USG introduces resolution on campus climate

Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

The Undergraduate Student Government introduced a resolution tackling campus climate reform at its weekly meeting Tuesday night in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. On Monday, the same resolution was presented to the Graduate Student Government, adding to the conversation about campus diversity that has gathered momentum over the past few weeks.

The members and directors of various student assemblies — among them the Latina/o Student Assembly, APASA, Women’s Student Assembly, Diversity Affairs and the USG Senate —  authored the resolution. USG President Rini Sampath, also a key author, led the presentation of the resolution.

Sampath began by showing a photo of herself when she received her USC acceptance letter, using it to illustrate the difference between the experience she expected and the one she has had.

Climate change · Rini Sampath, Undergraduate Student Government president, was one of the authors presenting the resolution to the Senate. - Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

Climate change · Rini Sampath, Undergraduate Student Government president, was one of the authors presenting the resolution to the Senate. – Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

“This is a picture of me looking pretty disheveled at 17, clutching my USC acceptance letter because I was so, so stoked to get into this school,” Sampath said. “I was beyond happy. It was my dream school. And I’m sure many in this room know that feeling, of being able to get accepted into one of the best universities in the country.”

Moira Turner, director of diversity affairs, also showed a past photo of herself.

“This is my freshman year, with a couple of my friends, and I was super excited to be part of the USC campus, really starting to get my foot in the water with USG,” Turner said.

Sampath and Turner then discussed the idea of the Trojan Family, and how it is vitally embedded in USC culture.

“[The Trojan Family] has this underlying notion of inclusivity, having everyone be part of this very large family, a ‘happy family’ kind of thing,” Turner said.

Sampath elaborated on the University’s public commitment to diversity and how it relates to reality.

“The word ‘diversity’ pops out a lot in the marketing materials,” Sampath said. “We talk about having one of the most diverse student bodies, a huge international student community. But in reality, what does the word ‘diversity’ actually mean? Is it just a marketing ploy to get students into the room? What are we doing to support those diverse groups of students? Are they feeling left out? Excluded?”

Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

The reality of the campus climate, Sampath argued, is much different from that depicted in the materials  presented by the University.

“This conversation isn’t anything new — we’ve been having it for years now,” she said.

Sampath showed video of an incident in May 2013, where more than 70 LAPD officers, some in riot gear, responded to a noise complaint and shut down a student party. The result was a sit-in at Tommy Trojan led by then-student Nate Howard and other supporters. They spoke out about how students on campus were feeling, holding signs with slogans such as “I want to be a part of the Trojan Family” and “Why does the color of my skin matter?”

Sampath also talked about the “I, Too, Am USC” campaign, in which students spoke out against micro-aggressions experienced on campus. Sampath showed another image of student harassment in which students appeared to be carrying a fake gun and mocking Arab culture.

Sampath and Turner went on to express frustration at the progress made with the Awujo house, a space for programming centered on the African diaspora. The resolution to institute the House, Sampath mentioned, was passed a year ago but and has gathered little administrative support since.

Before presenting the resolution, Sampath concluded by explaining the process of advocacy at USC.

Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

Beverly Pham | Daily Trojan

“Student input is gathered through forums and meetings, student government meets with administrators [and] then there starts to be unsustainable change because we hear no responses — there is no action on their side and an incident occurs. It is a continual loop,” Sampath said. “That’s why we need your support to create sustainable activism and get the administration to make a commitment to reform USC.”

The resolution calls for a series of actions from the University administration, including the hiring of a vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and on additional Title IX investigator, a $100 million fund to support underrepresented students and tenured faculty positions for underrepresented minorities, additional resources for cultural centers and mandatory diversity and cultural competency training for graduate students, student leaders and faculty.

USG will vote on the resolution during their meeting next Tuesday.

6 replies
  1. ConcernedTrojan
    ConcernedTrojan says:

    Sampath needs to start answering the real questions. How much money has she made from recent television and media appearances regarding her story? Why has she refused to publicly name the house that “harassed” her? She has a very radical agenda that she wants to push on students on the campus.

  2. Bob
    Bob says:

    So groups representing underrepresented students demand a $100 million fund be established to support underrepresented students. It’s a stick-up! lulz

  3. biggestboss562
    biggestboss562 says:

    USC Student Government President selective on application of racism on campus



    The United States has long defended the pursuit of liberty against those driven by reckless hate, possessed by the worst of tyranny. Government by the people, for the people, is a moral imperative for any free society.

