USG senate meeting briefs for the weeks of 1/25 and 2/8

USG leaders discussed a variety of programs and proposed resolutions at the first two meetings of the spring semester.

A photo of Tutor Center at USC.

On Jan. 25, Chief Financial Officer Adenike Makinde presented an overview of the SpringInnovation Grant which will be available to students this semester. Student campus projects must ask for more than $5000, the maximum amount allowed under RSO discretionary funding grants. These projects must revolve around student health, new technology, career development, or long-term sustainability.

USG President Alexis Aerias and Vice President Lucy Warren spoke generally about a few of USG’s major projects and goals this semester. Aerias is hopeful that the university will provide free menstrual products in campus bathrooms, saying it is just a matter of getting everyone on board. The two also mentioned continued efforts for expanded mental health resources, institutional accountability for sexual assault victims, and greater accessibility accommodations on campus.

Aerias also mentioned plans for a blood drive with The Red Cross in collaboration with the Graduate Student Government (GSG) later in February.

USG Senator Diego Andrades also presented a variety of semester-long resolutions during the meeting, including the introduction of take-home STI kits, a resolution requiring USC to disclose its involvement in the Olympics in response to the #NOlympics movement, and another resolution to aid students affected by the political crisis in Myanmar. Andrades also spoke of a pilot program with this year’s upcoming admitted class that will allow students to see how much financial aid they will receive before they commit to USC.

The USG Senate Meeting on Feb. 8 finalized David Mrktchian as the new Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, a legislative branch role that oversees the undergraduate academic experience and learning environment, after a unanimous senate vote.

USG Senator Hunton Hinson presented the Suit-Up Funding Proposal to fellow senators.The Suit-Up Program is an annual event paid for by the USC Career Center that offers USC students a 30% discount on professional and business attire, including online and in-person shopping at participating JCPenny stores. This spring, Suit-Up will run from March 3-6.

Hinson’s proposal would allocate $7500 outstanding USG Legislative and Executive funds towards Suit-Up, allowing for USC students with demonstrated financial need to receive a $150 gift card before the event. USG’s contribution would provide free professional attire for 50 students. Proposal partners USC Career Center and USC Student Basic Needs say funds from USG will diminish an existing financial burden on the shoulders of some students, especially those experiencing houselessness and food insecurity.

Hinson explained that many students may not know where to purchase professional attire or may not have the funds to access it, despite its necessity for job, internship, and scholarship interviews, calling the funding from USG, “a tangible impact on our peers’ ability to succeed.”

The Senate will vote on the Suit-Up proposal next Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Lastly, the Senate announced that the deadline to declare write-in candidacy is Friday, Feb. 11 at 11:59 P.M. You can find the two-part write-in application on the USG election website.

Voting in the USG will open Wednesday, Feb. 23 and will close Friday, Feb. 25.

Election results will be announced on Tuesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. at the USG Senate Meeting.

USG meetings occur every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in TCC 350.