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USG address highlights Autumn Semester’s accomplishments, brings focus to future plans

USG President Andrew Jackson speaks to the crowd of USG committees at State of the University on Jan. 16 in the Ohio Union. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

Student government leaders reflected on last semester’s accomplishments at the Undergraduate Student Government State of the University Address Tuesday evening in the Great Hall Meeting Room in the Ohio Union.

While looking back on the accomplishments for 2017, USG Chief of Staff Samer Abusway, Vice President Sophie Chang and President Andrew Jackson emphasized the overarching theme for the past semester, “One University, One USG.”

Abusway opened the address discussing how USG followed the theme. 

“’One University’ highlights how we were working with administration and faculty to accomplish our goals. Our goals are the university’s goals,” he said.

Chang focused on resolutions passed last semester, including a proposed university attendance policy, making the Second-Year Transformational Experience Program more accessible to commuters and transfer students; divestment from fossil fuel companies; and a textbook affordability resolution, reiterating USG’s collaboration with administration and faculty.

“[The resolutions] that I discussed tonight are examples of how our amazing senators and directors have identified student needs, consulted with constituents, and attempted to solve the issue,” Chang said.

Jackson praised the efforts of the committees who helped create resolutions that focused on student affairs, mental health policies and the expansion of campus dining food options.

“This year the committee has achieved many feats that we are all proud of as an organization,” Jackson said.

In discussing its plans for next semester, Jackson said USG hopes to have gubernatorial candidates come to campus to speak.

He said USG plans to survey students to see how many use access codes for classes, so the student organization can try and reduce the cost of online textbooks this spring.

Sophie Chang, vice president of Undergraduate Student Government, addresses the crowd of USG committees at the State of the University on Jan. 16 in the Union. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

Jackson said the access code survey will gather data that “will then determine our next steps for advocating for lower usages among faculty, as they are some of the most expensive fees students incur while here.”

Leaders also addressed USG’s first suicide prevention training — 50 of USG’s 350 members participated.

Additionally, they reflected on the group’s size: it is beginning Spring Semester with its highest member retention rate — though USG was unable to provide the exact figure.

“We had the greatest amount of returning members in the organization when we began this year, which shows our heightened devotion to retention rates and unity in the organization,” Abusway said.

Last week USG admitted the largest spring recruitment class on record.

Jackson concluded the event feeling hopeful about what the future will bring at Ohio State.

“I am excited to see what the future holds for the work here at Ohio State,” Jackson said.  “I look forward to seeing what all is accomplished.”

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