Senate meeting focuses on budget allocations

The Undergraduate Student Government Senate met Tuesday night to review budget allocations for the fall 2013 semester and hear presentations from directors of Program Board assemblies.

The fall budget, presented by USG Treasurer Kameron VanWoerkem, allocated more than $150,000 to USG-sponsored student organizations and funds.

The largest of the approved allocations was $67,000 for the Concerts Committee. The committee will use this money to hire artists and plan for USC’s announced Springfest in 2014.

Such budget increases are typical, as popular and expensive artists usually generate more student involvement, VanWoerkem said.

“This is not unfamiliar territory for us. Concerts are very expensive, but they give us the best possible opportunity for outreach and student involvement,” VanWoerkem said. “People ask on our Facebook group, ‘Bring Katy Perry’ or ‘Bring Kaskade,’ and in order to deliver these big name artists, we must budget accordingly.”

Other allocations went to USC’s Recreational Club Council, and various branches of USG’s Funding and Program Boards.

The Senate approved the allocations with a 12-1 vote. A breakdown of the fall 2013 budget can be found on USG’s website.

Prior to the vote on the budget, Asian Pacific American Student Assembly’s Executive Director Gloria Kim and Assistant Director Alison Chang gave a short presentation.

Among the events APASA has planned for the spring 2014 semester are tours of Asian American neighborhoods around Los Angeles.

“There is a great surrounding APA community in the USC area, and we want to expose students to this community,” Kim said.

APASA plans to increase its presence on campus by balancing events of cultural celebration with events that address contemporary social issues.

“In the past, APASA has veered more towards cultural events, but we also want to educate students about the APA community and APA issues,” Chang said.

APASA represents 25 percent of USC’s student body and oversees 22 student organizations. The assembly has sponsored several events this fall, including a welcome back barbecue, an assembly mixer, a night market and an upcoming winter formal.

“APAs are a very significant part of our campus … at USC. We don’t necessarily feel misrepresented, but we want to make sure that issues regarding the APA population are acknowledged,” Kim said.

The Community Affairs committee also presented at the meeting. Director Kandace London, accompanied by Assistant Directors Caroline Smith, Sarah Nuslein and Annie Park, updated USG on relevant issues.

Smith, the assistant director of sustainability, said she is concerned with the university’s attitude toward environmental issues, particularly recycling.

“We’re working on defining an environmental and social consciousness, so that when people come to USC, they can see [we] care about the environment,” Smith said.

USC, unlike other Pac-12 universities, does not have sponsored recycling bins on campus. Community Affairs plans on placing new recycling bins around the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.

“We want this to be a pilot program. Hopefully this leads to more recycling bins around campus,” London said.

University officials, however, are concerned that the bins will not be cost-effective if implemented.

“We’ve been getting some pushback from university officials,” Smith said. “The trash bins are expensive, and they don’t have the USC logo. There’s also no conclusive proof they’d help increase sustainability. We’re working on getting student and faculty support.”

Community Affairs hopes to negotiate a plan that will install recycling bins by the start of the spring semester.


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