Though hours at the University Park Health Center and Lyon Center remain the same and students still can’t use paper tickets to get into football games, outgoing Undergraduate Student Government President Holden Slusher and Vice President Ashlie Chan say they are satisfied with their accomplishments, which include starting a free tram to L.A. Live and improving communication with students.
When they ran for office last spring, Slusher and Chan had a number of ideas they hoped would improve student life at USC. Slusher said he feels his administration managed to complete a majority of those tasks, and the rest he hopes will be continued by the next administration.
“I’m really happy with everything that we’ve accomplished,” Slusher said. “We worked on everything on our platform and those that were not finished were passed off. I’m really proud of everyone we worked with.”
The highlights of Slusher’s administration include getting a USC tram to run between the school and L.A. Live and improving USG’s visibility among students. The tram, which began running in November, offers students free transportation to the popular Downtown destination and has been utilized by many students since its inception.
To improve USG’s visibility, Slusher and Chan conducted a number of student surveys, tabled on Trousdale Parkway and hosted the Council of Presidents, a meeting that gave student leaders a chance to ask USG questions.
Several of Slusher and Chan’s platform points, however, did not come to fruition.
Initially, Slusher and Chan had hoped to expand the hours of the health center and the Lyon Center, but the university lacked the resources to hire more staff and told USG the plan wasn’t feasible.
“It’s not financially viable,” Helen Moser, USG director of campus affairs, said. “If we were to extend the hours, then it would take away from necessary things that students need … Compared to other schools, our hours of the health center is one of the best in the country.”
Chan noted, however, that USG has set up meetings between students and administrators to discuss a three-year plan that might involve extending the Lyon Center’s hours.
Other tasks USG had a tough time accomplishing were getting USCards accepted at local businesses, creating a paper ticket option for sporting events and adding more computers to USC’s libraries.
Chan said that in many cases USG hit administrative or bureaucratic roadblocks in trying to create significant changes around campus.
She did note, however, that the next administration will continue working to create a paper ticket option.
Another task the new administration will have the chance to finish is increasing library security, including adding turnstiles to the entrance of Leavey.
“The libraries were a little bit slow on that,” Chan said. “We will see more turnstiles and safety precautions taken by next year.”
Slusher and Chan had also hoped to repave The Row. Greek Senators Hayden Coplen, Dylan Dan and Max Ukropina were heading this issue but found some major roadblocks as they researched the project.
“Until The Row shuts down, we can’t repave it because it’s just going to get worse and worse and worse,” Chan said. “By the time we have a repaved street, it’s just going to go back to the same status as it was before. We can’t repave a lot of the streets until we find solutions to making The Row safer … We would not be able to do anything unless we appealed to the L.A. city, which makes it more of a challenge to get accomplished.”
Altogether, USG under Slusher and Chan spent approximately $1.72 million from their $1.8 million budget. Treasurer Ashwin Appiah noted that they saved a lot of money during elections, and whenever they considered spending money, they made sure that it would go back to the student body.
“We didn’t want to spend money just because we had it,” Appiah said. “We think before we spend and we see if it goes back to the student body, and if it doesn’t, then we double-think about what we’re using the money for.”
Although Slusher and Chan did not accomplish all the items on their platform, Chan said she does not consider them failures because changing circumstances might provide opportunities to complete those items.
“We had really lofty goals because if everyone keeps saying ‘no,’ then no change is going to get done,” Chan said. “If we found a compromise then it’s a success in itself.”
Chan said the only regret she has is not starting certain projects sooner.
“Hindsight is 20/20,” Chan said. “There are only so many things that we can do at one time, so, if anything, maybe we should have done some of these things faster or sooner, but there was really no way we could have measured that.”
Chan said she and Slusher are pleased with what they accomplished.
“I think it was very smart for us to anticipate that our goals were lofty but feasible,” Chan said. “The ultimate goal was to accomplish everything, and I think we tried our best.”