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Outgoing student government president reflects on his time as a Trojan

Monish Tyagi had a passion for student government. (Photo/Nathan Carter)

When Monish Tyagi left his Atlanta home home for college four years ago, he wasn’t sure the 2,100-mile journey to USC was the right decision. Now as a graduate, Tyagi said becoming a Trojan was a dream come true.

As outgoing president of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), one of Tyagi’s most memorable times was speaking to the incoming freshman class last fall at the New Student Convocation.

“I remember sitting in those chairs when I was a freshman and hearing the student body president speak,” he said. “So for me to stand up there and have a few minutes to share some advice with the freshmen was a huge honor. I told them that this place is what you make of it; you have to trust that you made the right choice. Even though it is tough leaving home and leaving your family, you are getting a new home at USC, and you are getting a new Trojan Family.”

As a freshman, Tyagi thought student government would be a great way to meet people, so he joined the campus affairs committee. By his sophomore year, he had held two appointed positions. During his junior year, he decided to run for USG president.

“I decided ultimately that I loved student government, and I loved USC,” he said. “I wanted to try to give back as much as possible my senior year, and I felt like the best way for me to do that was to run for president. I saw it as an opportunity to make an impact and one that I couldn’t pass up.”

Tyagi assembled a large team to help him, and its members hit the campus campaign trail with brightly colored signs, giving away T-shirts and sunglasses, posting on social media websites and speaking with students.

“I felt that was the most effective and also one of the most rewarding parts of the campaign, just getting to meet so many different students,” Tyagi said.

Once in office, he focused on the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, working to get the restaurants and study rooms to extend their hours.

His other projects included working with Transportation and Auxiliary Services to build bus shelters along the on- and off-campus routes, and creating “sustainability” mugs for students to purchase and reuse for discounts at campus restaurants.

Every day in office was memorable for the cinema-television production major, but highlights included an invitation to the USC president’s football tailgate, which included seats on the 50-yard line, and attending trustees’ conferences.

“As a freshman, you hear about the trustees, but they’re like these mythical creatures,” he said. “[I enjoyed] getting to go to the conferences and seeing how caring and genuine they were.”

In addition to his USG involvement, Tyagi was an admissions tour guide since his freshman year, a fraternity member and a Troy Camp volunteer. He also started a club for entrepreneurs.

“Everything I got to do here was awesome,” he said. “Balancing it all was tough, but it was also enjoyable. I’ll always be proud to be a Trojan.”

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