Summer does not mean a break for USG

The school year is winding down, but for the new Undergraduate Student Government administration, the work is just beginning.

Heading into the final stretch of the semester, USG has begun making its summer preparations. President Chris Cheng and Vice President Nehi Ogbevoen will work on individual and joint projects this summer, and the senators will all begin planning for the onslaught of work the fall will bring.

Ready to go · USG Vice President Nehi Ogbevoen, pictured here at the swearing in ceremony, will work on a number of projects this summer. - Nathaniel Gonzalez| Daily Trojan

Cheng and Ogbevoen said most of the research for their projects is done during the summer. This summer they will be meeting with administrators to present their ideas, and to get feedback and suggestions from administrators. They already have appointments set up with Michael L. Jackson, the vice president for Student Affairs, and incoming President C. L. Max Nikias.

“By talking to administrators we want to get a holistic understanding of what’s going on, what we can do, what’s feasible,” Cheng said. “It’s execution time in the fall.”

Cheng and Ogbevoen recently met with Patrick Bailey, associate dean and executive director of Student Life and Involvement, to discuss setting up meetings with various other officials.

“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to get an early start on meeting administrators and setting up our summer projects and plans for the next school year,” Ogbevoen said.

Cheng and Ogbevoen also plan to meet with Information Technology Services to discuss expanding wireless on campus and to generate ideas about how to enhance learning space and allow students to have a more innovative learning experience.

Another item on Cheng and Ogbevoen’s summer agendas is visiting recreation centers at other universities, including Stanford, Northwestern and Duke. They are hoping to use these visits to gather ideas, which will help USG push for upgrades to the Lyon Center in the fall.

“We’d like to plant the seeds for a new rec center in the future,” Cheng said. “Nothing concrete, but at least do the primary research in order to start the groundwork for something great in the future.”

USG also hopes to spend the summer spreading awareness and recruiting new members.

Ogbevoen will stay at USC through July to welcome the incoming freshmen during orientation. He plans to work at the USG orientation booth and give tours.

“We’re trying to work with the communication team and spread the word about USG as an organization, trying to get freshmen excited and possibly joining in the fall,” Ogbevoen.

Cheng and Ogbevoen are not the only ones who have summer plans. Speaker Pro Tempore Mikey Geragos said he is directing the senators to find more statistics, conduct more research and start drafting their resolutions on their projects.

“Come fall, they can come to the Senate meetings prepared so we don’t waste any time,” Geragos said. “We can start passing these resolutions and advocating for new things that we want to see on campus, and other items that we want to see the university change or fix. It’s really important that we get all of this done this summer so we can just get right into it.”

The summer will also be the time when USG orders its promotional items, moves into its new office in the campus center and plans for fall retreats, which will provide USG members with workshops and advice on how to approach advocacy projects. USG plans to move into the new office around the end of May and the beginning of June and get organized before they leave for the summer.

The senators will assist Cheng and Ogbevoen in their move to the campus center and will work with the Allocations Committee to plan for a possible increase in the budget.

The main goal this summer, Ogbevoen said, is to be prepared to jump into work when the fall semester begins.

“We’re setting up the game plan so when we get back in the fall, we hit the ground running,” Ogbevoen said.