Campus Life

Is the College offering campus tours?

The College offers a wide array of options to tour our campus including virtual tours, self-guided tours and group tours. Please visit admissions.cofc.edu for more details.

Will Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment still be able to be conducted in person?

The Higdon Center staff and Panhellenic Association are working to build out a Recruitment schedule that will allow students to interact safely. Open House will be conducted virtually and hopefully rounds 2-4, including Bid Day, will happen in person, as conditions allow.

Where can I find out information about upcoming student organization meetings or events?

Visit cougarconnect.cofc.edu and select organizations to explore more than 200 registered student organizations at the College of Charleston.

What are the requirements for indoor and outdoor student activities and events?

Note: These policies do not apply to scheduled academic classes.

On and Off Campus Events - COVID-19 Guidelines – Effective August 25, 2021

As we monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our surrounding community, we feel it necessary for the safety of our community to put event guidelines in place.

These policies remain in effect until it is safe for us to make modifications. For any events that are already scheduled, please alter your plans to meet these criteria or request an exception using the exception form.

Indoor College-Sponsored Gatherings On or Off Campus:

  • For indoor gatherings, the maximum attendance is 50 people or the capacity of the space, whichever is less.
  • Face coverings are required and a distance of 6 feet is strongly encouraged where possible. Please include this messaging in your publicity, event invitations, and signage.
  • A non-student employee of the College needs to be present (in person or virtually) to help manage the event.
  • Eating and drinking should be very limited. Food should be pre-packaged, and we encourage providing food and drink in a “to-go” format as guests are leaving the event.
  • When possible, events/gatherings should not include mingling or reception activities to minimize direct contacts.
  • Please maintain a list of attendees in case follow-up is needed for contact-tracing purposes.
  • Sottile Theater and Athletics competition events are exempt from this policy and will follow their established COVID safety protocols.

Outdoor College-Sponsored Gatherings On or Off Campus:

Please include the following in your planning and implementation of outdoor events:

  • Make sure that you have a faculty or staff member present at your event. This is required.
  • Provide face masks to those attending your events. You may pick supplies of face masks from the Stern Center front desk.
  • As leaders and event planners, model the suggested healthy behavior by wearing your own face covering at the event. Please encourage other leaders to do the same.
  • Strongly encourage face coverings be worn by all participants, even at outdoor events, where people are gathered in groups. Include this in your publicity and invitations for your event.
  • Consider offering giveaways/prize drawings for students who are wearing masks outdoors.
  • Strongly encourage people to keep socially distant. For larger events (50 or more attendees) we strongly encourage use of cones or other markers to designate 6 feet of social distance.
  • Keep a list of attendees for your event.
  • Minimize active eating and drinking by providing any snacks/drinks in a “to go” format.
  • If you anticipate large numbers at your outdoor events, consult with Student Life on strategies to ticket the event to help manage the size.

Requesting Exceptions to COVID-19 Gathering Policies:

Exceptions may be granted on a limited basis.

Exceptions are requested using the following exception form

In consultation with the appropriate EVP or VP, review of exemption requests will be completed by Alicia Caudill, EVP for Student Affairs, and Bridget McLernon Sykes, COVID-19 Lead.

Those who approve space requests should not approve any exemptions to these policies without notification from Bridget McLernon Sykes or Alicia Caudill.

Information that must be included in the Exemption Request Form:

  • Rationale for the request.
  • An outline including details of the event, such as check-in procedures and run of show.
  • Specific plans oversight of the event.
  • If food or drink will be provided, details of the plans for distributing those items.

You may also find this information the FAQ section of the Back on the Bricks website.

If you have questions or need further information, please let us know. We appreciate your partnership in helping to keep our campus community safe.

How can I reserve space on campus for my registered student organization?

Registered student organizations can reserve spaces managed by the Office of Student Life.

ALL RESERVATIONS REQUIRE A REQUEST FORM, which can be found at CougarConnect. Student organization requests MUST be submitted by a student member of the group.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: IF YOU NEED TO REQUEST A CLASSROOM, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM ON THE REGISTRAR'S OFFICE WEBSITE: registrar.cofc.edu/forms/student-room-request

How can I reserve a table for my registered student organization?

Tabling for student organizations will be permitted, provided that student organizations follow the regulations set by the Office of Student Life. Locations will be marked in Cougar Mall, Rivers Green and Stern Center.

Instructions will be laminated, disinfected regularly and secured to tables along with the reservation confirmation. When a table is retruned, it must be properly disinfected and wiped down with a CDC or SCDHEC approved disinfectant.

Student organization fundraisers or events that involve food will need to use PREPACKAGED FOOD ONLY. Food that is homemade or distributed from common containers is not permitted..

Visit sterncenter.cofc.edu/reservations/request-form for more details.

Are there designated spaces for commuters to relax between classes?

Yes. The commuter lounge located on the first floor of Lightsey will be open to one student at a time this fall starting next week. The kitchen will allow one student at a time (mask on), and there will be a sign-up sheet for students to use the study room individually for one-hour at a time (mask off if door is closed). In addition to that space, the Stern Student Center has common lounge space on each floor that students can use. All areas are first come, first serve and are set up for social distancing.

You can also visit registrar.cofc.edu/course-offerings/zoom-spaces to learn about spaces to Zoom sessions.

What are the requirements for student organization travel?

STUDENT TRAVEL/STUDENT-AFFILIATED GROUP TRAVEL — Effective Friday, August 20, 2021 until January 4, 2022

Students may participate in student organization travel as well as athletic competition and/or practices as part of Campus Recreational Services provided the travel is within a 50-mile radius of the College of Charleston (66 George Street, Charleston, S.C. 29424). Overnight stays are not permitted. All travel to and from must occur within the same day.

The College of Charleston recommends that when social distancing cannot be maintained in vehicular travel, masks should be worn by all participants and windows remain open in the vehicle to reduce transmission of COVID-19. When using buses or public transportation, face coverings are required in accordance with CDC and S.C. DHEC guidance.

Team captains and student organization leaders are required to keep a roster of College of Charleston students that are participating in travel related to events, practices, scrimmages or matches/games. These lists should be maintained for EVERY event affiliated with the College including student organizations as well as practices/scrimmages/games and be ready to be given to Student Health Services at a moment’s notice should contact tracing be necessary.

If travel participant rosters are not kept per event, all unvaccinated students exposed to positive cases as part of the travelling event will be required to quarantine per CDC, S.C. DHEC and CofC guidance.

Exceptions may be requested using the exception form.

Student Organization Travel Guidelines are outlined in The Compass: A Guide for Student Organizations on pages 30-34. All travel by student organizations must comply with the travel procedures and funding policies as outlined in guidelines. For more information student organizations may contact LaVerne Cordes, Student Involvement Business Manager (cordeslg@cofc.edu), or Kim McKale, Student Involvement Travel Coordinator (mckalekm@cofc.edu).

Sport Clubs Travel Guidelines are detailed in the Sport Clubs Handbook. All travel by sport clubs must be approved by the university. Information about the guidelines in the handbook should be directed to Eugene Sessoms, Director of Campus Recreation Services,sessomse@cofc.edu.

Types of student travel:

  • Sports club (local practices and regional competitions) 
  • Intramurals
  • Internships
  • Research
  • Social and event entertainment trips (departmental or student organizations) Academic field trips
  • Academic and professional conferences
  • Fraternity and sorority educational and social trips

With any mode of transportation, compliance to CDC and transportation company requirements must be followed.

  • Buses and vans should be at 50 percent capacity, and only necessary passengers should be in the vehicle. Social distancing, face coverings and proper disinfection protocols must be maintained inside the vehicle.
  • Students should self-monitor and not travel if feeling unwell. If possible, temperature checks should be taken before boarding the vehicle.
  • Face coverings must be worn, and regular cleaning of common touch areas with a CDC or S.C. DHEC approved disinfectant should be conducted.
  • If possible, open windows. If not, set the air conditioner on the fresh air mode for maximum flow of outside air.
  • Meals should be picked up at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service or stores employing no touch delivery.

