PR Campaigns & Management students strategize to rebrand Mass Comm Dept

The Panther

Public Relations Campaigns and Management students are in the process of strategizing a PR plan to rebrand the Claflin University Mass Communications Department.
Students have taken the first step to kicking off their campaign by having a formal interview with the chairperson of Mass Communications, Dr. Donna Gough, and planning events.
“We want everyone on Claflin’s campus to know who we are,” senior Tevin Rice said.
 “I’m very excited about this campaign for the Mass Comm Department. I believe it’s long overdue for reconstruction,” senior Jayla McCaw said.
After the campaign, PR students hope to gain an even bigger voice on campus and for everyone to have a clear understanding of what the Mass Communications Department is all about.

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Public relations students are working on a campaign to rebrand the Claflin University Mass Communications Department. (Panther photo)

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Vice President for Student Development and Services Leroy Durant addresses Mass Communications students during a press conference on Sept. 16. (Panther photo)

Campus changes go
beyond new dorm,
include security cameras,
Durant says

The Panther 

Dr. Leroy Durant held a news conference with Mass Communications students on Sept. 16 to discuss progress on campus, including what he described as a lot of changes.
He opened by announcing the finishing touches on the new dorm Claflin Commons.
“On Sept. 15th, we allowed the students to move into the Claflin Commons,” Durant said, noting that the move actually began the Friday before on Sept. 12.
“We wanted to be complete with the Commons before the summer break ended. But due to the weather … and materials not arriving on time, it delayed completion of the project,” Durant said.
The Commons is expected to be completely finished by the end of September, including  landscaping and development of a courtyard to include benches and trees, Durant said.
Claflin wants this to be a “building that uplifts Goff Street,” said Durant, vice president for student development and services.
Durant addressed the related issue of campus changes impacting parking.
“More parking has been opened down Goff Avenue. To enter, you must enter in off of Goff Avenue, or enter through the gym parking lot,” Durant said.
Twenty on-street parking spots were eliminated off Goff Avenue, but elimination of Millwod Apartments and a few trees tripled that amount of parking, he said.
Three speed bumps will also be placed near high rise and farther down the street to help make it safer for students and pedestrians moving to and from their living areas and parking places, Durant said.
On the topic of security, Durant said security cameras being put in place will be monitored 24 hours a day by Clafin Public Safety.  There will be 15-20 cameras operating on campus in four general areas: Kliest Hall, West, Highrise and Jonas T. Kennedy Center.
Ten emergency phones will also be operational on Claflin’s campus, Durant said.
Plus an escort service has begun under the supervision of Claflin Public Safety. Escorts are available from 7 p.m.-midnight.
 “We want to have more eyes watching for the safety of the campus,” Durant said.


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Claflin First Lady Alice Carson Tisdale, President Henry N. Tisdale, Bill Cosby and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson participate in a news conference before the Visionary Leadership Gala in Columbia. (Panther photo by Princess B. Williams)

Bill Cosby joins Claflin University to celebrate
20 years of presidency with Dr. & Mrs. Henry N. Tisdale

Panther Editor

Dr. President Henry N. Tisdale and Mrs. Alice Carson Tisdale were honored with an evening of tributes at the Visionary Leadership Gala at the Columbia Metropolitan Center in Columbia on Sept. 18.
Student journalists, WLTX News and Orangeburg’s Times and Democrat were granted an interview with Dr. and Mrs. Tisdale, the legendary comedian Dr. Bill Cosby, and Master of Ceremonies Orangeburg’s very own Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post Eugene Robinson before the gala commenced.
“An education does reward if you try for it, and if you have the proper encouragement,” Cosby said.
The comedian is a firm and strong supporter of education that has donated millions of dollars to historically black colleges and universities all over the country.
“Many HBCUs struggle to reach certain numbers in terms of monetary gifts … We [wife, Mrs. Cosby] believed that that number would in fact cause others to believe that they too can donate,” Cosby said.
“You all are super special. This school was not founded so we could smoke dope on the weekday and the weekend. It wasn’t founded so our children can come here and get drunk and fall in the bushes, throw up on themselves or wear their pants all down like they’ve been in prison first. I’m celebrating tonight,” Cosby said. “I want all of you to realize where you sit tonight and the spirit that embraces you.”
Tributes from the board of trustees and Gov. Nikki Haley were presented to Dr. and Mrs. Tisdale, marking 20 years as Claflin president and first lady.
Haley presented the Tisdales with the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina, The Order of the Palmetto.
Since arriving in 1994, here are a few of Dr. and Mrs. Tisdale’s visions that became reality:
*Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College
*Presidential Scholars Program
*Study Abroad Program
*Leadership Development Program
*Leadership Alliance Program
*Career Development Center
*Visionary Leadership Institute
*DNA Forensics Science Lab
*Claflin Commons Dormitory
*Top 10 rankings in national reports.
“Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for believing in Claflin,” First Lady Tisdale said.


