Legislative Branch

Who We Are

The Legislative Branch of USG is the representative and decision-making body for undergraduate students, charged with staying in close contact with key administrators and students about important issues. This branch consists of Speaker of the Senate, 12 senators, and 6 Standing Committees. Their work is supported by the Parliamentary Secretary, Legislative Aides and Senate Aides. Together, they represent the interests of undergraduate students and create solutions to problems that represent a middle ground between students, staff, faculty, and the community.

Our Leaders

Nivea Krishnan

Nivea Krishnan

Vice President

Alvaro Flores

Alvaro Flores

Speaker of the Senate

Zaid Diaz-Arias

Zaid Diaz-Arias

Chief Diversity Officer

How to Join Us

Come to a Senate meeting! We meet every Tuesday at 7pm in TCC 350.

 Come to one of our six committee meetings: Academic Affairs, Accessibility, Affordability & Basic Needs, External Affairs, Sustainability & Campus Infrastructures, and Wellness Affairs

Legislative Branch Project Tracker

See 2022-23 Legislative projects and latest work!

CommiteeProject TitleDescriptionLast StepNext StepStatusProject Lead(s)Team MembersLast Updated
24 Hour DiningExtend Hours of Campus DiningOrganize a meeting with USC Auxiliary, joining Dr. Palacios' 24 Hour Dining TeamProposing 24HR Starbucks Trial RunIn ProgressSenator Singh & Senator SambwhaniSenior Executive Aide Rianna Rios, 11/16
Sunscreen and Menstrual Product DistributionWork with RSOs on campus to distribute Sunscreen and Menstrul products recieved from Cathartic to unhoused individualsDistributed 48 bottles of sunscreen to mobile clinic for first distribution effort.Coordinate large distribution event with Second Spoon.In ProgressSenator Gillath and Committee Chair Monica Rodriguez11/3
Rest SC (Commuter/Wellness Hub)Sleeping pods on campus in a concentrated hub and/or Leavey LibraryMeeting with director of LeaveyCreate a narrative to present to admin/facultyIn ProgressSenator Sambhwani, Senator Habibi, MENASA AL Eduard GhazaryanBrianna Sanchez, Karla Mejia11/16
Sustainability x SpeakerSustainability speaker series from every career pathBrainstorming phaseMeeting with Speakers CommitteeIn ProgressSenator SinghSenator Feighery & Committee Chair Sara Stienecker, Senator Singh's Senate Aide10/11
National Transfer Student WeekSupport TSA in creating awareness for their upcoming NTSW events and work to make this a permanent part of orientation (improving transfer student experiences in integrating to SC)Meeting with TSAMeeting with TaMishaCompletedSenator SambhwaniTSA Directors Sophia & Akos10/12
USCard Apple Wallet IntegrationAdding students' USCard to their Apple WalletMeeting with Apple Meeting with head of Auxilary ServicesIn ProgressSentors Nadol and Barun🙂11/3
Accessibility 101Social media campaign educating students on what accessibility is, what disabilities are, anaonymous testimonials, etc.Gathered more testimonialsNeed to create a plan for implementation In ProgressCommittee Chair Julianna Melendez and Ahad Kajani (GM)Committee Chair Julianna Melendez & Ahad Kajani11/17
Reporting Form CentralizationClearly listing and labeling all USC's reporting forms onto USG's and GSG's websiteWaiting for resources to be uploaded to the USG website, then will send over to GSG for uploading to their respective website Waiting for resources to be uploaded to the USG website, then will send over to GSG for uploading to their respective websiteCompletedCommittee Chair Julianna Melendez and Allison Stowe (GM)Committee Chair Julianna Melendez & Allison Stowe11/17
Class Recording PledgeA campaign empowering students to request class recordings be available for all classes, to remove accessibility barriers to education.Assigned a project leadReach out to SAA for anonymous testimonials and create a recording request procedureIn ProgressCommittee Chair Julianna Melendez and Nicole Lu (GM)Committee Chair Julianna Melendez & Nicole Lu11/17
Pass/ No Pass Extension P/NP Extension to Week 5 inter-committee discussion Leg Branch Presentation In ProgressKate Hsu 9/27
University Grading Scale Incorporation of A+ technology inter-committee discussion Leg Branch Presentation In ProgressKate Hsu 9/27
Digital Academic Resourcescompile digital toolkit compiling confirm with committee then send to commIn ProgressKate Hsu 9/27
