TABLE OF CONTENTS
Welcome Home, Class of 2025
Let’s Eat, Girl! the official CY guide to eating on campus
Bitesaround andCharleston Bevs by Lea Neufeld
If These Walls Could Talk by Josiah Thomason
The Orientation Playlist
Perceptions vs. Reality:
Southern Colleges by Anna Rowe
Hidden Places by Katie Hopewell with photography by Sophia Barham
Beach the Staff h a a i i s h o p J o S Head of Photo
Tyler Creative Director
letter from the editor I can still remember my freshman orientation and the feeling of my tank top sticking to my back as I sweated through its entirety; I wondered how I would ever be able to survive four whole years in a city so humid. This, accompanied by my apprehension about taking the ‘next big step’ and a consistent Charleston shuﬄe, terriﬁed me of what was to come upon moving into my dorm. But these expected nerves were inevitably quelled by the eﬀervescent spanish moss that so gracefully garnishes our campus, as well as the exceptional community that was waiting for me here in the fall. For this Orientation Issue of The Yard, we tried to capture the feeling of experiencing a summer in Charleston: uninhibited, spontaneous and most importantly: HOT. We’ve included multiple lists that you may ﬁnd helpful as you begin navigating the College and the greater Charleston area, including our favorite food and beverage picks for a freshman budget and campus organizations that will further expand your experience as a Cougar. You will come to see, too, that being a college student requires you to acknowledge the problems of the world around us—after all, you’re in school to try and solve them! The last year has been unquestionably diﬃcult for everyone, between the novel Coronavirus pandemic and sociopolitical upheaval. With this in mind, we’ve featured stories that highlight issues like the systematic racial disparities that have perpetually plagued Charleston, but also stories of human resilience like that
of our very own President Andrew Hsu. We hope that these pieces will help you see that there is still a lot of work to be done, and that your academic eﬀorts at College of Charleston will not be in vain. All things considered, I suggest that you soak in all that the College has to oﬀer during your orientation sessions. I hope this magazine brings you all excitement for what is to come, and conﬁdence that you’ve ended up in the right place. But most of all, I hope you make Charleston yours for the next four years. Welcome home, Cougs,
Katie Hopewell Katie Hopewell ‘22 Editor-in-Chief
from the desks of Ryan Thompson, Student Body President Eileen Collins, Student Body Vice President WELCOME HOME, CLASS OF 2025
a letter from sga leadership
WELCOME! On behalf of the College of Charleston Student Government Association and our campus community, we are excited to welcome y’all to South Carolina, and your home for the next few years. You are joining our campus in a time of transition and changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know that your next year will be memorable, to say the least. Your ﬁrst year will allow you to explore new opportunities in your passions—from academics to our 200+ clubs and organizations, you truly will be able to grow from your experiences. Whether you know what you plan to study right out of the gates or are waiting to ﬁnd your passion, the College will ensure that you have every resource to map out your path and make your CofC journey one-of-a-kind. Our campus community is actively engaged with the larger Charleston area, and provides numerous possibilities for students to learn outside of the classroom. As we transition back to a normal campus experience, we hope to reignite the spark in our campus environment so that all students can feel connected and call the College their home. We hope you will join one of the many organizations on campus that we have to oﬀer: from Greek life organizations, intramural sports, clubs about the love of cheese, or even our own Student Government (shameless self-promotion), there is a place for you to belong here at CofC. As upperclassmen, we both have been able to enjoy all that our campus has to offer and as your student representatives, we want to ensure every student has the same love for the College we do. If we can ever help you during your time here, please feel free to reach out or visit our oﬃce in the Stern Student Center. We eagerly await to meet y’all in the Fall, and hope you have an amazing rest of your summer before you start your next adventure here with us. Go Cougars! Yours Truly, Ryan Thompson ‘22 Eileen Collins ‘23
campus orgs SPORTY
a women’s health club aimed at tackling body image issues and helping women make healthy lifestyle choices
water sports club a sports club that meets on the water to work on wake surﬁng, skim boarding and other lake sports
7360 dance club a kpop-oriented dance club that meets weekly to learn choreography voted on by organization members.
club sports includes anything from both girls’ and boys’ ultimate frisbee to belly dancing to ice hockey--feel free to check out the club sports page on CofC’s website for a complete list, or even start your own!
