Clover High grad to become USC student body president

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comMarch 18, 2014 

  • How big a job is it?

    The University of South Carolina had 31,964 students at fall enrollment this school year, according to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. That count is more than 10,000 students above Clemson University enrollment and more than 14,000 students beyond Trident Technical College, the next two largest among 57 institutions of higher learning.

    The Columbia campus makes up about 13 percent of the total higher education students statewide, which doesn’t include University of South Carolina campuses in Aiken, Beaufort, Greenville and Spartanburg (Upstate), Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter and Union.

    According to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, the 31,964 students at the Columbia campus would rank the university above all but 12 of the 270 cities and towns in South Carolina in total population. In York County, only Rock Hill would have more people.

— Lindsay Richardson is about to represent the largest student body in South Carolina.

The Lake Wylie resident is a junior political science and business management/marketing major at the University of South Carolina. On Wednesday, March 19, she’ll become student body president.

“It’s about leaving the university in a better place than when I found it,” Richardson said. “It’s about reaching for students and having direct impacts on them as I represent them throughout the year.”

It’s also timely. The Feb. 18-19 election took place in the middle of Black History Month. Her inauguration comes in Women’s History Month. According to the school, Richardson is the first female student body president in five years and the first African-American female president in 13 years.

She won 66 percent of the vote against two opponents. Richardson campaigned for about three weeks. Last week, she answered a few questions for the Lake Wylie Pilot.

Q. What other offices have you held both in schools here locally and at South Carolina?

A. “I did participate in student government in Clover High School, serving as the student body secretary my sophomore year and the junior class vice-president. At the University of South Carolina I have held the offices of Senator of the College of Arts & Sciences, Powers and Responsibilities Chairman and President Pro Temp-ore of the Student Senate.”

Q. What made you want to represent the entire student body at such a large school like South Carolina? And what is it about you that resonated with voters?

A. “I realized that I truly cared about the students on campus and the organization itself. I wanted to leave the University of South Carolina in a much better place than I found it and I saw the office of student body president as the way to leave an impact on others.”

Q. What do you hope to accomplish in your time as student body president?

A. “There are quite a few issues I hope to tackle to improve the student experience, including finding solutions to our transportation problems, revise policies affecting the on-campus living experience, put more student voice in the battle of higher education funding and bring forth the Carolina Closet, a program to allow students to rent professional clothing for free.”

Q. Do you see politics in your future?

A. “Once I finish at the University of South Carolina, I hope to attend law school and possibly become an advocate for higher education. I’m not quite sure if I see myself running for state or national office, but I do see myself continuing public service in some way or form.”

Q. How do you feel your time in the Clover district prepared you for college and life after graduation?

A. “The Clover School District, particularly Clover High School, really prepared me for the work and level of thinking demanded from me at a university setting. Many of the AP and honors courses I took during high school have given me an extensive background for my major classes, and even saved me some general education courses in college.

But one of the more important things that Clover High School prepared me for was how to be a leader, often times my professors challenged me in leadership, integrity, work ethic and values. I am forever grateful for the challenge because it has definitely helped me become the person I am today.”

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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