Picture of students using computers in the library

Sand Sharks Make Wake for the CAROLINA DAY Sake

February 16, 2014

The University of South Carolina President Pastides, on behalf of all USC schools, has called for the creation of a stable “Fair Funding” model for higher education in our state. On February 5th, 2014, USC schools across the state ventured to Carolina Day at the South Carolina capital of Columbia, to demand that our legislature see, hear, and accept: a call and responsibility to take action. This demand has been aimed to initiate the victory in “Fair Funding”. Yet, an important question: what was and is currently the first step? A proposal Pastides deemed “Tuition Time Out” and a critical first step at that to “Fair Funding”. This particular fight brought to the surface “Parity First”-- a peaceful march in voice summoning the equal opportunity, equal support, and equal freedom in the pursuit of our students’ education.

Each person on the USCB delegation reached out to their own contacts and displayed such professionalism and enthusiasm for this opportunity to advocate for Parity.  The Lowcountry has spoken again...” –Dr. McGee (Vice Chancellor for USCB University Advancement) 

 

 Carolina Day

The Down Low: An Overview of the 2014 Carolina Day:

"USC  is proposing: a Tuition Timeout. Simply put, the university will not increase in-state undergraduate tuition if the General Assembly:

  • Provides the USC system new recurring appropriations equivalent to last year's 3 percent increase in tuition.
  • Covers any mandatory state employee pay raises and health insurance premium increases.

Tuition Timeout can be the first step toward a new performance-based model of funding higher education that rewards colleges who excel in graduating, retaining, and preparing students to join our state's economy." --Carolina Day

USC has in addition proposed: "Year-Round Lottery Scholarship Proviso: USC requests a new proviso to allow students to use their lottery scholarships year round. This will not increase the total amount of scholarships. Rather it will give students the flexibility to use them on their time, including during the summer term. This authorization will require a one-time appropriation of lottery dollars to bridge any cash flow issues associated with this transition. This proviso has the support of the Commission on Higher Education and is included in the governor's executive budget. " --Carolina Day

The Down Low: An Overview of the 2014 Carolina Day::

"USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate  is proposing:a continuation of the 2-year drive to reach parity for all SC residents."

Growth in enrollments at USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate, combined with a failure to utilize a consistent funding standard in these 'teaching sector' universities, has created a parity issue for over 10,000 South Carolina residents and their families.

...

"USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate receive no direct funding from USC Columbia. These universities' state funding comes only through direct line item appropriation by the SC Legislature.

In addition these USC schools each hold stand-alone accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the same agency that accredits USC Columbia."

(USC AIKEN, BEAUFORT, UPSTATE - PARITY INFORMATION GUIDE)

Furthermore these three schools are radical steppers in diversity, serving more African American students in the process of earning baccalaureate degrees than from any other USC system.

The value of USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate lives in their identity as powerful providers and powerful builders of our future. These schools have the lowest tuition costs of SC universities: providing excellence in education while also providing opportunities that meet the needs of our students both traditional and nontraditional alike. Such circumstances where those students who are SC residents face a need to live at home or maintain a current local job while earning a degree are met through these USC schools. Yet this extended network of the USC system has been faced with an unfair treatment by state funding inequities.

This is our call for a Parity Adjustment... 

(Team Members not by any specific order & not all pictured)Team Members

(**A great thanks to our USCB Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Dr. McGee, who provided an impeccable outline of our participants and record of our day's events & accomplishments**)

The USCB Team Members of Carolina Day:

Beaufort Jasper Higher Education Commission Members:

  • John and Claire McKenzie
  • Andrea Smallwood

 USCB Student Government Association Members and USCB Students:

  • Devin Mock, Student Government President, Ridgeland, SC
  • Erin Dailey,  Beaufort, SC,
  • Bryanna McCain, Trenton, SC
  • Raechel Blakeney, Columbia, SC
  • Anthony Outing, Columbia, SC
  • Alex Smith, Beaufort SC

 USCB Alumni:

  • Emily Yaden, Beaufort, SC, Alumna and Graphic Design Specialist for USCB

 USCB Staff:

