Undergraduate Student Government presidential and vice presidential candidates Dylan Dann and Addison McCaleb are hoping to help students get connected, whether it’s to one another, to important resources or to the city around them.
Donning bright green T-shirts during the campaign period to make their names, faces and ideas known, Dann and McCaleb are running on a platform, which includes facilitating communication among students and giving students access to destinations around Los Angeles. The two are hoping, as their slogan says, to “Connect (you) SC.”
“The Trojan experience has just been one of a kind for me, and I really wanted to give back. I’ve been involved in USG and realized that students need to be connected to the university more than they are now,” Dann said.
If elected president, Dann, a junior majoring in international relations (global business) and a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, said he will draw on his experience as a Greek senator and lead with a passion he feels is unmatched.
“Our greatest strength … is passion,” Dann said. “You’ve really got to want to fix this university, make it better, make it the best that it can be … We really want to improve the university for the next generation of Trojans, and I think that’s what sets us apart. The passion and vigor with which we’re going to go into this office if elected would be better than the next candidate.”
McCaleb, a junior majoring in film production and a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, ran for a Greek senator seat last year but lost to Dann. He said he wants to bring a “fresh perspective” to the USG administration. Dann, the two maintain, will provide the experience, and McCaleb will bring an outsider’s idealist approach.
“Why we love the duo of us two is that I kind of bring the fresh perspective,” McCaleb said. “I’m walking in there, guns blazing. Maybe I don’t know all the rules and maybe I don’t know everything that’s been addressed or attempted to be addressed, but maybe that’s a positive.”
If elected, Dann and McCaleb’s goals include regular meetings with representatives from student groups, USC shuttles around the city (including to the beach, the Grove and airports), assistance for students looking for non-university housing, permanent USC e-mail addresses, football tickets that are transferable by I.D. card and improved wireless internet around campus. All of these initiatives, they say, come back to connectivity.
In particular, the two assert that it is important for USG to facilitate connections among student organizations.
“We feel like there are so many organizations at USC that aren’t connected, and a lot of them do the same projects or work on the same things, have common goals, so we really want to connect those organizations to one another so they can work together if they want to,” Dann said.
Dann and McCaleb hope to facilitate communication between students and USG and among students and student groups. They plan to hold monthly meetings with student leaders — a variation on this year’s Council of Presidents — to give student groups a chance to voice their concerns and ask questions.
“It wouldn’t be a meeting where we tell what we’re doing, but we ask them to tell us what they’re doing and how we can help,” McCaleb said.
The current USG administration set out initially to improve students’ knowledge of USG and its operation. That outreach effort, Dann said, was met with great success, and he hopes to continue to expand on it and to focus on face-to-face interaction more than online communication.
“The best connections really come from interactions between one another,” Dann said. “I think a lot of it has to do with USG’s tangible representation in different meetings, really representing organizations, and I think that’s where that’s going to come from.”
He also intends to continue the current administration’s work on initiatives including extended hours at the USC University Park Health Center and the Lyon Center and rollover dining dollars.
Their goals are lofty, but Dann and McCaleb said for every point of their platform, they carefully considered whether it was feasible and how much money it would cost. The two hope to take a careful look at how USG’s money is spent.
“In every issue we looked at, every time we wrote something down, we said, ‘Is this feasible?’ We didn’t want to make a whole campaign that in the end was a great campaign [but] we weren’t able to execute,” McCaleb said.
With the help of about 40 volunteers, according to campaign manager Lesley Stahl, and the continued use of bright colors, Dann and McCaleb are focusing, as their campaign slogan signifies, on connecting to students. This, they hope, will make them successful come voting period next week.
“I don’t see any barriers between us,” McCaleb said. “I am going to continue being the student I’ve been for three years and just take on extra responsibilities for them.”
To hear the first part of Alexandra Tilsley’s interview with Dylan Dann and Addison McCaleb, click below: