CofC protesters have first meeting with controversial president-elect

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- With the help of former state Sen. Robert Ford, students made progress Monday. Ford helped members of the "Fight For CofC" group meet with Glenn McConnell in the president's office in Randolph Hall.

"This is to voice our concerns, ask some questions that we haven't gotten sufficient answers to before and for him to hear us directly and to respond," senior Adrian Barry said.

Students said McConnell defended some of his past statements, including his feelings on the LGBT community, as being interpreted incorrectly.

"We tried to counsel him on how to avoid those misperceptions through changing his phraseology," Barry said.

Students also asked the Lieutenant Governor to stop his Civil War Confederacy reenactments. They said he told them he "wouldn't have time anyway."

But protesting students said they'd move forward. They accepted McConnell would be their school president. Now their battle was against the Board of Trustees, they said.

"The process is the problem. What we're asking for is for them to waive their confidentiality statement they are hiding behind and release publicly the communications and records pertaining to the presidential search process," Brandon Upson said.

They also wanted a student member on the Board to keep the influence of state lawmakers out. Barry said that influence threatened the College of Charleston's accreditation.

Student members said the meeting allowed them to attain contact information for the Board of Trustees for the first time since protesting began. They said they would be contacting Board members Tuesday.