Celebrating Veterans Day 2023

Veterans Day represents a day that we honor you, a community who not only heard the call of duty but has also answered it.  This is the day that we honor those who placed their lives in danger and performed their duties with acts of bravery and courage.  

Originally known as Armistice Day and initially observed in 1919 to celebrate world peace and mark the end of World War I, this commemoration has evolved into what we now recognize as Veterans Day. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law, officially changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. This change was made to broaden the holiday’s scope and to honor the service of all U.S. military veterans. It has evolved to a day where veterans across the nation come together to support and honor each other–all those who served, and those who are no longer with us.  

USC’s proud tradition of support began in 1914 while hosting a training school for U.S. Army officers, and since then, our partnership with the military has remained unbroken. USC has also hosted ROTC programs since 1940 with unwavering support and a commitment to producing the next generation of leaders. Among these leaders are highly decorated military and civilian leaders – including four-star generals, astronauts, Medal of Honor recipients, and officials in the highest levels of government service – who chose to attend USC before or after their military service.  

At USC, we aim to support and empower our student veterans by offering opportunities to engage in discussions on various subjects such as current events, employment issues, financial challenges, and family dynamics of service members, transitioning veterans, and military families. These opportunities position our student veterans to achieve academic success and prepare them to impact their communities. Additionally, USC is greatly enriched by our student-veteran population, who bring unique experiences, perspectives, and skills into our classrooms, student body, and community. Their diverse backgrounds, service history, and academic interests help foster the next generation of innovators, leaders, visionaries, and creators.  

To continue to support the transition and success of our veterans, USC continuously creates new programs and resources for our student-veterans, active service members, and ROTC students – including academic, financial, and wellness support. Here is a list of resources to address the needs of this student population. 

Departmental Support  

Since 2014, the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) has worked to support student veterans in all endeavors of campus life, including everything from outreach and admission to graduation and job seeking. The center collaborates between multiple student affairs offices and administrative divisions and helps serve nearly 1,200 veterans who enroll in USC classes each semester. The VRC provides students with a variety of benefits:  

  • Study space with access to computers  
  • Opportunities to socialize with fellow student veterans  
    • Information about on-campus services  
  • Check-ins with a designated veteran certifying officer on campus  
  • Special programs, such as the advisement luncheons offered at the beginning of the semester  
  • Professional advisement (resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviews) and a job recruitment fair  
  • Other perks like catered luncheons and complimentary tickets for sporting events!  

Across campus, USC staff members in various academic and student affairs departments serve as direct contact points for student veterans to address any specific questions or requests they may have as they navigate their educational journey. This includes the Career Center, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL), the Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS), the Counseling Center, and more. Additionally, each Admission Counselor in the USC Office of Undergraduate Admission can answer general questions about the application and transfer credit processes. Admission Counselors are assigned to applicants based on their most recent post-secondary institution.  

Clubs & Organizations  

To help student veterans establish relationships and build social and professional networks during their time at USC and after graduation, there are multiple student and alumni associations to join. The USC Veterans Association is a student organization composed of undergraduate and graduate students and keeps members informed of various opportunities and resources. On their active Facebook page, students can find out about upcoming social events and workshops, job openings, and research opportunities and apply for leadership positions within the group. The Marshall Military Veterans Association is a group for student veterans pursuing their MBA at the Marshall School of Business. Lastly, the USC Alumni Veterans Network is open to all USC alumni who are veterans and are interested in staying involved with the Trojan Family long after graduation.  

Financial Benefits  

In addition to their G.I. benefits, student veterans have access to the same scholarships and financial aid resources utilized by all USC students. USC’s Office of Financial Aid and the Veterans Certification Office work with military veterans to help them understand their educational benefits and provide assistance with financial aid and other funding. Check out this video that explains this process more in-depth.  

USC is also proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is open to post-9/11 GI Bill recipients and covers up to one-half of tuition and mandatory fees matched dollar for dollar by the V.A. The Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans was established in 1986 by William J. Schoen, a former U.S. Marine and USC alumnus (’60, MBA’ 63), to provide additional funding for student veterans at USC. This scholarship is available to new and continuing students in the Marshall School of Business and the Viterbi School of Engineering who have served a minimum of three years of continuous full-time active duty in the past ten years.  

Research & Practice  

With the desire to meet the needs of our student veterans on campus, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) is also committed to research, education, and outreach for all veterans and their families. The CIR conducts a wide range of research projects, provides training seminars to behavioral health providers and clinicians, and works with community partners to address the issues that face today’s veterans and military families.  

