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Virtual Parking Assignments

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | March 6, 2015 | No Comment |

Virtual Parking Assignment system brings less stress and greater efficiency.

In August 2014, the College’s ‘first-come, first-serve’ sale was the most stressful permit sale in the history of the College. The average wait time was over five hours and there will still several students left in line when Parking Services closed the door at the end of the day. Ill will toward Parking Services was rampant and the office took a beating on social media. The experience forced Sonya Allen, Manager of Parking Services, to an inevitable conclusion that they couldn’t continue to do business in that manner.


In September 2014, Allen began working with the technical support team from T2 (our parking software provider) to determine what needed to be done to implement online permit sales on a first-come, first-serve basis. The office was already using T2 for online permit sales, but the College’s normal online permit sale process is different in that it is managed through a wait list feature and permits are mailed directly to the customer in advance of the applicable term. Allen learned what settings needed to be adjusted in T2’s Admin Console to facilitate real-time online permit sales. She tested the process in the T2 test site until it was functioning the way she imagined it.

When 93 students had to be waitlisted to AG due to unforeseen permit demand, Allen recognized that the special sale of these 93 permits after the normal online permit sale had closed would be the perfect opportunity to try out most of the elements of the virtual “first-come, first-serve” sale before it went live in January 2015. The online sale of the 93 AG permits worked as expected, and Allen was so confident that she could manage the process on a larger scale that she made the official announcement in December that the January “first-come, first-serve” sale would be an online sale and, for the first time ever, students would not have to wait in line to purchase a permit.

On January 7 at 10:00 a.m., virtual permit sales opened up to commuting students who had not yet purchased a permit. By the end of that day, 162 students had purchased their permits online, and another 41 students purchased their permits online over the following two days. That amounted to 203 students who did not have to wait in line to purchase their permits. When considering the fact that Parking Services sold 180 permits on that fateful day back in August 2014, it sinks in what a huge upgrade this is from a customer service perspective.

After the permits were sold online, students were able to pick them up 24 hours later. Even though students may have had to stand in a line to pick up their permits, these lines were short, moved quickly, and definitely didn’t require a 5-hour commitment. It takes far less time to simply issue a permit that has already been sold than to complete the permit sale process from start to finish at the cash register. Many students expressed their gratitude for the major change in our business practices, and that meant a lot to the Parking Services team.

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College Composting

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | January 13, 2015 | No Comment |


A formal composting program at the College of Charleston began in the spring of 2014. While the Grounds Department had been composting for some time, it wasn’t until an initiative was established that a program was formed and composting opportunities opened to offices around campus and members of the College community. The program aims to provide an upcycling of nutrients, an increase in organic matter, a healthy soil restoration process, and empowerment to individuals to partake in composting and growing their own food.

The Grounds Department collects compostable items from local businesses and the campus community, including restaurants, coffee shops, departments, offices, students, faculty, and staff members. The department values carbon neutral compost collection and avoids using fossil fuels in their composting process. The compost is used for garden sites on campus as well as local growers.



Currently, the College collects from Collective Coffee, Christophe’s artisan Chocolatier, Circes Grotto, Aramark coffee grounds, the Office of Sustainability, the second floor of the Lightsey Center (Career Services, Registrar’s Office, Center for Civic Engagement, Academic Advising), and from compost drop-off donations from students, faculty, and staff members. Designated drop off days for compostable items are held every Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 45 Coming Street.

To learn more about the composing program and other initiatives from the Grounds Department, visit grounds.cofc.edu.

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Tips for Practicing Sustainability This Holiday Season

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | December 18, 2014 | No Comment |

The Office of Sustainability shares a few ways to practice sustainability throughout the holiday season.


  • Consider giving gifts from companies that give back to communities and the environment. Check out this list of options for the 2014 holiday season.
  • Kelsea Sears, garden coordinator and biology major, suggests cleaning out your closet before the holiday season and giving extra clothes away to a shelter before opening new gifts.
  • Take advantage of Charleston’s great independent business community and purchase gifts from a local retailer. Look for the “LowCountry Local First” sticker or search for a locally owned retailer here.
  • Create your own sustainable gifts: Cara Lauria, a senior geology major, says how-to guides on YouTube cover everything from learning to knit and creating coin necklaces to pickling vegetables and making candles from bee wax over paraffin.
  • Give experiences: “Give tickets to a show or game, or a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant,” says Sylvie Baele, a senior international studies major. “The gift of an experience is often far more memorable than a scarf or tie.”


From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, one million tons of additional waste (including food, packaging, wrapping paper, shopping bags) are added to landfills each week.

