The Daily Gamecock

In case you missed it: Building names will not change, student's murderer sentenced to life in prison, more

On-campus news doesn't stop when students go home for summer break. Here's a recap of what you might have missed since graduation wrapped up in May.

Caslen resigns, Pastides named interim university president

Harris Pastides was named interim president on May 21, following former university President Bob Caslen's resignation after a plagiarism scandal.

Pastides will serve as president until June 2022 or until a new president is found. He was formerly the university president from 2008 to 2019.

Search committee formed to find new president

A presidential search committee was formed to find Caslen’s permanent replacement during the same board meeting Pastides was named interim president.

The committee has rewritten several bylaws and policies, some specifically to protect the search from external influence. These changes came after controversy surrounding the search that appointed Caslen president in 2019.

Title IX Task Force report calls for mandatory training to combat sexual harassment

The Title IX Task Force, created in response to issues of sexual misconduct on campus, called for new training of faculty and staff to better counteract misconduct and support those affected.

It also pointed out staffing, data collection and communication issues as weaknesses in the systems the university has in place.

The new recommendations are to take effect in this semester. Pastides said he wants to continue to collect data from the USC community in the future.

Board of trustees will not hear renaming suggestions of Commission on University History

The Commission on University History released its final report in July, which included recommendations for renaming buildings on campus.

USC’s board of trustees will not hear the renaming recommendations, according to Pastides. Pastides cited the South Carolina Heritage Act, which requires a two-thirds vote in state legislature in order to change any building or monument named after a historical person, preventing the university from acting on the building names issue. 

The commission met for several months in response to outcry against buildings named after problematic figures such as Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center, Thomas Cooper Library and Sims residential hall, among others. Students expressed disappointment with the result of the report.

Samantha Josephson's murderer sentenced to life in prison

Nathaniel Rowland was convicted of murdering USC student Samantha Josephson and sentenced to life in prison with no parole on July 27.

Rowland is a 27-year-old from Clarendon County. He posed as an Uber driver and kidnapped and murdered Josephson when she got into his car in Five Points in March 2019.

Apple store opens on campus

An Apple store to serve USC students, faculty, staff and alumni opened Aug. 13.

The store is located on the first floor of the Byrnes Building across from the Horseshoe and will be run by students. Although iPhones will not be sold at the store, other Apple products will be available for purchase and serviced.

USC mask mandate upheld by state Supreme Court

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that USC and other state colleges could require students to wear masks in university buildings.

USC previously backed down from its mask policy following a letter disputing the policy from the state attorney general, Alan Wilson. Wilson cited a recently passed General Assembly budget provision preventing schools from requiring students to wear masks, but the court ruled in USC's favor.

Following the ruling, USC reinstated its mandatory mask policy in campus buildings.