USG proposes committee to redesign logo

Former co-Chief Diversity Officer Shany Ebadi pointed out the similarities between USG’s logo and that of German neo-Nazi party The Third Path. The latter was created about eight years after USG’s logo was designed. (Daniel Hahm/Daily Trojan)

The Undergraduate Student Government proposed the creation of an ad hoc committee to redesign the organization’s current logo in Tuesday’s Senate meeting, due to its similarity to a neo-Nazi party logo.

According to USG Senior Director of Communications Truman Fritz, former co-Chief Diversity Officer Shany Ebadi noted that the current USG logo is similar to the logo of The Third Path, a German far-right group founded in 2013. The current USG logo was introduced between 2005 and 2006, according to Fritz.

“As a diverse and inclusive organization, we want to stray as far away from that as possible,” said Fritz, a sophomore majoring in business administration. “It’s totally counterintuitive to our mission now as representatives of this 20,000 [person] undergraduate student body who’s made up of all these different communities.”

During the meeting, the second of the new USG administration, Fritz proposed the creation of the committee, which would include President Trenton Stone, Vice President Mahin Tahsin, Chief Diversity Officer Jeffrey Cho, Fritz and several members of the USG marketing and graphics teams.

In the proposal, Fritz presented a potential timeline for the redesign process if the Senate were to approve of the committee’s creation. According to Fritz, the USG graphics team has already created multiple redesign proposals. Fritz intends for the proposed committee to finalize marketing orders for items that will include the new logo.

“We’re going to be thinking about themes, thinking about ideas, thinking about what we want the logo to represent within the organization and how it comes into this whole expansion of our visual identity,” Fritz said.

Fritz said the logo redesign proposal comes with USG’s broader initiative to rebrand its image and expand communication to get more students involved with USG and its various initiatives.

Later, Stone announced Nillani Anandakugan, who previously served as the co-director of elections & recruitment, as his candidate for the chief of staff position. According to Stone, Dylan Field, the assistant director of elections and recruitment in 2018-19, was the original choice for the chief of staff position but turned it down due to other time commitments.

Senators will vote on Anandakugan’s hiring in addition to the logo redesign committee proposal next Tuesday.

“I’m just really honored that Trenton, Mahin [and] the rest of the [executives] thought of me as someone who could take on this position,” said Anandakugan, a junior majoring in global health and environmental science and health. “Dylan really had this great vision of what he imagined for advocacy, and I hope I can do just as well.”

Cho was also unanimously voted as USG’s new chief diversity officer for the 2019-20 term.