CofC’s only institutionally-recognized media organization; oﬀers opportunities for those interested in video, news, radio and literary magazine work.
social advocacy alliance a club aimed at creating a space for college student activists to head social sustainability projects, encouraging social involvement among students.
human rights alliance an organization created with the intent to encourage learning and discussion about current human rights issues within the U.S. and the world at large
doctor who club entirely focused around the show itself, this club meets weekly to watch two episodes of Doctor Who and discuss real world themes that arise.
for all interests ACADEMIC
mental health in melanin
an organization framed around destigmatizing mental health issues and improving awareness of mental health disparities among marginalized peoples.
student science society a four-year academic program created to help propel minority students majoring in science and STEM ﬁelds at CofC.
spanish club aimed at creating greater exposure to Hispanic culture through various educational events and opportunities.
african studies club a club entirely organized around discussing African issues, historical events and the diﬀerent roles of Africa within the larger global narrative.
an organization that seeks to recruit and retain greater amounts of minority and/or ﬁrst generation students at CofC.
collegiate curls based in an intent to empower minority women through encouragement of their natural hair; hosts events about natural hair care, social issue awareness and embracing the unique beauty that all women have.
black student union an organization led by and made for Black students at CofC; hosts events that encourage social and political engagement by students, as well as promote their well-being and success
graduate diversity and inclusion council an administrative organization aimed to create a sustainable community that supports minority students on campus
by Katie Hopewell
Going to college is a massive leap to make in life; ﬁnally closing the door to your life at home, saying goodbye to childhood friends and transitioning to a higher level of academic rigor all make for a jarring and diﬃcult change for incoming freshmen. The College of Charleston serves as a particularly anomalous landing for those entering college life; its urban location, coupled with all the peculiarities of Charleston itself, renders it vastly diﬀerent from the cinematic college experience. As much can be said for the standing President of the College, who took on his position at CofC just before the onset of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. President Andrew Hsu was inaugurated in the Fall semester of 2019 after a morethan-year-long search for an institutional head. His election as CofC’s President was exceptionally exciting for the campus community at-large, provided that his predecessor was the owner of a Confederate ﬂag mem-
orabilia store and all those before him were of the same canonical leadership demographic: white aﬄuent males. President Hsu, who immigrated from China shortly following the taking of power by Mao Zedong, made for a refreshing transition for the institution as a whole, and his inauguration embodied all that CofC aims to accomplish: a close-knit, highly reputable campus community that accommodates student success and celebrates diversity. Without knowing the adversity that was waiting in 2020, his presidency brought hope for substantive growth within the institution. These hopes remained steadfast even as the ﬁrst warnings of the Coronavirus’ pandemic potential became known. President Hsu was quick to even send out a catered Spotify playlist to the campus community following the College’s closing in March 2020; entitled “Spring 2020 - e-Learning Mix/Together, Always,” Hsu highlighted the need for
unity and encouragement as we began navigating this unprecedented global event. President Hsu’s uplifting demeanor was unwavering throughout the close of the 2019-2020 academic year and helped carry students through the summer into the 20202021 school year, which was fully eclipsed by mask-wearing and socially-distanced courses. And what better way to become acclimated to life at CofC than through providing governance during an unforeseen pandemic? Despite the encouraging gestures and tenacity that President Hsu demonstrated over the last academic year, he notes that his biggest challenge was “the two camps that can’t seem to agree or even discuss with each other in a meaningful way[...]there’s almost no consensus on what’s the right thing to do” Hsu said. “You have faculty, staﬀ, students and parents who say: ‘you have to close down the campus right away,’ and then you have
rates over the 2020-2021 academic year—whereas the College actually demonstrated an increase in the same ﬁgures. In an interview, he admitted, however, that his greatest encouragement over the course of the last academic year was “the perseverance that students showed and their willingness to comply with all of the new rules that we had imposed on campus. They really worked with us to make a very diﬃcult year a success” he noted. After receiving dozens of emails that so clearly portray his dedication to student success, it has been made blatantly clear that President Hsu has students’ best interest closest to his heart. The same can hardly be said of every President at every institution of higher learning in the country, and even just in the state.
