Who We Are
USG is one of the three student governments at OSU (the other two being the Council of Graduate Students and the International Student Council). Its primary objective is to advocate programs on behalf of fellow Buckeyes and to serve as the bridge between the student body and legislation enacted by the University Senate and Board of Trustees. There are innumerous roles USG plays in advocating the desires of OSU's student body, so this page will attempt to give an efficient overview of the key roles it plays, its hierarchy, and the process of applying. For a visualization of USG's hierarchy, please visit the following: https://usg.osu.edu/general_information/structure.
FOR USG APPLICANTS & MEMBERS
In order to join USG, you must apply via our application page (https://usg.osu.edu/get-involved) in the beginning of an Autumn or Spring semester. It is essential in the application process not to emphasize your academics, but rather, a passion and devotion to improving the state of the university—preferably around a particular vision. To ensure the organization runs efficiently, the application process is competitive; in the most recent applicant pool, roughly 70 of 300 applicants were accepted into the organization. But this should not dissuade you from applying! It should only serve as an incentive to ensure your application is thorough and well-thought out, with strong emphasis on specific things you would like to accomplish.
When you are accepted into USG, you will be appointed as Committee Representative (CR) for an Issues Committee of your choice. Each Issue Committee (IC) dedicates itself to a different component of the university. The six IC's which currently exist are: Academic Affairs, Government Relations, Healthy & Safety, Justice & Equity, Student Affairs, and Sustainability. You will be placed into the IC which best fits your interest; although you designate your preferred IC in your application, you can attend meetings for various ones which seem interesting and do not have to make your decision immediately.
As a CR, you work on various projects for the people who govern IC's (Deputy Directors and Directors). This is the place to establish a solid footing in USG, to flexibly work on passion projects, and to begin to build your network.
Existing CR's will have the opportunity to apply for new positions at the end of each Spring semester, and they should do so based on which roles they believe they are most qualified for. Any role above CR is considered part of USG's Collaborative Leadership Council (CLT). Roles which are higher than CR but lower than Director (namely, deputy-director, liason, or coordinator roles) have strong emphasis on applicational materials; roles which are at or above the Director level have strong emphasis on a strong interview as well as having working experience with those in high leadership positions. Elections occur at the end of each Spring semester; the newly-elected President and Vice-President will appoint a Senior Staff to comprise the upper-most functioning body of USG. Other positions you run for include General Assembly positions, which will be detailed later.
BODIES OF USG
More details for any of the below bodies can be found on their respective page on this website, as well as in the accomplishments section.
Issue Committees are briefly outlined in the First Joining section above. The hierarchy is as follows:
Committee Representative < Deputy Director < Director
Operations Committees consist of the following: Community Relations, Internal Operations, and Media & Communications. These are in charge of managing the internal affairs of the organization, whether through outreach/recruitment/transparency, orchestrating events, or social media/website design. The hierarchy is as follows:
Coordinator/Liason/Deputy Director < Director
General Assembly (GA):
In GA, elected officials vote on resolutions to express policy support on behalf of the student body; this is done not only to represent the beliefs of the student body, but to leverage support for legislation in the University Senate. Members of GA often serve concurrently with another role in USG; for instance, you could be both a CR and a member of GA. Non-executive roles in GA are assigned based on living areas or academic interest. The hierarchy is as follows:
Representative < Secretary < Parliamentarian < Speaker
Shared Governance (SG):
There are two primary parts in SG: members of the Univeristy Senate (appointed by USG), and members on Committees and Judicial Boards (e.g., panelists for COAM).
The Univeristy Senate consists of students, staff, and faculty. Meetings are led by the President of OSU. Legislation passed by the University Senate proceeds to the floor of the Board of Trustees, who have final say on whether the legislation is passed. Only 26 undergraduates are currently assigned to positions in University Senate. The hierarchy is as follows:
University Senators/Committee Appointees < Vice Chairs < Chair of the Undergraduate Caucus
Other positions are multifarious, but pertain to certain departments or academic conduct. More information can be accessed here: https://usg.osu.edu/branches/shared_governance.
The Black Caucus was established with the objective of representing Black students at OSU. They are the newest body of USG, and they primarily create programs and work on legislation pertaining to black students at OSU.
Senior Staff are appointed by the President and Vice-President of USG after each new election. They are in charge of the broadest responsibilities in the organization, such as overseeing all Issues Committees, overseeing Operations Committees, advising the President and Vice-President, overseeing strategic communication with students, staff, and faculty in OSU, and so on.
President & Vice-President:
These two positions are elected by the student body and serve as the foremost figures in USG. Since USG serves as the bridge between OSU students and legislation, the President of USG is the President of the Student Body, and likewise for the Vice-President. These roles are basically full-time administrative jobs for the university, and their responsibilities are too wide to cover in a short paragraph such as this.