Parade marches Claflin in Saturday homecoming events


The Claflin University homecoming parade started at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, kicking off a full day of events.
The parade route was along Russell Street to the Claflin University’s gym parking lot.
Russell Street as well as Magnolia Street were blocked off from traffic to allow the parade to go on without any interruption.
High school marching bands and female dancers joined the parade and played their instruments as they walked.
There were a couple of floats for Miss Claflin University, the Homecoming Queen and others.
President Henry N. Tisdale and the first lady participated in the parade, waving and enjoying the celebration.
Fraternities, sororities, cheerleaders and alumni all merged together and walked in the parade to represent and spread the Claflin University pride.

PANTHER Adrian Marcel
Adrian Marcel (top) and Luke James (bottom) took the crowd through a range of low and high notes at the concert on Thursday. (Photos by Clayton JR Bryant)
PANTHER Luke James
R&B artists tear up the stage at Homecoming concert


R&B artists, Adrian Marcel and Luke James wooed the audience with their soulful voices Thursday night. Adrian began his performance with a brief roll call to get a feel of where his audience members were from. Adrian revealed that he is from Oakland, California. Shortly, after a little more crowd interaction, he began to sing a number of selections from his latest album that is currently on iTunes.
When Adrian finished performing, Luke James and his band took over the stage and began giving the crowd what they've been anticipating. Luke didn't hold back on any notes, taking the audience from extremely high notes to extremely low. He opened the floor up to the audience's request singing whatever selections they wanted to hear. He saved his hit single, "I Want You" until the end of the show.
"This is not a time for thinking. You can think when you're in class tomorrow. Right now, I just want you to feel...feel the music," Luke said.
If you didn't know who these artists were before you attended the concert, you certainly know now. If you weren't in attendance, you missed out on a soulful treat.
Have you been "hypbrotized?"

"SLEEP," Leroy "HypnoBro" Williams shouted!
Suddenly about 20 volunteers were on stage in the WVM Fine Arts Center in a deep trance.
As the students volunteered to come on stage, HypnoBro informed them that the hypnosis process requires three things: concentration, imagination, and relaxation.
"If you have a working mind and the ability to create, you can be hypnotized or even learn hypnosis," HypnoBro informed the crowd.
At the sound of applause students went deeper into a trance.
HypnoBro took the volunteers on the journeys of their hottest and coldest day, smelling beautiful aromas to foul stenches, and even reverted the voluteers back to the stage of being an 18-month old babies that haven't been fed all day.
"Put a thought in your conscious mind, it begins to germinate."
"When you go to sleep tonight, you will sleep better than you have in days, weeks, months, or even years,"HynoBro closed.
Needless to say, none of the volunteers have any recollection of what happened while being on stage Wednesday night.
They have officially been HypBrotized!

Pep rally on plaza gets students ready for games


The crowed was live and full of spirit Friday evening on Panther Plaza at Claflin University.
There was a black commercial van that brought all of the music equipment and to add, there was a MC that controlled the crowed.
The pep rally started with music that got students in the spirit of homecoming. Dancing, socializing, hanging out and having fun was highly encouraged.
The Pep rally was used to get students and alumni pumped for the remaining days of homecoming and for the basketball games on Saturday.
In the middle of pep rally, the MC introduced the male and female basketball players. After the introduction, the cheerleaders did a cheer that would get the crowed going.
There were dance competitions being held, with the winner at the end of each competition getting a small prize.
There were giveaways being thrown all throughout pep rally including:

· Hats

· Shirts

· Balls, which had a special code for an even greater prize.

R&B artist Sammie is surprise
guest for Greek Step Show


The annual Greek step show was held Nov. 22 during a fun-filled weekend of homecoming events.
Members of historically black Greek-lettered organizations at Claflin University and neighboring institutions were invited to present competitive performances for alumni and the Orangeburg community to enjoy.
Each year, the NPHC Step Show is a highly anticipated event for which chapters practice for months. This year's event did not disappoint, with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. taking home first place in the sorority and fraternity categories.
There was also a surprise special guest at the step show, R&B artist Sammie from Atlanta came to perform some of his greatest hits. The crowd enjoyed his performance and was more than excited when announced he would be meeting fans back stage after the step show.

PANTHER Kierra Sheard
KiKi Sheard didn't hesitate to bring the house down as she sang with all her might. (Photo by: Krystal George)
Sister not celebrity: Gospel Explosion opens Homecoming