photo courtesy of Sophia Barham
students, parents and even faculty who say: ‘this is nothing, you really shouldn’t be alarmed, you shouldn’t require students to get tested, you shouldn’t require them to wear a mask’” he noted in an interview. Regardless of the divided audience that populates the College, Hsu notes that the 2020-2021 academic year was one of the most successful within the last decade, when considering ﬁgures such as student retention rates and overall academic success.
“For the last ten years, we had about 11,000 completed applications every year, and this year we are at 19,000—close to 20,000—completed applications. That shows the strength of the university, and the reputation and success of the university through the pandemic— all of that can be attributed to this popularity” Hsu explained. And for those who are unaware, institutions of higher learning all across the state of South Carolina suﬀered from an 16% average decrease in enrollment
When asked what he wanted to express to incoming freshmen this year, President Hsu stated that: “The College is your new home; we’re all here to help you. If you have any problems, reach out for help and all the faculty and staﬀ here on campus are here to help you. If you can’t ﬁnd the help you need, reach out to me anytime. My email is email@example.com and anyone can send me a message” and these sentiments are far from hollow. After all, President Hsu had quite the jarring transition into his presidency at CofC and certainly hopes that incoming students feel just as welcomed and heard as he did.
LET’S EAT GIRL! WE’RE GIVING YOU THE INSIDE SCOOP ON ALL OF THE DINING HALLS FROM CHARLESTON’S MOST ELITE MEDIA ORGANIZATION. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEED-TO-KNOW. WE KNOW YOU’LL LOVE IT... XOXO.
#1 MARTY’S MARTY’S PLACE is CofC’s dining hall that is fully devoted to serving delicious food that is all kosher, vegetarian and can be made vegan. Attached to the Jewish Studies Center on Wentworth, you will fall in love with this place!
CHICK-FIL-A FRESH FOOD CHICK-FIL-A is located on Calhoun St. right beside the bookstore. While everyone knows about Chick-Fil-A, this one is an “Express” so the menu is a little more limited than a normal store – but the food is still just as good!!
LIBERTY FRESH FOOD is located on the corner of Liberty and St. Philips. The menu varies daily but you can always find options for all dietary needs.
#4 #5 CITY BISTRO STERN FOOD CENTER CITY BISTRO is right beside Barry Residence Hall, so lucky you! With a menu similar to Liberty, there is a late night window on Saturday nights until 1am where you can get pizza!
STERN FOOD CENTER is usually open during the school year, but due to COVID, shut down for the 2020-21 school year. But fingers crossed it opens again in the fall because it is hands down some of the best food you’ll have. Custom salads, Acai bowls, southern cooking, Asian Fusion and Tex-Mex.
re t a i l th erap y resources artist & craftsmen art supply store a store that supplies art materials for all diﬀerent media; from book-binding to framing to regular old coloring books. it’s a lifesaver for those artists who don’t have transportation oﬀ the peninsula. they have locations both on calhoun st. near panera bread and on upper king st. as well.
blue bicycle books a local favorite among charleston readers. unlike
your typical barnes and noble, this quaint book store features local authors, deep cuts and cult classics among other literary wares. it’s located on king st. right near the hotel bennett, making it a close walk for students!
earthbound trading company this earthy store is a necessity for those who value their spirituality. they sell all things wellness and self care: healing crystals, essential oils, pendulums, smudg-
ing herbs and even bohemian home decor items--all for reasonable prices! they’re located on lower king st. right beside urban outﬁtters.
