SG spring semester preview: Safe ride program, student space, and more

Higher education report and honor roll

Parks said this report will be a collaboration between Student Governments at USC and Clemson, the major universities that receive state funding for the state legislatures, with the intent of giving the student body a way to give recognition to those in the state Senate and House of Representatives who are supporters of higher education in South Carolina. The report, to be released on Jan. 18, will also include a policy section that is a "wish list" of things students from both campuses need. According to Parks, the No. 1 issue in the proposal is for a bond bill that would allow additional funds to operate universities and provide students with a more affordable college education.

Safe Ride Program

As the university’s contract with Carolina Cab came to an end last spring, Student Government worked to come up with a new, late-night, affordable student transportation system using an Uber discount code. They held a four-week trial period where students registered with their student emails and Uber accounts to see how well it worked.

“It went very well; we’re at a place now that I can tell you that procurement for a state entity like USC is a very complicated thing," Parks said. "That’s one of the biggest things I’ve probably learned in the last semester that that’s very complicated.”

The trial period gave Student Government numbers and information that will help them better reach their goal of restoring a safe ride program this semester. According to Parks, they plan to do so by looking at the trial period and determining whether they can afford it, or need to find funds from somewhere else or reevaluate their options.

Additional student space

Student Government has begun to advocate to administration and the Board of Trustees and push for additional student union space for students on campus. The Russell House provides only 5.5 square feet per student, and with a continually growing enrollment. Student Government hopes to work toward additional space this semester and in the future.

Four executive system restructure referendum

Last semester, Student Government passed a referendum to add a speaker of the student senate and allow the vice president to pursue initiatives with the student body president. This semester it will be on the ballot for the student body to vote on in February.

“It’s the system that most of our SEC counterparts use and it's very practical and it's time that we transition to that," Parks said. "I certainly urge and hope that the student body will vote 'yea' for it on the ballot in February."

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