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Top 10 stories of the year

David Perez // Photo Editor

If you haven’t picked up a newspaper this year, don’t worry. This article has all that you need to know to be caught up on everything that has happened at Clemson in the past year, ranked by The Tiger senior staff. It’s been a memorable year, and here’s how it all went down. 

10. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor visits Clemson 

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited Clemson for a moderated question-and-answer session in the Brooks Center auditorium. Throughout the session, she walked about the audience of about 950 people to take pictures with students while answering questions. Sotomayor discussed challenges she has faced throughout her life and managed to work in advice for college students. “There are no bad choices, unless you engage in criminal activity. That’s a bad choice,” Sotomayor said. 

9. Hurricane Irma

Clemson University closed facilities and cancelled classes due to the anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s impact on South Carolina. 

8. Road work ahead? Uh yeah, I sure hope it does.

Construction crews are upgrading utility systems serving Clemson’s main campus, meaning there will be road closures and delays for the next few months.The utility construction began April 16 with Highway 93, which is phase one of three. Phase one will last through May 23 with closures of parts of Highway 93 between Cherry Road and Calhoun Drive. During phase two, beginning mid-May, Highway 93 will be closed from Cherry Road to College Avenue.  Phase three will begin mid- to late July when Highway 93 will be closed from College Avenue to Williamson Road. Officials have urged the use of Perimeter Road for transport around campus. The goal is to finish the upgrades prior to the kickoff of football season, and if there are delays due to weather or other factors, crews will temporarily open all lanes on game days. 

7. Hipps family settlement

The family of Tucker Hipps reached a settlement with Clemson University, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and members of Sigma Phi Epsilon amid wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits after Hipps’ death in September 2014 on Lake Hartwell.  Cindy and Gary Hipps, Hipps’ parents, filed two different lawsuits in March of 2015 seeking $25 million. According to the lawsuit, Hipps went on a run with his pledge class after a confrontation with Thomas Carter King because Hipps was asked to bring 30 McDonald’s biscuits and two gallons of chocolate milk, but Hipps failed to do so. During the run, according to the lawsuit, Hipps was forced to walk across narrow railing on the bridge, and he died of injuries consistent with a fall.The case remains unsolved and open with no criminal charges filed. 

6. Sports playoffs

Clemson’s football and basketball programs both had spectacular years. In football, Clemson made it to the College Football Playoffs for the third year in a row after winning the ACC championship against Miami. Clemson lost to Alabama 24-6 in the Sugar Bowl.  In basketball, Clemson made it to the Sweet 16 after being predicted to finish 13 out of 15 in the ACC.  Go Tigers!

5. Bye Clemson House 

The collapse took less than a minute, but the memories will last a lifetime.  Clemson House was demolished on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 8:30 a.m. after standing for 24,504 days.  A series of small explosions on the first, third and fifth floors brought down the building.  The area will become a green space and parking area. 

4. Social host ordinance

During Clemson’s spring break, the City of Clemson passed a new social host ordinance. According to the ordinance, social hosts cannot knowingly allow those underage to possess or consume alcohol or allow those underage to be present at a social gathering where alcohol is present and accessible, unless measures are taken to prevent the consumption and possession of alcohol. Furthermore, social hosts cannot allow a social gathering at an unlicensed location to get out of control.  The goal of the new ordinance is to hold social hosts accountable for allowing underage individuals to consume or possess alcohol. 

3. CATBus accidents

A meme among students and a crisis for administration: the CATBus incidents. Starting with a crash down stairs by the stadium prior to the Auburn game, the CATBus continued an unfortunate streak when a student stepped out in front of a CATBus turning right from Zeta Theta Street onto Cherry Road. The driver was found not at fault for the incident. To add insult to injury, a CATBus caught fire near Core Campus  in January. These incidents are not without consequence though. Several buses will retire this summer and be replaced with ten Proterra Electric buses, according to CATBus director Keith Moody.

2. Sexual assaults and IFC ban

An 18-year-old woman was charged with filing a false police report concerning the assault at the Clemson Delta Chi fraternity house, and she was booked and later released on a $5,000 bond. The suspect was not a Clemson student.  After reported sexual assaults at Alpha Gamma Rho in December and Delta Chi in January, the Clemson University Interfraternity Council (IFC) suspended social events at fraternity houses. 

1. Impeachment trial

CUSG Senator Miller Hoffman filed a motion for Vice President Jaren Stewart’s impeachment on Oct. 9. The motion failed, but it was later revealed that a procedural error occurred and the motion should have been heard.  On Oct. 23, the motion was heard again, and senators voted in favor of having an impeachment trial for Stewart. After a 10+ hour impeachment trial on Nov. 6, Stewart was not impeached ­— the final vote two votes short of the 44 needed to impeach.  

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