Undergraduate Student Government is petitioning to add a mandatory one-unit wellness course to the academic curriculum for incoming first-year students next school year.

The course will teach students about cultural competency, with topics focusing on sustainability, sexual assault prevention, mental health and active shooter training. It will also touch on various self development courses such as nutrition and personal finance, according to USG Director of Wellness Affairs Marina Hrovat.

Hrovat said the course's proposal will allow students more time to learn critical information.

"Requiring students to learn about [topics like sexual assault, mental health and sustainability] in such a short period of time is not as effective," she said. Hrovat hoped the class will offer more of a discussion based setting for students, rather than integrating the topics into welcome week or orientation.

For the course's approval, USG is working with the Office of Student Affairs, Hrovat said, and is receiving help from various departments on completing curriculum.

USG is working to complete thee syllabus before winter recess, so the course's logistics can be planned before spring semester starts. So far, the course is set have two 90 minute class periods a week.

The administration has given positive feedback on this class, and Hrovat said faculty advisors are excited these "real issues" are finally being discussed.

There are 14 topics on the syllabus — one for each week in the semester — and  the fifteenth week is reserved for a final project, according to Hrovat.

One section to the course is a three-week lesson taught on cultural competency, which will touch on topics relevant to students. USG currently is looking for student feedback for what topics they want to discuss in the class.

Maya Indrayani, USG advocacy delegate, is an international student who hopes the class will discuss the international student experience and foster classroom and language inclusiveness for all cultures.

"Our goal is to teach students, rather than to change their minds," said Paola Morales, USG advocacy delegate. Morales is brainstorming ideas surrounding stereotypes, tradition and cultural appropriation.

The Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment program is recommending discussions surrounding the use of gender neutral pronouns to make students more aware of gender stereotypes, Indrayani said.

Before the cultural competency topics can be passed and finalized into the curriculum, USG will talk to the director of each assembly and USC Student Senator, Blake Ackerman.

Corrected 3:12 p.m. on Nov. 26: This post was updated to correct the spelling of one instance of Marina Hrovat's name.