Undergraduate Student Government and USC Hospitality launched a reusable mug program in a joint effort to promote sustainability on campus Monday. The launch ends USG’s three-year effort to develop a sustainable mug.
The mug can be purchased at nine different USC Hospitality locations. Students will receive a free cup of coffee with their mug purchase and a 25-cent discount on every subsequent purchase when using the mug. The discount applies to any small drip coffee, espresso, tea or fountain drink. The mugs will cost $7.99.
“We wanted to make sure the mug wasn’t too high-priced, so we set our goal to make sure it was under $10 and we can happily say it’s $7.99,” said Mikey Geragos, USG director of university affairs. “We think that was the biggest hurdle.”
Rohan Mehra, assistant USG director for university affairs, said if the mugs sell quickly USG plans to work with the Office of Sustainability to make the mug more environmentally friendly.
“We are going to work with the Office of Sustainability to source an actual mug made out of recyclable materials because, as of right now, it’s just a regular plastic mug,” he said.
Geragos said there are currently 500 mugs in stock, but USG will purchase more depending on whether the mugs sell quickly.
“If we run out of the 500 and we do so in a reasonable time … we are definitely going to be looking at more mugs to purchase,” Geragos said.
The sustainability mug project was first conceived three years ago by now-USG treasurer, Elton Kwok.
“[One] reason it took so long was this is the first real joint-venture between hospitality and student government in terms of creating a product to sell,” Geragos said. “Creating that relationship and then also being able to work between both departments, I think was the biggest struggle.”
USG now has a positive working relationship with hospitality, which Geragos said will allow them to accomplish future projects more quickly.
“Now I feel confident that if we wanted to do another one like this, it would be less than half the time,” Geragos said. “It would be much quicker, much smoother.”
Though Geragos said his committee had not received much student feedback before the launch, he said students feel the mug will increase sustainability.
“Students, as a whole, don’t know a lot about it yet,” Geragos said. “But [from] everyone I’ve talked to, what they are mainly excited about is that they are going to see the direct effort USG is placing in sustainability and moving to create a more green campus.”