USC Celebrates Pride Month

The academic year may have just ended and the summer is heating up, but Pride at USC is just getting started. USC has made sure that June will be full of pride celebrations, conversations, and events for the whole community. This year, USC celebrates ‘The Power of Community’ as its theme for Pride. Starting on June 1st, USC will host a variety of virtual and in-person events to empower our students, faculty, and staff in the LGBTQ+ community.  

Here are just some of the events that USC will host to celebrate and commemorate pride this month:  

  • Pride Month Celebration: Faculty, staff, students, and USC community members join President Carol L. Folt to kick-off the University’s month-long celebration of Pride Month and the Power of Community. 
  • Progress Pride Flag at Keck Hospital of USC: After the Pride Month Celebration kick-off with President Folt, Keck Hospital of USC will raise the Progress Pride Flag at the front of the hospital where it will remain for the entire month of June. 
  • Keck Pride & L.A. Pride: Keck Pride, which is for faculty, staff, and patients, will join the 52nd L.A. Pride Parade on June 12th.  
  • 2022 Morgan Stanley Asia LGBTQ+ Allies Virtual Coffee Chat: This virtual networking event gives current LGBTQ+ and Allied USC students the ability to network with current Morgan Stanley employees from the company’s Asia Pride and ally networks.  

Beyond celebrating Pride month, USC is committed to celebrating gender and sexual diversity every day of the year. The LGBTQ+ Student Center is the main LGBTQ+ hub on campus for students to seek support and build community. The center, which is located on the fourth floor of the Student Union Building, features the Lavender Lounge, a gathering space where students can spend time together, enjoy free printing, and indulge in free coffee and tea.  

The center also hosts a few student groups, including the First-year Advocacy Board (FAB), a group open to both first-year and transfer students and that focuses on helping students with the transition to USC. This is a wonderful way to get involved with the center right away. In addition to FAB, the center is home to a few other affinity groups that hosts weekly meetings and conversations.  

  • Bi+ Spaces: A closed group for students who identify as bisexual, polysexual, pansexual, and/or another non-monosexual identity  
  • Queer Fandom Fanatics: A space open to all to connect and “geek out” about pop culture.  
  • QTPOC (Queer/Trans Person of Color) Lounge: A closed space to QTPOC-identified USC students to connect and build community.  
  • Rainbow International: A closed space for international students who identify as LGBTQ+ to discuss their queer experiences around the world.  
  • Queer Book Club: QUATRO (Queer and Ally Trojan Readers Online): This an open book club for all USC students; the group reads and discusses one LGBTQ+ book per semester.  
  • Beyond the Binary: Beyond the Binary (formerly GNAF) is an intentional space for our Trans and Gender Nonconforming/Questioning USC students (& friends!) to get to know one another, destress, and debrief, as well as have a place to call their own, all while actively abolishing the binary and other oppressive systems. 
  • Ace/Aro+ Space: An intentional space for students who identify as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, or anywhere on the ace and/or aro spectrums. 

Check out the LGBTQ+ Student Center on social.  

As a prospective or incoming student, you might be wondering about the kinds of other programs and resources that USC has to offer around the LGBTQ+ community.  

You might want to check out some additional groups and resources for members of the Trojan Family:  

  • Mentorship Opportunities: LGBT Peer Mentoring Program allows current USC students to work with a caring, dynamic peer mentor on personal, social, academic, career and lifestyle goals.  
  • Professional Resources: OUTLaw, a networking club for LGBTQ+ students interested in pursuing Law; and Trojan Alliance, a pre-professional association aimed at bringing networking opportunities and resources to LGBTQ students at USC.  
  • Social Organizations: MedLambda: LGBTQIA+ Student Interest Group, a group that supports LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff in the health sciences through social events, activism, and programming; and Transgender Advocacy Group, a student-run organization for transgender USC students and their cisgender allies to mingle, discuss, and dismantle transphobia.  

