Let’s Reflect On What’s Been An INTERESTING Week To Say The Least For University of South Carolina President Caslen

First off, I really don’t think the President of the University has that big of an impact on the day to day lives of a student. Unless they decide to drastically lower tuition costs in one semester, they are nothing more than a figurehead that we can attach the University to. For example, I think these people will have a bigger influence during my four years here.

  1. My University 101 professor Freshman Fall semester
  2. Some random Columbia PD officer on his first shift ever
  3. That happy cashier at Russell House Panera that screams orders

That being said, they are the figurehead of the school, which means they are responsible for the public relations with the students, parents and the overall Columbia community and we if all agree that is their role, then we can also agree that Bob Caslen has made a few mistakes to say the least over the past few weeks.

Let’s Begin.

Darla Moore

Good Ole Darla. The lady that has single handley has become the most influential alumnus that the University has seen in it’s 200+ year history. The nicest building on campus, BY FAR, bears her name because she hands us millions of dollars like Pavs used to hand us vodka lemonades (RIP by the way) 

But Darla has always been at a crossroads with Caslen ever since he got into office. If you don’t know the story, it’s very political and complicated and deserves an entire different article to go in depth about it. Long story short, she didn’t think he was qualified and then rumor has it McMaster and some even higher ups in the political landscape called in some favors and he got the job. 

Then the story gets worse when Darla’s mom passed away recently and Bob and the school didn’t say anything at first. That can’t happen, saying “sorry for your loss; thoughts and prayers” when someone passes is the equivalent to a girl commenting “OMG BEAUTIFUL” on her fringe friend’s spring break post. You just do it. 

So Darla got pissed and said the tens of millions she has donated has become her biggest regret in her entire life. Not good optics for Bob.

“University of California”

The end of the spring semester is an interesting time for UofSC. One last hooray before ¼ of our school moves into the terrible experience known as adulthood and the catalyst of this moment is graduation: Hours of ceremony, while the graduates are half listening to the speeches while also wondering how long the line at Jakes will be when this process is over.

Well one moment made the thousands of attendees wake up from their daydreaming hangover to stare at our President. 

“The newest alumni of the University of California”  

I think that anyone that goes to school here out-of-state has had this experience: *Mentions our school as ‘USC’* “BRO SHUT UP, YOU DON”T GO TO SOUTHERN CAL” 

What I am saying is that we consider this school as USC, we chant it during Sandstorm and we take it to heart. The least we can expect is for the head of our school to appreciate that. Also, consider how often Caslen says “Carolina” in a day? Definitely the top 1% of all humans on Earth and probably at a 50-1 ratio compared to “California.” It should roll off his tongue. Now, we have to consider the best course of action. When I asked the Cola community on twitter, we got some great answers. 

 

 

 

This one is my favorite. Imagine CockStock with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers?? That definitely beats the Plain White Tees or Mason Ramsey. Yeah it’s gonna cost a penny, but this is a sure way to win the trust back of the student body. 

Plagiarizing 

https://twitter.com/BarstoolUofSC/status/1392115085355651074?s=20

 

This is the most recent scandal that came out for Caslen, if you want to call it that. Now the easiest comparison is to consider what would happen if this was a student. If a student had one of their biggest projects or speeches of the semester (which for Caslen, it is) and used someone else’s work as their own, even accidentally, they would be at risk of losing tens of thousands of dollars of tuition and jeopardize their entire career in the future. Imagine if Alex Harrell said the exact same thing. For him, a memo-apology email will do the job.

Hell, I could be in my English 101 class and use MLA 7 instead of 8 and could find myself in the conduct office. 

I am also curious how this could happen. Think about how many journalism and communication majors would give an arm or leg to be one of the president’s speech writers. So he definitely has some qualified people writing this stuff, how do you miss to mention him? Or if he wrote it, any person that is familiar with the military knows the significance of William McRaven, who oversaw the Bin Laden raid in 2011 (I am going to cite the Wikipedia article I learned this info from..just cause)  So you have to give the guy credit for his words.

Final Thoughts 

For all of the mishaps that Caslen has had this semester, there needs to be some sense of reality and see the full picture of his time here. During Covid, while schools all across the country were sending students back home (UNC, Notre Dame, etc) after the first sign of outbreaks in the Fall, Caslen stood tall and made sure we stayed on campus. That deserves credit. I still know schools up in the Northeast that haven’t seen their campus since February 2020. 

That being said, one of the strengths that Caslen came in with was being a military man. Someone who has a strong sense of discipline and courtesy. I am no one to talk; I struggle to wake up for my 8:30 and get nervous during paintball.

But for a position where discipline, proofreading and public speaking, is a necessity and courtesy, reaching out to those who are struggling, is equally important. He missed the mark over the past few weeks.

Now, will the Board make him resign? Probably not and I don’t want him to. For one, if he does resign, it sets a precedent that whenever someone makes a mistake in the public’s eye, that those who opposed them from the start will exacerbate the situation in order to get what they wanted in the beginning. Then the job of our President will be a non-stop rehiring process. 

I also want to see how he responds. He can send apologetic emails until closing time at Bird Dog and Cotton Gin, but the true way to earn the trust and respect of the University is to create an atmosphere that is exciting and fulfilling for those that are here currently and those who will call Columbia, South Carolina their home in the future. But all in all, with his resume and what he has done in his career, I hope to be half of the man as Bob Caslen is.

So we will see

“William H. McRaven.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 May 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._McRaven.

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