Students make career,
 internship contacts at annual event

The Panther

The Annual Career Fest was held Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Jonas T. Kennedy Center.
The Career Fest was open from 9 A.M. to noon and was available for students of all classification types.
Some companies were doing on-the-spot interviews for students who are anticipating graduation in December.
“I had a scheduled interview with Enterprise Rent-A-Car today at 10:45 a.m.. It was nerve-racking, but I feel I did all right,” a graduating senior said.
A majority of the companies were targeting junior and senior students. Companies offering internships were targeting mainly sophomores and juniors, so they can get some experience under their belts.
“I introduced myself to SYNNEX, but they told me to come back next year when I am a junior and they would give me more information on open positions. But they pushed me to look at internships offered online,” said Jamira Stewart, sophomore.
Companies all around the gym accepted resumes and student information such as social media and email contact information. Representatives also urged students to go online and apply for available positions. 

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The Annual Career Fest was held Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Jonas T. Kennedy Center. Among those at the Claflin University Fall Career Fest were ABC Columbia. According to Panther reporter Taylor Harris, the station’s Chief Photojournalist Rich Wandover said, “We are here to help recruit but to also help educate. Other vendors included AFLAC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Enterprise, the U.S. Army and the S.C. Highway Patrol. (Panther photos by Princess Williams)

‘Laser Tag on the Yard’

Claflin University’s Student Activity Board hosted Panther Fest and HBCU Week from Sept. 21-27.
On Tuesday evening, the SAB provided an event called “Laser Tag on the Yard” from 7-11 p.m. SAB also provided music and food for the students while they enjoyed the event.
Panther Fest is an annual week-long festival at Claflin during which the university holds daily events for students.
Here’s a link to photos from Laser Tag. The images are by Andres Waters of The Panther and first appeared in at, the website of The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg:

En Veux returns
at Panther Fest pep rally

The Panther

En Veux returned at the 2014-15 Panther Fest pep rally held on Thursday,  Sept. 25, from 6-9 p.m. in the Jonas T. Kennedy Physical Education center.
En Veux is a modeling troupe created by one of Claflin's very own in the year of 2003. But En Veux has been off of the yard for about two years, returning to campus this year. The anticipation was high for this return and En Veux set the tone for the rest of the night.
"We have waited for the return of En Veux since my sophomore year. They did great and we are happy to have them back on the yard," senior Sierra Youngblood said.
The pep rally is one of the main events held during Panther Fest and the gym was packed full of students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
President Dr. Henry  Tisdale spoke and urged studenst to "support our athletics department as they lead us to SIAC victory."
This event was hosted by the Student Activities Board.
After the pep rally, Midnight Breakfast was being held in the cafe starting at 10 p.m. and a meltdown social was held in the plaza as well.
Panther Fest is being held in conjunction with HBCU Week this year.