Claflin University kicked off homecoming with Sunday night’s Gospel Explosion.
About 350 people filled Jonas T. Kennedy Center in excitement to see gospel artist Kierra “Kiki” Sheard. Along with Sheard, artist Kebra Moore and college choirs contributed selections.
“I’m not here as a celebrity, I’m here as your sister in Christ,” Sheard said before performing.
Sheard sang songs from her new album, Graceland, which is in stores now and also a few selections from previous albums. Between selections, “Kiki” inspired and encouraged students to pray and have great faith.
“Money is the currency here on earth but faith is the currency in heaven,” Sheard said.
Dressed in a hip-hip themed outfit and performing very upbeat songs, “Kiki” was able to minister to the youth on an age-appropriate level. They appeared very interested and entertained, often times yelling “NO” when she suggested she was talking too much.
The gospel concert was opened and closed with prayer led by SGA Chaplain Dorian Dillard. 2012 Claflin graduate Justin Rufus hosted the event, offering musical selections during intermissions.
The Claflin University gospel choir D.R.E.A.M was also featured. D.R.E.A.M premiered a new song titled, “I’m Free,” that they will be singing during their live recording on Nov. 22. The crowd enjoyed the call and response with the choir in attempt to learn the new song.
Guest choirs included South Carolina State University’s “United Voices of Christ,” which sang three selections, and Coastal Carolina University’s gospel choir. They sang one song that thrilled the crowd.
Graduate of Claflin College, Kebra Moore, representative for the group “Singing Behind the Wheels,” performed three songs: “I Am Beautiful,” “Testimony” and “Never Let Him Go.” Moore, seated in a wheelchair, revealed that she was paralyzed in a car accident and now performs to inspire others. Moore’s presentation included familiar hip hop beats and upbeat backup dancers, which seemed to be a trend for the night’s performances.
PANTHER Comedy Show
(Photo by: Clayton JR Bryant)
Freestyle Funny Comedy Show

Homecoming is kicking off with a bang this year. On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, Claflin held the Freestyle Funny Comedy Show in W.V.M. Auditorium.
The host of the show was none other than the comedian Dukk. He had the crowed rolling as soon as he walked on stage. Dukk performed at Claflin’s Homecoming last year.
Dukk then introduced four other comedians to the stage: Bdaht, Chico Bean, Osama Bin Drankin, and Darren. Chico Bean is an actual cast member from Wild n’ Out with Nick Cannon.
They talked about topics that us college students could relate to like:
  • The food in the Café
  • Being sent to the office when you were little
  • How it feels when you get your paycheck
  • Roommate problems
  • Natural hair and weave isn’t for everyone
  • The importance of using protection

The comedians also asked students who wanted to participate in games with the guys on stage to go on social media and tweet #FFCSpickme.
One of the students that were brought on stage was our Student Activities Board Vice President, Dahlia Mallett and Mister HBCU 2014-2015, Anthony Hyland. One of the games they played was called 2 pictures, one word.
The Freestyle Funny crew kept the audience in stitches all night long. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a whole lot of funny!


WANTED! Student involvement for Homecoming

PANTHER Homecoming Schedule

The Panther

Claflin University is nearing a week-long celebration of  its 145th anniversary – and student involvement is being stressed.
Assistant Vice President of Communications Charlene Slaughter and Student Activities Board President Shaketa Maiden addressed this year’s Homecoming, which begins Nov 16 and concludes Nov. 22.
Big emphasis is placed on Founders’ Day, which this year will include a special tribute to groups that made contributions to the university. Also, families that have left behind a legacy of children or grandchildren will be honored.
 “This year’s Homecoming will bring about new energy,” Maiden said.
Maiden stressed getting students more involved than ever in Homecoming events and festivities this year.
“Homecoming would be nothing without alumni and Claflin’s students,” Slaughter said.
Maiden stressed that student recommendations are always taken into consideration when planning Homecoming events while noting that the Student Activities Board has specific rules and a budget to follow. All student requests cannot be honored.
“There will be a combo ticket,” Maiden said. “However, day events are not included in the combo ticket, along with the Greek step show.”
The events that are included on the combo ticket are:

  • ·         Gospel Explosion
  • ·         Dorm Step Show
  • ·         Comedy Show
  • ·         Hypnotist Show
  • ·         R&B Concert

The combo ticket is $20. Students that do not buy the combo ticket, but without it they pay individually for every event they wish to attend.
The Greek Step Show has its own fee of $15 to be paid at the cashier’s office in advance. The cost is $20 by 5 p.m. at the door before the show.


Drey's Diaries

​The Panther





Yes we’ve begun a new month with expectations for something new and exciting. Well there is the issue of money. While some of us would be smiling all the way to the bank as its pay day, some of us are also doing extensive room cleaning just to find a few quarters.
Money is a word frequently popping up in every one’s mind, but is money really important? Well they say money is the root of evils however, in today’s world, almost everything centers on money. You can’t go anywhere or do anything without money.
I sometimes think back to how first money started, when people way back in the days just exchanged goods. Some parts of the world actually used big stones as money. Weird huh? I am still trying to figure out how a simple printed piece or a piece of metal became so valuable.
So if money was not important or needed, would you be in college or would you still chase your dreams? Well for me all I would need is a few lessons in geography and cultures of the world then I am good to go. I would just jump onto a plane free and go to where ever I want to go, buy whatever I want(mmm not actually buy just pick anything from a shop ) and do whatever. However come to think of it, people are motivated by the prospect of making money, so if money wasn’t important, would the world be how it is now? Well we would never really know, would we?
For me all I want is enough money to live comfortably and still pursue my dreams. To those lucky ones who have received their pay checks and are regular visitors to Pizza Hut, Zaxbys, McDonalds and the like, this month wouldn’t even come to end and you would be running back to the cafeteria. But that’s none of my business though, this tea taste great, must be from Japan, lol.

Surprise me November……..



