Undergraduate Student Government President Gabe Savage and Vice President Trinity Moore announced five new cabinet members during a Sept. 22 USG meeting, following their recent swearings-in in late August.
USG has been in the process of appointing new cabinet members since the resignations of former President Truman Fitz and Vice President Rose Ritch over the summer.
Chief Programming Officer Jina Hur, a senior majoring in philosophy and psychology, is one of the newly appointed cabinet members. She took over the role of CPO this semester after previously serving in the same position for the previous cabinet. According to Hur, returning to her position was a way of bringing some stability back to USG after the controversies surrounding Fitz and Ritch.
“I think their vision for the cabinet as a whole is that they really wanted to bring individuals who were gonna bring diverse perspectives to the table and really shift leadership in the organization,” Hur said. “I just think that they were looking for people who were very motivated and had very clear ideas of what they wanted to do within their respective roles.”
According to Savage, the pandemic and the events of this summer allowed himself and Vice President Moore, as well as their advisors, to think carefully about the character of the students they would appoint to the open cabinet positions.
“We said leading with integrity was really important,” Savage said. “What we were looking for were advocates and activists in their own right, coming into roles that don’t necessarily have to do with advocacy.”
The other new cabinet appointees included Chief Diversity Officer Lucy Warren, Chief Communications Officer Shreya Chaudhary, Chief Financial Officer Zach Taymuree and Chief of Staff Rachel Moten.
Following the appointment of the new cabinet members over several meetings was the unanimous passage of a USG resolution that supported both a statement made by Troy Philippines and the Philippine Human Rights Act bill.
Troy Philippines, a student-led Filipinx cultural organization at USC, released a statement in support of a governmental bill that calls for the United States to “suspend United States security assistance with the Philippines until such time as human rights violations by Philippine security forces cease and the responsible state forces are held accountable.”
Troy Philippines, or TroyPhi, endorsed the bill to advocate against the Anti-Terror Law, which, according to the organization, prevents opposition to the Philippine government through social media, attending protests or donating to disaster relief organizations.
“This law not only affects and threatens the freedoms of those in the Philippines but also Filipinx and non-Filipinx individuals living abroad, including those of us in the United States,” TroyPhi’s statement read.
According to Savage, the resolution is also meant to make the administration aware of the issues Filipinx students are facing and the statement gives them two-weeks to respond.
“A resolution like this, I think, can serve to make sure administration is all on the same page,” Savage said.
USG Senator Alexis Areias, who wrote the statement in conjunction with Richelle Caday of Troy Philippines and USG Senator Ruben Romeo, said she wanted to show support to Filipinx USC students directly affected by the Anti-Terror Law, some of whom are currently taking classes from abroad.
“I think that a big part of this resolution is also just making sure that our university administration and other graduate student governments commit,” Areias said, "And say, “'Yes, we’re unequivocally supporting our Filipinx students and doing what we can to make them feel included.'”