Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution Tuesday to resolve funding and communication issues between USG’s Program Board and university’s administration.
After the implementation of new security measures this January, the univeresity requires Program Board to allocate more money for security. This has resulted in higher costs for Program Board to put on events, such as the free concerts students enjoy each year. These higher security costs cut into Program Board’s budget and its ability to hire performers, according to Program Board.
Program Board Director Juan Espinoza said the costs of extra security measures hinder Program Board’s ability to put on events for students, potentially leading to a lack of student participation. Without the measure in place, funds for the additional security would come straight from the Program Board’s student programming budget.
“There should be a culture of participation at USC and things shouldn’t be shut down because we can’t afford fencing or security,” Espinoza said. “If the university wants to create these new security and fencing policies, then I think that the university should start contributing funds to that. We shouldn’t need to spend student programming funds to support these extraneous policies that the university created.”
Furthermore, Espinoza believes these new measures and a lack of university cooperation with Program Board have already directly affected Program Board’s ability to hire performers for student events.
“Sometimes, we get an opportunity where there’s a cool speaker or band who wants to come to campus in three weeks, but we can’t make that happen because the university doesn’t allow it or can’t be flexible to it,” Espinoza said. “We have to go through this huge bureaucracy that doesn’t let us do the best things for students sometimes, and that’s just not fair.”
Lamar Gary, the executive director of the Black Student Assembly, said the extra costs have already forced organizations to cancel their events because they cannot afford the cost of security.
“At the start of the semester, a Women’s Student Assembly event was canceled because it did not meet the security requirements,” Gary said. “With this resolution, events like this can happen. Each organization, including Concerts Committee, the Black Student Assembly and the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, will be able to reallocate their budget to spend more on programming expenses rather than paying for additional security.”
This new resolution encourages student input in the creation of policies that affect student programming. The resolution stipulates that the university requires a more comprehensive and flexible programming process, as well as contribute funds to Program Board to cover the costs of extra security and fencing.
The resolution was drafted by residential senators Sarah Loh and Jasmine McAllister.
Students agree that the student programming funds should be put toward putting on events for students, not toward adhering to university policies. Molly Barber, a sophomore majoring in business administration, said social events are important for creating a sense of student community.
“The university should be supporting events for students because events are great ways for students to come together,” Barber said. “I get that security for events is important, but if the costs of security are preventing events from happening, then there isn’t any point for the increased measures in the first place.”
Espinoza said he hopes that the university will respond to the resolution’s passage and help Program Board with its events.
“The resolution sends a message to the administration and I hope they listen,” Espinoza said. “If the university were to be responsive, it would help us have more funds to work on programs if they are to cover the increased security … it would also be helpful to be included in the process of policy changes because we are the most impacted by these policies, and we’re rarely taken into consideration.”