Students await
date to populate
Commons,
find more parking

This story is compiled from reports by Panther Editor Princess Williams, Andres Waters and Tyler Jackson 

Students returned to campus in August to find that the university's new dorm, Claflin Commons, is still under construction.
Despite projections that the dorm would be ready for students to move in at the beginning of the new school year, a Claflin email of Aug. 8 advises that the dormitory will be open no later than Sept. 15.
"This opening date will ensure that our new residential complex is safe and will fulfill our commitment to provide an environment supportive of excellence in living and learning," according to the email sent by the Office of Communications and Marketing.
Students who had original housing assignments to live in the new dormitory are being housed in temporary accommodations, some on campus and others off.
"We expect that most of the students assigned to Claflin Commons will be housed on campus. Students living off campus will have access to the University's shuttle service transportation to and from the campus," according to the Claflin email.
"The University is working diligently to ensure that students, parents and the University community are informed of the arrangements."
The email advised that questions concerning housing be referred to Devin Randolph, assistant vice president for student development and services and director of residential life in the Office of Residential Life.
On Friday, Randolph said Sept. 15 remains the target date.
Not surprisingly, the situation is causing some consternation among students.
"The groundbreaking ceremony was over a year ago," senior Leslie Black said. "The dorm was supposed to be ready for students to move in on Aug. 18."
Senior KaShayla Bennett said, "I think this dorm situation is a complete mess. I was so excited to see the new addition to our campus only to find out it not even finished. I am now living in a different dorm here on campus and the fact that I have to move again when they finish the Commons has me frustrated too.
Junior CJ Riley is presently back in his former dorm, High Rise, and is concerned the projected Sept. 15 dates will not be met. "I wanted High Rise to be a distant memory."
Ground was broken on the $12 million 64,000-square-foot, environmentally sustainable Commons in September 2013.
The purpose of the dorm, which will house 100 males and 100 females and feature a fitness gym, is to have more of the university's students living on campus.

claflin construction aug 2014 tyler jackson

Construction of Claflin Commons continues as the school year moves into its second week. (Panther photo by Tyler Jackson)


The commons area, which will separate the male and female wings, will include the main entrance, high ceilings with natural lighting, open gathering spaces, a multipurpose room for student meetings and two fitness rooms, Hudson said. Each wing will be divided into two- and four-bedroom suites and have an elevator, laundry room, computer lab and informal study areas.
Further complicating the on-campus situation is parking.
Work on Goff Avenue parking lots is not complete and the university's Goff Avenue Enhancement Plan, which was approved by Orangeburg City Council, means removal of on-street parking spaces in the 700 and 800 blocks of Goff Avenue.
Senior Leslie Black, "They don't think about the students or how few spaces they offer to us. Most on-campus spots are reserved, but they blocked off two parking lots that were supposed to be paved before we even got back."
Senior Gaby Roland said, "Parking is horrible, there aren't enough spaces for students."

The first week of a new school year

By JUSTIN A. WHITE
The Panther

The first of week of classes is usually an exciting time for all college students but it can also be stressful.
But after three months of living under the parental roof, students are ready for a different set of rules and a new routine.
The class of 2018 is excited to be going to college for the first time.
One freshman said, “My first week of college went better than I thought it would, I was nervous because I thought I was going to get a lot of work my first week 

but it wasn’t like that at all.”
The upperclassmen are also looking forward to this semester so they can get more involved with their 
majors and move one step closer to becoming a senior.
A sophomore stated, “During my first week at Claflin University, it was hot outside and there were not many activities going on around the campus, but I am proud to come back to this illustrious and prestigious institution.”
The seniors are very excited to be getting ready to graduate. Though they expect to be doing a lot of work and studying for senior exit exams and senior 
projects, they still have their eye on the prize.
One senior student explained, “It has been a good first week, I felt that I have grown a lot since I was a freshman and cannot wait to graduate.”
Even though everyone’s week has gone well, there have been some students who describe their first week as stressful and hectic, but these students continue to keep a positive attitude.
A junior also stated, “This first week was a little hectic but after consulting a few on-campus advisers, I was able to make a smooth transition into the new semester.”

 




Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale addresses Mass Communications Department students during a news conference that focused on plans for the future of the campus.

