USG passes resolution advocating for student representatives on search committee

Christopher McMorran, the Director of First-Year Affairs for USG, said giving students a formal seat in the search process would foster a better relationship between the administration and students. (Hyeonmi Shin | Daily Trojan)

The Undergraduate Student Government unanimously passed a resolution asking for two seats on the USC Presidential Search Committee during Tuesday’s meeting. The resolution follows USG’s joint statement with Graduate Student Government released last Thursday condemning the administration for not including students in the formal search process for a new president.

The statement said leaving students off the committee was a “disservice to the very individuals the University failed to protect,” and that including students in the decision-making process would be vital to ensuring students’ needs and interests are met.

“The resolution passed this evening is essentially just a formal declaration from the elected representatives of the student body that the student body is pretty pissed about all of this,” said Christopher McMorran, USG’s director of first-year affairs. “[The resolution] does put pressure on the board to show that it’s not just a few people that are mad about this.”

McMorran said that giving students formal seats in the search process would foster a better relationship between the administration and the student body and would allow the administrators to “achieve the culture change” it has always promised.

“I think having students be a more formalized position to give input would legitimize a lot of these processes the University is going through right now,” he said.

Co-Chief Diversity Officer Milton Dimas said that the problem with student representation reflects a broader, ongoing mission to integrate student voices into the University’s administrative process.

“Having student voices on there is just the start,” Dimas said. “There should be student representatives in basically everything that the administration decides.”

He added that more student representation in the administration will hold them more accountable for future decisions they make in the future.

Aside from the resolution for the search committee, Dimas also criticized Provost Michael Quick’s recent memo regarding free speech on campus.

“We don’t need an investigation or a magnifying glass to distinguish hate speech from speech,” Dimas said. “More importantly, if student voices were truly valued, administrators like Provost Quick would know about the racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia, classism and many other -isms and phobias that take place every single day on this campus.”