mellow mood similar to earthbound, mellow mood specializes in all products related to holistic self care, mindfulness and wellness. mellow mood, however, is more oriented towards apparel, accssories and trinkets related to such lifestyles. they’re located on hasell st. in between king and meeting streets.
house of sage located right oﬀ of campus on george st, this quaint boutique oﬀers stylish women’s apparel, honing in on chic charleston streetwear trends for a fairly reasonable price!
ensemble this little consignment shop gives shoppers the opportunity to buy highend labels and designer brands for lowered costs. whether you’re interested in browsing second hand pieces or ﬁnding vintage luxury items, ensemble is a great place for all reselling enthusiasts
oops! another king st. favorite for consignment shoppers. oops! oﬀers resale styles for men, women and children, making it a valuable shop to have right around the corner from campus.
sugar bakeshop just a few blocks north of campus in cannonsborough is a quaint bakery that oﬀers unique ﬂavors of all things sweet.
photos courtesy of josiah thomasonphotos courtesy of josiah thomasonphotos courtesy o
of josiah thomasonphotos courtesy of josiah thomasonphotos courtesy of josiah thomason
bites & bevs
based on your vibe by Lea Neufield
for the cozy cafe feel:
harken cafe/ harbinger cafe Are you in the mood for consistently good coﬀee, amazing service, and the most aesthetic location? Sister stores Harbinger and Harken have all the above along with a delicious and creative menu. They are great spots to hang out with friends, read a book, and people watch. Plus, they are local, women-owned businesses!
for a quaint sandwich spot:
queen st grocery
for a quick bite or drink at a hidden downtown gem: huryali A little further up the peninsula is the combined coffee shop/acai bowl place/ juice bar Huriyali. With a wide variety of smoothies, breakfast foods, bowls, and juices, coupled with the immersive tropical garden seating area out back, it’s the perfect downtown oasis—with reasonable prices, too! We suggest you try the London Sea Fog Latte, and the breakfast sandwich with the vegan substitutes.
Only a short walk south of campus, you’ll ﬁnd a little hole-in-the-wall spot with arguably the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat. Their menu includes all sorts of paninis, crepes (savory & sweet), and all day breakfast items. Friendly tip: be sure to try their tenacious turkey sandwich--you won’t regret it.
for the coffee fanatics: second state One of the cool things about college is the independence, and what better to do with that freedom than spend an absurd amount of time and money at coﬀee shops. Second State is a downtown Charleston coﬀee staple. They have a wide range of coﬀees, tees, and other drinks along with a pastry selection. The clean and modern vibes add to the ambience and make Second State a perfect study spot. Be warned: it’s a favorite for both locals and tourists, and is often pretty crowded. Get there early to have a morning grind session or be prepared to hunt for a seat. If the Beaufain Street location is too crowded, the beautiful Colonial Lake is a short walk and the perfect place to study for the exam you’ve been pushing oﬀ.
for a fairly cheap local favorite: the daily
for an elevated pizza dinner: baker and brewer With great patio spaces, music, and delicious food, Baker and Brewer is one of the best restaurants in Charleston. The vibes are on the more casual side but that doesn’t stop people from making Baker and Brewer a great part of their night out on the town. If you’re ever there, give their pistachio pesto pizza a try. It’s to die for. Another perk is Baker and Brewer’s monthly themed trivia nights. Trivia nights are on the rise in Charleston, but combined with the food and the lovely staﬀ, Baker and Brewer’s trivia nights are deﬁnitely worth a look.
The Daily is another local favorite. Located only a short walk from campus, it’s great for hanging out and eating food on the more aﬀordable side. If you ask around, you might ﬁnd that lots of people describe the Daily’s avocado toast as the best in Charleston. Not sold yet? They have a fantastic coﬀee menu and delicious pastries to go with it.
for a sweet night cap:
Arguably the best ice cream shop in Charleston, Jenni’s is located right on the corner of King and John Streets and is a recognized favorite among locals and tourists alike. With a wide selection of delectable ﬂavors, including plenty of dairyfree options that will make you question why ice cream was ever just made from milk, Jenni’s is a place for everyone.
for a nice greek dinner close to campus:
for a solid sit-down breakfast:
brown’s court bakery
Stella’s is among Charleston’s array of ﬁner restaurants. A classy Greek restaurant, Stella’s is a great place to be brave and try out new and delicious dishes. The charming atmosphere blends aspects of rustic Greece with the modern bustle of city life. The menu balances comfort foods with bold ﬂavors and fun combinations. If you’re willing to splurge a little on dinner and have an appetite for adventure, this is the place for you.
