Meeting features PSA, WSA

The USG Senate meeting on Tuesday night featured presentations from the Political Student Assembly and the Women’s Student Assembly, as well as a proposed amendment to USG’s bylaws and election code.

Political Student Assembly Director Justin Bogda said in his presentation that he wanted to increase political activism at USC.

“We want to politicize our campus,” Bogda said. “We have monthly debates, but we want to open up to political issues happening at USG as well as national and international politics.”

PSA includes the university’s student-run political organizations, such as the College Democrats and College Republicans, along with advocacy groups such as Student Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy, an anti-genocide organization. PSA has increased its political activism on campus by sponsoring events such as Bill Maher at USC and National Voter Registration Day.

“We’d like to be utilized as a resource for political events on campus,” Bogda said.

Upcoming PSA events include a book talk with Palestinian advocate Josh Ruebner, two debates, and a Know Your Rights Campaign co-sponsored by the USChange Movement.

The Women’s Student Assembly also gave a presentation detailing its agenda to reduce sexual crime and gender-based discrimination at USC.

“We’re trying to make feminism more accessible and more inclusive on campus,” WSA Assistant Director Taylor Markey said.

WSA Co-Director Kaya Masler addressed the issue of sexual abuse in the university community.  Masler said many sexual crimes go unreported on campus, and her goal is to make the reporting process easier and more transparent for students.

“Our whole advocacy campaign is to get USC to go beyond compliance,” Markey said. “We want USC to go from defense to offense on these issues, and we want more students to get involved.”

The WSA holds discussion groups each week, and hosts events to promote gender-based advocacy.

Following the WSA presentation, Elections and Recruitment Co-directors Andrew Cho and Taylor Rottjakob proposed an amendment to USG bylaws that, if passed, would add an extra day of voting to the USG elections in the spring. The amendment is a response to low voter turnout in past USG elections.

“The percentage of undergraduates who vote is relatively low,” Rottjakob said.

If the proposal passes, USC students will have an extra Monday to cast their votes on Election Week. The directors feel that this extra day could be critical for students who are reluctant to vote, or who have conflicts with their class schedule.

“Having an extra day can only help the election process. Maybe students have class during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on their scheduling,” Cho said.

USG will vote on the bylaw amendment and the election code revision in their meeting next Tuesday at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.