Campus in 10 Years: Bringing Sexy ForwardWritten by Martha Susan Morris
As questions arise about what the next decade holds, especially in these dubious times, we wonder what the University will look and feel like in the future. The continuation of the growth of infrastructure no longer solely depends on cost and the speed of implementation. In an age where green isn’t simply the last name of a senatorial candidate, the University understands the practical necessity of planning for the future of campus and college life in a sustainable manner.
Now, optimistically, imagine this: your cell phone is a universal remote, your conversations regularly turn to talk of social security (reform, that is) and your bedtime is a little earlier than it was 10 years ago when bars seemingly couldn’t stay open late enough. It is 2020, and as you return to the Carolina campus for your class reunion, what changes do you see? Let’s dust off our iCrystalBall and take a look.
With the Gamecocks winning the back-to-back BCS championships in the late ’10s and the sailing club’s emergence as a nationally ranked team in 2016, Gamecock athletics has become a huge incentive for future applicants. Athletics became competitive with the rest of the SEC schools’ athletic programs after the completion of the Dodie Academic Center in 2010.
The University’s Director of Athletics Eric Hyman says this achievement is “an integral part of making USC’s athletic program America’s best.”
When you were a student, the University had exactly one tennis court per 9,000 students; however, in 2020, the school has generously resurfaced and completed nine tennis courts on which the student body can lob, serve and volley. The immaculate Strom remains a crown jewel and shows no visible signs of wear or tear (not unlike the physical state of the senator it was named after). Today, the televisions are equipped with GoogleTV and are powered by human energy. Each of these improvements came about with the goal of attaining LEED Gold certification. South Carolina passed a law in 2010 that “mandates a minimum design of LEED Silver,” and in 2020, LEED Gold and Platinum certifications are desired and mandated with the construction of all new facilities.
The school has definitely made a push to implement these green building initiatives.
According to Thomas Quasney, USC Director of Facility Services: “Efficiency is always our first step and is by far the most affordable with the best paycheck.”
The horrifying flashbacks of mustard yellow revolving chairs and excessive chalk inhalation still haunt business graduates, but the new $91 million Darla Moore business center is in a league all to itself. The building was completed within the high-tech Innovista facilities and has fostered dynamics between both local and multi-national businesses. The business school has revitalized the downtown area of the Vista, now home to many upperclassmen.
Jeffrey Lamberson, the 2010 Director of Campus Planning and Construction, states that the layout for the new business school building was specifically designed to encourage intermingling.
He says that “all classrooms [are] on the first floor so students from different majors can interact.” In an effort to remain cutting-edge, it is rumored that the facility imports international workers to harvest and crush by foot the coffee that acts as a liquid crutch to business students.
The entire building is net-zero, meaning that the energy used to complete tasks like running elevators, computers and lights is produced on-site.
The rival journalism school has been planning to move for years and according to repeated statements in 2009, 2012 and 2017 from the school’s dean, Charles Bierbauer: “We are making headway on the school’s next move back toward the Horseshoe.” But in 2020, to be consistent with the tradition of agonizingly teasing “J-school” students, the journalism school will still just be talking (and praying) about a move from the Coliseum.
Disclosure: Because all students are fluent in Spanish by the time they enter college, the new “it” language is Klingon -- the language of the future.
And though the buildings, learning technologies and course materials have changed substantially in recent years, professors are on average still old, difficult to understand and a few smell a bit too much like Maurice’s.
Students are now persuaded to attend the USC as opposed to Clemson for the purpose of studying engineering and the sciences. The scientific-based Horizon Center complex, which was built in your day, fosters research of genetically-enhanced fish, impenetrable youth and other feasible discoveries like the construction of fuel cells and renewable energies.
While there were some opponents to the initial construction of so many research facilities (most notably the governor who ran off with that woman from Brazil or Australia), Horizon, in recent years, has received recognition for its work to incentivize many business start-ups such as biomedical firms and software operatives.
Quasney recognizes that “as more businesses are going green, more products are available, which helps us meet our goals.” Such investment in 2010 fostered the ideas and offered facilities for many businesses, mostly founded by alumni, to take shape and grow with the concept that Quasney notes: “Sustainability is a foundation for our future growth and development.”
Student & City Life
While the 2010 city scene was dedicated to Hootie, 2020 has moved Columbia into the famously hot metropolis it always aspired to be. The heart of the city, Five Points, has maintained its character for generations to come and installations of sculptures and painted Cockys dot the sidewalks. Main Street is full of galleries, a small financial district has increased the demand for briefcases and theaters now draw a consistent crowd. Columbia’s citywide provision of free curbside recycling coupled with its increase in modes of public transportation have transformed the capital into a model of efficiency and environmentalism for South Carolina.
Though not even a decade can change the social stereotypes that have existed from the days of “Glee,” we can see changes in student behavior in regards to green issues.
“In 2020, especially in the Green Quad, we can expect more student involvement and implementation of technologies,” says Michael Koman, USC’s Director of Sustainability. “Students have already cut back their energy use by 40% since we started advocating conservation. Even though [USC] is a leader in sustainability, we take a cost-effective approach and make good business decisions.”
With this in mind, added centers for marginalized populations have only strengthened the comfort of everyone on campus. The Greek Village now has several new houses equipped with solar-powered tanning beds. Thankfully, to keep up with the demand, a Nike tempo short factory now exists in the mill building on Blossom. The LGBT Center is in its final stages, complete with a counseling and health awareness office and a cafeteria that is all organic.
Robert Sinners, already reputably the longest attending student in USC history in 2010, justifies his continued enrollment with the fact that “a music scene in Columbia [finally exists], as well as a White Castle in Russell House.“
The new Russell House Robert speaks of was completed in 2019. The multi-faceted facility now offers additional dining options including Chipotle, Cook-Out and a Chili’s To Go, but instead of waiting in line, students are seated and served. All scrap food is used by the University’s gardening staff in a campus-wide composting system. The access to the University president’s office was improved as the administration offices moved to overlook campus on the third floor of the student union. In the basement, there is a curling and bowling facility – the new hot spot to be on a Wednesday night. Ebbie Yazdani, student body president from the class of 2011, said the added bar would be “a perfect place to spend my CarolinaCash.”
With the additional parking near Williams-Brice Stadium created by the removal of the SC Farmers’ Market, there is less traffic and spirits are high – though this may be due to the new bars that have since popped up nearby, including Cocky’s Cavern, Spurrier’s Sideline and The 21st Amendment. Morale at Carolina has never been higher.
Following a victory in football, we can still guarantee debauchery in Five Points. We assure you that Thomas Cooper will remain the hub for stressed-out students everywhere, and the Russell House will still be where thousands congregate to recount stories from their nights. Trust us on this account of the future because you’ll be too busy partying with your alums to check all of it out. While “green” may be the buzz word of 2010, in 2020, it is no longer a rising fad; green is a way of building and living and is here to stay.
Welcome to 2020 – unless we all die in 2012.
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