    Yet across the campuses of the United State’s great academic institutions, an enemy of freedom lurks in the shadows of multiculturalism. The organization known as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan is one of the largest student groups in the country. Under the guise of community service, MEChA has secured legitimacy and power in academic governments across the country, including USC and LA Trade Tech.

    Although considerable, MEChA’s philanthropy does not excuse its extreme and racist agenda. For too long MEChA has gone unanswered for the hateful proclamations of its founding document known as El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan. Created in 1969, this belligerent manifesto has been hailed as quintessential to MEChA philosophy in official documents recent as 2014 by MEChA de USC & Mecha de LA Trade Tech .

    In short, El Plan de Aztlan calls for the seizure of the southwestern United States. In subscribing to this document, MEChA refuses to recognize American sovereignty, convinced the United States illegally occupies the ancient birthplace of the Aztecs, known as Aztlan: “Aztlan belongs to those who plant
    the seeds, water the fields and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We don’t recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent. ” According to the plan, MEChA intends to revolt against our institutions and our way of life: “Lands rightfully ours will be fought for and defended. Land and realty ownership will be acquired by the community for the people’s welfare. Economic ties of responsibility must be secured by nationalism and the Chicano defense units.”

    MEChA’s plan promotes hate for the “gringo,” as the organization looks upon Americans as evil invaders of its land: “Those institutions which are fattened by our brothers to provide employment and political pork barrels for the gringo will do so only as acts of liberation and for La Causa. For the very young there will no longer be acts of juvenile delinquency, but revolutionary acts.”

    Amazingly, MEChA has grown to significant numbers in recent years, infiltrating hundreds of colleges and high schools, brainwashing students with its sick racial fanaticism. Based upon a complete analysis of El Plan, it appears as if the organization’s ultimate goal seems to be a national division and violent race war.

    Like the Nazis, MEChA advocates ethnic nationalism as a call to arms, seeking political power outside the established institutions of this country. “Political liberation can only come through independent action on our part, since the two-party system is the same animal with two heads that feed from the same trough. Where we are a majority, we will control; where we are a minority, we will represent a pressure group; nationally, we will represent one party: La Familia de La Raza!”

    This is nothing short of a declaration of war as El Plan de Aztlan calls for the formation of a new apartheid regime in place of the United States government. “We declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation,we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan. Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.” (Translation: “For the
    race everything, for those outside the race nothing.” )

    Conceived in hate, fueled by racism and fixed on treacherous revolution, MEChA is a danger to the intellectual and moral standing of USC and LA Trade Tech.

    Ethnic segregation and racial nationalism are the ways of fascists and have no place at USC or LA Trade Tech. If MEChA does not publicly renounce the hateful proclamations of El Plan de Aztlan, then
    its funding must be frozen and official status revoked. Like the Aryan Nations and the Ku Klux Klan, MEChA’s manifesto subscribes to a philosophy of racism, violence and treason.

    The founding ideals of the United States, equality and justice, and the guiding principles of USC and LA Trade Tech, tolerance and diversity, are simply incompatible with MEChA’s beliefs. In this historic choice between tolerance and bigotry, we must hold MEChA accountable for its rhetoric, sending a clear and simple message: USC & LA Trade Tech are havens of learning, diversity and tolerance, not a front for racism, treason and fascism.

    VIVA Donald Trump!

    • Vanessa Diaz
      Vanessa Diaz says:

      Hey biggestboss562, I just have one question for you: how does it feel to be so wrong? You don’t have to respond, and looking at your previous comments on other posts that feature Latina/os as well as your “VIVA Donald Trump” at the end of your message (which really was the icing on the cake), it’s really not worth my time and energy to engage with you. But just know that you are so very wrong, racist, xenophobic, and actual garbage.

      • biggestboss562
        biggestboss562 says:

        Vanessa Diaz you are ignorant per your statement. I will publicly debate you or any illegal alien enabling group you are affiliated with. I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite politicians, Pete Wilson, I love his authorization of CA Prop 187! “I was right then, I’m right now. I think time has proven me right” – Pete Wilson

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