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'I’m not a fan of him': USC students weigh in on new president's first steps

This morning, President-elect Robert Caslan met with students ahead of his first press conference after his election.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After Robert Caslen addressed the media this morning about being the new president-elect of the University of South Carolina, we caught up with some students on campus to see how they feel about their new leader.

USC Student Lauren Smiley said, "I’m not a fan of him mostly just because most of the campus seems to not like him and I don’t understand why we would have a president that a large majority of the students don’t care for or necessarily agree with what he believes in. So, I’m definitely not in favor of him being our president.” Smiley did go on to say that she wants to see what he will do and is hopeful about the situation. 

RELATED: Pastides responds to selection of Caslen as USC president, urges reconciliation

One student, Emily Avera, said she really did not know much about the ordeal. "So, all I really know is that he used to work at a military school. So, I don’t know if he’ll be the best fit for USC, I wish I knew more information," she goes on, "Pastides was a really good fit and hopefully he can live up to those standards we have now.”

Recent law school graduate Dallas Meacham said, “It’s a little cloaked in controversy I guess a little bit. It looks like he’s been validated and all that kind of stuff. He’s going to be our next president whether people like it or not." 

Meacham received both his undergraduate and law degree from USC and says, "I’ll be curious to see how he responded to the situation this has created and interested to see how the whole accreditation threat will kind of play out, I know that’s a bit of a concern. I have a concern given that I have two degrees from this school now and his presence here kind of caused the validity of those degrees. You’d like to believe that the president would have the best interest of the school at hand and its interesting to think that he would be willing to take this position given that it may not be in the school’s best interest, if, in fact, it calls into question its accreditation."

RELATED: USC introduces president-elect Caslen to Carolina community

RELATED: Robert Caslen picked as new University of South Carolina president

USC's Student Body President Luke Rankin said after the press conference, “I’m excited - I mean that honestly. Its an exciting time. Change isn’t always easy, change isn’t always smooth. But, my first phone call with him after Friday’s board meeting that evening, he said ‘I wanna lean on you and I want to work with you to ensure that students are represented in this. The students that have had concerns, those are the ones that we meet with.’ I think that’s beautiful and I think that shows monuments again to who he is and his character."