Standing Committees

Standing Committees are permanent committees necessary to run essential aspects of GSG. These committees are as follows: 


The Finance Committee reviews and processes all funding applications submitted to GSG. Committee members ensure that applications comply with GSG funding policies and evaluate the appropriateness of the request regarding its impact on graduate students. Additionally, committee members share feedback on the finance policies and procedures and will provide input, as needed, to develop the GSG budget.

Led by: Jacob Ma, Director of Finance – Approvals – & Julia Stal, HSC Director of Finance – 

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Review and provide feedback on funding applications submitted by RSOs weekly.
  • Audit approved and funded events at the discretion of the Finance Committee.
  • Provide feedback on potential enhancements to the finance policies/funding process.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

~10-12 hours per semester. Senators are expected to attend committee meetings and audit events, as needed and upon request, throughout the academic year. Senators are expected to be a part of the Finance Committee for the entire academic year.


The Health Sciences Campus Research & Development Committee serves student interests on the Health Sciences Campus and acts in an advisory capacity for GSG on all related matters. They also assist with HSC-wide social and volunteer events and develop programming to promote and celebrate diversity on this campus. At least one HSC senator from an HSC student organization must be present; the senator may designate a proxy to attend in their place. Assists the HSC Directors in planning, publicizing, and running events.

Led by: Elisa Stephens, Senior Vice President –

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Develop strategies to bring equitable university resources to the Health Sciences Campus, such as the Campus Activities office and resource centers.
  • Relay HSC-specific concerns from constituents at monthly meetings. 
  • Assist with event planning and advertising.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

Attend monthly one-hour meetings and volunteer for at least one HSC event (e.g., event set-up/clean-up). Members must also help disseminate GSG information through student channels.


The Academic Affairs Committee will review proposed abstracts for the GSG Graduate Research Symposium and organize the logistics of the annual Graduate Research Symposium, such as finding judges, gathering applications and abstracts, and finding volunteers for the day of the event. The committee will also assist the Director of Academic Affairs in gathering student concerns regarding academic life at USC for the Director to bring back to the Executive Board.

Led by: Farbod Amirghasemi, Director of Academic Affairs –

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Senators will remotely review ~20-30 abstracts in their respective fields.
  • Help with planning and hosting the GSG Graduate Research Symposium.
  • Identify and invite UPC and HSC judges composed of faculty members or post-docs.
  • The committee members should help organize and host the events on the days of the GSG symposium (UPC and HSC).
  • Consider additional programming to hold that would support the academic needs of the graduate student body.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

~10-15 hours per semester. Remote work and/or help at the GSG Research Symposium (UPC or HSC). Help organize and host the event on the symposium dates (monthly 1-hour meetings).

Ad Hoc Committees

Ad Hoc Committees are committees may be created at any time by an Executive Board member or at the request of a Senator (which must be seconded). These committees shall be temporary and shall not last beyond the end of the Academic Year in which they are proposed. These committees may be offered the following Academic Year to be reinstated. Each proposed Ad Hoc Committee must have a clearly stated purpose and set forth tasks. This information must be submitted in writing to the President (Jose Scott, and the Senior Vice President (Elisa Stephens, The creation of Ad Hoc Committees must pass a Senate vote.


Led By: Naomi Joyce Rodgers, Vice President of Administration –


The Elections & Recruitment Committee will ensure that the hiring process for GSG Executive Board members runs fairly and efficiently. Committee members will solicit and review applications from returning and prospective executive board members. Members will also find new and different ways to increase recruitment and awareness of GSG. The evaluation led by this committee will serve as the first round of assessment, and the GSG Executive Board will make final hiring decisions.

Led by: Catherine Chester, Director of Elections & Recruitment,

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Encourage students to apply to serve on the GSG Executive Board and other positions in GSG (Senate/committees).
  • Evaluate candidate applications for the upcoming GSG Executive Board. This will be done remotely on an online platform.
  • Identify strong candidates in the evaluation process.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

All meetings will be held remotely and monthly. Time commitment will be concentrated during Spring 2024, where committee members will be trained and work in teams of two to evaluate applications for the GSG Executive Board, academic year 2024/2025. ~10 hours required in Spring 2024.


The Grants Review Committee will review hundreds of applications during the Fall and Spring semesters for the Emergency Fund, Caretaker Subsidy, and Neuropsych grants eligibility.