Ashleigh's Addition

​The Panther

The Claflin Commons' opening was anticipated by everyone at the university. Upon its opening, students could not wait to move into this new building. Everyone was more than happy to be done with the temporary living arrangements that we all had been stuck with. Soon after moving on, the problems started to arise. Is this a building that generations of Claflin students can live in comfortably? The construction workers and maintenance men in and out of your room all day is a bit of an inconvenience. Hopefully, this will all stop sooner than later. Three washing machines and dryers for 100 people is a bit of a hassle. Having a rack for a closet isn't that pleasant. The random noises, the waiting 15 minutes for somewhat hot water is a bother. Are all of these issues worth the high quality finishes that the Commons has to offer? The Claflin Commons is a very good use of space as far as how many people they were able to fit in the residence hall, but was this space used wisely? I believe that the biggest problem that the Commons faces is the closet space or the lack there of. As a resident of the Commons, I literally had to utilize every single inch and corner of my room. This is what we signed up for, so we're stuck with it for now. On the other hand, improvements will definitely have to be made in the future for the Commons to live up to its full potential. It's a beautiful building, but a little small for students' accommodations. 

Crowns, Gowns and Queen Things: Lia Holman’s Coronation

PANTHER Ms. Claflin Coronation


Ms. Annette Grevious began the coronation by informing students, faculty, staff and family of Lia Holman of the purpose of this event. The royal court and other queens of campus clubs and organizations were introduced, along with gentlemen who accompanied them to the stage. The girls, decked in their sparkling black or red dresses, danced and welcomed the audience to peek into Lia’s unique and queenly version of Broadway, and the audience accepted that invitation.
Lia was revealed, being the pinnacle of beauty in her jewel-studded white gown, standing center stage in front of a seat fit for a queen. After being presented with her crown, Miss Claflin University sash and scepter by our very own President Dr. Henry Tisdale, Holman took her throne and the program continued with performances dedicated especially to her.
The audience was serenaded with songs and exhilarating dances by C.U’s very own new Motown, Supremes, Temptations and Michael Jackson reincarnated. Miss Claflin herself took the microphone and sang. Receiving a standing ovation, Holman humbly thanked the audience for their support.
Dillion Isaac, the president of SGA, briefly took the stage, speaking highly of Lia and describing her as a “woman of distinction defined by her elegance and contribution to her University.” Isaac continues by saying “She epitomizes the ideals of Claflin University and embodies the stature, fortitude, pride and capability of Claflin. Congratulations Lia!”



English major, Ta’Shae Sterling publishes her first book

PANTHER Tashae Sterling

Panther Editor

Senior, English major, Ta’Shae Sterling has published her first book, entitled A Walking Contradiction.
Sterling wrote the book within a four year time span. The novel is self-help book with information on bettering ourselves.
“Basically, it’s about everybody having the potential to better themselves, instead  of living day to day, being rude to people, and setting goals and dreams, but not doing any actions to move forth and accomplish them, I’m saying stop procrastinating, and start being a better version of yourself now today. So I give step-by-step guiding help, and I hope that it’s very helpful for everybody,” Sterling said.
Sterling recalls having a niche for writing since the third grade.
“I guess I’ve always had a natural passion for writing,” Sterling recalls.
Sterling received the inspiration for writing this book simply from watching the world news.
“For example, baby formula was being contaminated, and I’m like, ‘This is crazy. What kind of world are we living in?’ However, I cannot say we’re living in a bad world, because at the same time, people are having fundraisers every other day trying to raise some awareness for something positive, so therefore, I was trying to realize that life as we know it is really a walking contradiction, so that was my inspiration,” Sterling explained.
Sterling has plans of publishing more novels in the future, and is currently working on two.
Sterling’s advice for other young aspiring writers is:
“I remember reading somewhere, ‘If you want to write a book, then just do it.’ I partially agree with that statement, because I feel that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you put your mind to it, and do it, but also own your talents and skills. If that’s what you truly want to do, then go take some classes. Go write something, and give your work out to other people with opinions that you value, so you can better your craft. So I wouldn’t say, ‘If you want to write a book, then just do it.’ I would say, ‘Write it. Let the people with valued opinions read it, critique it, and that’s how you write a book.’”

It's a Go for EnVeaux!


Claflin University's En Veux Modeling Company had the first show of the year on Monday Nov. 2.
The show featured the models sporting their most fashionable clothing along with contests and music by a live DJ.
The scenes for the show were Fall, Vintage, Freestyle Runway and Babafrik (a clothing line by Nigerian student Babatunde Sansui). The show also featured performances by the Men of En Veux, the Women of En Veux and South Carolina State's Verve' Fashion Movement.
​Photo by J.R. Bryant

Meet Vincent Sheheen!


On October 30, 2014, Senator Vincent Sheheen came to Claflin University to speak with the students about the upcoming campaign to become the new Governor of South Carolina. Sheheen, emphasized that his wants for reforming the school systems and helping small businesses in South Carolina. He also informed the students about the changes he plans to make for South Carolina such as providing better health care and education in South Carolina and hope students will vote for him when the polls open on November 4, 2014.
Vincent Sheheen’s campaign is based on working to further increase early education opportunities, improve K-12 education, and reinvest in higher education to make college more affordable. He also wants to streamline workforce training and vocational education to better prepare 21st century workers. He also wants to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in government so teachers can get back to focusing on students and pay teacher more of what they deserve.
Vincent wants to focus on building the economy in South Carolina, with also recruiting new jobs to create a more prosperous state. “Students we will only succeed if local South Carolina businesses succeed,” Sheheen said.
Sheheen is born and raised from Camden, South Carolina, where he still resides with his wife, Amy and three sons. Vincent is active in the Camden Rotary Club and still volunteers in local elementary schools. Vincent’s mother was an elementary school teacher while his father was business owner. He credits his parents for his commitments to help and keep small businesses going and improving education for our future generations.
PANTHER Vincent Sheheen

