We inspire students to fulfill their political and civic potential...

foster the respectful exchange of beliefs all over the political spectrum...

and connect individuals across diverse communities who are interested in civic leadership and political engagement.

What We Do


Chapter meetings

Before the Unruh Institute's Tuesday evening Ground Zero events, Associates meet biweekly to host intimate Q&As with panelists and update members on Associates' upcoming programming.

Lunches with Leaders

We host lunches on week days each semester to give Associates a chance to meet face-to-face with prominent political professionals in a more informal setting at the Unruh Institute or the University Club.

Roundtable Discussions

Associates host intimate roundtable discussions each semester on topics ranging from the Supreme Court, to nuclear proliferation, to environmental policy to give Associates a chance to discuss the prominent issues of the day in a civically engaged setting.

Downtown Los Angeles Summit

Every semester, Associates head to Los Angeles City Hall to meet with public and private sector professionals. The trip includes a tour of City Hall, panels hosted in the Tom Bradley Room, and networking sessions. If you have a strong desire to work in politics, this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about career opportunities and make an impression with those working in politics today.

Internships through the Unruh Institute

By becoming a part of Unruh Associates you demonstrate your commitment to political advocacy, on campus and off. The Unruh Institute, our parent organization, recognizes this and invites you to apply for interships here.

Special Events, Competitions, and Programs

Unruh Associates leads a number of other student-run events and intiatives, from leading USC's efforts on National Voter Regisration Day to holding audience spots for Associates at CNN Town Halls. As the nature of politics and government is in a constant state of change, we always consider new ways of expanding our intiatives on campus.

Who We Are

The following executive board members were elected for the 2018 calendar year:

Eleonora Viotto, President

Eleonora Viotto is a junior from Seattle, Washington double majoring in Political Science and communications with a minor in History. She is honored to be serving as the President of the Unruh Associates for 2018. Previously, she has served as the Director of Programming for the Unruh Associates and worked as the VP of External Relations for Phi Alpha Delta Fall 2017. She currently works as a Resident Assistant for the New North Residential College, as well as a member of the Unruh Institute student staff. Eleonora has previously interned at the Pluvious Group in Downtown Los Angeles as well as volunteered with Rep. Dave Reichert’s (WA-8) office. Most recently, Eleonora interned with Blue Wave Politics in Seattle, WA, working on Maria Cantwell’s re-election campaign, Jenny Durkan’s bid for Seattle Mayor, as well as a variety of local and state races. On campus, she is a Presidential Scholar and a member of the Trojans Scholars Society, as well as a member of the Political Science Honors program for freshmen and sophomores. Eleonora is also a staff writer and copy editor for the Daily Trojan, as well as a member Model UN team at USC. After graduating from USC, she plans on attending law school and studying corporate law.

Oskar Muller, Vice President

Oskar Müller is a junior from River Forest, Illinois. He is majoring in Economics, and minoring in Political Science with an emphasis in Law and Public Policy. He currently serves as Vice President for the Unruh Associates student group. He is an active member of the on-campus outdoor adventure group SC Outfitters. In addition to his employment as Unruh student staff, Oskar previously interned for NationBuilder, Illinois State Senator Don Harmon and still serves as a courier for Postmates. When he is not immersed in political work, Oskar enjoys camping and hiking all around the country, and is also an avid musician. He hopes to pursue a career as a political consultant after obtaining his undergraduate degree.

Srividya Dasaraju, Director of Programming

Srividya Dasaraju is a rising junior at the University of Southern California. She is majoring in International Relation, pursuing a progressive Master’s in Public Diplomacy and minoring in Geospatial Intelligence Technologies. Her academic interests include security studies and the politics of climate change. Srividya has previously interned for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Atlantic Council in DC. At USC, she is on the Trojan Policy Debate Team, an executive editor for the Journal of Law and Society, and contributor to Glimpse from the Globe. Srividya also is a research assistant in the Security Political Economy Lab where she helps research the climate change’s impact on Arctic militarization, and produces research for Facebook. Upon graduating, she hopes to attend law school, later entering the field of defense policy.

