Pointing the Way
As president of USC’s Residential Student Government, USC Dornsife junior Sera Choi leads by example. She hopes to inspire and empower students.By Diane Ver Steeg Anderson
October 25, 2013
The new president of the Residential Student Government (RSG) has a message for the 7,000 students the organization represents: learn to become leaders.
“Leadership is something that we are really focusing on this year,” said Sera Choi, who was elected in May and oversees the RSG nine-member executive board as well as the building government presidents. “We had our first leadership assembly in September, and that is completely new this year.”
Choi, a USC Dornsife junior majoring in neuroscience, said she wants RSG to become a strong student voice.
“We don’t want to just have the title of representing students on campus,” Choi said. “We want to empower residents to have their best experience at USC.”
Choi said RSG accomplishes this through six boards that put on programs throughout the year that are “not only social, but cultural, educational and community outreach-related.”
In addition to her emphasis on leadership, Choi’s tenure began with a name change for the 25-year-old organization that was previously known as University Residential Student Community (URSC).
Choi got involved with RSG as a freshman because she was interested in leadership opportunities and enjoys a challenge. She liked the fact that she could immediately take on a leadership role as a freshman when she was elected funding chair.
“Sera has shown great strength, governance and compassion so far as the RSG president,” said Viktor Kerney, USC Office for Residential Education's assistant director for development and leadership, and faculty adviser for RSG. “She will move the organization forward.”
Choi also believes her leadership experience will translate well into her goal of pursuing a career in the medical field.
“I have learned skills in RSG that will later help me as a physician: communication, interacting with people in different ways and being a representative of people’s concerns and acting on them,” Choi said. “That is what physicians do.”
Choi is equally passionate about her work with USC Dornsife’s Trojan Health Volunteers program, part of the Joint Educational Project, her clinical care externship at St. Francis Medical Center, and her research assistantship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“I cannot imagine myself anywhere else but at USC,” said Choi. “We have a very goal-oriented and focused population of students, and it is helping me become a better individual and leader.”