Effective January 4, 2022.

  • Students traveling for any reason, including academic-related activities, are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 within 2-3 days prior to the planned travel event. 
  • Do not travel if: 

    • You feel unwell 

    • You are unvaccinated and have been identified as a close contact 

    • You have tested positive and have not completed a 10-day isolation period 

    • You are awaiting COVID-19 test results 

  • Students traveling for any reason are also encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 soon after travel, preferably within 3-5 days. Self-monitor for COVID symptoms for 14 days following travel. 

  • While traveling in cars, please ensure all are masked and the windows are open at least a little to ensure adequate and constant circulation of fresh air.  

  • When traveling by bus or other public transportation, face coverings are recommended in accordance with CDC and S.C. DHEC guidance. 

  • If travel involves overnight stays, limit the number of people to a hotel room (e.g. one person per bed) to help minimize transmission of infection should someone become positive unknowingly during the trip. 

  • Consult with CDC guidance to ensure maximal safety while traveling: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html  

  • Faculty/staff advisors, team captains and student organization leaders are required to keep a roster of College of Charleston students who are participating in travel related to events, practices, scrimmages or matches/games. These lists should be maintained for EVERY event affiliated with the College. If contact tracing is necessary, these lists must be given to Student Health Services at a moment’s notice should contact tracing be necessary. 

    • If travel participant rosters are not kept per event, all unvaccinated students exposed to positive cases as part of the traveling event will be required to quarantine per CDC, SC DHEC and CofC guidance. 

  • Professors who wish to travel with students when vaccine validation is required should reach out to Lee Penny pennyll@cofc.edu in Student Health Services to obtain FERPA forms and information about the protocol to verify vaccine status of those traveling. 

Is the Cougar Food Pantry currently operational? How can I access the Pantry?

Yes! The Cougar Food Pantry is operational please contact Jill Caldwell, caldwellj@cofc.edu to make an appointment M-F between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., unfortunately, at this time we are not able to offer weekend appointments.

Once in-person learning has resumed, please visit the Cougar Food Pantry website at studentlife.cofc.edu/cougar-food-pantry for more information about how to access the pantry.

What's happening with athletics?

With the continued focus on the health, safety and well-being of its student-athletes, coaches and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, College of Charleston Athletics has suspended fall sports competition.

Men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s cross country and women’s cross country will continue to train and practice for an expected spring season. Year-round sports of men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, sailing and equestrian will also not compete during the fall portion of each team’s schedule.

All of CofC’s winter and spring sports teams, including men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, beach volleyball and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, remain on schedule.

Decisions on attendance — and other COVID-19 safeguardsfor fans — will be made in early fall based on the health environment at that time. For more information got to https://cofcsports.com/.

What activities are in place for incoming first-year students?

First-year students should have received a packet in the mail outlining everything that the Student Affairs team has planned during the Weeks of Welcome. Students should also check out Cougar Connect, which is the portal for all of the Weeks of Welcome and other events throughout the year.

What activities are planned for second-year students?

The Student Affairs team has a wide variety of events and student engagement activities specifically for second-year students, starting with the events for Weeks of Welcome. Students should also check out Cougar Connect, which is the portal for all of the Weeks of Welcome and other events throughout the year.

How will the College ensure/model tolerance for students' personal choice around masking and vaccination?

We are working to have a balance of respecting choices and doing what is recommended by CDC and S.C. DHEC to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

In support of our College values of respect and inclusions, we hope our students will recognize choices others are making and support them. Certainly, we hope we will have healthy discussions around choices.

Is there still going to be a parent's weekend?

We do not have a formal family weekend in the fall. The Office of Student Life hosted a family fun day in spring, which is typically held in February. You can follow their webpage at http://studentlife.cofc.edu/ for updates.

You can make your own family weekend with all the great activities here in Charleston. You may want to check out the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau.