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Student FAQ's

What is New Student Convocation?
Convocation is the coming together of the members of a group – a formal assemblage.  Our Convocation marks a new beginning, a special time for faculty, new students, and families.  Convocation opens with an academic procession, led by the President of the University of South Carolina Student Government Association carrying the Mace, followed by the recipient of this year's Michael J. Mungo Distinguished Professor the Year ; the Provost of the University; representatives of the University's schools and colleges; the University's vice presidents; the secretary of the Board of Trustees; and the President of the University. 

Who Are the Participants in Convocation?
Participants in Convocation are a representative of the University of South Carolina , the institution's governing body, to which the president of the University is responsible; the president, chief administrator of the University; the provost, its chief academic officer; and the deans of the schools and colleges, the chief administrators and academic officers of their schools or colleges.  The first and foremost participants in Convocation are you who will attend the program: new students and your families.  You have come to Carolina from all over the United States and around the world.

Who can come to the New Student Convocation in the Carolina Coliseum? 
Carolina is now your new “home”. This day is all about you; so invite anyone (family, friends) with whom you want to share this experience. You will receive an invitation during the latter portion of July.  Once you receive the invitation, to better serve you, please complete the RSVP and indicate approximately how many guests will be attending with you. 

RSVP for Convocation

Can I bring my family to the reception hosted by my school/college? 
Get to know your Dean, faculty and staff of your new college/school by attending the reception hosted  by your chosen school/college.  Family members are welcome and encouraged to attend!

When and where is my college holding it's reception?
Please refer to the schedule for times and locations of the receptions.

What time does the ceremony begin?
The ceremony begins promptly at 4:00 p.m. on August 16, 2015.  We look forward to having you there and if you arrive after 4:00 p.m.  an usher will seat you at the first break in the program.  The doors of the Colonial Life Arena will open at 3:00 p.m.

How long does the ceremony last? 
The ceremony will take approximately one hour and will conclude around 5 pm. Following the ceremony, you will have the opportunity to meet members of the university administration on the concourse level of the Colonial Life Arena.

What is the dress?
Many of you will be coming from moving into your residence hall and we realize you are short on time – so just come as you are.  There is no specific dress code for the event, but if you have the time students and parents are encouraged to wear the following: Females—blouse or top with skirt, pants or dress shorts. Males—oxford or polo with khaki shorts or pants.

What is the reception after Convocation?
After the ceremony, University officials will be on the concourse level of the Colonial Life Arena to greet new students and their parents.  If time permits, stop and chat while enjoying punch and cookies.

Where do I park?
If you live on campus, you are encouraged to walk to the Colonial Life Arena.  If driving, you can park in the GS4, FS4, and AD3 lots on Greene Street or the Discover Plaza Garage directly located behind the Colonial Life Arena.  See parking map for details.

What is the First -Year Reading  Experience program? 
The First-Year Reading Experience  will be held Monday, August 17, 2015 at the Colonial Life Arena, the day after New Student Convocation.  The First-Year Reading Experience (FYRE) is a half-day event held during Welcome Week  before the start of classes. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the program introduces first-year students to the importance of academic life at the University. All first-year students receive a copy of the First-Year Reading Experience book during summer orientation and are expected to read the book before returning to campus for the fall semester. The morning of the FYRE, all first-year students assemble together to hear a keynote address about the book. Following the keynote address, students meet in small discussion groups to exchange ideas and share reactions to the novel. University 101 students gather in discussion groups composed of their University 101 instructor, peer and graduate leaders, and classmates. First-year students not enrolled in University 101 are assigned to discussion groups lead by a USC faculty member. 

For more information about the First-Year Reading Experience contact Dottie Weigel, Director of the First-Year Reading Experience, at (803) 777-6029 or

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