Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution to include the Student Assembly for Accessibility as one of its cultural assemblies during a Senate meeting Tuesday night.
SAA advocates for issues of accessibility on campus and the diverse needs of disabled students. The cultural assembly consists of several organizations including Colleges Against Cancer, Kicks for Kids, Trojan Dance Marathon, Trojans for Neurodiversity and National Alliance on Mental Health.
The inclusion of SAA allows the organization to receive the benefits of other USG-recognized assemblies under the programming branch, including increased funding from USG and greater visibility on campus.
“Something like accessibility is a huge part of someone’s identity and it’s a huge part of their daily lives … I’m really hoping that the assembly will help advocate for that group and make them feel more welcome here at USC,” Sen. Christopher McMorran said.
The programming branch currently includes five special interest committees that plan campus events and 10 community-focused assemblies that represent the interests of different student groups. Assemblies, such as Latinx Student Assembly, act as funding and advocacy umbrella organizations that unify individual member organizations.
SAA will be incorporated as the 11th cultural assembly following a trial period from Jan. 13 to March 31. The resolution grants the assembly $6,000 from the administrative budget for its expenses.
During his monthly Senate presentation, McMorran updated senators on his ongoing projects, including kickstarting a program at USC to provide subsidized U-Pass transit cards to students. The U-Pass program provides college students greater fare discounts on all Metro services in Los Angeles County, including Metro Rail, Metro Rapid and Express Buses.
McMorran said he and Sen. Emily Donahue met with USC Transportation to discuss bringing the U-Pass program to USC and increasing the boundaries for free Lyft services. Since the meeting in November, McMorran has created a survey to gauge student interest in subsidized transportation to move forward with the project.
McMorran is also working with Residential Education to create a special interest floor for transfer students. McMorran believes the floor would help transfer students build a stronger community at USC.
“Incoming transfer students would have a place they could go and share their experiences with other transfer students and have a place to call home because right now, a lot don’t,” McMorran said.
Sen. Sara Khoshniyati also provided updates for her work with Residential Education to provide free menstrual products to students. She said they are currently deciding in which locations to pilot the program and how to restock the products.
“It definitely is a project that is going to be on the ground soon,” Khoshniyati said. “We are looking forward to its launch.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article reported that Sens. Christopher McMorran and Emily Johnson had met with USC Transportation. McMorran and Sen. Emily Donahue met with USC Transportation to discuss the U-Pass program. The Daily Trojan regrets this error.