Naloxone + TACO PledgeIncreasing awareness of overdose prevention resources and joining Naloxone SC and TACO initiatives to expand these materials/resources to the greater student body Met with both orgs and have discussed some potential ideas on how to increase undergraduate awarenessMeet with Student Health to discuss potential inclusion of naloxone/fentanyl strips in required undergraduate training (Opioid Education)In ProgressBrianna Sanchez and Karina PatelPhong Doozy11/16
Food Expansion ProposalIncreasing the availability to people who have a variety of dietary restrictions.In Progress
C.A.T ProposalImproving the accessability of courses offered by USC fitness centers on campus. Setting up interviews with people who run Village and Lyons. TBD based off of interviews In Progress
P.A.C.E ProposalImproving care provided to students who are quarantined with COVID. In Progress
USC Student HandbookProvide USC students with information about many resources that are actively avaiable on campus that many are not aware of. It ensures that all additional resources can be allocated to students that are not hyperaware. Additionally, the project has created a small syllabus extension that acts as a 'Pocket Edition' .Finalize the 2nd draft of the book, establish demarcations between resources endemic to USC, local in the community, and naitonwide access.Finalize the "Pocket Edition' version of the handbook, work to reach out to organizations that can potentailly benefit from the handbook, and specifically reach out to) Orientation Advisors and Coordinators for incoming freshmen in addiiton to Residnential Halls to properly expand and develop both our influence and USG's connections to the community In ProgressJohn PacePhong Do, John Pace, Brianna Sanchez11/3
Restaurant CrawlHold these restaurant crawls based on cultural months/celebrations. For instance, during Black History Month, I want to focus on local restaurants owned by Black members of the community. Through this method, I hope to highlight various communities found in South LA and promote cultural competence within USC students.APASA, BSA, LSA, and MENASA AL’s have sent list of restaurants & routesMonica Rodriguez will call restaurants for quotesIn ProgressMonica RodriguezJake Velasquez, Yoav Gillath, Sanjana Sambhwani
Reform DPS/South Central Narrative @ Orientation and Admissions OfficeReforming the DPS/South LA Narrative at the Orientation and Admissions Office allows South Los Angeles natives to showcase the hidden gems while breaking down the stigmas surrounding our community. By changing how it’s portrayed to students at USC, it encourages spending at local businesses and building new friendships between students and natives.Emailed Jessica Neilson to coordinate where orientation process is atAttend orientation trainingsStalledMonica RodriguezManav Gundech
Local Business on CampusEnsure that we uphold our leasing contract and make sure that we encourage students to explore the surrounding community by showing them what they can stumble upon. We can do this by making sure that vacancies are filled and the contract is fulfilled which places locally owned businesses in a vicinity that students feel safe in.Reviewed village contractFill for an amendmentIn ProgressMonica RodriguezJake Velasquez
Fryft ExpansionIncrease Fryft capacity or rearrange current restrictions.Made a comms survey to gauge student wants/needsmeet with USG VPIn ProgressMonica RodriguezNavya Singh
USC x South Central Community MuralCreate a symbolic mural on campus collaborating with USC student artists and the dozens of muralists who paint all over the South Central community and neighboring arts district.Meet with Aline Mora Diaz over Zoom to see where we could put our muralMeet with Aline 11/1 to check out the stairwell & figure out next steps for permissionIn ProgressMonica Rodriguez, Susanna Andryan
Neighborhood Council Meeting AttendanceCommittee member attends bi-weekly neighborhood meetings with the South Central community.Vincent submitted application & was notified that the board would review his application at the next neighborhood meetingAttend next neighborhood meetingIn ProgressVicent Cisneros
DPS Budget TransparencyIncrease budget transparency by releasing the yearly budget for DPS so the general public can see how much DPS spends throughout the year.Meet with Dr. SouthersLunch with Dr. SouthersIn ProgressMonica RodriguezManav Gundech
Lethal Weapon Ban on CampusWorking to ban lethal weapons on campus, specifically prohibiting DPS officers from carrying, unless an extenuating circumstance presents itself, such as an active shooter.Meet with Dr. SouthersLunch with Dr. SouthersStalledMonica RodriguezManav Gundech, Sanjana Sambhwani, Kai Cayetano, Taylor Clanton
