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USG Presidential Candidates Debate Fall Break, Campus Hours

The opposing parties came together Wednesday night to debate their stance on issues facing USC students.

Students flooded into the Tutor Campus Center Wednesday night to hear candidates debate a range of issues, including implementing a fall break, campus bike rules and the prominence  of USC Greek life. 

USG presidential candidates debated in front of a packed room Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy ATVN)
USG presidential candidates debated in front of a packed room Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy ATVN)

The debate, which was moderated by Professor Dan Schnur and representatives from ATVN and the Daily Trojan, began with a question about the candidates thoughts on a potential Fall break.

Presidential candidate Theo Offei said he thought Fall break should be an extension of Thanksgiving because many students don't live in California and can't afford to fly home twice.

Another candidate, Jared Ginsburg said the implementation of a Fall break is a central point to his platform. Specifically, he talked about a three to five day break in October.

"All of the points on our platform have already been verified with the senior administrators and officials at USC," said Ginsburg.

The candidates were then asked what their plans would be if elected.

Mikey Geragos, who is running with Vinnie Prasad, said some of his projects would include creating a USCard app for smart phones and to extend the hours at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. He mentioned that this would be a continuation of from the current Tyagi and Lachman administration.

Ginsburg talked about how he and his vice president, Samantha Coxe, would plan to continue the work begun on campus  smoking resolutions.

Offei expressed interest in expanding the communication process between USG and the USC student body. 

The debate soon turned to bike safety; all candidates highlighted the recent bike safety campaigns that the USC administrations has been trying to promote among students. 

Geragos said the issue has been studied and he feels the bike lanes are not a viable solution. He explained that he believes bike lanes would be insufficient because the USC campus is not set up to accommodate them. He said he wants to get a sense of what students want before proposing any legislation.

"You don't have one central place where you can get the pulse of the students on this issue," said Geragos. "The problem isn't the bikes, the problem is we don't  understand what the students feel, in a broader sense.... Teaming USC with USG, so you don't have two different bike symposiums, you do it as one, you do it together."

Offei said he would handle possible student upset over the recent bicycle campaigns by encouraging collaboration between students and administrators. 

"I happen to believe that every leader should have some set of team effort quality," said Offei.

Ginsburg said he didn't think the bike issue will be solved next year, because he believes it's an ongoing issue. 

Extending hours at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center was another hot topic at the debate. The moderators asked the candidates how they believed USC would pay for extended hours at the center.

Geragos responded by saying he would want to find waste in the budget. He explained that he had done this when he was in charge of the USC Legal Counsel. He also added that he wanted to hold more events on campus and charge the public to attend to create a new revenue source.

On the other hand, Offei said he didn't want to raise student fees but instead wanted to hold fundraisers for increased hours at Doheny Library. 

Ginsburg answered the question by saying that the University needed to advocate for money from the administration. He also noted that it's the job of the student government to work with senior administrators to help allocate funds. 

ATVN moderator Robbie Heeger then asked the candidates about how their experiences were going to help them achieve their goals if elected president. 

Garagos said as president he would want to overhaul the General Education program and implement more interesting classes.

Ginsburg explained how he and Coxe have both been involved in USG since the first semester of their freshman year and have the connections to get things done. He then said that he was qualified for the presidency and took a shot at Geragos saying that he was "actually getting back to the question that he was asked."

Candidates were then given this scenario: They had won the USG Presidential election, but President C.L. Max Nikias could only grant one of their platform points. 

Offei said he would choose to create 2-unit classes to prepare for the LSAT, MCAT and other standardized tests.

Ginsburg said if he could only fulfill one of his platform points, he would add a Fall break in October. 

The debate closed with Schnur saying this was one of the largest turnouts for a presidential debate he had ever seen. 


I wish you best, I tefinitely think you are suitable for this position; much more your proposals.

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