  • Reduce your use of wrapping paper by reusing newspaper, suggests Lauria. “I made my mom cry on Christmas Eve two years ago when she saw I wrapped all the gifts in the comics section of the newspaper. Apparently my late grandfather always wrapped gifts for her and her sisters that way (I had no idea!).”
  • Gift wrap and shopping bags alone generate four million tons of waste each holiday season, so don’t forget to bring reusable bags when shopping.
  • Compost your Christmas tree: Charleston residents can drop off their trees at Bees Ferry Landfill (1344 Bees Ferry Road, West Ashley) and receive a free bag of compost in exchange. You can also place your tree with your yard debris for curbside pickup.
  • Consider purchasing a potted tree that can be planted at the end of the season.


There are many ways to incorporate sustainability into your holiday meals.

  • Reduce food waste by creating menus around the number of people attending your event (Use RSVPs), compost leftovers, and donate leftover food to a shelter. List of Food Donation Centers in Charleston.
  • Buy local ingredients: Charleston farmers are still growing winter crops such as greens, sweet potatoes and root vegetables. Consider visiting a local farm, sign up for a Community Sponsored Agriculture share, and look for GrowFood Carolina certified local ingredients. “I even urge people to adjust their recipes to local foods and see how this holiday meal might become just that much better through experimentation with new dishes,” says Tennenbaum, a senior political science major.
  • Sea Island Local Outlet (SILO) offers a program that allows residents to order local and regional produce, meats, and other items weekly to be picked up at GrowFood Carolina (990 Morrison Drive). http://www.silo-beaufort.com

Use less meat: One of the greatest ways to reduce your overall impact this holiday is to use less meat in your dishes. If your recipe calls for meat, consider purchasing locally sourced meat or Humane Certified beef, chicken, and pork.

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Division Spotlight: Cheryl Connor

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | December 3, 2014 | No Comment |



Cheryl Connor, Copy Center

Briefly describe your role.

I am the manager of the Copy Center.

What is the function of your department?

The Copy Center supports the College campus in their printing needs. We produce brochures, course packets, annual reports, flyers, posters, letters, postcards, handbills and a variety of other materials to meet the needs of the faculty, staff, and students at the College. Typically we can complete orders within a 24 hour period, which makes our customers happy – and that makes me happy.

How long have you been working at the College?

As of this summer, I have been employed here for 30 fabulous years.

What brought you to the College?

CHARLESTON! I relocated to Charleston in 1984. I was hired as a temporary employee, which finally lead to a permanent position and haven’t looked back since.

What do you like most about your job?

Making my customers happy! This means fulfilling their order accurately and in a timely manner. Each time someone picks up an order they are appreciative for what we have done to make their day a bit easier. We are here to serve and support the faculty, staff and students and the fact that our contribution is valued is extremely rewarding.

What are some of your favorite memories from the College?

WOW, there are so many, but my favorite memories are the crazy busy times at the beginning of semesters. We get so busy and are pulled from many angles to make everyone’s request a priority, I love the crazy and sometimes I am amazed at what we can get printed and out the door in a day.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Anything with my dogs! Camping, kayaking, hiking, walking on the beach…

What is something that your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

I brake for YARD SALES! I love finding treasures. My weekends are spent at yard sales, thrift shops, estate sales, and flea markets. It is so cool to find unique things or things you can repurpose.

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Welcome To The College Corner

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | October 31, 2014 | No Comment |

The College’s new retail space on King Street opens its doors.


After years of wanting a greater presence on King Street, the College prepares to open a new retail space on one of the nation’s top shopping streets. The building was originally constructed in 1855. From 1960 to 2005, the building was leased by Barton’s Candy. The Silver Puffin took over the shop and ran it until the College took over the building in early 2013 in order to restore the shop as a gift shop.

The space is now known as The College Corner, a high-end gift shop for alumni, current students and their parents, and visitors to Charleston. The new store features three windows on George Street and the interior is reminiscent of an old shop with exposed brick and hardwood floors. Unlike the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Calhoun Street, The College Corner carries items such as golf shirts, leather briefcases with the College’s logo on them, and College of Charleston jewelry. It also features scarfs with gates on them and a variety of other gift items, including stationary.



The storefront recalls elements of the original building with cast iron pilasters and wood shop windows. The wrought-iron gates on and about the campus that decorate the store are the pen-and-ink drawings of award winning, local artist Nikki Harris Williams, Class of 1966. Ms. Williams graciously granted her permission to incorporate her beautiful work into displays inside The College Corner.



For people wanting to see the campus, staff at The College Corner can literally point them down George Street to the Office of Admissions.

The College Corner officially opens on October 31.

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Department Spotlight: Parking Services

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | October 15, 2014 | No Comment |


What is your department?

The Office of Parking Services, or just Parking Services

What is the function of your department?

To manage all campus parking, including: employee and student permits, parking enforcement, and guest and event parking.

How many employees are there in your department?


What are the total years of experience/service (sum of all employees) in your department?

