The Undergraduate Student Government swore in a new president, vice president and senator during the senate meeting Tuesday. This leadership restructure comes after the resignations of three USG officials this summer.
The first to be sworn in was Joshua Wigler, a sophomore majoring in law, history and culture. Wigler, along with his running mate Shreya Chanda, ran for seats in the Senate last spring. The pair did not win positions originally, but due to the recent reconfiguration of USG leadership, they were both able to fill vacancies this semester. Chanda, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and global health, was sworn in at last week’s meeting. Despite the unusual circumstances encompassing this semester, Wigler said he is excited to be admitted to USG.
“As a new USG senator, I really am looking towards the future and hoping that we can really affect some positive changes,” Wigler said. “I think it’s really important that if you want to see the change … you’ll need to get up and involve yourself in student government.”
Trinity Moore, a junior majoring in business of cinematic arts, was next appointed as vice president. Previously a senator, Moore brings almost three years of student government experience to the position. In an interview with the Daily Trojan, she expressed her motivation behind running for USG vice president.
“There was a moment during the summer where I really saw how far USG has drifted from the true core value of representing students, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help us get back on track,” Moore said. “It was kind of like a moment where I felt like I was called to the position … I know why I joined USG three years ago, and I want to be able to fulfill that same purpose here in this position, and I’m excited to do so.”
The shift in USG’s values that Moore mentioned refer to the resignations of former President Truman Fritz, former Vice President Rose Ritch and former Sen. Isabel Washington. After evidence of messages and posts from Washington containing classist and racist rhetoric circulated on social media this summer, she stepped down July 1. Fritz’s resignation followed testimonies on the Instagram account @black_at_usc claiming he engaged in multiple instances of racial misconduct and microaggressive behavior and the circulation of a petition calling for his impeachment and Ritch’s due to her complicity in her co-executive’s behavior. Fritz and Ritch resigned July 7 and Aug. 5, respectively.
Replacing Fritz as president is former Speaker of the Senate Gabe Savage, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law and narrative studies. During his time as president, Savage said he hopes to mend some of the division between students that heightened over the summer.
“By the time I leave office, if the student body feels more connected with itself, with other students, then I have done my job well,” Savage told the Daily Trojan.
During their shared inauguration speech, Savage and Moore detailed their agenda concerning diversity. The duo said they plan to create an executive cabinet composed of students focused on change and advocacy. They also plan on implementing a Middle Eastern and North African Student Assembly in USG and adding the Palestinian flag to the Center for International and Public Affairs, which is meant to represent every country where at least two students are from.
Both executives said they promised to effectively advocate for all USC undergraduate students during their time in office. Despite the unprecedented circumstances, Savage and Moore provided words of hope for USG’s future.
“Together, moving forward, we will work to restore the culture of the organization, carving out a path of inclusion, acceptance and belonging for every one of our 20,000 undergraduate students,” Moore said at the end of the speech. “We look forward to embarking on this journey towards a better tomorrow, and a brighter USG.”
Correction: A previous version of this article contained a spelling error. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.