The Mass Communications Department makes their mark

Panther Editor

Claflin University's Mass Communications Department hosted their first event of the year, "The Warm-Up" on November 5, 2014. This event was held in the Panther Plaza outside of the university's dining hall. Krispy Kreme doughnuts, hot chocolate, and raffle tickets for a Shell Gas card and Chick-fil-a gift card were sold to raise money for the department. Entertainment was provided by South Carolina State Mass Communications major, Anthony "DJ Tone Cole" Coleman. Public Relations Campaign & Management students provided brochures, newsletters, and key chains to spread awareness about the department throughout the campus.

Michael Devore gives words of advice to upcoming Shark Tank Business Competition contestants

PANTHER michael devore


Senior Business major, Michael Devore from Hampton, SC was the mastermind behind the winning idea of last year’s Shark Tank Business Competition.
Michael’s business concept was entitled, “InstaPrintz,” which is now known as “InstaPrinture.”
InstaPrinture allows you to print anywhere at any time using Smart phones without the need of a costly printer. The software component of InstaPrinture has a unique advertising feature for local businesses, international businesses, and universities that can allow 100% of their advertisements to be seen by their targeted customers.
“InstaPrintz previously had another company who manufactured shirts with the same name, so I wanted people to be able to search ‘InstaPrinture’ and see us as the first thing that pops up,” Devore said.
Over the summer and after last year’s competition, Devore got to work on improving the technology for his business.
“This year, I have a lot of new things to showcase for InstaPrinture, and applications for students to be able to use it, so I might be pivoting the InstaPrinture business a little bit, but it’s still a lot of the same technology that has been improved drastically, and I want people to see the possibility of having prototypes this year,” Devore explained.
The $5000 grand prize from 2014’s business competition was divided by four. Each of Devore’s teammates invested $250 into the business. Those expenses went to website development, new business cards and new t-shirts.
After graduation, Devore plans to keep pursuing the perfection of InstaPrinture technology. He also plans to attend graduate school to learn more about technology, how to build different websites, and obtain fundamental knowledge.
“I also plan to keep putting the technology in different business competitions, working on getting it patented and everything finalized, so after I get out of graduate school, I can turn it into a full fledged business, or maybe even start some partnerships with technology companies that are interested in the technology.”
Devore’s advice to incoming freshmen and fellow business majors is to think outside of the box.
“Everyday, we see new businesses that are emerging that didn’t exist yesterday. For example, we have Candy Crush and SnapChat. We have all of these apps that may seem small, but are worth billions of dollars. If you’re going to join the Business Competition with plans to compete, I encourage each of you to not be scared. Pitch your idea, no matter how crazy it may seem. If you believe in something, be passionate about it, and showcase it in front of these judges, because at the end of the day, it’s going to feel very rewarding when people see what you see; and you’ve helped these people realize, ‘Hey! There’s a better way to do things’ or ‘I’ve never thought about that before!’ You’ll be so happy that you got up there, participated and had fun doing what you love to do.”
Claflin’s second annual business competition will be held February 9, 2015. The university’s Microsoft App Competition is November 12-14, 2014.


Giovanni: ‘Truthful, raw, something we needed to hear’

The Panther

Claflin University welcomed a poet, writer, activist, educator and icon.
The event on Oct 16 in the Moss Auditorium W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center was open to the public, where the guest speaker graced everyone with her presence. It was none other than Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni’s knowledge and clever wit won the hearts of everyone in the room. She spoke about topics that are affecting the African-American community, especially the police violence that has been happening all over the world.
“As a cop, you ought to be strong enough to say, ‘I don’t need a gun, I have authority.’ No one on earth needs power and authority; you do one or the other,” Giovanni said.
Giovanni stressed the importance of getting a passport. She said young African-Americans need to take the time to travel and learn about history.
Being an African-American woman, she also expressed her thoughts on slavery. Giovanni said  African-American people can’t look at slavery as if they were white, they must see if from a black perspective.
“Something good had to have come out of it because we are black and we know something good comes out of everything. The skills that they learned (slaves) under horrific circumstances, they learned that whatever it is, a song will soothe it.”
Giovanni stressed the importance of voting and getting an education. She told the young college students in the audience, “Extend yourselves, to find a way to create and to add to what these wonderful ancestors gave to us,” she said.
Giovanni also read some of her special pieces of poetry such as:
·         “Quilting the Black Eyed Pea (We’re Going to Mars)”
·         “The Spirit of Martin”
·         “That Day”

Giovanni took everyone down memory lane and talked about her relationship with the late Maya Angelou. She then ended her speech with one of her famous poems, “Ego-Tripping (there may be a reason why).”
After the event, senior biology major Kacy Haynes said, “She was truthful, raw, something we needed to hear. She was very straightforward, very honest and true. It was a great experience!”


Questions for Nikki Giovanni -- and some very frank answers

Panther Editor

Poet and author Nikki Giovanni stirred up the crowd with her outspoken and witty ways as she touched on numerous topics from politics and racism to traveling and poetry.