Believe it or not, 40 years! Four of us have been here at least 7 years, and one employee (Stephaine Campbell) has been here for over 12 years.

What are some statistics that you’re able to share?

Number of employee permits sold annually: 1,060

Total number of student permits sold annually (Fall, Spring, and Summer): 2,125

Are there any services that your department offers that the College community might be unaware of?

We provide information about alternatives to parking, such as CARTA and the newly-launched Enterprise CarShare program. Employees and students can pick up CARTA maps and Enterprise CarShare brochures in our office.

For more information about Parking Services, visit parkingservices.cofc.edu.

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Division Spotlight: Paul Patrick

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | October 10, 2014 | No Comment |


Paul Patrick, Vice President for Administration & Planning

Briefly describe your role. 

Two of primary areas of focus are Facilities/Physical Plant and Public Safety; but it does seem the ‘other duties as assigned’ part of my job description seems to control a sizable amount of my day.

What is the function of your department?

The ultimate goal is to provide the best support possible to the campus community.

How long have you been working at the College?

Since July 2014.

What brought you to the College?

The College itself is the ultimate reason – the opportunity to come back home to this campus was simply too good to pass up.

What do you like most about your job?

I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to give back to the school that was a major part in the development of who I am today.

What are some of your favorite memories from the College?

Some of the folks my wife and I met while going to school here are still some of our closest friends.

What are your hobbies and interests?

It is great to be back in the Lowcountry which allows us to enjoy the beach and boat. I also play golf when I can.

What is something that your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

My wife and I met in high school and have been together since we were 16.

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Greenbag Lunch: Redefining American Urbanism

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | September 18, 2014 | No Comment |

On Wednesday, September 17, the Office of Sustainability hosted the first Greenbag Lunch of the fall semester. The event, a collaboration with the Carter Real Estate Center and the departments of Political Science and Urban Studies, focused on the growing migration of people into cities and how Charleston can redesign its urban landscapes to meet the new needs of urbanites in a more sustainable way.

Greenbag Lunch Series

The panel included Tim Keane, Director of Planning, Preservation, and Sustainability for the City of Charleston, Kevin Keenan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Linda Page, Mayor of Mount Pleasant, and Kyle Taylor, Chair of the U.S. Green Buliding Council – South Carolina Lowcountry Branch.

Light and locally sourced snacks and refreshments were provided courtesy of GrowFood Carolina.

All events in the Greenbag Lunch Series are free and open to the public. The next Greenbag Lunch will take place on Wednesday, November 19 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at the Stern Center Ballroom. For more information about upcoming events, visit sustainability.cofc.edu/events.

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Division Spotlight: Kimberly Gertner

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | September 2, 2014 | No Comment |


Kimberly Gertner, Human Relations and Minority Affairs

Briefly describe your role.

I am the Director of the Office of Human Relations & Minority Affairs. As the Director, some of my responsibilities include serving as the College’s EEO Officer, Title IX Coordinator and ADA Coordinator.

How long have you been working at the College?

I joined the team in April of 2013.

What do you like most about your job?

I am happy to have the amazing opportunity to serve my alma mater and meaningfully contribute to the College through effective service and strong collaborations with exceptional employees from all divisions of the College.

What are some of your favorite memories from the College?

My favorite memory is my graduation day. I remember sitting on the stage in the Cistern one sunny May day, watching the eager faces of families, friends and my fellow students who were so elegantly dressed in white dresses and jackets, feeling the excitement and anticipation of the future in the air, enjoying the beauty of the moss draped old oaks and red geraniums and listening to President Sanders whose wisdom I would benefit from again later in life as he became one of the founding members of my law school, the Charleston School of Law.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my daughter, Elizabeth Ann, who is growing-up so quickly, fishing with my husband, Raymond, creating my own secret garden with plants that I have collected from across the State, and playing ball with my Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Sadie Pretty Lady.

What is something that your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

Something that my co-workers may be surprised to learn about me is that I am an avid gardener, a home improvement aficionado, and treasure hunter at estate sales.

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Starbucks in Addlestone

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | August 28, 2014 | No Comment |

Students, faculty, and staff members can now enjoy a full-service Starbucks in Addlestone Library. Formerly Java City, the space has been renovated and now features banquet seating and large community tables. On the patio, you can find community tables, soft seating, and large umbrellas. The new outside seating provides an additional study area with a wonderful view of Rivers Green.


As a full-service Starbucks, the store features all products and goods that can be found at other store locations in the area. Unlike other locations in Charleston, the Starbucks in Addlestone accepts Dining Dollars and Cougar Cash. Additionally, the location accepts Starbucks Gold cards.


Hours of operation will be as follows:

Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – midnight

Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – midnight

For more information about the Starbucks at Addlestone, visit charleston.campusdish.com.

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