VP Biden speaks at USC commencement: What you need to know - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

VP Biden speaks at USC commencement: What you need to know

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The University of South Carolina's Commencement and a visit from the Vice President will make Columbia a busy Friday.

Airport officials say passengers will see no disruptions. The Vice President will travel through restricted areas only. You could see a rolling road block from the airport to downtown while the Vice President is traveling.

Thursday afternoon there were a limited number of tickets for graduation still available to students, faculty, and staff. The event is not open to the general public. You must have to have a ticket to get into Colonial Life Arena.

Because Vice President Joe Biden is the commencement speaker, everyone attending will have to go though an airport-type screening process. You can bring in small bags, but every bag will be hand-searched.

The doors open at 11:30.  USC suggests getting there early.

The Commencement Ceremony starts at 3 p.m., but doors close at 2:20 and everyone must be seated by 2:30.

Additional information provided by the University of South Carolina:

Prohibited Items:

  • No signs, posters, laser pointers, or noisemakers of any kind will be allowed.
  • No large bags, backpacks, camel backs, coolers, briefcases, or laptops will be allowed.
  • No sharp objects or weapons of any type will be allowed. For example:
    • Firearms
    • Knives, including (keychain) pocketknives and Leatherman brand tools or similar
    • Screwdrivers
    • Scissors
    • Razor blades
    • Box cutters
    • Toy guns/toy weapons
  • No umbrellas will be allowed
  • No hard-plastic or metal reusable liquid containers will be allowed. For example:
    • Sigg bottles or similar
    • Nalgene bottles or similar
    • Metal or hard-plastic liquor containers

Permissible Items

Small bags are permitted, but strongly discouraged as every item will be hand-searched before entry.

Cameras, video cameras, and cell phones/mobile devices are permitted.

Important: Doors will be closed at 2:20 p.m. and everyone must be seated by 2:30 p.m. Ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m.


Free parking and shuttles will begin at 10:30 a.m. from the following USC parking garages:

  • Pendleton Street (enter from Pickens Street)
  • Senate Street
  • Horizon
  • Discovery

Free parking will be available in the surface parking lots adjacent to Colonial Life Arena, however due to the limited number of surface spaces, guests are encouraged to make use of garages and free shuttle service.

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