Check back for updates as we speak to the candidates in our studios.
Leena Danpour, Senate Candidate
USG senate candidate Leena Danpour sat down with Annenberg Media and discussed her campaign goals and the main issues she hopes to change at USC, Wednesday morning.
Some key points in Danpour's eight-part platform are reducing the price of tuition, increasing parking lot safety and available student spaces, promoting recycling and improving on-campus Wi-Fi.
One of the biggest problems Danpour's campaign is focusing on is the absence of diversity among the USC student body, which she believes could be solved through utilizing already-existent resources.
Such resources include JEP which could be used to motivate and reach out to a wide array of high school students to attend college.
As a mixed student of Iraqi, Iranian, and Jewish descent, Danpour believes her diverse background would enable her to better relate to the issues and struggles of the minority students here on campus. In addition, Danpour emphasizes the need to maintain divestment and a strong relationship with Israel.
A political science major, Danpour chose to attend USC because of the connections and reputation the school had and is confident that these can only be improved through the actions of her campaign.
She said "change starts with a leader" and that she could be the leader USC needs to enact the changes she believes are necessary on campus.
Danpour will continue her campaign until elections February 9th-11th.
Staff reporter Lizzy Gunn can be reached here.
Daniel Million, Senate Candidate
Daniel Million, a sophomore and a pre-med neuroscience major, is running for a seat in USC's Undergraduate Student Government (USG) senate. Million wants to be the voice of the underrepresented at USC. He wants to decrease feelings of estrangement on campus and make students feel included, whether they feel marginalized because of race, major or extra-curricular interests.
Million knows that many of his fellow students come from low-income households and struggle financially when they get to USC. As such, he said he hopes to procure funds for housing and meal plan scholarships. By providing for students' fundamental needs, he projects that they will be able to immerse themselves more wholly in campus life, devoting more attention to pursuing their passions.
Million believes that one of his greatest strengths as a leader is his ability to listen attentively. He considers listening a valuable asset as he thinks it is a USG senator's responsibility to represent the student body, and he believes that listening is the first step to bridge the gap between the student voice and USG action.
On campus, Million has been involved in USG for the past two years holding positions in both diversity and community affairs. Last semester, the candidate founded a student chapter of Project Concern International (PCI), a nonprofit organization aimed at improving community health and promoting sustainable development in underdeveloped countries. Inspired by PCI's mission, Million hopes that in the future he can put his medical degree to work, setting up clinics in to improve access to healthcare in underprivileged communities worldwide. Although he claims that he is not fussy when it comes to food, he does love sushi.
Staff reporter Aditi Jackson can be reached here.
Staff reporter Lizzy Gunn contributed to this article. She can be reached here.
Evan T. Monroe and John Mietus, Senate Candidates
For the first time in USC history, freshmen are pursuing a bid for Undergraduate Student Government, or USG, Senate. Evan T. Monroe and John Mietus announced their candidacy this week, both hoping to bring young blood to the student government body.
According to Monroe's and Mietus' mission statement found on their campaign Facebook page, called Students 4 Students, the two have hope to find solutions for what they describe as "concerns of all USC students." Those "concerns" range from tuition to the environment to mental health.
"I feel that I am qualified to serve on USG Senate because I believe that every voice matters," Monroe said. "Anyone can help exact positive change if only they raise their voice"
The two have not let their lowerclassmen status hinder them from running. Mieutus believes he can offer "a fresh perspective," especially because he believes "some [upperclassmen] senators do not accurately reflect the views of the general student constituency."
Monroe and Mietus, who both served on student government committees this year, have already earned key endorsements from current student government officials.
USG President Rini Sampath praised, not endorsed, the duo. She said in a statement, released on the Facebook page:
“Evan and John will bring a refreshing perspective to USG. John’s dedication to his USG Academic Affairs committee gives him the experience to serve on senate and Evan’s ideas to build upon the tremendous initiatives of our 2015-2016 administration make him a great candidate to represent our student body. I believe they’re in it for the right reasons and I hope students get to know these two as I have! Vote on!”
In past years, USG officials still serving their current term were not allowed to give opinions on or endorsements for candidates running for the following semester. Due to a rule change in this year's election conduct code, however, current USG leaders are now allowed to freely and openly support any candidates running for a USG position.
Staff Reporter Courtney Burke produced the video in this portion of the story.
Reach Staff Reporter Eytan Wallace here.
Reach Staff Reporter Courtney Burke here.
Edwin Saucedo and Austin Dunn, USG President and Vice President Candidates
Two campaign tickets are in the running for USG president and vice president. In the first segment, Claudia Buccio talks with running-mates Edwin Saucedo and Austin Dunn.
Charlie Henriquez and Cole Pham, USG President and Vice President Candidates
In the second segment, Eytan Wallace speaks with running-mates and USG president and vice president hopefuls, Charlie Henriquez and Cole Pham.
Paul Samaha, Senate Candidate
Previously Undergraduate Student Government’s Director of PR and Marketing, USC junior Paul Samaha has been an involved member of USG, and he is now running for Student Senate for the 2016-2017 school year.