Right on St. Phillips about 10 minutes away from campus, you’ll ﬁnd Brown’s Court Bakery. Housed in a cute, historic building, it is a go to for breakfast. Everything is freshly baked and prepared by a staﬀ of some of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. In the mood for something sweet? Try out the chocolate almond bear claw and an iced latte. On the other side of the spectrum you’ll ﬁnd delicious breakfast burritos and sandwiches.
park cafe, tobin’s market, 132 spring, d’allesandro’s pizza, butcher and bee
WATCH THE FILM HERE
if these walls could talk
by Josiah Thomason
In the following article, one will read and experience a deeper truth behind the College of Charleston and its connections to the slave trade in the Charleston area and greater United States. Much of the information is provided within a documentary presented by the College in January of 2021 called, If These Walls Could Talk. The research presented in the documentary was done by students, faculty and staff at the College of Charleston in collaboration with the Office of Insti-
tutional Diversity, the Avery Research Center, the SafeZone Committee, Multicultural Students Programs and Services committee, the President’s Diversity Review Committee, the Center for Studying Slavery and the Eddie Ganaway Diversity Learning Center. Some of that same research is presented within this article with full rights going to those who researched it, along with information of my own. Please read carefully, respectfully and learn from your reading and watching of the film.
It’s never actually what you think it is when you first look at it. In this case, it’s the beautiful campus we see when we stroll through the College. Absolutely gorgeous and mind blowing, isn’t it? It’s the most beautiful college campus in America – which is more than just opinion because it was voted so numerous times and we will hold onto that Cougar title until we die. Anyway, you’re probably wondering, “Wow! I wonder who built this? This design structure is so unique, and these buildings and houses look like a lot of work was put into them! The architect must have been brilliant!” When you look into it, you see the names of men with ‘III’ or ‘Jr.’ at the ends of their names who were credited with putting this campus together. But in reality, the architect’s name you see on the google page more than likely didn’t do any of the physical work it took to construct these buildings. Instead, hundreds of bodies that were claimed as property erected the structures you see before you. If these walls could talk they would show you the small finger prints of enslaved children that shaped these bricks and mortar that hold together buildings such as the Education Center and many more. If these walls could talk they would tell you the names of the hundreds of enslaved persons that used their skills and vast knowledge to create the city we live and thrive in today. If these walls could talk they would tell us of the thousands of unmarked graves that cover this peninsula with the bodies of enslaved people whose names were ripped from their souls. If
Charleston was very possibly the largest port station in what is now the United States. The vast majority of ‘goods’, manufactured or human, came through Charleston before making its way to the other parts of the nation. It is estimated that anywhere between 40%-60% of enslaved Africans and Caribbeans were brought into the colonies through the Charleston Harbor – specifically through Gadsden’s Wharf dock at the end of Calhoun Street. The 100,000 enslaved people that walked in chains down these streets were the same 100,000 that were forced to reproduce the other 14 million enslaved people over the next 3 centuries. In history books and stories passed down by the greater American education system people are directed to think that enslaved people lacked talents or knowledge and were illiterate in every sense. Obviously, this was not true. Each individual person came with their own talents, intelligences and customs that were taken and used to enslavers benefits. For instance, creating and lay-
ing bricks by hand isn’t a skill that anyone can pick up and learn within a few hours. The mixing of the chemicals, their compounds, etc. and creating the same bricks that have lasted over two centuries is not an easy feat, and it doesn’t end there. A major lack of effort has shown just how little people want others to know the true history of Charleston and specifically the College. City and CofC Orientation tours don’t tell those listening the full truths of what occurred on the grounds we walk. If slavery or enslaved people are mentioned then it is glossed over and stated in a way that says, “But you already knew about that so we don’t have to get into it.” But as ugly as the history and truth of that history may be, there is still beauty that can be found in it.