Led by: Kimberly Vasadre, Director of Grants -

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Attend a one-time virtual meeting to receive guidance on how the applications will be distributed among the committee, the review timeline, and the review criteria. This date will be scheduled contingent upon committee member availability.
  • Review applications remotely.
  • All applications will be sent to committee members for review on their own time.
  • Application evaluations and determinations will be sent back to the Director of Grants.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

~5-10 hours per semester. Monthly review of applications during the first two weeks of each month, remotely and on own time.


Led By: Shahd Bawarith, Vice President of Advocacy –


The Advocacy Committee will assist Directors in the Advocacy branch by voicing the concerns of and representing the diverse graduate student population, creating and improving policies requesting resources for graduate students. The committee will also assist in organizing events, workshops, and activities that foster a sense of community. The committee will act as a feedback mechanism to continuously gather input from graduate students and provide insights to the university administration.

Led by: Shahid Bawarith, Vice President of Advocacy –

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Advocate for graduate student spaces around campus
  • Advocate for free menstruation products on the USC campus and destigmatization
  • Advocate for accessibility measures at USC through hosting panels, events, town halls, etc.
  • Advocate for the prevention and mitigation of potentially harmful environments for graduate students.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers:

~8-12 hours per semester.


The International & Undocumented Student Committee is a safe space for graduate students at both UPC and HSC to raise concerns, identify common issues, and forge relationships between international and domestic students. The core purpose is to find and address issues and problems international graduate students face to create a multi-culturally inclusive learning environment at USC to improve the overall education experience. 

Led By: Edgar Lopez, Director of Globalization and Inclusion –

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Meet once a month to discuss existing concerns and issues facing the undocumented and international student communities across campus and graduate programs.
  • Identify actionable initiatives that address and solve the above issues.
  • Collaborate with the Office of International Services to advocate for implementing student-led initiatives.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

~5-10 hours per semester. The contribution will be attending monthly committee meetings, communicating observed issues and concerns to GSG, advocating for international students, and helping plan activities and run events (e.g., International Student Appreciation Week) for integrating international students into the USC and American culture.


GSG and USC Student Affairs want to expand support and resources for USC graduate students enrolled in online programs. We are looking for a team of volunteers to represent the online student community and explore what it would look like to fully include online students in GSG programming and advocate for more online student support. Similarly, USC Student Affairs is seeking to expand and improve the resources currently available to online students. 

Led by Princeton Brooke, Director of Virtual & Judith Martinez, Director of Virtual Accessibility -

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Advocating for the concerns of online students.
  • Targeting programs for online students to attend.
  • Increasing accessibility for online students.
  • Connecting online students to USC's many supports, services, and programs.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

~4-6 hours per semester, with regular 1-2 hour monthly meetings


This committee will allow students a more direct medium for voicing sustainability-related concerns at USC. This student input is used better to formulate the goals and targets for the upcoming year. The committee will examine proposed initiatives to assess how to focus the best efforts on achieving a more sustainable campus. In addition to critical evaluation, the committee will put forth thoughtful and creative solutions to achieve these goals. In collaboration with other working groups on campus, these solutions can reach the administration to enact change toward greater sustainability. 

Led by: Zissis Marmarelis, Director of Sustainability -

Goals for the 2023-24 Academic Year

  • Examine current sustainability initiatives on campus. 
  • Compare initiatives to those taken by fellow universities. 
  • Create and assess suggestions for sustainability initiatives.
  • Increase student influence as a sustainability stakeholder.
  • Collaborate with sustainability-related events.

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

  • 5-7 hours per semester with 1 hour bi-monthly meetings. The remaining time will be for independent work, critical thinking about sustainability solutions, or other optional meetings with stakeholders.


Led By: Kelsey McAlister, Vice President of Programming –


The Programming Committee will assist the Directors on the Programming Team in planning, publicizing, and staffing various GSG social, community service, and diversity and equity events.

Led By: Kelsey McAlister, Vice President of Programming -

Goals for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

  • Assist with creating flyers for events.
  • Contact different academic units/departments to advertise events (including yours).
  • Support Directors with event logistics (e.g., set-up, check-in, leading a station, event clean-up)
  • Research volunteer opportunities for graduate students.
  • Generate ideas for fun, exciting events!

Expected Commitment for Volunteers

~15 hours per semester. Assist with at least two events per semester (e.g., tailgate, Friendsgiving, Serve LA Day of Service). Attend at least one event as a participant (more is encouraged!). Promptly check emails and Slack for updates and event sign-ups.