The Daily Gamecock

'Caslen's gotta go': Protesters rally against presidential candidate

USC students protested Robert L. Caslen, Jr. Friday before the Board of Trustees was set to announce the new university president. 

The protesters said they are mainly concerned with Caslen’s lack of a terminal degree and lack of experience with a university like USC. 

“This is real, this matters," said Ethan Magnuson, a second-year political science and geography student. "This is going to determine the future of the university.”

The protesters started outside of Russell House and marched to the Alumni Center where they protested outside the chambers where the Board of Trustees met.

During the student forum, some of Caslen's comments sparked controversy among students. 

"We want to take out some of the contributing measures towards sexual assault, particularly the alcohol," Caslen said at the student forum. "We spent a lot of time, a lot of energy training and educating our students on the impact, consequences of alcohol, binge drinking and things like that." 

Lauryn Workman, a third-year history student, compiled a letter to send to Student Body President Luke Rankin to read to the Board of Trustees during their meeting. The letter asked the Board of Trustees the following:

  • First and foremost, that you do not elect Caslen to be the next president of our University. His record deeply troubles the student body, faculty and staff, and many members of the Carolina community. 
  • That the demographics of the 80 applicants be publicly released and there is more transparency about the process that led to the selection of the candidates, semifinalists, and finalists. 

An email from concerned faculty urged students and other faculty to protest Caslen ahead of the press conference. If Caslen is selected as president, the faculty have organized a walkout on Monday, according to the email.

Lyric Swinton, a third-year sport and entertainment management student, also took part in the protest and hopes it will spark change.

"We are the few who lead the many," Swinton said. 

The original version of this article reported that the email originated from the College of Social Work. It has now been corrected to concerned faculty not specific to that college. Updated 4/27 at 3:40 p.m.