This week, students will cast their vote for the 2020-21 USG president and vice president and senators. In our special voters’ guide, the Daily Trojan interviewed each ticket, followed a day in the life of the the current USG president, broke down the USG budget and traced back the history of student government at USC.

Kevin Camargo is joined by the four USG presidential tickets and Daily Trojan's features editor, who will give us a deeper look at the issues student government has worked to address over the course of its history. Music by Joakim Karud.



Christine Nguyen and Miles Kay said they’re focused on bridging the gap between the student body and USG.

“There are so many amazing things that USG does to help serve the student body,” said Nguyen, a first-generation sophomore majoring in political science. “However, there’s a communication divide where a lot of students don’t know what USG is, what USG stands for and how USG actually can be a resource to them.”

In the past year, Nguyen, has served as USG’s assistant director of marketing and worked with Tommy Tours. Kay, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, served as the service director of Trojan Knights and vice president of Engineers Without Borders.

The ticket plans to include school-specific mental health forums for students to discuss issues related to their major and increase student awareness by creating initiatives designed to educate the student body of available resources.

“We don’t believe that problems can be solved by throwing money at them,” said Kay. “We don’t want to just create all these new initiatives and have no one use them.”

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Miles Kay's last name.


Many USC students know of USG but not what it does. Christopher McMorran and Trinity Lee hope to change that.

Sen. McMorran and senate aid Lee said they aim to create communicative relationships between USG and different student organizations on campus. McMorran, a junior majoring in political science and film and television production, said he sees the similarities between all the presidential platforms this year as a positive objective.

“It means we are united in what needs to be fixed at USC,” McMorran said. “The question is who we think has the skills and trust to really execute the platform. You shouldn’t just look at people who are promising you things, you should look at what each candidate [has] already done.”

McMorran and Lee, a freshman majoring in urban studies and planning, supervised the extension of the Transfer Forgiveness pass. The two are pushing to implement public transit subsidies, Adobe Access for all students on campus and educate people on the different types of resources the University offers.


Sara Khoshniyati and Rohit Bolla said their campaign aims to improve the dynamic between the student body and administrators by building upon relationships Khoshniyati developed as a USG senator.

“We want to empower and protect students,” said Khoshniyati, a junior majoring in human biology. “We’ve taken the concerns that we’ve seen on campus and established six focus areas, which include academic life, student life, administrative accountability, health safety and wellness, equal opportunity and sustainability.”

As a senator, Khoshniyati focused on tax-off purchases for students at USC Village, increasing the diversity of health care providers on campus and raising awareness and access to suicide hotlines on campus. She is currently working to get gender-neutral bathrooms in residential buildings.

Bolla, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and economics, met Khoshniyati while working as assistant director of the Philanthropy Fund in Undergraduate Student Government. Bolla is a trip leader for the USC organization Peaks & Professors and acts as an Executive Board Member of the Economic Association.


For Truman Fritz and Rose Ritch, relationships are the foundation of their campaign.

“We have a rooted background in partnering with other people,” said Fritz, a junior majoring in business administration. “Whether it’s with students at large or the presence of different organizations here on campus like Greek life, we really find our passion and our leverage in being able to make change on campus through those partnerships.”

Fritz, who currently serves as the senior director of communications for USG, is running alongside Ritch, a current senator. The duo said their experiences in student government helped them foster a vision for the future USG.

“We call it a living, breathing vision — something that is constantly evolving as the student experience is evolving,” Ritch said. “We want to create an opportunity for students to really have their voices heard and make this a student-first university.”

The two candidates said they will push to improve mental health services by increasing the number of counselors, expand physical spaces for diverse communities like the Native American Student Union and DREAMers.


In the running for a seat in the USG Senate are six slates and five individual candidates. Platform issues include access to mental health resources, student representation on the Board of Trustees and the transfer student experience.

Click to find out more.


