USG’s weekly senate meeting on Tuesday evening included reports and updates from executive leaders and Senate members and a funding proposal focused on community healing following sexual assault in Greek life.
USG’s meeting began with a report to the Senate from USG Chief Financial Officer Adenike Makinde. In her presentation, Makinde said USG used up 65% of its current budget and is on track to use all of its available funds by the end of the year. Makinde also spoke about three new funds that organizations on campus can apply for funding through the accessibility fund, the social innovation fund, and the green engagement fund. USG Chief of Staff Maximillan Gomez also held a presentation where he mentioned he was onboarding new hires and promotions within USG and on the organization’s Spring Retreat, where members will bond and hear from professional speakers among other activities.
USG President Alexis Areias mentioned she was excited for the upcoming election during the beginning of her presentation. Areias spoke about the projects she’s worked on so far, one of which is a collaboration with Leda Health. This project aims to make free at-home testing kits for survivors of sexual assault accessible to all USC students. Areias is working with USC Student Health, the USC Panhellenic Council, and more organizations on campus to make it happen. Additionally, Areias announced that a project that will make sure all USC buildings have free menstrual products available was fully approved; she said the wrinkles on the project will be ironed out in the next few weeks. Other projects included exploring work-study alternatives for undocumented students, working toward getting speed bumps on 28th street, and providing free Blue Books and Scantrons to students who need them.
When given the opportunity to speak about the Daily Trojan editorial board’s opinion on USG’s electoral process, Areias welcomed the criticism and said she witnessed “a lot of amazing work” within USG. “I recognize there is room for improvement in USG…the article speaks on our shortcomings in [our election process],” Areias said. She added USG was looking forward to the election, which begins tonight.
USG Senators Nivea Krishnan and Brian Stowe also gave presentations on the projects they’ve worked on. Krishnan is working on the return of meal swipe donations after spring break and on tackling vaccine hesitancy in the community directly outside of USC. Stowe is working with other Senators to fully approve MASA and MENASA as USG recognized student assemblies, a project that has been ongoing since the last meeting.
A new funding proposal was introduced during the meeting by Senator Arie Abija to encourage community healing through art and activities. Expected to cost around $3000, the event is a collaboration between USG, the newly formed Survivor Support Community at USC, Visions and Voices, SAGE, and other organizations in order to help survivors and allies of the USC community heal following the Oct. 2021 sexual assault protests.
Near the end of the meeting, USG leaders nominated Bradley Furgerson, a junior majoring in neuroscience and East Asian Languages and Cultures, to be the next Wellness Chair, and Jacob Wheeler, a freshman majoring in journalism and political science who also works for Annenberg Media, to be the next Chief Communications Officer. These candidates will be voted on at next week’s meeting.
Elections for next year’s USG leaders begin tonight at midnight. Students can vote at usc.usg.edu.
USG senate meetings are held every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in TCC 350 and virtually through Zoom.