For more information about the LGBTQ+ Student Center, programs, student organizations, and more, visit the LGBTQ+ Student Center website: https://lgbtrc.usc.edu/ and the Campus Organizations website for a full list of all registered USC clubs and organizations: https://campusactivities.usc.edu/organizations/.  

Written by Dylan Goodwill (Assistant Director of Admission) and Jamie Black (Assistant Director of Admission).  



GUEST BLOG: USC Celebrates Black History Month

Happy Black History Month! 

Every year, we celebrate the legacy and the history of the Black community across the African diaspora. Here on campus, we host various events and celebrations beginning on February 1st.   

This month I am especially reminded of Umoja, Swahili for unity.   

In the spirit of unity, there are ample ways that Black Trojans find their communities on campus. From clubs and organizations to campus spaces, you can pursue your passions and make your mark within your first few days as a USC student.    

Haven’t had a chance to visit campus and are looking for events, places, and spaces that are relevant to the Black student community on campus? Look no further, because the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA) and the Black Trojan Community have got you covered with a virtual tour of “BlackSC hotspots.”  

Highlights of the virtual campus tour include Sommerville Place, a special interest residential floor dedicated to cultivating community and identity across the African diaspora. It also features organizations such as the Black Student Assembly (BSA) that fosters connections, creates leadership opportunities for students, and provides programming and services to the community. Every Monday night, BSA hosts a weekly meeting in which students can gather to play games and discuss news and events relevant to the Black community. Additionally, the tour also highlights McCarthy Quad, home to one of the signature events of Black History Month, the Black History Month Festival. This new event features step shows and other performances and highlights clubs and organizations.   

Through events, organizations, and campus spaces we hope to create an environment in which every student can thrive while also honoring and acknowledging the Black student experience. This month and every month we empower and uplift the Black community on campus and beyond.  

So again, in the spirit of Umoja (unity), we invite you to celebrate with us and check out Black History Month events happening all over campus.  

Some events include the Black at USC: Mental Health and Tools to Thrive Edition talk which corresponds with this year’s national Black History Month theme: Black Health and Wellness, and the USC Fisher Art Museum will be hosting Films Reflecting Ourselves (F.R.O Fest) where the museum will be screening films by Black writers, producers, directors, and actors from USC. This annual festival provides a platform to tell and celebrate Black stories. This year’s theme is “Black Joy.” 

 To keep up to date with CBCSA events year round, follow their Instagram @usc_cbcsa

Written by:

Jonna German, Senior Assistant Director  – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission



Student Veterans at USC: A Proud Tradition of Support

My calling to advocate for student veterans began over eight years ago as I began my career in higher education. As a student veteran myself, I recognize what makes student veterans so different from their traditional college student counterparts. Aside from their life experience from military service, their unique set of non-traditional student characteristics includes distinct strengths that contribute to their academic success. For many transitioning veterans, repurposing their individual traits from military to student is key in finding academic success. For this reason, student veterans gravitate towards veteran-friendly environments where an institution’s core values and culture promote veteran services that will spawn academic success and a positive student experience. At USC, we understand these characteristics and transitional challenges, which is why we hold a proud tradition of serving our men and our women in uniform, and as an institution, our mission is to serve those who serve. As referenced in the message from Judge Widney Professor Gen. David H. Petraeus, “The University of Southern California is among the most supportive and welcoming universities in America for student veterans.”  

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 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!  

Clubs & Organizations  
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), 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.  

To help student veterans establish relationships and build social and professional networks during their time at USC and after graduation, there are multiple students 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. To provide ongoing support for student veterans in their transition to USC, the USC Student Veterans Support Network mission is to help current and former students, staff, and faculty connect with students. 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 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 previous 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 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 below. Should you have any questions regarding the number of resources available or questions regarding admissions and the application process, please feel free to email me, Eric Mejia, at emejia17@usc.edu 

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

Semper Fidelis and Fight On! 
Written by Eric Mejia, Assistant Director