Tisdale ready to expand
during ‘great time in Claflin history’

President addresses the football question

By ARIELLE HAYES
The Panther

Will football return to Claflin?
It’s a question that President Henry N. Tisdale says he gets often.
President H.V. Manning ended the football program in fall 1964 because Claflin didn’t have enough resources for academic priorities and a football team, Tisdale told multimedia students during an April news conference.
It would take a lot of money for Claflin to bring back the football program, he said. The school would have to buy uniforms, insurance and create scholarship money for the players.
“We would not expect to make money with a football team. It wouldn’t pay for itself, taking funds from other programs,” Tisdale said.
“If someone can show me the money, I’m all for it.”
With or without football, Tisdale said he loves what athletics bring to the university. Five years ago, Claflin joined the NCAA Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to increase the competitiveness of the athletic department.
“The athletic program is on the rise, it’s great for the university,” Tisdale said. “Come out and support our athletics.”

May 09, 2014

By ARIELLE HAYES
The Panther

Will football return to Claflin?

It’s a question that President Henry N. Tisdale says he gets often.

President H.V. Manning ended the football program in fall 1964 because Claflin didn’t have enough resources for academic priorities and a football team, Tisdale told multimedia students during an April news conference.

It would take a lot of money for Claflin to bring back the football program, he said. The school would have to buy uniforms, insurance and create scholarship money for the players.

“We would not expect to make money with a football team. It wouldn’t pay for itself, taking funds from other programs,” Tisdale said.

“If someone can show me the money, I’m all for it.”

With or without football, Tisdale said he loves what athletics bring to the university. Five years ago, Claflin joined the NCAA Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to increase the competitiveness of the athletic department.

“The athletic program is on the rise, it’s great for the university,” Tisdale said. “Come out and support our athletics.”

 
May 09, 2014

By ARIELLE HAYES
The Panther

Will football return to Claflin?

It’s a question that President Henry N. Tisdale says he gets often.

President H.V. Manning ended the football program in fall 1964 because Claflin didn’t have enough resources for academic priorities and a football team, Tisdale told multimedia students during an April news conference.

It would take a lot of money for Claflin to bring back the football program, he said. The school would have to buy uniforms, insurance and create scholarship money for the players.

“We would not expect to make money with a football team. It wouldn’t pay for itself, taking funds from other programs,” Tisdale said.

“If someone can show me the money, I’m all for it.”

With or without football, Tisdale said he loves what athletics bring to the university. Five years ago, Claflin joined the NCAA Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to increase the competitiveness of the athletic department.

“The athletic program is on the rise, it’s great for the university,” Tisdale said. “Come out and support our athletics.”

 

By ANDRES WATERS
The Panther

Dr. Henry N. Tisdale is marking 20 years as Claflin president, focusing on the future and emphasizing a legacy of success upon which he intends for the university to build.
During a news conference with Mass Communications Department students, Tisdale said, “You are here during a great time in Claflin history.”
“I returned to my alma mater with ideas of change,” Tisdale said. “I wanted academic success to be the flagship of the university.”
To achieve that, his first objective was to bring in a world-class faculty and staff. Two decades later, Claflin is acknowledged as an academic and research leader among HBCUs and liberal arts colleges and universities nationwide.
Campus growth and improvement have been priorities. “Going forward we will be looking for ways to transform the institution,” he said.
Though there have been many developments around campus during his tenure, there is room to grow, Tisdale said. He cited the most recent expansion, the Claflin Commons student housing, which is under construction and will open along Goff Avenue in the fall of 2014.
University officials and friends broke ground for the new residence hall in September 2013. Claflin Commons will house 200 students and feature a workout room, a large lobby (which will be called the Commons Area), and a new plaza.



Tisdale told students about other expansion plans, emphasizing improvements to Goff Avenue that will make it  safer for students, faculty and staff.
A major step in improving Goff is improving the parking, Tisdale said. He said the university is trying to remove parking along the street by working with Orangeburg City Council and property owners to achieve the objective. There are also plans to pave the gravel parking lots on Goff Avenue and obtain approval for adding speed humps to the street in order to slow traffic.
The changes are part of the university’s “Complete Streets” plan, which is about making the streets safer for pedestrians. Other improvements include more lighting along the streets, an escort program featuring fraternity members and other male students, and more security cameras around campus.
Acquiring more property for the university, upgrading the science and technology center, and upgrading the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center are also on Tisdale’s agenda.
The upgrade for the Health and Physical Education Center will include adding a swimming pool, dance studios and even a second basketball court.
As to what Claflin University will be like in five years, Tisdale told students to look for great change.
“We’ll be looking for ways to transform the university … ways to take the university higher.”