if these walls could talk is a documentary film produced by the College to promote and encourage
diversity education and inclusion at the College or greater Charleston area. Under the Presidency of Andrew T. Hsu at CofC, the Office of Institutional Diversity has created the Equity Education Program (DEEP) to ensure a more inclusive and global campus in all senses. The Office of Institutional Diversity staff partnered with the Avery Research Center, CofC students, faculty and staff to create this documentary that is aimed to educate people on the history of enslaved Africans and their contribution and relationship to the physical creation of the College. Within the documentary many staff and students talk about their experiences with the research of enslaved people and their connection to the College with architects, past presidents, professors that were teaching at the college and those that ran the city and its operations. For the first time ever, a more complete history of College of Charleston and its origins related to the enslavement system have been brought to the forefront, forcing the school to have the difficult conversations it has long ignored. The impact of the film has rewritten the dangerous narrative that enslaved Africans were simple-minded and had to be taught everything they came to
know and do. Africans were forced into enslavement and servitude due to their capabilities and technological advancements that others wanted to take advantage of. Their lives were more than just extra hands to get work done, but rather to “exploit the knowledge of those they had enslaved,” as explained by Dr. Shannon Eaves of the History Department at CofC.
The first document recovered to contain any names of enslaved peoples was a declaration of sale to CofC’s second president, Jasper Adams, for a daughter and mother. Their names were Nancy and Sarah Ann. The wealth that was built up by enslavers was not wealth that they had earned for themselves; but rather, wealth earned by taking advantage of the resources enslaved Africans gave to them. There are moments where you can see physical remnants of the work these enslaved people were forced to complete on
the buildings around campus. Small marks left by the children that put together the bricks we see around us are still visible to this day and in some instances – shown in the documentary – small things hidden inside the bricks left intentionally by these small children. It is hard to tell the stories of these enslaved people and not be able to mention many of their names when so much erasure occurred during the slave trade and throughout enslavement. Usually, it is uncommon to find out any names of enslaved people, but when they are found they are commonly names that were given by their captors and not the ones they might have been given before being traded if coming directly from Africa. The Avery Research center was able to locate documents from the books of slaveholders that held names – only first – of those they bought and bills of sale as well. The first president of the College, Bishop Robert Smith, was a known slaveholder and many of the documents kept by historians showed bills of sale to and from Daniel Cannon as he ‘rented’ enslaved people to work for him on his plantation or at the College itself. On many of these found documents, names are withheld and replaced with titles such as “Negro Bricklayer” or “Laborers”. It goes without saying that these titles in place of names was
enslaved people work on the campus.
dehumanizing in itself but it was also used as a tool by slaveholders to ensure their rankings were never mixed with those of their ‘property.’ From that point forward, more documents began to appear in which first names were listed in numerous types of documents. At earlier times in the College’s history, professors who were slaveholders went to the liberty would request to have an enslaved person on campus with them to aid them in their academic affairs – meaning these enslaved people were smart enough to assist men – because women were not yet allowed to attend or teach at the col-
lege – with their doctorates and masters. When it came to employers at the College owning enslaved persons, there was no way of knowing whether the money being provided was for the slaveholder or for the college. There were instances in which professors were being paid to have their ‘servants’ on campus with them and employees and/ or were being paid to allow this as well. When Nathaniel Middleton of Middleton Place was the president of CofC during the Civil War, he kept documentation of the names of the enslaved people he had and payments made to him to have
“Their names validate their human existence beyond just being grouped together as a collective...but more importantly, there might be links to ancestors who are still living here.” - Dr. Charissa Owens, OID, CofC
The institution of slavery is engrained within the bricks we walk on everyday, the gates around middle campus and the classrooms we gather in every week. There is no way to move around in the city or on campus without being affected directly by those enslaved people who built all of these things that we use centuries later. We thrive off of the things enslaved people were forced into without consent. We cannot change the past and stop these things from happening, but we can confront them. Confronting the past is never an easy initiative. It isn’t something that can be done in a day or even a single year. It is a process that takes time, patience and massive amounts of attention. In many cases, it takes a large amount of emotional pressure and resilience to get through and thoroughly find the information and in turn, figure out how to present it to people in order to educate them in sufficient and productive ways. The College of Charleston, especially since the election of President Hsu, has made massive strides toward ensuring the education and enlightenment of the history of Charleston and ensuring the future generations of the college are more educated on the College and all it encompasses. Keep Learning Cougars!
