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Off-Campus Living & Neighborhood Relations

Neighbor Relations

The University of South Carolina is committed to providing local residents with resources and support to help foster a positive neighborhood environment for both permanent residents and students.

Report an Incident Off-Campus

To report a problem involving USC students living off campus, submit a Neighborhood Incident Report. A University of South Carolina staff member will follow up with you within seven business days.


Behavior and Expectations for Off-Campus Students

We expect students to represent the core values of the University of South Carolina. Practice civility, live by the Carolinian Creed and be a good neighbor. The Student Code of Conduct applies to all students, on- or o­ff-campus. Violating the law o­ff-campus can be a violation of this code. Students can receive consequences from both criminal court and USC for the same incident.

Tips for Positive Neighbor Relations

Being proactive, friendly and communicative can establish a great foundation for building positive relationships with student neighbors.

Introduce yourself.

Welcome new student neighbors in person or with a note as soon as possible. Invite new neighbors to a neighborhood gathering or exchange phone numbers. Letting students know you care and are aware, personalizes their role in your community.

Not sure what to say?

Here's a great place to start:

“Hi, welcome to _____________. I wanted to stop by and introduce myself. My name is ____________. We are really proud of our neighborhood and glad to have you here.

Offer your new neighbor important neighborhood information such as trash collection days, and noise and parking expectations for the community and suggest they share that information with their roommates so everyone is aware.

Would you be comfortable exchanging contact information in case we need to reach one another? It was nice meeting you!”

Exchange contact information.

Share your contact information and ask for theirs in case you need to communicate with one another to solve problems or express concerns before depending on outside intervention such as the police.

Make your expectations clear.

Share your expectations and experiences by letting student neighbors know when you need sleep or quiet, and let them know what type of activity or noise could trigger a call from you to the police.

Show what it means to be neighborly.

Model neighborly behavior and they will be more likely to return the goodwill. Let students know that you are willing to share resources and provide support, whether it’s a hammer, a cup of sugar or advice.

Nominate an exceptional student neighbor.

If you know an off-campus student who is positively contributing to the community, submit an Exceptional Student Neighbor Nomination. The Off-Campus Student Services Office reviews nominations and then reaches out to recognize any student(s) who are nominated.


Report Problems When They Occur

How to address problems involving student neighbors:

  1. If at all possible, first discuss your concerns and expectations with your student neighbors.

  2. If an illegal activity is occurring, call the Columbia Police Dept. at 803-252-2911 in the city or the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. at 803-576-3000 in the county. If it is an emergency, call 911.

  3. If a code is being violated, report it to the City of Columbia Code Enforcement at 803-545-3430 and report county violations to the Richland County Ombudsman at 803-929-6000. The city and county require proper maintenance of all residential buildings. Enforcement includes, but is not limited to:
    • overgrown yards
    • abandoned vehicles
    • illegal dumping
    • roll carts
    • litter
    • structures in need of repair
  4. Report the incident to the University of South Carolina by submitting a Neighborhood Incident Report. A University of South Carolina staff member will follow up with you about the incident within seven business days.

Need Student Volunteers for a Neighborhood Project? 

Consider partnering with the university's Leadership and Service Center to make it happen.

Contact Lacie Rhoden at to discuss your idea and find the best avenue to help meet that need.

Site Requirements

  • Service typically takes place on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Sites are expected to have enough work for three hours.
  • Each group will have at least one student serving as a site leader, who serves as the main point of contact between the site and the student volunteers.
  • In most cases, sites must provide the materials needed to accomplish the project.


Carolina Community Coalition

The mission is to create a campus community environment that promotes healthy and safe behaviors among faculty, students, and community organizations. This is achieved through education, presentations and discussion, assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of substance abuse prevention strategies.

Join us

The Coalition is open to all campus and community members. Members work to help reduce high-risk substance use within the campus community and make recommendations for policy change.

Coalition Meetings

The coalition meets on-campus the first Thursday of the month from 4 to 5 p.m. during the academic year.