Student government campaigns announced

Race to the top · Austin Dunn, Daniel Million and Rachel Udabe began campaigning for the presidency Thursday. There are 13 candidates are running for USG Senate positions. Elections will begin on Feb. 7 – Photos from USG Elections website

Undergraduate Student Government Vice President Austin Dunn, Rachel Udabe and USG Senator Daniel Million announced their candidacies for USG President Thursday night.

The Vice President and Senate campaigns were also officially revealed Thursday. Three presidential tickets and 13 senatorial candidates were announced through the USG Elections Facebook page, USG website and websites for the specific campaigns.

Dunn, a junior majoring in political science and pursuing a master’s in public diplomacy, is one of the three candidates running for USG president. His running mate, Morgan Monahan, is a junior majoring in business administration.

Dunn served as USG vice president for the 2016-2017 school year. In addition, Dunn previously served as the director of university affairs for USG and was the vice president of the Pre-Law Society. Dunn is also a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, and Monahan is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Dunn and Monahan are running on 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. They also plan to move USC in a more environmentally friendly direction by installing solar panels, reducing styrofoam use and increasing recycling and composting on campus.

“Morgan and I have a unique presidential ticket going on — we pride ourselves running a campaign on progress and change,” Dunn said. “Due to our extensive experience in the organization, we’re continuing work that has already been done.”

The second ticket consists of Udabe, a junior majoring in policy, planning and development and political science, and Rebecca Harbeck, a sophomore majoring in economics and sociology, as her running mate.

Udabe is currently a campus tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admission, and has previously worked as an orientation advisor. She served as a resident assistant in Birnkrant Residential College during her sophomore year, and interned in the office of U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez in her home district of Eastern Los Angeles County in 2014. Harbeck, meanwhile, is active in the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, writes for U.S.-China Today at USC’s U.S.-China Institute and is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law and Alpha Gamma Delta fraternities.

“Rebecca and I will bring a new perspective to the table for USG,” Udabe said. “How it’s different from the other candidates is that though they have USG experience, we bring a plethora of USC experience. We believe that with our involvement in the diverse communities at USC, we will meet a lot of the students’ needs not from a top-down perspective, but from a bottom-up perspective.”

Udabe and Harbeck’s platform features new initiatives such as a mentorship program between current students and transfers, spring admits and international students; the implementation of USG office hours to make senators more accessible to the student body; and the creation of 24-hour snack options at University dining halls. Udabe and Harbeck are also running on a platform of increased transparency for USG as well as greater collaboration with Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Services to create a comprehensive sexual assault prevention plan.

Million, a junior majoring in neuroscience, rounds out the third presidential ticket with Timothy Vorhoff, a sophomore majoring in business who is running for vice president. Million is a first-generation college student whose parents immigrated from Ethiopia, a background that he said inspired him to run for office to help other students who may be facing socioeconomic difficulties. Vorhoff worked as the USG Director of Discretionary Funding this year.

“What we’re just trying to do is allow students to have more of an opportunity to have a voice,” Million said. “We want students to vote on things happening in the Undergraduate Student Government. Our campaign, our slogan and everything that we’re standing for is about giving students the opportunity that their voices are heard.”

Million and Vorhoff offer a platform that advocates for free printing cards for all students, food trucks on campus each week, extended hours for free Uber, a new fall break and extended Thanksgiving break, menstrual products in campus bathrooms and better recycling and composting programs. The Million-Vorhoff ticket also includes goals for improving disability services, implementing cultural sensitivity training and emphasizing sexual assault prevention training for students.

Thirteen candidates are running for 12 USG Senate openings. Tyler Matheson is the only current USG Senator who is running for re-election in the Senate.

According to Kat Lee, the associate director of elections for USC, all of the candidates are equipped to run successful campaigns.

“We want to make sure that people who are doing good work on this campus represent the organization,” Lee said. “I think the candidates this year demonstrate that.”

A Meet the Candidates event will take place Tuesday in TCC 227 at 8 p.m. A town hall-style debate between the candidates, with student-submitted questions, will take place Wednesday in the Wallis Annenberg Hall lobby at 8 p.m.