USG senate votes to amend all future USCards

Katie Chin | Daily Trojan

The Undergraduate Student Government passed a proposal Tuesday night to modify the phone numbers printed on the back of USCards for future USC students at the USG Senate meeting. By virtue of an amendment proposed by Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler Matheson, the amendment, which passed 9-3, includes three numbers: the Department of Public Safety emergency number, the Crisis Intervention Center and the USC 4-1-1 hotline.

Currently, USCards have two phone numbers: Undergraduate Student Government and an inoperational emergency line. USG said its intent behind the proposal was to use the space to provide much-needed guidance to students in need of urgent assistance.

The Crisis Intervention Center number and the USC 4-1-1 hotline are both still in the making and not currently functional, which caused many senators to ask questions and express concerns before voting on the amendment.

The Senate discussed the USC 4-1-1 hotline at length, as it was not yet known if the hotline would be automated or answered by human responders. Sens. Isabella Smith and Noah Silver asserted that this contingency could sway their opinions regarding the amendment from two numbers to three numbers.

“If [USC 4-1-1] was an automated number, I would rather have all three of them on there,” Smith said.

This turned out to be the broader opinion of the Senate, and the amendment and proposal were both passed with the understanding that the 4-1-1 hotline will be an automated number.

Dunn said that the USC 4-1-1 hotline and the Crisis Intervention number could be sources of confusion, because they will cover a variety of topics and concerns.

Sen. Buck Andrews brought up the distinction between physical and mental emergencies, and how it may be unclear as to which number students should call in each case. Dunn acknowledged the potential issue of differentiating between the two.

“That’s my only concern,” Dunn said. “I just don’t know if all of our students are going to know that Crisis Prevention means mental; DPS Emergency means physical.”