Thursday, October 12, fourteen USC students and I waited for a very special guest in USC’s Tutor Campus Center Presidential dining room. That guest was C. L. Max Nikias, the president of USC. We were invited by President Nikias to share in an afternoon of snacks, tea, and conversation. He divulged that it is important to him to stay connected to students despite his high-status role. He wanted to know about: reoccurring issues on campus, what makes us proud to be Trojans and what the institution should work to maintain. While replies were given, President Nikias: asked questions, took notes, shared his own experiences, advice, and understanding about each topic.
As the President of Students Organize for Syria, I shared how happy I am that USC is part of the Syria Consortium, a nationwide collection of universities that give scholarships to displaced Syrians. The President seemed pleased to hear about our continued commitment to this program. Thereafter, I recommended that USC work on creating an environment that fosters better mentorship relationships between students and professors. There were other notable recommendations like better mental/women’s health services, and more support for international students upon arrival to the United States. The President was very receptive to all of our insights, and we felt we were heard and respected by him. It was wonderful to see how much he values students’ opinions and suggestions.
The tea was also a great opportunity to meet other involved Trojans from the university’s many schools! There were at least five international students present and representatives who stemmed from Dornsife, Marshall, Viterbi, Price, and Annenberg. Overall, the tea was a highlight of my senior year and I am excited to see how President Nikias utilizes students’ voices to improve our wonderful university.
By: Sofia Deak, B.A., International Relations, Global Business, Class of 2017