Q&A: USG Presidential Ticket Henriquez and Pham

Daily Trojan: Can you talk about your platform and a key issue you’d like to tackle?

USG Presidential Candidate Charlie Henriquez: We really want to implement a fall break and get somewhere where we can reach a consensus about fall break. And the faculty groups have actually rejected the proposal to have a fall break because they won’t be able to submit some winter grades on time.

USG Vice Presidential Candidate Cole Pham: We really want to help enhance [the first-year experience] and make sure that everyone coming to campus really feels that love and that Trojan home. A couple things about sustainability on the platform — we use a lot of water, whenever we use the sprinklers and there’s a lot of water running from the grass and onto the pavement. Obviously, the pavement doesn’t need the water. We want to reduce, or if anything, better aim the sprinklers so that it’s better hitting the grass. Also, more solar paneling on roofs that otherwise wouldn’t have anything on the roofs.

DT: This year, there has been a surge in student engagement and activism. How do you plan on continuing this momentum?

CP: This past year in RSG, the amount of programs that I, as a Vice President of Programming Board, had to put on increased. So, what I had to do was put on more Cardinal and Gold events, which are events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

DT: What are your thoughts on the Rini Sampath-Jordan Fowler administration?

CH: I’m glad they brought up the Campus Climate Initiative … That ties into our platform as well, where we want to create something practical and go forward with step-by-step. The first thing we want to do is create a mobile app where we can consolidate all kinds of resources … all in a phone on all different platforms, so students can check where they identify and not make that trek that they don’t want to make.

DT: People also identify with their greek organizations on campus. Can you comment on greek life’s role at USC?

CH: Just like any organization, I feel like it’s a good home here. Any organization can be that home; greek life is just a certain home for the people that choose it. This is also another reason why we chose to stand against deferment to the spring semester because it would be biased to defer just greek rush process and not the deferment of any other student organization.

DT: Other underrepresented groups on campus include spring admit, transfer and commuter students. How do you plan on promoting cohesion within those populations.

CH: There’s been a very big talk about having commuter lounges and spring admit lounges, so that’s something we really want to push. That’s something that’s pretty prevalent within USG and create initiatives for that. Similar problems when we’re trying to expand the cultural center space, the same for when we’re trying to get these lounges for different constituencies.

DT: Another thing the Rini-Jordan administration strived for was college affordability, How do you plan on promoting that?

CH: As long as the administration is getting the point across, that’s a good starting point, but we really want to continue on that and we really want to get to a point where we can sit down with the administration and write something where we can finally see this is a budget transparency, this is budget allocation, where we know that our money is being spent correctly, where we finally can get to a point where we can create a tuition freeze.

DT: What are your plans to enhance transparency within USG?

CP: Getting things through funding boards are usually things that are tedious and take a long time and we don’t really know what happens. So, really exposing what funding boards and seeing not only a general guideline of how you apply and what is your general criterion to receive this funding. When we can create a better system where students know how to get this funding, when people don’t feel confused about how to get this funding.

DT: One big issue we have on campus is sexual assault prevention. How do you plan on advocating?

CH: We really think that if we have an examiner at Engemann Student Health Center, it will help people overall and make people not feel like they live in the shadows due to an assault of any kind, whether that be a sexual assault, domestic violence, we really want to make sure that we’re giving those students who have the victim of this the opportunities to feel like they belong here.