The Undergraduate Student Government discussed a resolution to establish a First-Generation Plus Center during Tuesday’s Senate meeting. The resolution would create a physical space for first-generation students to build community and gain access to vital financial and advising resources.
A survey conducted in Spring 2019 by the First-Generation Student Union and QuestBridge executive board revealed establishing a first-generation resource center and lounge is a top priority for 90% of respondents. Targeted professional development and increased funding for academic opportunities not included in financial aid packages also ranked at the top of respondents’ priorities.
According to FGSU Programming Director Jennifer Jimenez, the resource center will recognize the cultural, ethnic and economic diversity present within the first-generation student population.
“A lot of campuses throughout the nation focus either on first-generation or low-income population,” Jimenez said. “This center will definitely not only focus on the low-income population but on other socioeconomic classes.”
The First-Generation Plus Center will centralize and streamline resources specifically targeted toward first-generation students such as the First-Generation Mentor Program and the FGSU. The center will also feature a lounge space for individuals to gather and build community and will be professionally staffed to provide programming services and general oversight.
The resolution encourages the University to maintain constant communication with its first-generation students and will ensure a timely establishment of the resource center.
Sen. Randi Anderson presented her work on decreasing the carbon footprint of Thornton School of Music by converting to paperless alternatives. The initiative aims to establish a pilot program in Fall 2020 that will provide electronic tablets to use during students’ academic and professional careers.
“Essentially, what I wanted to do was use iPads for performance settings, [for] music and [to] do things in rehearsal digitally so we can reduce the amount of paper waste that we are putting out,” Anderson said.
Anderson also commented on her efforts to reduce faculty paper consumption by suggesting professors provide digital alternatives to paper packets and smaller handouts.
Sen. Haley Garland presented her work with Sen. Sara Khoshniyati on an initiative that would allow students to use discretionary dollars at USC Village businesses. Garland will meet this week with Assistant Vice President of Hospitality Kris Klinger to work through the barriers the initiative faces.
Garland then presented her continued work with the Association of American Universities’ Task Force to gather campus data on sexual assault cases. Garland also attended the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine action collaborative to develop methods for decreasing sexual assault on campus.
Senior Director of Communications Truman Fritz announced the launch of the Humans of SC campaign, which will document student voices from various cultural backgrounds to advance campus unity and diversity on Instagram.
President Trenton Stone presented amendments to the USG constitution that condenses the document and reflects the recent change to consolidate the government structure under three main branches instead of six.
“All the amendments will take effect April 7 at the start of the new term,” Stone said. “We’re doing a lot of this now so that [Fritz’s] and [Ritch]’s hiring can reflect the changes that will exist in the organization.”
Senior Director of Programming Montana Houston confirmed new Service Student Assembly Co-Executive Director Isabella Oh and Assistant Director Samantha Sparacino. Oh, a freshman majoring in biological sciences, will serve as Director of Publicity and Social Media on the SSA executive board. Sparacino, a freshman majoring in human development and aging, will serve as Director of Community Affairs.
The USG Election results were also verified by Director of Campus Activities Gabriel Valenzuela who confirmed Fritz and Ritch as USG’s 2020-21 president and vice president. The USG 2020-21 Senate will comprise of Isabel Washington, Dario Arganese, Trinity Moore, Alexis Areias, Mayra Rodriguez, Max Gomez, Lennon Wesley III, Ruben Romeo, Kevin Gutierrez, Cathy Ding, Gabriel Savage and Julian Lin.