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Students get into the spirit of Panther Fest at the Wednesday night pep rally. (Panther photo by CJ Riley)

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En Veux returned at the 2014-15 Panther Fest pep rally held on Thursday. (Panther photo by CJ Riley)

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The Panther Dolls perform at the Panther Fest pep rally. (Panther photo by CJ Riley)

Panthers represent their cities in talent show

The Panther

The “Rep Your City” Talent Show kicked off the daily Panther Fest festivities on Monday, Sept. 22.
Various students from cities in Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, South Carolina, plus those from Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, represented their home towns with forms of talent such as singing, the spoken word and rapping.
Students such as senior class member Gibson Najee enjoyed the show in its entirety. “It was better than the last three years that I’ve attended,” she said.
“I actually had fun at a talent show this time,” junior class member Matthew Boone said. “My favorite performer was the rapper from Philly. He had the crowd hype.”
But senior Daniel Simmons said, “As a whole the performers were good. I thought it was boring, though, because the crowd is biased at times and doesn’t give certain talented people a chance to showcase themselves.”
Tiyona Council and Larry Wells hosted the show and kept the crowd engaged with music and dances that got people out of their seats, thanks to the music played by DJ Rell.
The crowd energy was live and the tone was set for the rest of the week of Panther Fest.

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Students making move
into Claflin Commons

The Panther

A week after President Henry N. Tisdale told students at Matriculation Day of a projected Sept. 12 date for students to begin occupying the university’s new dorm, Claflin Commons, the moving got underway in earnest on Friday.
Students who have been temporarily housed off-campus in hotels were the first to move into the dorm, which Claflin had hoped would be ready when the semester began in August.
“The day is finally here,” senior Christina Davis said. “I’m so happy to be in my own room! I need my space!”
The $12 million, 64,000-square-foot dorm features four-bedroom and two-bedroom suites that will house up to 200 students.
The four-bedroom suites feature a large living area (with a community sink, tables, chairs, and a couch), two showers and four bathroom sinks. Each room features a desk and chair for the student as well as storage for clothes and other personal items.
The two-bedroom suites feature a much smaller living area (with a community sink, a small table and two chairs), but the bedrooms in these suites are slightly bigger than those in the four-bedroom suites. These will also feature a desk and chair as well as storage for clothes and other personal items.
“Each wing will have card access locks accessible only by residents and will feature its own elevator, laundry room, computer lab and informal study areas. The wings will be connected by a shared student commons area that will include the main entry to the building and a fitness center. Open gathering spaces and high ceilings will allow for lots of natural light and a seminar room will be available for student meetings,” the university said in a news release on Aug. 25.
Inside the Commons is a new fitness center for students that consists of two separate rooms (one specified for weightlifting, the other for cardio). The rooms will be open for those who live in the Commons 24/7. Those students who do not live in the dorm will have specified hours of availability.
The Commons will also feature new plazas and courtyards that will provide additional outdoor gathering spaces for students.
Work on the dorm’s landscape is ongoing.

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Students began moving in Friday at Claflin Commons, the university’s new dormitory that will house up to 200 students. (Panther photos by Princess Williams)

Is the Commons
too common?

The Panther

On Sept. 12 and 13, students moved from their holding spots all over campus (and off campus) to Claflin University's new dormitory, the Commons.
There had been wild rumors for months as to what was really inside the Commons. Some said "kitchens in every suite," others "a Starbucks," or "a gym!"
When the day of realization came, did the Commons really live up to its legends?
Emynee Garett, a senior who moved into the Commons, explained that "the lack of storage space and the small rooms will definitely take getting used to," but she still had positive comments about the dorm overall, stating that she liked its "modern design, abundant counter and cabinet space and individual sinks."
Another Commons resident, Jessica Hunter, a junior mass communications major, said, "I really like the Claflin Commons. The decorations and colors are lovely and enticing. Also, I admire the 24-hour gym service. A bigger closet would be nice, but all in all, the dorm is beautiful!"
The new building stands tall, now filled with students, juniors and seniors, especially. Residents seem to be happy with having their own spaces so impeccably decorated. 
"It looks like a mini hotel," said Gyasi Julien, a junior accounting major. He took the tour a couple weeks ago and saw it firsthand.
Many of the legends have been proven false: only the manager suites and what should have been residential assistant suites have kitchens, instead of all suites; there is NO Starbucks (sorry, coffee lovers); and there is a small fitness center instead of a grand gym. Nevertheless, students are overall content with the Commons.
It seems like it is not too common after all.

