Mikey Geragos and Vinnie Prasad are running to be the Undergraduate Student Government’s president and vice president, respectively, on a platform of “making students’ lives easier.”
Geragos, a junior majoring in public policy, management and planning, currently serves as USG’s director for University Affairs. Prasad, a junior majoring in psychology and economics, serves as a residential senator and is speaker pro tempore for the Senate.
“Vinnie and I have the same reason for running,” Geragos said. “We both love this university so much, and we wanted to give back during our time here. Both of us saw USG as being that way to give back.”
Geragos and Prasad said the primary platform points they want to push are ensuring adequate funding for philanthropy, sustainability and service organizations; increasing the availability and publicity for free LAX shuttles; combining USG and Campus Affairs calendars into a mobile application; and increasing outreach from USG to other organizations.
“We’ve heard people say USC is very compartmentalized socially,” Geragos said. “We’ve been to dozens of organizations already to learn about what they need and care about. Ultimately, we’re here to support them, not just do the things we think are best.”
Geragos and Prasad said they plan to stay connected to the student body by increasing senator outreach to clubs and organizations and by making a few Senate meetings each year more interactive and more like the forums USG has co-hosted with various departments.
“Technically the Senate meetings are open to the entire student body, but obviously most people don’t have the time to attend all those meetings,” Prasad said. “We’d like to have big meetings more frequently, maybe monthly, that allow for students to voice their opinion and learn more about what USG is doing for issues they care about.”
Looking ahead, Geragos said his administration would respond to the increasingly residential campus by adding to the number of events on campus, partially through Program Board, which gets its funding from USG.
“The more programming you have on campus, the more it feels like a residential community,” Geragos said. “We want to make sure that they’re not ignoring the fact that students have social lives and the interactions between students to student.”
Prasad said students have input in the Specific Plan, USC’s guidelines for changing or interacting with the area around the University Park Campus, because of the increase in residential housing.
“That should be something students regularly have a voice in. It’s something constantly in fluctuation,” Prasad said. “We’re just as motivated as administrators are on this issue because we want the school to be better 10 years from now.“
Prasad also said USG and USC must stay on top of technological trends to communicate with students.
Geragos was speaker pro tempore as a Greek senator last year, for which he won USG’s Senator of the Year award. He has been on the Society 53 board for two years and has served on Sigma Chi’s executive board. He currently is on the General Education review board and the Sustainability Board. Last year, he won the Tommy’s Student Governance Award for leadership in multiple organizations.
Prasad was assistant director of community affairs and a building government chair for University Residential Student Community. He has been a residential adviser for two years and is treasurer for the Trojan Knights. Last year, he won USG’s Emerging Leader Award.
“We have the passion and drive to take this position on full force,” Geragos said. “I’ve known I wanted to be president since I stepped on this campus. If that dream gets realized, I won’t take it for granted.”
Video edited by: Alexis Driggs | Daily Trojan
For more coverage on the 2012 USG elections, click here.