HOLD: All about USG: The Faces behind the student-run program


Kent State USG holds a public meeting in the Governance Chambers in the Kent State Student Center. Oct. 7, 2015. 

Alex Gray

Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) was created to voice students’ concerns and represent them, the university and the rest of the community.  

USG’s website states, “The Undergraduate Student Government always strives to represent the best interests of the undergraduate student body, and will continue to do so by acting as a strong and guiding force at Kent State University.”

Brian Cannon, executive director of USG and senior entrepreneurship major, explained that the organization funds other on-campus organizations and sends students to conferences all across the country.

“The fun part is putting on concerts and creating programs like Study-A-Thon, which allows students to study in a fun setting and take a break from the quiet library,” Cannon said.  

Samuel Graska, senator of commuter and off-campus students and junior biology major, says that USG benefits students, “from the pure entertainment that is in the concerts that we produce, to the commonalities like Flashfleet, to as deep as student legislation that gets written by us and approved by the board of trustees to better enhance the vision that Kent State has.”

USG consists of over 25 different positions, ranging anywhere from the Director of Business and Finance to Senator for Resident Services.  

USG is made up of the student leaders of Kent State that strive to advocate for the rest of the student body. Plenty of the members of USG hold or have held several other leadership positions as well.  

“I got involved because I want to help strengthen the relationship students have with our university as a whole,” Champaigne Powell, senator of the College of the Arts, said.

Powell continued by saying how passionate she is about Kent State and wants to make sure the rest of the students in the College of the Arts have just as great of an experience at the university as she has, if not better.  

Being a representative for the student body is also a learning experience.

“My position has taught me to have confidence within myself as a leader and I am appreciative for my experience on USG and all that I have learned from it,” said Director of Student Advancement Keri Richmond.

Many members of USG have previously held a position and ran for another term for either the same position or a new one.  Cannon was previously USG’s Director of Business and Finance.   

To run for a position on USG, the student has to write a platform in the beginning of the spring semester, which consists of what position the student is running for and what he/she is planning to do with that position.  A student also needs 200 signatures from the student body.  

The next step in the process is campaigning for the position followed by debates and forums up until election day is held.  

USG wants to remind students that they have an open door and will try to help with any situation.  

“Utilize what (USG) offers you and give us ideas and feedback to keep moving forward as a student body,” said Graska.

Alex Gray is a student politics reporter. Contact her at [email protected]