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Leadership and Civic Engagement

The Office of Student Life sponsors programs to support the development of student leadership. These programs help to provide resources and increase the skills necessary to be an effective student leader. All students are encouraged to get involved!

Emerging Leaders Program
This program is for underclassmen who want to develop some early leadership skills. This one-day retreat takes place during the Spring semester and is open and free to all students. It's fun, interactive and educational.

The Office of Student Life is home to Leadership Development and many different Civic Engagement Programs at USC Upstate.

FLEX (Freshman Leadership Experience)Flex

FLEX is a new initiative in which 60 freshman will come together to participate in monthly training sessions on leadership development. These trainings range from discovering their own values and beliefs to their leadership style and philosophy. The participants are individuals who are looking to develop their leadership potential at USC Upstate, and want to engage in various leadership roles across campus (student organizations, peer leaders, RAs, etc.). FLEX is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs. 

FLEX participants will be assigned a FLEX Mentor who is an upperclassman student at USC Upstate that exemplifies leadership, service and academic excellence. Participants will meet with their mentors on a monthly basis to discuss their leadership development, goals and leadership/academic plan.

Required Time commitments

  • September 14: Kickoff event, time TBD
  • September 19-20: FLEXOR Retreat (Friday afternoon-Saturday afternoon)
  • Monthly meetings with mentors (TBD by the mentor and participants)
  • January TBD: Spring FLEXOR Training Day
  • March 18: Freshman Finale  

Other events strongly encouraged:

  • September 17: Constitution Day Speaker, 7 p.m., CLC Ballroom
  • September 23: #BeLessAckward, 6 p.m. CLC Ballroom
  • October 27: Campus Computing in the Law, 6 p.m., CLC Ballroom
  • LEAD Sessions: September 24, October 14 and November 6
  • Wells Fargo Speaker Series
  • Service Projects

LEAD SeriesLEAD icon
Want to learn more about yourself and your leadership style? In the LEAD workshop series, students will explore leadership according to the Social Change Model (SCM) of Leadership Development. You will have the opportunity to learn more about where you are personally as a leader and where your values fit within the group and within the community. The workshops are offered twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every other week for 7 weeks during the fall semester. Click here find out more about SCM. 

Leadership AdvanceLeadership Advance
Leaders do not retreat, they advance! Every year, students from campus go away for three days of intense training and development. It is a chance for students, faculty and staff to interact and discuss issues and topics relevant to student leadership. Throw in some fun, great food and an exciting competition, and it's a great time! Applications for this program are available in the Spring Semester.

Leadership and Service Living Learning Community 
The Leadership and Service community is a group of 25 students who think leadership development and making a difference are fun and rewarding experiences. This community strives to promote a vibrant group of socially conscious individuals focused on developing leadership skills through academics and community based experiences.

Civic Engagement

The University of South Carolina Upstate is shaped and inspired by the city of Spartanburg. Our growing partnerships with our neighbors have the potential to enhance the quality of life and economic development of the community.

If you have required volunteer hours for a class, organizational requirement, or you’re just looking for a way to get more involved, the Office of Student Life can help you get connected with the Spartanburg community and beyond.

Alternative Break
Alternative Break Logo_webThe Alternative Break (AB) program provides USC Upstate students with an opportunity to participate in volunteer and educational trips to culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged communities throughout the United States. Alternative Break groups travel to locations all across the United States. They provide service-learning opportunities working with important issues such as the environment, education, immigration, poverty and other unmet human needs. The AB program exposes students to communities and immersion experiences that cannot be replicated on the USC Upstate campus.

We currently offer Alternative Fall Break (AFB) and Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips. Trips are open to ALL USC Upstate students and are student-led! For more information about the AB program and how to get involved, contact the Alternative Break Board at altbreak@uscupstate.edu.

impact_iconIMPACT
IMPACT is the student-led service organization at the University of South Carolina Upstate that helps unite the campus and community by promoting good relations among students, faculty/staff and community members.

60 Seconds of Service 
Do you have 60 seconds to make a difference? Join the Office of Student Life and the AmeriCorps VISTAs as we offer monthly service projects that take only 60 seconds to complete. From making Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen to Blessing Bags for the homeless, there is something for everyone!

College Town Service Initiative (CSI) 
As part of the College Town Initiative in Spartanburg SC, USC Upstate, along with 6 other colleges and universities, offers an event once a year for college students to give back to the Spartanburg community. CSI is typically held in April. 

To get involved with any of the programs listed above please contact the Office of Student Life at 864-503-5122 or by email stulife@uscupstate.edu.

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Student Resources
Event Calendar 
Student Handbook
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Contact Us

Khrystal Smith, Ph.D.
Director of Student Life

Kara Ferguson, M.Ed.
Assistant Director for Civic Engagement and Leadership

LaDarius Thompson, M.S.
Assistant Director for Campus Programs

Doug Peters, M.Ed.     
Assistant Director for Multicultural Programs and Non-Traditional Student Services

Heather Rossi
AmeriCorps VISTA

Candice Bryant
AmeriCorps VISTA

Melissa Perry
Administrative Assistant 


Office of Student Life
Olin B. Sansbury, Jr. Campus Life Center, Room 210
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
(864) 503-5122
stulife@uscupstate.edu