sunn y soun ds soak up the sun........cheryl crow levitating....................dua lipa poolsid e .....................willow grilled ch e e s e...........peach face bulldog.......................laundry day preacher man ............the driver era open season................high highs w e ekend friend..........go t h babe threw my love away......okey dokey kiss me m o r e .............doja cat & SZA peach es..................... .justin bieber o u tside...........................kota the leg end disco man.......................rem i wolf alaska (sohn remix)...... ..maggie rogers acid dreams....................max & felly
rhythms of the nig h t
itty bitty piggy...................nicki minaj
prisoner (ft. dua lipa)......miley cyrus
politics & violence.........dominic fike
boca raton.......................bas,A$AP ferg
whole lotta money..........bia boss ass bit*h.................nicki minaj ski.....................................young stoner life, young thug, gunna nikes on my feet............mac miller may i................................flo milli shake..............................yeek barbie dreams..............nicki minaj
perception V. reality: SOUTHERN COLLEGES #1 EVERYONE HAS A SOUTHERN ACCENT
Not everyone at CofC has that rich southern accent that you immediately associate with the lowcountry. Coming from the north, you will be more attuned to hearing a slight twang in people’s voices, but that’s about it. You’ll definitely be saying “y’all” by the end of your first semester. You might even start texting it. I mean, it really is easier than saying “you guys”.
#2 SORORITIES ARE THE SOCIAL LIFELINE
Most people think that sororities are a huge deal in the South; but at CofC, sororities don’t have to be your main method of socializing unless you choose to take that route. Sororities and fraternities are popular enough where you still experience the typical greek lifestyle, but they don’t dominate campus life. I know plenty of people who wanted to be in a sorority but didn’t want that affiliation to define them, as well as plenty of girls who absolutely thrive in a sorority setting.
by Anna Rowe
NO ONE IS FROM THE NORTH
This is definitely not true. I’d say that I have met as many people from the North as I have from the South. You will meet a lot of people from New Jersey—and I mean a lot—and Long Island. Even though the number of in-state students at College of Charleston is empirically higher than that of out-of-state students, it doesn’t feel that way. I wouldn’t say that I feel “left out” since I’m from the north, there are some things that I wouldn’t understand (geographically, and some slang terms), but it’s not necessarily boxing me out of social life at the College. I’ve actually met some people whose homes are close to mine!
#4 IT DOESN’T GET COLD IN CHARLESTON
I am warning you now: I thought CofC’s being in the south meant that I wouldn’t possibly need a fleece or jacket when I came back in January. That’s one of the main reasons why I decided to go to college in the south: because it’s always warm. When I think of the cold, I think of harsh New York winters and immediately feeling the freezing wind hit my skin. But it does get pretty chilly from January through March. It also rains a lot, so I would invest in a good pair of rainboots. And a windbreaker--nnot just a jacket, but a windbreaker--because Charleston wind is the type that blows right through your body.
#5 “EVERYONE IS RELATED/KNOWS EACH OTHER” Yes a lot of people went to the same school, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to make other friends too. Because my roommate already knew people, I was introduced to some of her super cool friends. I was worried that most of the students would already know each other and I would feel left out, but there were other people who didn’t go to the same school as others. This idea shouldn’t stop you from reaching out to people. Every freshman in college wants to make new friends. A great way to do that is to join clubs and organizations that align with your hobbies, talking to the person next to you in class, or even following people on social media.