Claflin students react to Ray Rice's NFL suspension

The Panther           

The domestic violence scandal with NFL's Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice has been stirring up lots of chatter around campus.
Footage of 27-year-old Rice punching, knocking unconscious and dragging the limp body of his then-fiance and now-wife from an elevator has leaked. Many say the athlete should be indicted. The NFL has suspended the football player indefinitely.
Here's what a few Claflin students had to say about the NFL's punishment of the running back:
*             "I honestly don't think the NFL is wrong for Rice's punishment," sophomore Curtis Patterson said. "He knows he's famous. He should be careful of his actions, especially in public. Therefore, he should be able to take responsibility for his actions," Patterson said.
*             "Rice is a brand. His actions reflect not only himself, but the NFL as well. Rice should accept the consequences. If the NFL allows Rice to continue to play, it is as if they're accepting domestic violence," sophomore Joyce Brown said.
*             "The NFL should try to work with Rice, and get him some anger management. I don't think they should have suspended him indefinitely, because now he doesn't have anything to fall back on," senior Ashley Mitchell said. "However, I do understand why the NFL would not want to uphold the image of being supportive of domestic violence."
*             "I feel like they shouldn't take his career. Suspension for a few games is fine, but don't take his whole career over a mistake. It's the fact that Rice is a superstar, so they feel like he should get the ultimate punishment," S.C. State senior Anthony Coleman said.
Rice's wife, Janay Palmer is standing firmly by her husband during this matter. "To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing," she wrote in an Instagram post. "To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific (sic)," Palmer said.

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Claflin University held a memorial service and silent walk on Thursday to commemorate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Panther photos by Justin W. White)

Claflin remembers 9-11

The Panther

On Sept. 11, 2014, 13 years after 9/11, Claflin University held a memorial service and silent walk to remember the terrorist attacks on our nation.
The service honored the thousands of men and women who lost their lives and gave praise to those who served and protected us. The silent walk recognized that all people were affected by 9/11.
Capt. Ed Conner, a 30-year veteran of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, was in attendance. He said that during the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, he was working in his office when someone came in and told him to turn on the television to the news, which was showing the attacks in New York as they unfolded.
Connor said he was shocked when he saw airliners hit the first tower and then the second.
The Claflin service is an appropriate remembrance and shows gratitude to those commemorating 9/11, Connor said. He prays for his friends and family members who were affected by the events of the tragic day.
Claflin sophomore Xavier Black attended the service because he wanted to show respect for his father, who was in the Pentagon during the attack on 9/11.
 “I don’t remember. I didn’t even know my father was there when it happened and when I found out later on in life, it hurt me a lot,” Black said. He said the Claflin ceremony was to the point and respectful.
Steve Gibson came from the Orangeburg community to remember 9/11, praising Claflin for holding the event.
He was at a nursing home with his mother on 9-11 and watched all of the events unfold on television.  He said he remembers clearly everything that happened.
During the silent walk by Claflin students, senior and Student Government Association President Dillon Isaac said he wanted to pay homage to those who lost their lives during the attacks.
He said that when he was younger, he didn’t understand the magnitude of what happened on that day. Now he wants to keep the memory fresh for the next generation so it will remember those fallen heroes.
“It happened when I was at recess and I was playing outside,” Isaac said. “My third-grade teacher called my class inside to watch the news and we all watched it happen.”
Shaketa Maiden, also a senior at Claflin and the person in charge of the silent walk, said, “I really appreciated that people showed up. I really wanted to show my respect to those people who were affected by this tragedy and the people who lost their lives because of it.”

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Letters from Boston

Imani Davis

Imani S. Davis, a member
of the Claflin University
Class of 2015,
is spending the fall semester
studying at Boston University.
Here, she shares her experiences
with her Claflin family.
Claflin University's
interactive view book

"Panthers Caught on Camera"
photos by
The Panther staff