  • Earle Holley, VC for Finance and Operations
  • Doug Oblander, VC for Student Development
  • Lynn McGee, VC for University Advancement
  • Eddie King, Chief Information Officer
  • Candace Brasseur, Director of Communications and Marketing

The 2014 Carolina Day Agenda:

  •  6:30 am     Sand Shark Departure to Columbia

(The Candace Car: Candace Brasseur, Emily Yaden, Erin Dailey, and Andrea Smallwood. On Carolina Day it is, of course, essential to take a photo op with "Random Gamecock at Gas Station" whilst Columbia Bound... GO GAMECOCKS!!!)

Andrea SmallwoodErin and Gamecock

This Awesome Lady (Ms. Andrea) and I had better luck taking a "selfie" with this  Gamecock inside the gas station:

Andrea and Erin

 

Through rain, through shine, wind or hail: we come for PARITY!!!

Raechel and AndreaAlexCandace and Anthony(Above: Raechel Blakeney and Andrea Smallwood, Alex Smith, Candace Brasseur and Anthony Outing)

(Below Elevator Adventure: Emily Yaden, Erin Dailey, Raechel Blakeney)

Elevator

^ On our way up to Carolina Day Kickoff ^

 

  • 9:15 am     Carolina Day Kickoff by Dr. Pastides at the Capital City Club

Gamecock

  • 9:30 am     Meeting between the USCB delegations in Speaker of House’s Office, SC State House.

State House

(Attending: House Members-- SC Representative William G. “Bill” Herbkersman, SC Representative William K. “Bill” Bowers, SC Representative Kenneth Hodges, SC Representative Weston J. Newton, SC Representative Shannon S. Erickson, and SC Representative Andrew “Andy” Patrick. Trustee Wes Jones, Mayor Sulka, and Bluffton Town Council Members Mr. and Mrs. Toomer.)

 USC Beaufort entered into the State House first and foremost thanking our delegations, who last year brought us from a funding of $940 up to a funding of $1903 per SC resident.

SH delgations

“All Representatives spoke very positively about the USCB Parity gains made last year and their commitment to continue the momentum next year.”–Dr. McGee (Vice Chancellor for USCB University Advancement)

State House Briefing

Furthermore this group strongly encouraged myself and fellow students to make our voices heard to our hometown legislators. The goal: getting our USC schools closer to the state average of $2770 per SC FTE. We listened intently as we were briefed by this leadership on a set of productive guidelines in reaching that goal. They encouraged the writing of letters and that of making personal contact to our hometown representatives and senators: clearly reflecting to them the importance of our higher education, the need and impact it plays in our lives, and the defining needs and expectations we have as pursuers of education, as determined goal setters, as future makers, as a growing community and growing community member, and as their  delegate citizens.

  • 10:00 am     Dr. Pastides and USC take the floor for words on a Tuition Timeout and Parity during a press conference in the State House lobby.

(Sand Sharks take a balcony view)

President Pastides

 

  • 10:15 am     Representative Shannon Erickson took USCB SGA President Devin Mock and USCB SGA Member Rachel Blakeney onto the floor of the House to advocate Parity for USCB Students.

Devin and Raechel

  • 10:30 am     Representatives Bill Herbkersman, Shannon Erickson, and Weston Newton took the podium in the House. Weston recognized the entire USCB delegation: 5 Students, 1 Alum, 3 community members, and 5 staff members, who stood and were applauded.  Weston used this opportunity to speak passionately and convincingly about Parity for USCB students.
  • 10:45 am     Representative Bill Bowers was honored in the State House by the University of South Carolina Beaufort. USCB Student Government Association President Devin Mock, who is also Rep. Bower's constituent, presented Representative Bowers, an “Honorary Alumnus” of USCB, with a framed decree. USCB students Raechel Blakeney, Breanna  “Alex” Smith,  Anthony Outing, Bryanna McCain, and Erin Dailey, as well as Alumna Emily Yaden, participated.

