Q&A With Austin and Morgan

first_imgSteven Kramer | Daily TrojanYour campaign ran a platform of increased campus security, including sexual assault prevention and active shooter training; improved outreach toward transfer students, spring admits and first-generation students; and partnerships with the Los Angeles Metro. Do you have a priority on which you plan to focus on first? A — Active shooter training and sexual assault prevention are the two we plan to prioritize because those two are a little more difficult just in the realm of the time they take to accomplish. We try to start on the more difficult projects sooner, because we’ve found in the past that if you try and start on lofty goals later in the year you just kind of run out of time, and unfortunately the year does fly quickly. Also, both of these goals, between sexual assault and active shooter training, we do rely on other people to have them accomplished. And so we try to allot as much time as possible to allow that process to continue. Do you foresee any challenges in executing these goals? A — It’s just a matter of when they’ll be executed because there’s different types of projects. Obviously there’s some that we can complete on our own and some that we sort of have to rely on other people for, and so active shooter training and sexual assault prevention are two perfect examples of that, because we can put in all the groundwork for active shooter training but we still need DPS’s assistance to actually have it implemented and become a mandatory policy.The degree of USG’s accessibility was a hot topic last semester — do you plan to make any changes in order to address or improve this?A — This is something that I think we talk about all the time, and I think we’re actually looking to address it in all branches, whether that’s funding, to our communications team, and even to our advocacy efforts. One challenge that we had in the past, or at least last year, was that we didn’t have a website essentially all year. And so we had a lot of different tools that we planned on implementing that couldn’t actually be used because we didn’t have a website. And then we have some other ideas to start some mini-campaigns or platforms to kind of just make the student body more aware of what USG is doing. An example of an idea we’ve been throwing around is something called Two-Minute Tuesday, where we post at two-minute video weekly that allows the students to see what’s happened in the realm of student government, or what advocacy has been done on their behalf, or what programs are available to them that week or in the coming week. That’s kind of an idea that came from discussing with other student leaders across the country at different schools, and so that’s something we’re super excited about. But I’d say it’s kind of a united front to increase the accessibility and transparency of our organization and all that we’re doing. Many people aren’t familiar with your roles. Are you two working together or independently to address these issues, and who are you working with?A — Morgan and I work as a team pretty much on everything. We do have little nuances that I think we kind of take on independently but generally speaking I think we are always a united front in the realm of how we are working and leading the organization and how we’re conveying that externally as well. When it comes to who we work with — USG is a team effort and every single member of our organization is somebody that is utilized and an essential part of our success … We also really do rely on our campus partners, because there’s so many great people that we have to work with and I think part of what Morgan and I are working to do is really be that bridge to the rest of our organization. Because we really do believe we have the experts in pretty much every field, and so we don’t need to have all the answers ourselves. But one thing that we may have access to that other students may not have is the relationships with various administrators or whether that’s connecting to other students leaders. That’s something that we definitely try to do as much as we can.What are you most excited for as the new school year nears its start? A — I think that one’s a pretty easy answer for us, because we have a really unique opportunity this year to be leading a student body at a campus that is entering a new phase. With the USC Village, that’s something that we’re super excited about and I think that that is a double-edged sword in a sense that we recognize already that there’s going to be so many ideas, projects and different things that we’ll have to work toward in the realm of the Village as a whole. But that’s something that we’re definitely super excited for and I think it really brings a lot of new opportunities to students, it also makes our campus a much bigger place and what many people would argue, a much better place, so we’re just going to have to figure out what role student government can play in ensuring that that is meeting the needs of all students to the best of its ability. M — On that same vein, this happens with everything, when things are new there’s always that trial period, where things are kind of being explored, and I think with the Village it’s just going to be working with the administrators and community to ensure all constituencies are happy with how it’s running and kind of being that liason to make sure that things are running smoothly and how we can improve the student as well as community experience. If there was something you wanted to tell the student body at this point in time, what would it be? M — We’re excited for the year and hopefully it’s really prosperous. It’s an exciting time to be a Trojan.last_img

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