Durant: Safety, security Claflin's top priority

By PRINCESS WILLIAMS
The Panther

Claflin University is making a lot of changes for the next school year, with safety and security at the top of the list.
In a news conference with Mass Communications Department students, Vice President for Student Development and Services Dr. Leroy Durant said changes include more lighting, installation of security cameras and more phones around campus, plus fencing of the first parking lot on Goff Avenue, removal of the Millwood apartments and beginning an escort service.
"The No. 1 concern that will always be on any college campus is students, faculty and staff safety," Durant said.
The escort program will be available to males and females from 7 p.m. to

midnight. Thirteen fraternity brothers will be trained and undergo security clearance. The gentlemen will not be armed. They will use walkie-talkies to communicate with security.
Durant addressed the precautions taken during the South Carolina State shooting incident in January.
"I think we did very well," he said. Buildings were locked, the siren had been sounded, Panther Alerts went out, and information about a potential suspect was distributed via email, which was provided by South Carolina State.
Durant said he was very concerned about seeing people walking around campus less than 20 minutes after the lockdown.
"We have some education to do. When sirens and alerts are used, people need to follow the rules."
A committee at Claflin is analyzing the "active shooter plan" to determine any
need for change.
Students also have a part in assisting with security in all instances. "Officers cannot be everywhere all the time," Durant advised.
"Be aware of someone who is not a Claflin student," Durant said, indicating that students have a good idea when a person or a situation simply is not right. If someone is hanging around cars and is not recognizable, take note and notify security. Safety is in the hands of us all. Safety rests with all of us."
New residence halls will be ready by fall.
"The facility will house about 200 students and include the main entrance, high ceilings with natural lighting, open gathering spaces, a multipurpose room for student meetings and two fitness rooms," said Tijuana Hudson, vice president of business and finance.
"This is a building like no other we have on campus," Durant said. "When I look at this building, I'm just not looking at a residence hall. I'm looking at something that others across that country who want to build buildings for residential living will come and take a look at."
The purpose of the new housing for 100 males and 100 females is to get all "on-campus" students, numbering more than 1,100, back on campus.
Present Claflin housing locations, such as the former Russell Street Inn on Russell Street, will no longer be leased by Claflin.
"Everybody is not going to like change. Change is hard for people to swallow," Durant said.
Durant also referenced two other issues of interest to students: No return of freshman curfew and no tuition increase for the fall.





Dillon Isaac is a junior from Blackville. He was elected 2014-15 SGA president. (Panther photo by Princess Williams)

Dillon Isaac ready
to go to work as Claflin’s
new SGA president

By PRINCESS WILLIAMS
The Panther 

And the winners are …
The results from the 2014 SGA election are in. All of the candidates campaigned extremely hard. Here are the winners:
SGA President – Dillon Isaac (Junior)
SGA Vice President – Keydareon Graham (Junior)
SGA Corresponding Secretary – Deysha Miller (Sophomore)
SGA Recording Secretary – Amaiah Henry (Sophomore)
SGA Chaplain – Dorian Dillard (Junior)
SGA Business Manager – Babatunde Sanusi (Sophomore)
Miss Claflin – Lia Holman (Junior)
Mr. Claflin – Ryan Black (Junior)
Miss Homecoming – Isha Conteh (Junior)
The new SGA president, Dillon Isaac, is a biology major minoring in chemistry from Blackville.
When interviewed about the campaigning process, he said, “As the election day came closer, it got more intense. It really encourages you to come out of your shell and increase your visibility on campus.”
When Dillon received the news of his victory, he was excited.
“I got the results at the beginning of a Leadership session, so I had to contain myself for about an hour after receiving the news. As soon as I was free, I called my parents, all of my supporters and responded to all the congratulatory messages.”
The candidate’s plans for the student body were stated in his platform.
“I really want to make Claflin a healthier campus in regards to nutrition and spiritually. I also noticed a deficit when it comes to communication between departments, so I’m extremely excited about bettering the communication between separate departments,” he said.
Isaac is no stranger to leadership. He was freshman class president during the semesters of 2011-12. He’s more than ready to get back to work for the student body.
“Overall, I think it’s a humbling experience to be recognized as a leader of this caliber by my peers. I look forward to putting the necessary work in to make it a memorable academic year.”




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