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USC encourages students to join #IPledgeColumbia campaign to fight virus

Caslen says the campaign was created to hold everyone accountable to not only wear a mask and socially distance, but to act responsibly to keep the city safe.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a tweet Tuesday morning, USC president Bob Caslen encouraged the USC Columbia community to join the #IPledgeColumbia campaign. 

The tweet was in response to the CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Lu Kennedy, challenging Caslen to answer the question "why do you wear a mask?" 

Caslen is wearing a black and garnet mask in his response, and says that he and the university 'gladly' accept the challenge.

"This mask not only keeps me safe, but it's my duty and my responsibly to keep others safe," Caslen said. 

Caslen also passed on the challenge to the USC women's basketball coach, Dawn Staley, asking her why she wears a mask. 

Caslen says the campaign was created to hold everyone accountable to not only wear a mask and socially distance, but to act responsibly to keep the city safe. 

The pledge was released on Tuesday, and asks students, faculty and staff to show their commitment to "keep the University of South Carolina community in good health by taking the pledge below and honoring it during the upcoming semester." 

Students, alum, faculty and staff are invited to e-sign the pledge. 

To read the full pledge, click here.