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Written by Gregory Goetz
The nightlife in Columbia revolves mainly around Five Points and the Vista, where bars and clubs are abundant with social students and good times. Drinking is a favorite pastime on weekend nights, which sometimes poses problems for the under-21 crowd. The busiest night of the week, “Thirsty Thursday,” sees students flocking to bars or buying kegs for parties. Underage students sometimes use fake IDs or scope out places that don’t card at all, but they’re still at risk of being caught by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Department (SLED) officers, who sometimes go undercover for the specific purpose of finding underage drinkers.
While almost all of the bars prohibit underage students (and only a few have designated “college nights” for students 18 and up), many of the dance clubs permit entry to the underage crowd. These are a mixed bag in terms of quality, but it does give the younger crowd something to do. Columbia nightlife would be better if there were more places that catered to younger students. Students believe that the best part about nightlife at USC is the numerous bars where they can have a drink. Underage students can participate, and often do, having their fun knowing the possibility of getting caught.
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