Forum gives senatorial candidates platform

Trojan Advocates for Political Progress hosted a forum for Undergraduate Student Government senate candidates Monday.

The 10 USG senate candidates who attended the forum spoke about implementing student resources, increasing communication between Greek organizations and USG and health care costs. Emily Smith | Daily Trojan

Ten of the 15 senatorial candidates attended and discussed issues ranging from USG and administration’s relationship with Greek life to welcoming spring admits and transfer students to campus.

Senate candidate Shayan Kohanteb emphasized the importance of USG supporting Greek organizations, one of his major platform ideas.

“The IFC [Interfraternity Council] said that USG has never even had a role in anything they’ve ever done,” Kohanteb said. “USG needs to step up and maybe add a representative that goes to the interfraternity council or panhellenic council [meetings].”

Senate candidate Amy Chong said her experience as a transfer student informed her candidacy and agenda.

“When I stepped on campus, the feeling I felt was neglection and isolation,” Chong said. “Students should not feel that way when they’re on campus, especially at a university they worked so hard to get into.”

Senate candidates Max Geschwind, Michaela Murphy and Will Sherman also spoke about making campus more welcoming for transfer students and spring admits.

Murphy noted that she wanted to address accessibility to health-related aid on campus.

“We need student health transparency and we need full-cost coverage for STI, STD, and HIV screenings on our campus for students both on and off USC health insurance,” she said.

Senatorial candidate Gabriel Savage said all of the positions in the USG Senate will be filled by newcomers.

“We are at risk of losing a year’s worth progress on initiatives,” he said. ”People here right now who are senate aides, who are close to people in the legislative branch, they are your best chance for continuity in your student government.”

Senate candidate Meagan Lane emphasized her ability to be diplomatic and cater to diverse perspectives as a useful quality for an incoming senator.

Senate candidate Neal Sivadas argued for more partnerships with organizations and local retailers in order to provide students with discounts both on-and-off campus.

Senate candidate Andre Luna pitched the addition of a newsletter  for first-generation college students in order to inform them of the resources available at USC.

Senate candidate Cody Ela explained his proposal for the implementation of contraceptive machines in all dormitories, which he said would be subsidized by USG. He argued that this would make these resources more accessible and conspicuous to students.

Annenberg Media will be hosting the final presidential forum, the “Inclusion Town Hall,” on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. in Wallis Annenberg Hall.