Some people will tell you that there’s nothing to do in Columbia (they’re usually sad and alone). “Sure,” they’ll say “it’s Columbia. What is there fun? I heard we had a zoo or something.”
Wah wah. Stop listening to their silly words and take it from me, there are plenty of things to do in Columbia. First up: Take a PE Class, even though you don’t need one.
Why? Allow me to give you 3 reasons why it’s the best decision you’ll make at USC.
Three Reasons to take a PE Class:
- Exercise will make your life 27% better
Just think, you are committing yourself to exercise two-three times per week for the whole semester. Exercise releases endorphins, which I’ve heard good things about. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about our Endorphin friends:
They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus invertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.
- GPA booster
Sure, one credit hour isn’t going to put you on the dean’s list. But if you go, they’ll give you an A. And that grade counts just as much as if you’d slaved over material all semester.
- It’s fun
In my last semester, I took 3 PE classes and had such a good time hanging out with people, playing sports, and relaxing. PE is a great way to de-stress too.
Best PE Classes at USC
Wondering what the best PE classes are? Well, what do you like? For example, since I hate jogging, I didn’t take it. But maybe you love jogging. Great. If joggers ever save the world, I’ll send you a lollipop. However I do have experience with a few classes:
- Raquetball (Fink) – 5/5 – I took this class, and learned so much about Racquetball. Even if you suck at swinging a racquet, you’ll still enjoy it. He’s into good technique, but super relaxed and fun.
- Soccer (Sacko) – 5/5 – This was really fun, especially if you’ve played a little soccer before. The first half of the class is drills, which kinda sucks, but it really restored my love for soccer.
- Spinning (Sacko) – 4/5 – Spinning is hard. And spinning twice/week is *really* hard. But if you’re badass enough to try it, you’ll definitely find yourself in better shape.
- Intro to Shag (Drucker) – I have friends who have taken this, and love it. I wish I had since I still can’t shag.
- Tennis (Stewart) – Tennis has a couple of open time-slots that are worth checking out. The people who have taken this usually enjoy it. From what I understand it’s pretty relaxed.
- Others: Bowling, Swimming, Keelboat Sailing, Flying Disc Sports, Fencing, Yoga, Pilates, and of course Belly Dance.
Ok, it’s your turn. PE this semester?
In South Carolina, over 900 deceased individuals allegedly voted in the last presidential election. This claim, issued by Governor Nikki Haley and DMV Director Kevin Shwdeo early in January, was made in support of South Carolina’s voter ID law. Blocked by the U.S. Justice Department the month before, the law requires voters in South Carolina to provide a state-issued photo ID.
Dr. Heather Hawn, a political science professor at the University of South Carolina and a strong opponent of the law, stated that South Carolina Republicans “have created a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
But another argument lies at the heart of this debate: suppression and discrimination towards minority groups, especially African Americans and college-age students.
“It is voter suppression. There is no getting around it,” Hawn claims. She goes on to state that these laws, which have started to appear around the nation, are deliberate forces to suppress minority groups. “All of these laws stem from the fact that non-white voters have been increasing by a half percent for the past few years. So you can see across the nation a huge influx of minorities. And in these areas that are wholly republican, laws for voter ID requirements have sprung up.”
A large part of these minority groups, both Latin American and African American individuals, lack driver’s licenses. As a result, they would be forced to acquire a SC photo voter ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles by providing a birth certificate and proof of residency. The problem is that many of the minorities who lack driver’s licenses also lack birth certificates.
“Nikki Haley is trying to a do a patchwork fix,” says Hawn. “To get a photo ID you have to provide a birth certificate. To get a birth certificate you have to provide a photo ID. It’s a mess.”
But interestingly, Hawn’s primary argument is not with the law itself. “Voter fraud is always going to be a problem. But this new crop of concerns and the timing of those concerns is what I have a problem with. I don’t believe anyone is ignorant to what is happening. They (Republicans) know exactly who they are affecting.”
Hawn even compares the fundamental right of voting with that of owning a gun. “This is a bill that restricts a right. If a governor tried to propose a bill to restrict our second amendment right to possess a gun, Republicans and people in general would be all over it. And voting is a more fundamental right than the others.”
But ironically, even with the right to own a gun, the owner must still verify that he/she is rightly the owner and has had the training to possess such a right. If voting is indeed a “more fundamental right than the others,” than shouldn’t legislatures take even more precaution in protecting that right?
This is the position Senator Kevin Bryant from Anderson, South Carolina has taken concerning the voter ID law. “Some people may call this bill voter suppression,” he says. “I tend to think it’s the opposite. In not requiring a voter ID and having the ability to steal one legal vote with an illegal vote, that is true voter suppression.”
Although one of the strongest conservatives in the state house, Bryant in no way ignores or denies the controversy that has been warranted by such a law. “It was the first time that we had really seen a vote straight down party lines. It has been the most opposition we have ever seen for a bill in the senate.”
When questioned about the effects of the proposed law on minorities who don’t have a photo ID and would be unable to attain one, Bryant stated that absentee voting, which does not require an ID, is still an option.