(Alumna Emily Yaden and Students: Erin Dailey, Alex Smith, Bryanna McCain, and Anthony Outing)

bower participants

(Awarding Representative Bowers: Erin Dailey, Alex Smith, SGA President: Devin Mock, center Rep. Bowers, Bryanna McCain, Anthony Outing, and Emily Yaden)

honoring Bowers

(Dr. McGee reads the decree award to Representative Bowers next to USCB student Alex Smith)

mcgee and bowers

  • 11:05 am     Meeting with Senator Tom Davis in State House conference room. The discussion was "wide-ranging", entertaining, and reflective.  Tom Davis strongly emphasized his commitment to Parity for USC Beaufort, Aiken, and Upstate.

Senator Davis1

Davis2

  • 11:45 am     Meeting with Clementa Pinckney. Because Senator Clementa Pinckney was not able to break free from meetings for our appointment.  Each person in the USCB delegation signed a card and wrote a personal note to the Senator. In addition to our personal messages we left a copy of the Parity Information Guide (which includes the the realities of current funding inequities and the need and cause for Parity -as noted above under Overview of the 2014 Carolina Day:USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, and USC Upstate  Proposal).
  • 12 NOON     Lunch at Capital City Club:

It does indeed take food this good to satisfy an appetite built from fighting for PARITY!

foodfood2

(View from Capital City Club)

view

  • 12:30 pm     Dr. Pastides' Speech

speech

"If this (the 2014 Carolina Day Mission) were one of our games-- we were victorious, but this is just the beginning of the season, and Carolina Day marks the first day of the real  season. Nothing is more important than what we did today: making  education   affordable   for   all. You, students, represent the people. Do not stop today: be vocal every day. Lead with a fire."

Dr. Pastides spoke truth and purpose into us all. He acknowledged the entire state (each region) represented in the room that day, and he acknowledged us each with pride and hope. He not only encouraged us in our accomplishment but encouraged us in our continued mission. He stated that in the case we do find ourselves having to strive further for this mission (a very real possibility)  he noted we will do so, and we will do so under the Carolinian Creed: with integrity, with dignity, and with respect.

Later during the Luncheon USC was joined by Representatives Bill Herbkersman, Weston Newton, and Shannon Erickson after their participation in the joint: House and Senate session.  Very few representatives attended, so their  commitment to support USC made an important statement. Dr. Pastides went to their table and sat down to talk with them further.

  •  1:00 pm     Individual personal visits to legislators carried the day further as USCB students from outside our four county regions wrote personal notes to their House and Senate Representatives.
  • The USCB Carolina Day delegation departed at 1:30 pm.

 More Details on the Day:

During the day, USCB Student Government Association President Devin Mock, had a busy schedule of high level state briefings, including time with Governor Haley:

haley2

 Dr. McGee extended her stay, in returning to the State House to deliver the student’s notes in person. There she spent an hour with Shannon Erickson who went to the Senate and brought Senator Chip Campsen out of session where Dr. McGee and Erickson were able to meet with him. Since the USCB Parity Team Members had not been able to see him in person this was an excellent opportunity.

ss

In addition USCB had another great success (which effortlessly captured the greatness and excellent magnitude that our school is and offers) the USCB display held strong in the State House Lobby and reflected with ease all that there is to be discovered  at USCB. The display relayed important messages in its stature supporting the magnificence, need, and influence of equal opportunity in education for all.  It was the last display to be taken down, so served its purpose effectively for seven hours in the State House, reminding our representatives and senators of the need, dream, and goal: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, EDUCATION FOR ALL.

display

dm and sga

A Proud Day kicked off a great start in the name of the Education Parity at our SC State House this month. Please join the cause fellow SC residents and write your local legislature on the importance of equal funding, equal opportunity, to our higher education universities across the state. Request a parity allocation to bring USC teaching universities to $2,770 per South Carolina resident FTE! Help in the dream for affordable abundant education for all! Learn more about Carolina Day and the causes we need your support in here!!!

Thank you - for your support of the USC System and of USCB!

Yours Truly: Sand Shark Making Wake for Carolina Day Sake,

                                                                                                  Erin Dailey