The University of Southern California has a continued commitment and dedication to assisting veterans, service members, and qualified family members. USC is committed to providing the tools to successfully assist student veterans in navigating and integrating into the college environment while creating a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable campus environment for veterans. With this said, please take the time to review the resources in this blog post.  

USC Veteran Resource Center 

ROTC & Veteran Benefits 

Veteran Housing 

USC Admission Contact Information 

Transfer Tools 

Transfer Information Session 

For further information on USC’s Veteran Resource Center, check the FAQ’s – USC Veterans Resource Center. 

Fight On! 

Written by Dr. Eric Mejia, former Assistant Director

Edited by Reuben Hernandez, Senior Assistant Director 

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Bienvenidos! In 2022, the kick-off event for National Hispanic Heritage Month was hosted by University President Carol L. Folt, and included remarks from faculty, staff, and students. The theme “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Community” embodied the sentiments of USC’s dedication to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The theme for 2023 will carry on the same sentiment, as the tradition of celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month at USC continues. 

The celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month uniquely begins in the middle of the month on September 15, the date that coincides with the Independence Day anniversaries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates their Independence Day on September 16th.  

The celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month uniquely begins in the middle of the month on September 15, the date that coincides with the Independence Day anniversaries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates their Independence Day on September 16th.  

The Marshall School of Business outlined a timeline of important dates within National Hispanic Heritage Month, which you can check out here.  

These highlights include notable figures such as: 

  • Ellen Ochoa is an engineer and a former astronaut who was the first Hispanic woman to go into space. She was also the first Hispanic and second woman to serve as the Director of NASA Johnson Space Center.  
  • Cesar Chavez is a civil rights activist and American labor leader who cofounded the National Farm Workers Association and organized the most successful boycott in US history leading to better working conditions, access to healthcare and pensions, and an agreement allowing field workers the right to unionize. Cesar Chavez day is a U.S. federal commemorative holiday celebrated on March 31 every year.  
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest congresswoman in U.S. history. She advocates for a progressive platform that includes support for tuition-free public college, a Green New Deal, abolishing ICE, Medicare for all, and a federal jobs guarantee.  
  • Pablo Alvarado is the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing network and he has dedicated his life to reducing the suffering of migrants in the US. He was named one of TIME’s 25 most influential people in America.  

USC Libraries also created a Latinx Heritage Month Reading List. The list includes Latino USA: A Cartoon History by Ilan Stavans, Nation of Women: An Early Feminist Speaks Out by Luisa Capetillo, Piñata Theory by Alan Chazaro, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, and many more books written by Latinx authors and scholars.  

For students interested in pursuing research at USC, the Library database has a Latin American Studies Research Guide which is a helpful tool to navigate the abundance of available resources.  

USC has numerous resources to support the needs and success of Latinx students. Since its founding in 1972, the Latinx/Chicanx Center for Advocacy and Student Affairs (La CASA) empowers students through cultural identity, leadership, and social consciousness development, and establishes community for Latinx/e Trojans. La CASA hosts the Power Pan Dulce speaker series where faculty, staff, and alumni can connect with others and support students with their professional aspirations over traditional and delicious, sweet bread! La CASA is a space where Latinx/e students can experience cultural community and connectedness; it can be your space to seek help and support, or simply a great place to study.   

For over 45 years, Latinx/e students have experienced community by living on the El Sol y La Luna: Latinx Floor, or also known as “The Floor” by the students who live there. The goal of the Latinx Floor is to create a positive and supportive environment that helps Latinx/e students navigate their experience at USC while empowering them to be leaders. “The Floor” has been home to generations of Latinx Trojans, a community where students feel a sense of belonging and where friends become family. 

We have a dynamic and prideful Latinx/e community who value sharing their culture with others and thrive at USC. The Latinx Student Assembly (LSA), is a cultural assembly that fosters pride in Latinx heritage and culture. LSA supports student-run Member Organizations with the resources to host events that bring together students of Latinx/e heritage, to make positive impact in the community, and to educate the USC student body.  

The USC Latino Alumni Association (LAA), is one of the nation’s leading Latinx/e alumni associations that provides scholarship assistance and is the representative voice for all Latinx/e alumni. LAA hosts their annual Scholarship Gala where a Latinx/e student is celebrated as the recipient of the Dr. John R. Hubbard Recognition Award for their academic achievements, leadership and community service.  