Giovanni did not bother to censor her language, stating that she knew she wouldn't be returning to Claflin anyway. Here's what she had to say to a few of our Claflinites before hitting the stage.


Q: How far do you think America has come since the Civil Rights movement and how far do you think we have to go?

A: "The Constitution is a living document. I think some of our conservative states are concerned about gay marriage as if it matters who somebody sleeps with, so I'm really bored with that. In Virginia one of the headlines was 'Husband & Husband,' and I was offended by that. Husband is a function. It's clearly a fight that the black community has to take up. I don't see how we cannot, simply because at one point we were not allowed to marry even people who were black and what would be considered the opposite sex. We had to jump the broom, because the right to be married meant that you had to be a human being and a quote of certain respect. I live in the state of Virginia where (there was) Lovey vs. Lovey, where a white man was not allowed to marry a black woman. They clearly didn't care who slept with whom. They clearly didn't care who had children with whom. They simply cared who married whom. If indeed you are what you eat, there's not a white person in America, because they've all been suckled by black women.

Q:How important is it for this generation to remember the struggles that you may have faced growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and what we see displayed on television today in Ferguson, Mo., and some other places?

A: "We just keep going back. America needs to grow up. We need leadership. I've been incredibly disappointed. I saw a statistic that said one in seven people are sorry that they voted for Barack Obama. I would be one of those one. I've been incredibly unhappy that he hasn't led ... his leadership has not been ethical. So he actually hasn't done anything that George Bush didn't do. He's not reminding people, 'This is where we've come from, and this is where we're going.' America is not about or should not be about territory. We've been perpetually at war. Even here in Orangeburg, I remember the Orangeburg Massacre. These children were not born during that, and we don't want them growing up scared, but how could you not be aware of the fact that policemen are still carrying guns, as if somehow that makes everybody safe. What kind of stupidity is that? We need some leadership on that. We need somebody to start talking about where are we going to do in the 22nd century. I'm disappointed that Barack has not taken up that challenge."

Q: As a writer, what inspired you to never be afraid to speak what's on your mind and heart?

A: "I grew up in the Civil Rights Movement. You figure if you're an American, you're going to get shot, so you may as well do something before you do. Because you're going to get shot. (chuckles) I hope I don't, but we shoot people. That's what we do. You may as well go ahead and do what you have to do."

Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

A: "I think you have to be original, and I think you have to trust your voice. I teach writing. That's what I do. One of the biggest problems that we have is that people will say to you, 'Well, what kind of job can I get' Well hell, if you want a job, you ought to go out and sell yourself or sell drugs. Excuse me for putting it that way. You don't want a job. You want a career. You want it to be something that you are proud of. You want it to stand for something. That's what's important. Once you stand for something, you're going to eat. We're Americans. Americans eat. We can't let you be afraid that you're not going to have a place to sleep or food in your stomach or water to drink or anything like that. These are issues that we keep trying to make you kids relate to. You didn't come to Claflin so that you could eat. You came to be a better person, to expand your world and to see how you can impact on the world outside. We want you to travel. If I get fired for anything, it's going to be for traveling, because I keep taking students with me. We have to travel. Get a passport, because you never know. You have to have a passport. It's $70 or $100. You can get it. You have to have it, so when so idiot like me comes along and says, 'You want to go to Africa?' 'You want to go to China?' 'You want to go to India?' You can't say, 'Oh Nikki! I'd like to go but I don't have a passport.' You have to have a passport, and black kids have to travel. You just do. Get your shots and get your passport. You have to do that. There's a world out there, and it's way bigger than what we see. The impact of black Americans on the world ... the world plays our music. The world raps. The world does what we do. Our voice is the voice of planet Earth. Black America's voice is the voice of planet Earth. So, you need to go see that. You need to go find out what's going on with that."

Q: Do you think that we are effectively using our voice to activate change, not only within our community, but globally?

A: Well, I don't want to say no, because I don't want to be a downer like that. I would like to see more activity. I would like to see black kids just going more places. What's the downside of London? It's English-speaking. It's relatively good food. It's not Paris, but you won't starve to death. What's the downside? This is something you not only could do, but should do. What's the downside of Sweden? What's the downside of Stockholm? You go there. They're rapping. You talk about something funny. You hear this language and say, 'What the hell is that,' but they're rapping. I just think that this generation needs to see it. I have a project going right now. I want to take 10 writers down to Antarctica. I really like Antarctica. I've been, but when we look at Middle Passage, we look at Middle Passage as a negative. We look at it as they captured these people. They enslaved these people, and they're going to bring them to America. We all know that's sad, but what the hell? Something good had to come out of everything. If nothing good comes out of anything, it can't work. So if we look at Middle Passage, not as 'what's going to happen,' but how did these people transfer themselves? How did these people remake themselves? The closest we have to Middle Passage is Antarctica. We can travel in December because it's midnight sun. The biggest budget is going to be the wine budget. I'm not going to take 10 writers to Antarctica without wine. Let me assure you, because that'll be incredibly unhappy. I'm meeting with the three top NASA officials of next month. I'm so excited. We have to get the kids involved. We need the imaginative people. I know that whatever Earth is going to do in space with unknown life forms, it's going to come from how black Americans dealt with an unknown life form, and how we transferred that into a Constitution and into a nation that should stand for something.
PANTHER nikki giovanni
Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni was a prolific voice of the African-American experience and arts movement of the 1960s and '70s. That same strong voice rang out during her appearance Oct. 16 as a Lyceum speaker during the special kickoff series of events celebrating the 145th anniversary of Claflin University.

