The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) is back in a new form. USGA oversees all recognized student organizations (RSO) on campus and advocates for the student experience. The association also handles an annual $1.7 million budget for the student body to promote leadership and engagement on campus.
According to second-term USGA President Sofia Martinez, “there are different ways to get involved–whether you want to join us directly, get involved with an RSO, or interact with our social media for giveaways.”
Upperclassmen may associate USGA with a large in-person meeting held in the Alumni Lounge, or the more recent Zoom meetings often paired with forums with President Steven H. Kaplan and his cabinet. This year, meetings will be held in person until further notice and locations will vary. Students are encouraged to stay up to date by following the USGA Instagram page.
This year, meetings will have an unprecedented “cut-off time,” according to Martinez, “so our students have their Friday evenings to themselves.” Prior to this rule, it was not uncommon for the meeting’s duration to exceed four or more hours.
Students can also look forward to the return of pre-COVID-19 traditions. “There will be chariot races for homecoming and other fun fall-related traditions that we are bringing back,” said Martinez.
The newest addition to USGA includes structural changes within the executive board, specifically the vice president of community, advocacy and diversity–formerly, the coordinator of inclusion and campus relations.
“They work on bettering the student experience through building a stronger Charger Community,” Martinez said.
As for clubs on campus, Martinez said she’s confident there will be new opportunities in store.
“Our RSOs are made up of students and people, so through all the challenges we have been facing with COVID, academics, I am so impressed and proud of their drive to keep their RSOs thriving,” she said.
Students of any class year are encouraged to join USGA. They can reach out to Martinez at her email ([email protected]), or seek her out on campus.
“You don’t have to be cookie-cutter to join USGA–if you want to make some type of change, if you want to use your voice, you are already ready to be here!” said Martinez.