Amongst the dozens of student organizations on campus that relate to the Latinx/e community, one that promotes a sense of pride and passion for Latinx/e representation in cinema is The Latinx Film & Media Association (LatiFAM). Representation includes the actors onscreen and those who work behind the scenes in productions like the directors and writers. LatiFAM’s goal is to highlight Latinx/e creatives in the entertainment industry. They state their intent on their website as fulfilling a “need for Latinx professionals in the film and media industries.” This organization hosts screenings for both student films and blockbuster movies like In the Heights. LatiFAM has hosted a Carne Asada Welcome for new students with delicious (and free) pupusas, tacos, agua frescas, and paletas. Join this club to experience an empowering connection with fellow filmmakers and film enthusiasts. Students can connect with one another to collaborate on film projects, discuss the movies they love, and highlight the importance of Latinx/e stories being told through film. Follow their Instagram to stay in the loop about future events and film screenings: @latifamdeusc

Another organization worth checking out is Amplify Writers’ Collective, a collective for screenwriters of color. Follow them on Instagram: @amplify.sca 

Latinx Heritage Month is not only for the Latinx/e community – it’s truthfully a celebration that everyone can participate in! At USC, all students are encouraged to participate in these events to uplift and celebrate the Latinx community.  

Written by Lina Goggins-Rendón, Assistant Director 

Living at USC

Oh, Housing! 

You’ve been admitted to USC and completed your next steps, but now you must think about where to live for the next year! Choosing where to live can be a hard decision to make – but don’t fret, I’m here to share some insight into our housing options at USC to make things a little bit easier.  

USC offers eleven different options for first-year students that are divided into three categories: freshman residence halls, freshman suites, and freshman apartments. Let’s dive into each one. 

Freshman Residence Halls 

Our Freshman Residence Halls are composed of Birnkrant Residential College, New North Residential College, Marks Tower, and Pardee Tower. These housing options are what most would consider to be your traditional dormitory style that includes a double or triple dorm and shared restrooms. You’ll find all four of these buildings on the north and southeastern parts of our campus with fast access to main campus intersections, study areas, and eateries including McCarthy Quad, Trojan Grounds (TroGro), Everybody’s Kitchen (EVK), and our two largest libraries, Leavey and Doheny Library (also home to LiteraTea).  

Residence halls are a great way for first-year students to get to meet other students from different parts of the state, US, and world!  

Air Conditioning? 


Freshman Suites 

McCarthy Honors Residential College, Parkside Arts & Humanities Residential College, and Parkside International Residential College offer suite style living to our first-year students and are located on the southwestern part of campus. Suites are accommodated with single and double rooms as well as private bathrooms. Suite-style living provides students with the opportunity to get to know other students within a smaller and tight-knit community. Students can enjoy walking down to Parkside dining hall, use the outdoor fire pit, or explore Exposition Park, which is home to the beautiful Rose Garden and Museum Row.  

Air Conditioning? 


Freshman Apartments 

If you’re interested in living in an apartment your first year, Cale and Irani Residential College, Cardinal Gardens, Parkside Apartments, and Webb Tower are for you! Located across different parts of campus, all of these housing options offer one- or two-bedroom options with two or four people per apartment. What makes apartments so unique are the full kitchens available. If you like to bake or cook, this might be for you!  

Air conditioning? 

Cale and Irani, Cardinal Gardens, Webb Towner 

Now let’s take a look at locations!  

Northeast and Southwest campus housing provides students with quick access to the center of campus including Trousdale, the Student Union, McCarthy Quad, and the USC Village. Students are also only a five-minute walk from the Galen Center, retail shops at University Gateway and the Figueroa Corridor, which has lots of tasty food options! The USC/Jefferson Metro train stop is also ten minutes away, available to students interested in taking public transportation to explore the city. Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street are also nearby, where students have more food options including Wing Stop, Starbucks, and more. 

The North and Northeastern housing options have prime access to the Lyon Recreational Center and the Village Gym, as well as the USC Village. The Village is home to a variety of dining options including the newest dining hall inspired by Harry Potter, Honeybird, CAVA, Dulce, City Tacos, Target, and Trader Joe’s. Students can also take advantage of the great Village lawn during our sunny spring and summer days where they can picnic, play ultimate frisbee, soccer, listen to music – you name it! 

Last but not least is the Southeastern housing community, Parkside, which is also dearly known as Parkside Darkside. This nickname stems from the fact that Parkside is the most removed from the center of campus and is tucked away next to Exposition Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. Arguably, there are constant debates about the best dining hall at USC, and Parkside often seems to take the cake! Not only is Parkside in the running for the best dining hall, but its location is perfect for students who have classes in Seeley G. Mudd building or have majors in Viterbi, Gerontology, Iovine and Young, Architecture, and Roski.  

Regardless of your preferences or where you are assigned to live your first year at USC, I hope you enjoy it and take advantage of what your residential building has to offer and find a beautiful community within! 

Website referenced: https://housing.usc.edu/