USG discusses successful summer funding
The Undergraduate Student Government held its final in-person Senate meeting of the semester on Tuesday evening.
At the start of the meeting, a representative from USC Racing, a student-run team that creates and races high-performance autocross cars, Jonathan Laifman, and two representatives from USC’s Formula Electric design team, Sunvriti Khanna and Trey Kee, said USG has approved professional funding for the two organizations to compete against universities around the world in Michigan in June, but were told last week that USG is not funding summer events.
“Unfortunately motor racing is something you can’t get into without substantial money, trust me I tried,” said Kee, a sophomore majoring in psychology. “Going to this competition was really dependent on the funding we received from USG.”
The funding would have helped cover hotel and transportation costs. They were told they would get $4,300 after asking for $4,500 but never received the money, according to Kee.
“Since they approved the proposal, we’ve stopped looking for new funding opportunities, notifying internships and booking rooms,” said Laifman, a senior physics major. “However, now that they have withdrawn the funding, it puts us in a difficult situation to find new funding. We are hoping to find a way to have an exception to their ‘no summer’ rule so that we can help cover this race as a first step towards fixing the rule so that all students can receive funding over the summer .
Vice President Nivea Krishnan said the USG would discuss the matter at its cabinet meeting. Fundraising Director Brian Stowe will meet with the two organizations on Wednesday to resolve this issue.
“Because we have already been promised this funding, many of us have already paid for hotels and transportation,” said Khanna, a senior communications student. “Now the extra expense is kind of on the business owners or the project managers who have to pay out of pocket because they expected the funding to come through the USG and now that the funding has been pulled out at the last minute, it would be difficult for us to get any sponsors at all.
Senator Yoav Gillath announced that Trojans Give Back and USC Hospitality are working on a program to donate Restoration Dollars to USC’s Office of Basic Needs and compile them into meals with no expiration date. The donation period will run between May 4 and May 11. On the Mobile Order app, students will be asked whether or not they would like to donate their leftover meals if there are any leftovers from May 11.
The senate also voted on the communications department appointments announced at last week’s senate meeting, confirming them all unanimously.
“We really plan to maintain and strengthen our relationships with our media partners and RSOs and campus administrators to really cultivate strong relationships and open up transparency,” said newly confirmed public relations director Jacob Wheeler.
The communications department is considering a redesign of the USG website that highlights the resources offered by USG and hopes to establish a greater presence for students, said Associate Director of Digital Strategy Oscar Clavio.
The Senate then debated and voted on the nominations for the Legislative Department Committee Chairman and Parliamentary Secretary announced at last week’s Senate meeting, confirming them all unanimously.
Tuesday’s Senate meeting was the last of the academic year to be held in person, but USG plans to hold two more Senate meetings virtually over the summer to pass its 2022-23 budget.