International students raised their concerns and expectations about the search for a new USC president before a forum for the university community at the Town and Gown on Thursday afternoon.
Xian Tai, a Chinese graduate student who is studying communication management, conveyed her worries about USC's reputation after the Tyndall scandal, in which a former gynecologist has been accused of sexually abusing and harassing his patients.
News of the scandal was "distributed all around in China," she said, "and it was bad for USC's reputation." She said it could hurt students when they go back home to China and apply for jobs.
In addition to reputation, international students are also concerned about local job opportunities. Yao Wei, another Chinese graduate student studying international public policy analysis and management, hopes the new president will pay more attention on the career development of international students.
"I am hoping that the new president could provide more opportunities for international students in finding jobs. You know, after Trump's inauguration, the policy of the U.S. government seemed to be not friendly to foreigners," Yao said, "so I hope the new president can deal with it and provide more platforms for international students. Maybe a special career fair only for international students."
Safety is another crucial issue for international students, who may have read about safety problems at USC before coming here and are reminded by frequent DPS alerts about crime.
"Recently, I received several emails about crime alerts from the Department of Public Safety, which made me feel terrified," Xian said. "Although we have the specific department to ensure our safety, I think that is not enough."
She hopes that the new president will allocate more funds for safety.
Although the international students interviewed by Annenberg Media expressed their concerns and expectations about the new president, none decided to attend the forum.
"I did receive the email about the presidential search, but actually I don't care (about) this event because I have tons of assignments to do," Xian said.
She also said that many international students are less concerned than native speakers about public affairs on campus, possibly because international students need to put more effort into their assignments.
Ichwan Setian, a public policy student from Indonesia, also conveyed reluctance about participating in the forum.
"I don't care about the forum, or the new presidential [selection]," he said. "I hope the new president could change something, but I believe it is hard for a good leader to change the situation. Let's see what happens."