The Undergraduate Student Government appointed a new executive cabinet in a 10-1 vote during its Senate meeting Tuesday. The new appointments come after USG President Gabe Savage and Vice President Trinity Moore during their Senate confirmation meeting expressed their desire to bolster diversity within USG and bridge divides between the organization and the student body that arose over the summer.
The new cabinet will serve for the remainder of Savage and Moore’s term.
The cabinet appointments follow the resignations of former President Truman Fritz, former Vice President Rose Ritch and former Sen. Isabel Washington, all of whom stepped down during the summer after evidence and allegations of racial misconduct arose involving the three USG members. Savage and Moore were sworn in to replace Fritz and Ritch in late August.
“We know an issue with the previous cabinet was that it did not properly reflect the student body … so I think that even the virtue of being more representative is a step in the right direction in terms of closing the gap and reestablishing some of that trust,” Savage said at Tuesday’s meeting. “One of USG’s primary goals this year is going to be to earn that trust back in order to show that the structure, system and integrity of this organization was not completely demolished this summer and that [those instances reflected] a couple of people and not the 200-member organization that we are.”
In an interview with the Daily Trojan following the Senate meeting, Moore described the delicate balance between finding potential cabinet members with USG experience and considering those whose backgrounds might be more representative of the student body.
“Are we weighing USG experience … and then how much do we want to yield to this movement that led us all here — this movement that directly called for more representation within USG; a cabinet that represented the greater student body,” Moore said. “Those were the main two things we were focusing on when building the cabinet. We think it’s important to have USG experience, but we also think that right now, maybe that’s not what we need. Maybe an outside perspective is what this movement calls for.”
Among those appointed to the executive cabinet was Lucy Warren, a junior majoring in economics and political science. Warren has no previous experience with USG and will serve as the cabinet’s chief diversity officer. Warren said she was excited to see that some of her own calls for increased diversity within USG were answered by her appointment to the executive cabinet.
“I was one of the many calling for diversity within USG and really [hoped] to see myself represented within USG,” Warren said in an interview with the Daily Trojan. “So I’m really proud of our team — to see so many faces that don’t look like the typical [USG member] is great.”
Warren also discussed the importance of improving transparency between USG and the student body.
“I was so frustrated with transparency — not being able to understand what projects are happening, why they are happening, what’s stalling them,” Warren said. “My role will be to head the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and a big goal of mine is to work and sit down with [student] groups … and create a way for students to be in constant communication with me.”
Shreya Chaudhary, a junior majoring in business administration, will be joining Warren as the executive cabinet’s chief communications officer. Like Warren, Chaudhary joins the cabinet with no previous USG experience but shares Warren’s same conviction that USC’s student body must be empowered.
“My goal is to maintain the brand of USC as well as to ensure that the communications that USC puts across is reflective of our values as well as everything we’re trying to make happen change-wise,” Chaudhary said. “My goal in regards to the position is to ensure that we make students feel like their voices are heard and represented and that they feel, as students, that they can make a positive impact.”
In addition to Warren and Chaudhary, Jina Hur — who previously held the same position in Fritz’s cabinet — Rachel Moten and Zachariah Taymuree were also appointed to the executive cabinet. Hur, a senior majoring in psychology and philosophy, is the cabinet’s chief programming officer. Moten, a senior majoring in public policy, will serve as chief of staff and Taymuree, a junior majoring in economics and mathematics, will serve as chief financial officer. Moten and Hur previously worked for USG in various capacities. Taymuree is a founding member of USC MENA, a cultural center at USC that celebrates Middle Eastern and North African voices.
Following the cabinet confirmation, the Senate also discussed the Troy Philippines Support Resolution, which called for USG to sign and endorse its support of the Philippine Human Rights Act, an American bill that calls on the U.S. government to suspend security assistance to the Philippines.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that Zachariah Taymuree is the founder of USC MENA when he instead is one of the organization’s founding members. The Daily Trojan regrets this error.