#6 “PEOPLE ONLY LISTEN TO COUNTRY MUSIC” I know people from the south who love country music, and I know people from the south that absolutely despise it. I’m sure there are people from the north who love it too. It’s just a preference and isn’t based on where you live.
#8 “MOSTLY EVERYONE IS CONSERVATIVE” When I told my friends I was going to the south, they immediately related it to conservatism. If you are conservative, there are plenty of people at College of Charleston that are like-minded to your views, you can even join the Republican party club. But being from New York, and being surrounded by a lot of democrats, people oftentimes conclude that the south was only conservative. For those who are worried about this, I’m here to tell you that Charleston is one of the few places that are blue in a sea of red. I found a lot of people who believe in the same policies and political ideas that I do. The city itself is progressive and accepting of all views.
#7 “EVERYONE GOES TO CHURCH” Charleston is actually pretty diverse when it comes to cultures, religions and backgrounds. There are a lot of churches in Charleston because of the historical significance, but there are also mosques, a Buddhist society, and synagogues.
ALL BOYS WEAR KHAKIS AND POLO SHIRTS
I would say that there are so many different fashion preferences at Charleston that this perception isn’t true at all. Sure there are some boys who prefer the preppy side of fashion, but there’s also skater boys and boys who just wear a shirt and shorts. I was surprised at the spectrum of fashion choices. And if you’re interested about the street style in Charleston, check out the CY Fashion Mag!
Okay, most college students don’t exactly have “southern hospitality” when it comes to communicating with each other, but if you are at a restaurant or just outside the realm of the campus, you will experience pockets of southern hospitality. And when I mean “southern hospitality”, I mean saying yes ma’am and no sir (something I had to get in the habit of saying), showing respect and politeness.
#11 “EVERYONE LOVES SOUTHERN COMFORT FOOD” Food is a personal preference. You can love chicken and waffles but hate sushi. Or you can love indian food but hate biscuits. Just make sure to try a true southern meal at least once while you’re down here.
#12 “PEOPLE ONLY LIKE TO PARTY” CofC is known to be a rager. And it is. If that’s why you chose to come here, you will not be disappointed. Most southern schools have the reputation of being party schools. But like I’ve said before, you don’t have to party if you don’t want to. There are plenty of other ways to meet people and have fun. There’s the beach, delicious restaurants, clubs to join, homework to do and activities to enjoy.
Katie Hopewell photos by Sophia Barham
ON CAMPUS Something that sets College of Charleston apart from many other universities is its location in the heart of downtown Charleston--a city known for its architectural charm and nuance. Whether it’s a new study spot you’re in search of, or just a quiet space removed from the more populous areas of campus, we’ve gone ahead and selected a few of our favorite hidden gems at CofC.
PORCHES Rather than housing faculty offices and other administrative buildings in conventional structures, many offices on campus are found in historical homes. Departmental offices are equipped with beautifully quaint porches with seating areas for those who wish to be more immersed in the culture of their course of study.
STERN GARDENS Neatly tucked just behind the Theodore S. Stern Student Center on George St. is a sizeable expanse of green with ample seating. Students often come here to eat in between classes after grabbing a bite from Stern’s food court and more formal organizational events are commonly held here for a more elevated vibe while still on campus.
Feel free to come here anytime to do work in some warm Charleston sunshine, while not straying too far from class and being able to escape the hustle and bustle of Cougar Mall and Rivers Green.
We hope you’ll take the time to really explore the exceptionally unique environment that the College has to offer during the next four years. There is so much more than what meets the eye--including a gravestone for the mother of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson that still holds its presence in front of the Robert Scott Smalls classroom building in Cougar Mall. Here at College of Charleston, there’s always more to be found and we hope you don’t tire of looking.
follow us @cisternyard cover photography by Josiah Thomason