ORANGEBURG — South Carolina State University students didn’t seem to be as bothered Thursday by the indictments and pleas entered in federal courts in the state as they were by how the scandal would affect academics.
Spring semester begins for students Monday, and they were busy Thursday planning coursework, not preoccupied by courtroom dealings.
On campus, students were concerned about the outcome of the indictments, but some said the school itself remains separate.
Akeem Brown, 20, said he knew very little about the specifics.
“Our stomachs are in knots because we want to know what’s been going on,” Brown said. “But our university is a university, not a circus. Our goal is to simply do what our parents sent us here to do, and that’s to graduate.”
Brown, a junior, serves as the Student Government Association’s chief of staff.
He said he was confident in the school’s interim president and current administration, certain that many of the school’s issues left with the recent resignations and terminations of several faculty and board members.
“We know the issue is no longer here on campus,” Brown said.
Some spoke of the college’s declining enrollment in recent years and related it to ongoing turmoil surrounding the school and the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center.
Brown said he is not as worried about the school losing its accreditation as some of his classmates are.
“No, it’s not a worry of mine. My president has assured me that she’ll take every step possible to ensure that our accreditation is not lost. And that is her job, and the board should not interfere with that,” Brown said.
Senior Darreshia Mivens, 23, said the school had a large meeting to quell student concerns. But, she said, she knows several freshmen and sophomores who are considering transferring, wary of what the next few years may bring.
“As a senior I’m thinking the same thing,” she said. “I want to hurry up and graduate before it could affect my degree.”
“I just hope that we get past this and they do everything they can to restore the university’s reputation,” said Brandon Lowery, a 21-year-old junior.