It’s clear that the University must take great strides in improving the student experience at USC, whether it’s by expanding mental health resources on campus, implementing sustainable practices University-wide or increasing spaces for diverse communities. For this reason, the Daily Trojan Editorial Board endorses Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidate Truman Fritz and vice-presidential candidate Rose Ritch as they best reflect the interests of the USC community.

As president and vice president, Fritz and Ritch would have little problem engaging with student-run organizations and administration as their campus influence extends across various student groups. Fritz, who currently serves as the senior director of communications at USG, and Ritch, who is currently a senator, both have the necessary experience and proven determination to effect a meaningful shift in campus culture. After conducting interviews with each ticket, it was clear the Truman & Rose ticket had clear, ambitious and feasible goals in their campaign platform. From the get-go, they were clear in saying merely two people cannot support all undergraduate students, which is why they said, if elected, they will govern through collaboration with other campus leaders to identify the gaps in USC’s resources.

“I believe ... [in] our goals of being able to engage with the entire student body — and again, pulling back to two people cannot represent 20,000 — and that’s something we entirely acknowledge,” Ritch said. “That’s something that we really want to make a priority bringing the students in and I think we seem very eye-to-eye on everything.”

“I believe ... [in] our goals of being able to engage with the entire student body — and again, pulling back to two people cannot represent 20,000 — and that’s something we entirely acknowledge


The Truman & Rose ticket sets itself apart from the others in its acknowledgment that USC is a revenue-generating business that often has conflicting interests that counter those of the student body. We believe this acknowledgment is key to addressing the many concerns that the student body has had recently with the administration regarding corruption and a lack of accountability. USC is an institution for higher learning, but it is also a corporation that is constantly seeking profit, and these values often get in the way of each other. Fritz and Ritch understand this, which we believe is beneficial in encouraging change within the administration.

Fritz and Ritch embody an effective working pair. Built on friendship and mutual values, Fritz and Ritch’s connection is authentic and therefore, the Editorial Board has concluded, necessary in leading the multi-million dollar enterprise that is USG. Whereas many of the other tickets seemed to show a disconnect and imbalance between the presidential candidate and the vice presidential candidate, Fritz and Ritch demonstrate a collaborative, balanced partnership that will facilitate their success as USG leaders.

On the subject of the transfer and new student experience, Fritz and Ritch spoke empathetically about the unfair treatment that many transfer and spring admit students get, noting that these students are given a different and less comprehensive orientations. Fritz and Ritch supplied meaningful solutions to problems surrounding the inclusion of these communities.

Fritz proposed a fix as simple as issuing transfer or spring admit students their USC ID cards earlier than orientation so these students could use the facilities on campus such as the gym in an effort to acclimate to campus life. By providing manageable and meaningful changes to problems like these, the Truman and Rose ticket shows its commitment to inclusion for all members of the student body.

Fritz and Ritch recognize that sustainability is one of the major and shared goals of each presidential ticket but distinguish themselves by having the most aggressive platform to find campus-wide solutions. After reviewing the drafted 2028 Sustainability Plans for the University, Fritz noted that the administration’s plans were not ambitious enough and that there needs to be accountability if these goals are not met. Their plan ranges from phasing out single-use plastics to educating students on living sustainable lives during their academic tenure and beyond. Most notably, the campaign draws from meetings with the administration and the 2020 sustainability goals that were not met and uses these as a guiding force that furthers environmental consciousness on the USC campus as a whole.

The duo admitted that issues surrounding mental health have affected them both during their time at the University and, in turn, want to prioritize student health and well-being. If elected, they plan to take a “student-first” approach to address the current mental health crisis. Fritz and Ritch intend to improve upon existing resources by increasing the diversity of the counselors at Engemann Student Health Center to serve underrepresented communities and by working with the current Student Assembly for Accessibility to accommodate students when mental health may affect their academic attendance and performance.

Most of all, the Daily Trojan Editorial Board recognizes Fritz and Ritch’s propensity for serving the USC community with clear and attainable goals that, if elected, will help shift our University’s focus to initiatives and efforts that put students first. This is important to consider once students cast their votes this week.