USG votes to extend senate, cabinet terms

two people sitting at a desk with laptops in front of them
Medical supply vending machines will soon be available in Dauterive Hall and the Physical Education Building in six to eight weeks and will be accessible on campus 24/7. (Anik Panja | Daily Trojan)

Undergraduate Student Government senators voted 11-1 in Tuesday night’s meeting to extend current senatorial and cabinet terms through the end of the academic year. The last Senate meeting will take place April 25, the last Tuesday of the academic calendar, instead of April 4 as originally scheduled. The new Senate will be inaugurated April 25, and the 2023-24 senators will hold their first meeting immediately after.

Senator and 2023-24 vice president-elect Michelle Lu presented updates at Tuesday’s meeting on her projects, including providing medical supply vending machines in buildings on campus, updating to the LiveSafe app, integrating USCard with mobile wallets and issuing red cards to undocumented students. 

Medical supply vending machines will be available in Dauterive Hall and the Physical Education Building in six to eight weeks and accessible on campus 24/7, Lu said.

At the moment, Lu and senator Divya Jakatdar, the 2023-24 president-elect, are working on updating resources in the LiveSafe app — which provides points of contact and resources for students in times of crisis — and finding ways to spread awareness for the app. New students will be directed to download the app during orientation.

In regards to USCard digitalization, Lu worked with ITS senior enterprise architect Stewart Uyeda, who submitted a 2023-24 budget request Feb. 24 for a project manager to secure funding and is working to expand the integration. 

Lu said she is also looking at different ways to support undocumented students, who will be able to get red cards — paper slips that assert the holders’ rights, which have been helpful in confrontations with immigration agents. USG has ordered the cards, which will be available for students at the First Generation Plus Success Center in two to three weeks. 

Senator Sanjana Sambhwani also presented her project updates, including finding 24-hour dining options — such as a late-night food truck initiative, which Sambhwani said would also support local businesses. Sambhwani also said she identified a lounge and kitchen for RestSC, a project that aims to provide a space for commuter students to rest in between classes, as well as Moon Pods and lockers to store their items. 

“It’ll be a very nice space to just recharge … and commuter students will have to have a place to call home on campus that they’re on for long hours,” Sambhwani said. 

Sambhwani is also collaborating with USC Hospitality to provide dining options for students with dietary restrictions.