Claflin's new program encourages everyone to recycle

PANTHER sustainability news conference
Rodney Hudson, Claflin director of auxiliary services, shows a film during his news conference about the Claflin sustainability initiative that promotes recycling and environmental consciousness. (Panther photo)

Highlights of Claflin's sustainability initiative

* Recycling of aluminum and plastic -- Separate bins for both aluminum and plastic have been placed in all residential halls. Bins have also been placed outside by trash cans, serving as a recycling reminder.
* Pepsi-sponsored recycling machine Placed in front of the cafe, the machine allows people to recycle in exchange for points.
* New recycling center behind the dining hall - to open by Nov. 1.
- Use of "biodigester" in dining hall -- The machine breaks down all leftover food and sends it to Orangeburg's wastewater system.
* Solar panels on three buildings - used to heat water.
-- By Krystal E. George

The Panther

Claflin has launched a sustainability program to promote recycling and energy saving.
Rodney Hudson, director of auxiliary services, is leader of the sustainability program that began Sept. 23. He outlined details in a news conference with Claflin journalism students on Oct. 7.
"Sustainability touches everything we do," Hudson said. "Let's take what we're using and recycle it."
The Claflin sustainability initiative includes encouraging recycling through the placement of more bins around campus and in dorms. Hudson anticipates the bins will raise awareness about recycling and increase the volume of recyclables being collected.
"The recycle containers are in front of you, which makes it easier," Hudson said.
The Pepsi recycling machine, also known as the "Dream Machine," has been placed in front of the dining hall for a year now. The machine is open for the placement of plastic bottles in exchange for coupons that offer discounts on food.
The machine is now being emptied two-three times a week compared to every couple weeks previously, Hudson said. A portion of the Dream Machine proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior project, an effort to help military veterans.
By Nov. 1, the university will open a new recycling center behind the dining hall, Hudson said. Students in the art department are currently working on a mural for the center.
"We want to be a model for other universities."
Claflin University also has a "bio-digester" in its dining hall to reduce food waste, Hudson said. The machine, about the size of an office desk, exposes waste food to enzymes that break the food down to gray water. The gray water goes down the drain and into the Orangeburg wastewater system.
All cooking oil from the dining hall is recycled as well.
Solar panels have been placed on three buildings on campus: Kleist Hall, Corson Hall and the dining hall. These solar panels are strategically located to absorb the most sunlight and provide energy to heat the water in the buildings (used for showers, washing machines and washing dishes).

"We're setting an example on college campuses on how we should conduct ourselves in other places of the world," Hudson said. "Sustainability is not just putting a can in the garbage. Sustainability is our environment changing drastically, because of things that we have done."
"There's not a place on this campus where we don't need to teach and understand sustainability. If you can't find a way to measure something, you can't manage it," Hudson said.
Within the next three months, Claflin's goals are:
*Climate reporting plans
*Increased recycling volume
*Documented energy savings
In addition, there are energy-saving contests being planned within residence halls. Meters will be used to see who is using the least amount of energy.
There is also a place on the Claflin website specifically about sustainability initiatives.
"Let's implement a culture that sustains itself," Hudson said. "It is one of those causes where you can make a difference."
Hudson told students that sustainability has impacted his personal life. He's been recycling at home for about a year now. He encourages his wife and children to do the same.
He also told how the sustainability concept becomes a fact of life in everything he does, citing his concern during a recent trip on an airliner as he watched a stewardess dispose of all food waste from passengers into one container. Cans, wrappers, everything, all in one place, he said.
Hudson said he planned to contact the airline to determine whether all such waste on all flights is simply tossed without consideration of recycling. 

OPINION: Something has got to change

The Panther

So many crazy things happen in Orangeburg with all the fighting, random shootings and whatnot. A lot of times, people want to place blame on South Carolina State students, Claflin students, the locals, etc.
It doesn't have anything to do with the people. It's the environment. There is absolutely nothing to do in Orangeburg. Any form of entertainment is an hour drive away. Not everyone has the luxury of having a car to travel to do these things. Even if you do have a car, a two-hour drive round trip just to go see a movie can get a little excessive sometimes.
We have more places to choose a meal than anything else. People have too much time on their hands and where does that get us? Let’s do the math: nowhere. Things that were fun at one point and things that we enjoyed doing are no longer fun. Why?
Because people don’t like to talk with words anymore. They like to prove their point by pointing a gun in your face. It has never been that serious. People’s lives are becoming worthless because people’s pride gets in the way of what is right and what is wrong.
Apparently they don't have anything better to do.  People are walking around parties shooting blanks just to prove a point. Something has got to change. I personally feel like if Orangeburg had more productive things for students to do, then we wouldn’t have to necessarily worry about all of the negative things going on in the community.
No, I am not saying that Orangeburg doesn’t offer any sort of productive activities, but it’s not enough to keep 2000-plus college students busy.
Open more teen centers where college students can go once students are let out of school to assist in homework and other activities.
Jobs should offer more internships so that students are able to gain some experience in the workforce before they graduate.
Encourage students to host more positive events on weekends. Instead of a party, have a game night.
There are plenty of things that can be done. Someone just has to take the initiative to do them.
You hear about more parties on the radio than you do church programs. The atmosphere in Orangeburg doesn’t really scream positivity or productivity, which would explain why people aren’t pushing some of these programs that can be used to help a troubled teen or a lost college student
At the end of the day, we can’t place the blame on anyone for what is happening in Orangeburg. If anything, we need to start placing the blame on the environment.

