SC State a family committed to its own

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

By Dr. Andrew Hugine Jr., President, SC State University

South Carolina State University is an institution and a community with proud roots. We are growing, branching upward and outward and the fruit that we bear has a significant impact upon the intellectual and human capital of this state and nation. As a result, for the second year in a row, SC State has been ranked as America’s Number One “Social Mobility” University by Washington Monthly magazine.

No person, no corporate entity and no community is without its individual challenges. This includes South Carolina State. Our challenge this fall semester has been making sure that we can provide adequate on-campus housing to what may be our largest freshman class, as well as to upperclassmen who wish to take advantage of the amenities provided in our two newest apartment-style complexes – Hugine Suites and University Village Apartments.

This past semester, the University gained increased notoriety due in part to the exposure that SC State received as host to the first U.S. Presidential Primary Debate of the 2008 election cycle. Within the past year, SC State has added two state-of-the-art apartment-style complexes to provide an improved living and learning experience to complement and update our residence life infrastructure. Our commitment to providing educational opportunities to the greatest number of students possible – coupled with award-winning fiscal responsibility – resulted in SC State offering a zero increase in our tuition for the 2007-2008 academic year. Collectively, these factors have contributed to unprecedented success on the part of the University. Young people are eager to continue their education and SC State is fortunately the University of choice for them. So while providing housing is proving to be a challenge for us, it is a great problem to have and one that we welcome.

In reviewing our past enrollment and housing trends, there was no way that we could have anticipated the increased demand for on-campus housing. SC State’s appeal has grown, and our community of scholars, including those who wish to reside on campus, has grown with it. Unexpectedly, many more students than anticipated opted to live on campus this year as compared to prior years. However, having larger numbers of students on our campus will be of tremendous societal benefit as we educate future leaders and will have a positive impact on the Orangeburg area economically.

As with all challenges faced by the University, we will address this one as well. For students who met their financial obligations to the University by the prescribed July 31st deadline, the University will place them in housing as it becomes available or make appropriate living accommodations. For students who settled their obligations after the August 10th grace period, housing and/or accommodations will be made on an “as available” basis.

The University wants to extend its appreciation to all of the students and parents who complied with the deadline and thank students and parents for their understanding and patience as we work through this challenge. South Carolina State University is not just an institution of higher education, but also a community of scholars and, more importantly, a family.

We are committed to providing a quality education and a comfortable living and learning environment to all who seek it. As reflective of the enthusiasm and zest which students have displayed in obtaining housing, this promises to be a very productive and successful academic year. We call upon all persons—community, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters-- to join us in providing a wonderful experience for our students.

Dr. Andrew Hugine Jr. is the Ninth President of South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C.