Meet the presidential tickets: Rini Sampath & Jordan Fowler
Aside from having set historical precedent as the first female presidential ticket, Rini Sampath and Jordan Fowler have created platform points that strive to produce their mantra of “real results.”
During their campaign, Sampath and Fowler stressed the importance of collaboration and communication. By bringing together student organizations in a collaborative problem-solving effort, the duo hopes to create a positive impact on the entire student body.
“I think the vision that we have for USC is to see it change from an institution where students who feel disconnected from their administration to a school where they feel connected and integrated,” Sampath said. “When we have that goal in mind, I think the pursuit of that is going to always keep us going.”
Both Sampath and Fowler have been active participants within various branches of USG since entering USC. Sampath currently serves as USG vice president and Fowler serves as director of university affairs.
In past years, Fowler worked as a delegate for external relations, where Sampath was the assistant director. When Sampath was promoted to co-director, Fowler took the position of assistant director and was then hired by Sampath to become the director of university affairs.
“I think having the USG experience for both Jordan and I, does give us that full understanding of how the organization itself functions,” Sampath said.
Of the campus organizations that chose to give endorsements to the presidential candidates, Sampath and Fowler’s campaign received the most. Some of these sponsors include, Public Relations Student Society of America, Trojan Knights and Motivate & Empower.
Sampath has had a variety of international experiences. Born in India, Sampath resided in the country until she was 3 years old and then moved to Singapore, where she lived until age 6. Since moving to America with her family, Sampath has lived in a total of 15 cities. Sampath’s family currently resides in Irvine, California, where Sampath attended high school and served as student body president.
“I think that in the process of growing up in a traditional family, there were a lot of expectations to become an engineer or to become a doctor and I was the one who kind of came out of left field and wanted to go in the government and work for my country,” Sampath said.
Fowler described her childhood and adolescence as a fusion of two worlds. Her father is of Jamaican descent and her mother, Russian. She grew up with a heavy emphasis on the importance of balancing work and education. Aside from her duties as a full-time student and director of university affairs, Fowler serves as a peer-leadership counselor at the Office of Campus Activities and student involvement coordinator for the USC Media Institute of Social Change.
Sampath is currently a junior majoring in international relations. She hopes to attend law school after college and aspires to eventually work in the U.S. State Department as a diplomat. In addition, Sampath spends her free time tutoring for Upward Bound, a program that offers low-income students in the south Los Angeles area the opportunity for guidance in various school subjects.
As a spring admit, Sampath has worked towards creating fall housing for spring admits to facilitate easier transition. Additionally, Sampath and Fowler’s platform points carry over from changes they have worked to implement during current terms in USG.
“I think each of these really reflects how expansive our reach is in terms of our platform,” Sampath said. “Instead of just focusing on one community, we’re looking at every community on campus or nearly every community. If students feel like something is missing, we want to implement that in our platform as well. It’s more of a two-way street.”
Furthermore, Sampath explained that she was motivated to run in the presidential race again after she and Fowler took on a large project to improve accessibility for students with disabilities.
“Moving forward, a lot of people asked me if I was going to run again,” Sampath said. “At that time, my honest answer was, ‘Probably not.’ I thought, ‘You know, this is my year to give it my all.’ But, as I was picking up some projects I really cared about, like sexual assault prevention on campus or accessibility for students with disabilities — the momentum that we had was so unparalleled, that if I had that one extra year, especially with Jordan, if we had that year together, I think it would just be really incredible to just continue the projects, to continue the change on campus.”
Fowler commented that Sampath has been a role model and inspiration to her since the beginning of her time at USC.
“I say she’s been my role model and mentor, since day one,” Fowler said. “She’s one of the first people I met when I stepped on this campus, so having someone like that ask me to run with her and be by her side, was absolutely the biggest honor I’ve ever been given in my whole life.”
Sampath explained that a balanced ticket requires a connection on both personal and professional levels.
“We’ve worked together since day one. Not only do we see each other on a personal level, but we are always connected on a professional level. If students were to place that trust in us to elect us as president and vice-president, we can assure you that we’re actually going to be able to run an effective organization and run an effective school,” Sampath said.