In addition to minorities, out-of-state college-age students wanting to participate in the South Carolina elections would also have to vote absentee without a SC photo ID. Emily Anderson, a sophomore English major at the University of South Carolina, does not think this is an acceptable solution.
“I don’t think a lot of people will take the time to vote absentee if that is what they have to do to vote,” says Anderson. “It’s a longer process. I think the kids who really care will find a way to vote, but I think there will be a scramble in November for the people who realize it’s the presidential election and want to vote but they have no way to do so. That’s when we are really going to be able to see the problems this is causing.”
In the end, Emily has chosen to simply vote absentee for her home state of Massachusetts. “I would rather vote here because I am interested in local politics, and I spend 8 out of 12 months here. But it will be easier to vote absentee from home.”
Unlike Emily, Erik Carlson, a freshman Sport and Entertainment Management major from Virginia doesn’t feel inconvenienced by the new law and was planning all along to vote absentee in his home state. “I really don’t think it will affect that many students. Most students won’t even vote, but that’s another problem entirely. I think the bill has been well thought out and the state government has produced a law that will, in the long run, benefit the state.”
Erik also commented about the argument of suppression. “I believe the bill is more on the liberation side rather than suppression. It’s making every vote count.”
Ultimately, the debate may prove to be futile. South Carolina recently decided to sue the Justice Department for blocking the voter ID law in hopes that the case will be brought before the Supreme Court and overturned.
Next semester we’ll be including Columbia’s drink and food specials as a part of the daily Report. For now, we’ve compiled them into a table that should be helpful for reference.
For 19-year-old Zach Crowl of North Myrtle Beach, walking on to the USC football team was more than an impulse decision. It was a chance to continue playing his favorite sport at the next level. But walking on to the USC football team would prove a much more demanding process than he expected.
Crowl’s competitive football experience dates back to seventh grade. After two years on the middle school team and one more on JV his freshman year, Crowl became North Myrtle Beach High’s varsity starting kicker his sophomore year. Crowl enjoyed great success in his three years as the starter, garnering All-Region, “Toast of the Coast,” and “Male Athlete of the Year” honors.
Playing for USC’s football team is an appealing option to walk-ons for several reasons, including the chance to play in the most prestigious conference in the nation, the opportunity to play for Coach Spurrier, and the glory and fame that come with wearing the garnet and black on Saturdays. Yet for Crowl, the decision to attempt to walk on was simple. “I feel like its every high school player’s dream to play college football. Just the excitement and the atmosphere,” Crowl said. “I’ve always wanted to play at the next level.” Continue Reading…
I’m all about finding good flash games. What better way is there to stay awake in class? Sure, most of these games hit their hey-day back in 2006, but who cares? We’ve included a few puzzle-based, two driving, and a running game. If you haven’t played them, I promise it’ll be worth it.
With that, I give you Fancy Pants…
#1 – Fancy Pants 2
Fancy Pants will ruin your life. The game is insanely addictive. It has fairly neat physics, and your little dude runs around the screen in gameplay that is clearly inspired by Super Mario. Also, the game is extremely detailed, with multiple levels that will actually last you a while. Unlike most games that get old after 20 minutes, Fancy Pants will keep you playing.
The only downside is they make you listen to background music that is a fail.
#2 – Funky Truck 3
Making your Embarrassing Story Cool
While perusing the Twitters last night, I came across a friend’s tweet that showed his little brother beaming in the ER with a huge cast covering his whole leg. I asked what the story was, and it was pretty boring.
We’ve all been there before. You have a wicked scar or a sweet cast, but you’re too embarrassed to tell people the lame-o story of how you actually got it. So what do you do? You make one up, of course! Garnet Report’s Randall Stewart spoke with a childhood friend who’s now a senior at Clemson, and is a master at fudging the details to make a sweet story, to learn the tools of the trade.
1. Make sure you’re doing society a service
The key is for your story to be believable, interesting, and philanthropic. People will be less likely to call you out if you’re helping society in some way. “Don’t just say you injured yourself just being a bro, ’cause no one cares about that,” says our female consultant. Like a shiner, for instance. Those can be cool sometimes. Like mine in 6th grade wasn’t. I was in the back of a canoe with an idiot friend (who’s also a current roommate) who failed to warn me of the huge tree branch we were headed straight for. He ducked, I didn’t. And I wore the badge of embarrassment for two weeks. True? Yes. Interesting? Not at all.
Instead, offers our informant, make up a story in which you’re being helpful to someone, or to society at large, to make it more believable. Tell people you were at a gas station and met a friendly repo man named Doug. You decided to grab lunch, and the two of you stopped at someone’s house on the way to “pick up” a car. But the owner loved his car and hated repo men, and decided to do anything he could to stop the two of you. He grabbed the closest thing to his hand, a brick, and hurled it at Doug. Fortunately for Doug, he wasn’t very good at aiming. Which turned out to be pretty unfortunate for you. The brick hit you square in the face, giving you that awesome black eye everyone’s been asking you about. True? Nope. Interesting. Very. Continue Reading…