Fashion Week Comes to Panther Town

Fashion 22
Fashion Show

The Panther

New York, London, Paris and now Orangeburg, SC, fashion week has arrived.  Our very own Panther athletes ripped the orange and maroon runway Wednesday night. The show opened up with a bang, smoke and the Panther Dolls. The dancers brought tons of energy to the gymnasium as the crowd anxiously waited for the models to walk the runway. Our athletes mean business as they strut down the runway in their best business attire. The women were dressed for success in their pantsuits, leather pencil skirts and briefcases. The men followed with well-tailored suits, bow ties, and their finest dress shoes. The school spirit and athletic set followed. The models were dressed in traditional orange and maroon with a twist. Leather skater skirt, platform booties, and a fringed Claflin shirt win best dress at this school function. 

After the models heated up the runway, Claflinite Kevin Walls performed a melody of Chris Brown songs to slow down the show.  After Kevin’s soulful performance the models took, the crowd back in time with the vintage category. Flower Power ruled the runway with floral print sheer bell-bottoms and denim overalls. Then, the En Veux Modeling Company came to show the crowd how to really rip the runway as they sashayed down the runway in killer heels and denim shorts made by fellow Claflinite Kashayla Bennett, Owner of Savage Denim Company.   Kristen Murdock (Beyoncé) then took over the outfit on fleek (urban wear) category with her all black ensemble; she was defiantly flawless in this look. Next, the athletes displayed their best kicks in the sneaker head category, which featured everything from Jordan’s to Kevin Durant’s and even a pair of leopard print Adidas. The show ended with the swimsuit set. The guys flexed their muscles in swim trunks and flip-flops and the ladies showed the crowd how to rock a white monokini to the beach.

The Claflin Athletes truly ripped the panther runway. A great show with a great crowd was definitely the best way to kick off fashion week in panther town. The next show is the Mister and Misses Junior Fashion Show Friday October 10, 2014 at 7pm in WVM Auditorium.

UNCF Empower Me Tour​

Grammy Award winning music producer, David Banner stresses the importance of education

David Banner - Empower Me Tour
Panelists, Aaron Paxton Arnold, David Banner, and SGA President, Dillon Isaac speak with college students at the College Completion (Town Hall Meeting) in Minister's Hall.

​Panther Editor

Former rapper, actor, Grammy Award winning music producer, activist and philanthropist, David Banner joined SGA president, Dillon Isaac, and Entrepreneur Lifestyle Expert, Aaron Paxton Arnold on a panel at the College Completion (Town Hall Meeting) at the UNCF Empower Me Tour.
Banner, Isaac, and Arnold shared the many obstacles faced while traveling on their road to success.
“If you’re faithful to your vision, God will reward you,” Arnold said. “It’s not how you start. It’s what you do along the journey.”
When Arnold presented Banner to the audience, Banner immediately explained to students that people get paid for what they know.
“If you don’t say nothing, you don’t get the money. I want you to understand how important education is,” Banner stressed.
Banner explained that initially, the only reason he went to college was for his mother. His first two years of college were a blur, due to being constantly inebriated.
“I then realized the things that I knew would bring me money,” Banner said. He began to excel academically, with a GPA skyrocketing to a 3.9987.
Banner shared that he too was an SGA president of his alma mater, Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.
In a separate interview with student journalists, Banner revealed that he never knew that God would take him on the path that He did.
“The things that I’ve done, I wouldn’t have ever been able to imagine traveling around the world…I used to beg for people to listen to my opinion. They’re all just opinions. For people to want to pay for them, and be excited about me coming is just amazing,” Banner explained.
David Banner is also the CEO of his own multimedia company called, Banner Vision. The company provides services such as, scoring music, making sounds, consulting, shooting commercials, visuals, graphics, and audio arts.
“I had a vision. If we don’t have respect for our images, how can we expect somebody to?”
Banner expressed that he is extremely humbled that the UNCF wants to hear his message. “I’m honored that the UNCF finds what I believe in valid, because I know what I believe in is revolutionary.”
Banner wanted to leave Claflin students with the message to learn as much as you can. “Thirst for knowledge the same way you thirst for air in your lungs, but until that point you are not ready. In order for these students to be free, they must thirst for knowledge like the last breath in their lungs. We have all of these books, all of these people from different parts of the world now. Knowledge is global. We learn from each other. Take advantage of the blessings we have in front of us.”


Females break down
perceived barriers
of beauty

Girl Talk - Empower Me Tour
Panelists take an ultimate selfie with audience members before starting the workshop.

​Panther Editor

Female students of Claflin University and female high school students from surrounding areas filled the auditorium in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center for the “Girl Talk: Imagine A Future” work shop during the UNCF Empower Me Tour.
The work shop was hosted by author, award-winning political strategist, women’s activist, and lifestyle expert, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones.
“When you find strength in yourself and in your sisters (other women), you can create a very powerful relationship with other women that can help you overcome challenges,” Jones said.
Other panelists were Miss Claflin University, Lia Holman and Mrs. Janette Williams, assistant principal of North Vista Elementary School of South Carolina’s Florence District One.
Panelists interacted with students by touching on topics like, inner beauty, outer beauty, and the role it plays in females’ everyday lives.
“I feel the pressure of looking a certain way every day because I’m Miss Claflin University. I have to represent the university in a certain light,” Lia Holman said. “You have to set your own standard of beauty. Love who you are and accept what you have.”
Students of the audience shared their experiences with bullying and what they love and would change about themselves.
“If you don’t know who you are, you will become what they say you are,” Jones said.
The panelists closed by opening up the floor for students to ask any questions about clothes, complexions, and physical figures.
“You are more than just your body. Don’t let anyone define you by how big your rear end is, or how tiny your waist it. Let them know that you have a brain, a personality, and that there’s whole lot more to you than what they look at whenever you walk through that door,” Williams closed.

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)

Why Start Eat Healthier And Exercising?

The Panther

There are a lot benefits to eating healthier and exercising that people may not know. Eating something healthy each day and getting a bit of exercise can daily or even a few times a week can really benefit your health. Eating foods such as fruits, vegetables or even a salad to your daily meal can make a difference. Some of the benefits of eating healthier and exercising besides getting in shape is that it can give you more energy, it has a positive effect on moods and will help you feel more relaxed and helps boost immune systems.

Throughout the day, feel exhausted, like you don’t have any energy? It’s probably because you are not getting enough of your daily vitamins and minerals that you would get from eating vegetables. Eating vegetables or even adding a salad to your meal can make a difference in your day and can even give you more energy throughout the day.

Eating healthy and exercising has a positive effect in your mood in various ways. The Mayo Clinic notes that physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that often leave you feeling both happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique, so you may also feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Research shows that when people eat healthier instead of unhealthier, they tend to be in better moods.

Eating Healthy and exercising can help prevent certain health conditions such as stroke, some types of cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease by boosting high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or the "good," cholesterol and decreasing unhealthy triglycerides. Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure and can also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.

“Healthy eating” is a lifestyle, and is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life. Diets are temporary and you give up so much when you diet. You may be hungry and think about food all the time then after you stop dieting, you also may overeat to make up for what you missed. So I encourage everyone to start living a little more healthy, it can make a big difference in your life.

International Night: Around the World in two hours

International Night
The Panther

On Wednesday, 24 September 2014, the International Student Association, in conjunction with Ms. Jarvis, the counselor in student Support Services, held the annual “Different Faces, Different Cultures” program at Minister’s Hall to celebrate faculty, staff and student diversity on campus.
The enlightening program started promptly at 7:30 and had such an abundance of students in the audience that the room’s capacity limit may have come into question. The Hall was filled with sitting and standing students whose eyes were glued to the stage and whose noses were directed  to the containers of food at the back.
The program began with the infamous “country walk.” Students from approximately 20 countries and at least 10 different states paraded their colorful flags for the audience to see.  Next, we were entertained with exciting dances from Nigeria, India, Brazil and Jamaica. The audience was then serenaded with songs from the Nepali and Chinese students who sang in their native languages.
Finally, the long-awaited foods were shared. Most of these dishes were cooked and brought by our own international faculty members who attended the program with their families and decked in their native wear. The foods included gulab jamun, stewed chicken, curried chicken with chick peas and many more foods and deserts. All in all, the audience as well as the international student enjoyed an entertaining program and left with their hearts and their bellies full.


A Blue September- Alopecia Awareness Month

alopecia image
​The Panther

The official color of Alopecia Awareness month in no way reflected what type of month September was. Although September has officially come to a close, its liveliness is still remembered and more importantly, Alopecia awareness lives on.

During this month, many students on campus learned about Alopecia, a condition that causes either partial or total head or body baldness in women and men.

The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. was the only student organization on campus that supported this cause. The sorority held a forum to raise awareness on September 29, 2014 in the Multi-purpose room. The Zetas invited a guest speaker, Ms. Faith Spells, to speak about the condition, and adopted the slogan “Celebrate Alopecia Month with our Alopecia Beauties!”

Allison Pickering, a Junior Biology major, who is Alopecian and was also invited by the Zetas to speak about her experiences, spoke out about Alopecia and the strength of the people who live with this condition. She commends the support she got from the Zetas.

Pickering states that “This cause is important because even though Alopecia is not a life-threatening disorder, it is life-altering for those living with it. There are too many people suffering in the silence of their emotions. The more people can become aware of the condition, the more these bonds of silence can be broken.”

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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.


PANTHER cosby tisdales news conference

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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Panther career fest IMG_0657
Panther career fest IMG_0659
Panther career fest IMG_0658

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 TheTandD.com, the website of The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg: http://thetandd.com/news/laser-tag-on-the-yard/collection_0b3c00ee-4396-11e4-bed4-dfa6708441b6.html#0

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.

PANTHER pep rally students at rally

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

PANTHER pep rally fashion group

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

PANTHER pep rally panther dolls

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,” he 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.

PANTHER commons move 2

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.

PANTHER 9-11 silent walkPANTHER 9-11 service main

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.”

Panthers in the News

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by Wendy Jeffcoat Crider | 30 Jan, 2014

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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.

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