Signature Events

Wednesday, Aug. 17

New Student Convocation

10-11:15 a.m.
Colonial Life Arena
Sponsor: Enrollment Management

Convocation marks a new beginning for new students, their families, and faculty. Convocation opens with an academic procession, led by the President of the Student Government Association carrying the Mace, followed by Distinguished Professor of 2016 recipient Michael J. Mungo; the Provost of the University; representative 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.

Student Media Showcase

Noon-2 p.m.
Greene Street
Sponsor: Student Media

The Student Media Showcase provides students an opportunity to meet with current members of WUSC, SGTV, The Daily Gamecock and Garnet and Black magazine to learn about what these groups do and how they can become involved.

Opportunity Knocks Part-time Job Fair

1-4 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom
Sponsor: USC Career Center

The Opportunity Knocks Part-time Job Fair is a great opportunity for USC students and alumni to meet with potential employers to discuss part-time, work-study, or non-work study positions on or off campus. For more information and tips on how to prepare for the fair please visit our Career Center website at

AAAS Cookout

5-8 p.m.
Greene Street
Sponsor: Association of African American Students

AAAS Back to School cookout allows new and returning students to mix and mingle about organizations on campus. Come enjoy free food and music while meeting new people before the start of class.

Hypnotist David Hall

7-9 p.m. AND 10 p.m.-midnight
Russell House Ballroom
Sponsor: Carolina Productions

David Hall performs “Card Against Hypnosis” where the audience will vote based on cue cards, what skits/bits they want to be played out with the hypnotized people.

Thursday, Aug. 18

I Survived the First Day of Class 2016

5-8 p.m.
Bates House Diner, Gibbes Court Bistro, and Honeycomb Café
Sponsor: Carolina Dining

Carolina Dining and Pepsi will host “I Survived the First Day of Class 2016” on August 18 from 5-8 p.m. at Gibbes Court Bistro, Honeycomb Café and Bates House Dinner. Each location will have a different cookout menu chosen by your Student Government Officials. Free t-Shirts for the first 150 guests in line at each location. Enjoy the cookout before the 7 p.m. men’s soccer game. Make sure to bring your Carolina Card!

Men’s Soccer: South Carolina VS. Winthrop (Exhibition)

7-9 p.m.
Stone Stadium
Sponsor: University of South Carolina Athletics

Here’s your chance to earn your first reward point! Come out and cheer on the men’s soccer team as they take on Winthrop in an exhibition match to kick off the 2016 season. Gates open at 6 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start. Bring you Carolina Card to Stone Stadium for entry.

Bustle at the Russell

9 p.m.-1 a.m.
Russell House
Sponsor: Russell House University Union

The premiere event on the first day of class! The annual Bustle at the Russell is the place to be.

Friday, Aug. 19

Carolina Faith Fair

11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Greene Street
Sponsor: Student Life

Interested in finding a group on campus that shares your faith? Come check out the Faith Fair and visit tables from various Carolina Faith Communities on campus! Each organization will provide information on how to get involved and what opportunities are offered each semester.

Get CONNECTed Fair

Noon-2 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom
Sponsor: USC Connect

Faculty and staff will help students take advantage of opportunities outside the classroom and integrate them with academic work to meet personal and professional goals. Cocky will be in attendance to take pictures with students, don’t miss out! Sponsored by USC Connect.

Carolina After Dark Semester Kickoff Double Dip: Paint and Comedy

8 p.m. – Midnight
Russell House Ballroom
Sponsor: Carolina After Dark

Who doesn’t like free food and fun? Well … Carolina After Dark proudly presents the Semester Kickoff Double Dip: Paint and Comedy. Come out at 8 p.m. and enjoy two hours of painting (everything you need is included). At 10 p.m., the ballroom will be transformed into a comedy club as we welcome Dustin Ybarra to campus. He is a stand-up comedian who has been featured in “We Bought a Zoo”, “21 and Over”, and “Hop”. Don’t miss the first installment of the Carolina After Dark double dip with paint and comedy, and look out for announcements soon on comedians coming to campus this fall!

Saturday, Aug. 20

Service Saturday

8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Davis Field (Beside Longstreet)
Sponsor: Leadership and Service Center

USC Columbia students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in the first signature monthly service day of the school year. You simply register, pick your site during sign ups on the morning of the event, and serve! We provide the transportation to your service site and lunch. Serving in the Columbia community has never been easier or more FUN!

Visit Soda City Market
Student Government
9 a.m.–Noon

Soda City is an open-air street fair/farmers market in the heart of Columbia, held on the 1500 block of Main St. near the Columbia Museum of Art. Meet student leaders on Greene Street in front of the Russell House and walk to the market to interact with the vendors, purchase some great treats and enjoy our beautiful city. Groups leave every 15 minutes between 9 a.m.-11 a.m. in front of the Russell House.

USC Night at the Columbia Fireflies

7–11 p.m.
Spirit Communications Park (1640 Freed Dr.)
Sponsor: Carolina After Dark

Come join the Columbia Fireflies on August 20 as they take on the Augusta Greenjackets at Spirit Communications Park. The game begins at 7 p.m., shuttle buses will be available beginning at 5 p.m. at the top of the Horseshoe (Sumter and College Street). Your ticket and a snack/drink at the game is included. Don’t miss this chance for free food, fun, and to get acquainted with Columbia’s new obsession, the Fireflies, a Single A affiliate of the New York Mets.

Sunday, Aug. 21

What’s the Big Deal About Sweet Tea?

4-6:30 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom
Sponsor: Student Success Center

Welcome to South Carolina, y’all! Are you curious to learn more about the “famously hot” environment you now call home? Join us for all things “southern” as we introduce you to southern culture, the Palmetto State, Columbia, and Gamecock traditions! You also will be able to connect with other out-of-state students and learn the official dance of South Carolina, the Carolina Shag. Best of all you can sample some of the staple foods of S.C., including sweet tea, boiled peanuts and more!

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