an overdue workout? Head on over to the Strom; it's open until midnight and group exercise classes are also available so bring a friend. The Blatt is also open until 8:00 pm and, take it from me, it's a great place for a game of squash.

If you haven't had the time to visit the Student Success Center – you're in luck; we're keeping it open for you. Take this opportunity to meet with a success advisor who can help you set goals and explore time management strategies. Why wait? The Center is also offering drop-in study session support until 8 pm and you can also take advantage of drop-in online tutoring. If you might benefit from these assets, do so!

If the hurricane has you yearning for summer, your university can help you with that as well. Head on over to the Drayton Hall Theatre to see Shakespeare's romantic comedy – A Midsummer Night's Dream at 8:00 pm this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Or if you just want to curl up with a good book, or pick up a Carolina sweatshirt – the UofSC Bookstore is also open as is the Russell House. For a complete list of activities, visit the student services and activities page on

As important, I am asking you to be smart, responsible and considerate during this time. The Midlands is winding down so that our first responders can provide much needed assistance in the Lowcountry. We can help them tremendously by not adding to their work load. Let's refrain from excess – there is no point in making a difficult situation worse. I am counting on you to represent Carolina in the best possible light.

If you choose to volunteer, you might consider offering your help to the Red Cross who will be sheltering evacuees from the coast. In addition, we will be housing some students who are being evacuated from the College of Charleston and MUSC. Please show your Gamecock spirit by making them feel welcome and at home.

I know the remaining big question has to do with football. A decision regarding Saturday's game with the University of Georgia will be made in consultation with state and local officials as well as the Southeastern Conference. The safety of all people and the minimization of impact on emergency personnel are the most important factors in this decision. Our goal is to keep the game at Williams-Brice Stadium this weekend. So stay tuned. We'll be sure to let you know soon. Again, take advantage of the next few days – it's amazing how much you can accomplish in just a short period of time.

And one last, but very important request – please keep your parents informed, make sure that they know that you are safe, dry and actively engaged.

Go Gamecocks!

President Harris Pastides