Blue Lives Matter on Campus ReformEducating DPS officers about the harm of wearing Blue Lives Matter apparel. Make DPS aware that Blue Lives Matter was created in response to Black Lives Matter and not because officer lives are in danger.Scheduling meeting with Alma BurkeN/AIn ProgressMonica RodriguezKai Cayetano, Taylor Clanton, Manav Gundech
Counselors, Not Cops (MHART)Finding alternatives to calling DPS regarding mental health crises. One such initiative is Counselors, Not Cops where counselors assess calls and assist with calls. Through triage, counselors can determine the status of the situation and how to best handle the situation due to current circumstances.Meet with Dr. SouthersSchedule meeting with Dr. LeaksIn ProgressMonica RodriguezVincent Cisneros, Manav Gundech, Roger Alvarado
Community Advisory Board/Oversight Board Reform & ImplementationReignite CAB and its function. CAB should consist of LA natives and begin to make demands in order to strengthen the trust between the community and university. CAB should be noting issues that may arise between the two entities and propose resolutions that the university can implement in order to remedy social inequalities.Meet with Dr. SouthersLunch with Dr. SouthersIn ProgressMonica Rodriguez
DPS Hiring Practice ReformRestructure how DPS hires its workers and ensure that no future ex-police officers are hired to work for USC. Make sure students have a say in the process.N/AN/AStalledMonica RodriguezManav Gudech, Roger Alvarado
Sole2Soul x USG Shoe DriveShoe Drive at USC in collaboration with recreational sports clubs, health organizations and Sole2Soul in order to donate shoes to surrounding community members.Sent comms request & coordinated with Sara Montgomery & Russell AugustinPlace bins on 10/31 in rec centersIn ProgressSusanna AndryanMonica Rodriguez, Maria Barun
Generation ConsciousZero Waste Detergent stationsReaching out to Housing to talk about feasability Meeting with Housing on Nov. 9 regarding feasibilityIn ProgressSara StieneckerOlivia Heffernan, Navya Singh11/3
Reusable Containers in Dining HallsImplementing the use of reusable containers in residential dining halls for take-outHad a meeting with Dining to talk about feasibilityReaching out to partner schools to get administration contactsIn ProgressSara Stienecker and Sentor Nadol11/3
Greek Row RecyclingPartnering with sororites to get outdoor recycling bins on the row to promote student recycling (eg. cans) and divert recyclables from the streetsReaching out to Panhellenic & LA Sanitation; Met with LA city sanitationGet in contact with the Fig Bid, sororities, and stay in touch with LA sanitationIn ProgressSara Stienecker, Elsie Bencke Sara Stienecker, Navya Singh, Elsie Bencke11/3
Off-Campus CompostingWorking with off-campus housing complexes to provide compost bins for studentsProposal ApprovedOutreach with sustinability and environmental groupsIn ProgressSara Stienecker11/3
U-Pass ExpansionExpanding U-Pass program to undergraduatesHad a meeting with transportationTalking with VP Allard to see how we can support the iniative In ProgressSara Stienecker11/3
Converting Green SpacesWork with stakeholders to convert lawns to native plants or turf alternativesResearching native plant alternativesWorking with other stakeholders to cut back on water usage in landscapingIn ProgressSara Stienecker11/3
DPS x Social Worker Collabself explanatorymeet with Southersmeeting with MHART adminIn ProgressTaylor ClantonMonica; Kai 9/29
Certification labelling on Approved Vendors Listadd labels like "black-owned" to approved vendors list Meet with Trojans Shop Local recap/meet with project teamStalledTaylor ClantonKai; Karla; Monica; Paige 9/29
USC Transportation GuideResource guide of Los Angeles public transportation for USC Students Meeting with USC TransportationIn ProgressOlivia HeffernanESA Advoc Director Valeria Diaz10/6
Language ExpansionBringing more language diversity to USCCollecting data from students in the google form https://forms.gle/21MRx492CKBW8JMx8Having a raffle ending with 5 people win $20 gift cardsIn ProgressKai CayetanoMultiple advocacy liaisons, Kate Hsu11/3
MENA RepresentationAdding a Middle Eastern North African race category on university forms, then push to get it on the Common app and on the Federal CensusMeeting with Dr. Naddia Palacios, met with federal government representativesBuild a coalition of Common App universities to present to the governing board, continue talking to the federal governmentIn ProgressEduard GhazaryanMENASA Advocacy Director10/12

*Data has been truncated for brevity. Further details on Legislative projects can be found in the live project tracker.