USG hopes to renovate Leavey

Tuesday night’s USG Senate Meeting featured presentations from Academic Affairs, the Marketing and Special Events branches of USG’s Program Board and the Center for Excellence in Teaching.

Academic Affairs Director Michael Yoshimura reported on his organization’s meetings with USC Information Technology Services and the dean of libraries.

Yoshimura said ITS plans to switch all students from the old webmail server to Google Apps.

“ITS wants us to switch everyone over to Google Apps from the old system. It’s more secure, you get more storage; all in all, it’s an easier system to work with,” Yoshimura said.

ITS wants to implement an online database for four-year course plans, similar to one used at Arizona State University. ITS employees are also conducting a wireless walkthrough to point out areas of bad service on campus and add routers if needed.

Yoshimura also told the Senate about a meeting with the dean of libraries to move forward on a $20 million renovation to Leavey Library.

“We’re expecting an overwhelming amount of people to support Leavey renovations,” Yoshimura said. “This is a student-driven issue, and students expect Leavey to be updated for the 21st century.”

Yoshimura announced that there will be an ITS help desk in front of Leavey Library for finals week to assist students with issues regarding USC Wireless and their USC email accounts, and a “New Library Hours” infographic will be posted at university libraries.

After Yoshimura spoke, the meeting shifted to Program Board’s marketing team. Jojo Zhang, social media assistant director of Program Board, and Paola Fernandez, historian assistant director of Program Board, discussed recent successes of their organization, such as increasing the number of likes on USG’s Facebook page from 900 to nearly 2,400 in the past few months.

The directors said changes in recruitment have helped the organization improve.

“We wanted to improve the committee’s strength,” Zhang said.

In previous years, Zhang said members didn’t have a lot of responsibility. New committees within marketing have increased the committee’s personnel. Extra committee members will be crucial in promoting upcoming events such as Conquest, Zhang said.

“We have about 30 members now, which is a huge boost,” Zhang said.

Special Events Committee Director Kim Chu presented on upcoming events.

Special Events sponsored several events on campus this fall, including the “Welcome Back Comedy Show with Jay Pharoah.”

“Our goal is to provide unique and impactful experiences to reach the widest range of USC students,” Chu said.

Finally, Undergraduate Fellow Nick Kosturos from the Center for Excellence in Teaching announced plans for an upcoming seminar that will allow USC students to give a 20-minute presentation on a topic of their choice.

“We’re hoping to make these seminars a regular occurrence,” Kostorous said.

The goal of the seminar is promoting extracurricular learning on campus and giving students a platform to present on topics.

“The idea is it’s led for students by students … We’re trying to find out what students are passionate about,” Kostorous said.

The seminar, titled “Sparking Intellectual Curiosity at USC,” will take place in the Taper Hall of Humanities on Nov. 21.


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