Misa Buscemi, Director of Publicity

Misa Buscemi is a junior at USC studying public relations and political science. Misa spent her summer as a public relations intern for Apple Inc. in Cupertino, CA, supporting their corporate communications team. Previously she interned for Mercury Public Affairs in their Los Angeles office, working on a variety of research and outreach projects. Prior to that, she interned for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer in her hometown of Buffalo, NY. At USC, Misa works as a social media editor for Annenberg Media and is also involved in the Unruh Institute of Politics’ student organization, Unruh Associates. In her free time Misa enjoys running and traveling when she can.

Celia Garth, Administrator

Celia Garth is a junior from Rochester, NY pursuing a double major in Political Science and Public Relations. She currently serves as the Director of Internal Relations for the Unruh Associates and the Director of Elections for USC’s Pre-Law Fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, previously serving on their Programming Board. Celia is currently interning with Senator Dianne Feinstein and previously interned with Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson as a Communications Intern and Community Foundations Leading Change, a national network of community foundations that offers programs and resources to develop community leadership. Outside of work, Celia also mentors young girls through Women and Youth Supporting Each Other, which offers an after-school program to middle school girls aimed to empower and prepare them for their futures. After she graduates from USC, Celia hopes to pursue a career in political communications or political consulting.

Jose Gutierrez, Director of External Relations

José Gutiérrez is a rising junior from Mexico City. He is pursuing a Political Science and Philosophy double major, and is interested in pursuing a career in art curating. On campus, he is the Director of Student Safety at Undergraduate Student Government, President and Cofounder of defrACT, and a Warren Bennis Scholar. Over the Summer, José was a Leonard Schaeffer Fellow and worked at Mayor Garcetti's Office of International Affairs. Previously, he interned at Fundación Proempleo and Korn/Ferry International in Mexico City and did research for Council Member Krekorian through POSC 395.

National Voter Registration Drive

About

The Unruh Associates re proud to announce a new initiative for the Fall 2018 semester. Vote SC, created in conjunction with the USC Unruh Institute of Politics and the Undergraduate Student Government, is the largest effort to register students to vote in USC’s history. Centered on bringing voting into the 21st century and putting the power to register to vote directly in the hands of students, Vote SC has created an online platform ( VoteSC Turbovote ) that allows students to register online at their convenience and with ease. Vote SC seeks to connect with all students in USC’s diverse student body, and thus through our online voter platform have created the opportunity to engage with students who come from all different states as well as students who are already registered to vote.

Vote SC in itself is a coalition that seeks to bring together a variety of campus groups in order to face this challenge on our campus head-on. The idea for this coalition originated by looking at the abysmal rates of students on campus who vote, as well as the amounts of undergraduate students who are still not registered to vote. With this lofty goal in mind, Vote SC sought to bring together a variety of student groups in order to engage with every facet of the student population. The coalition has grown beyond its founders to include over 15 student groups, ranging from a variety of political organizations, cultural assemblies, and service organizations. Our ultimate goal is to make voting a seamless and essential part of every student’s time at USC, and to foster a campus culture that promotes civic engagement and breaks down barriers for students to get politically involved.

One way that we’re seeking to engage with our student body this semester is by hosting another edition of our biannual voter competition with our crosstown rivals, UCLA. The competition, last held in 2016, challenges both schools to register as many voters on their campus as possible. UCLA won the competition in 2016 by soundly beating USC, and so this year we are going to be tabling every Monday on Trousdale for our signature Midterm Mondays program, as well as launching a campus wide campaign for National Voter Registration Day on September 25th in the hopes of wrestling the title away from UCLA. Looking to get involved with Vote SC? We are always on the lookout for new organizations to partner with and student volunteers. Check out our Facebook page, Vote SC, for more information on upcoming events, and email us at votesc@turbovote.org for more information.

Check out the VoteSC Facebook page!

Apply

Applications will be live Fall 2018

What We’re Looking For

Unruh Associates is open to all undergraduate students of all majors currently pursuing degrees at USC. We’re interested in driven, student leaders who want to make a difference in the political arena. This interest may be demonstrated through academic work, attending and/or organizing political events, prior political volunteerism, political internships, and politically-related activities whether it be political punditry, issue advocacy, or translatable skills. An Unruh Associates is someone who is tolerant and open-minded, willing to learn about new topics and hear different viewpoints, and ready to jump into the conversation. We are looking for people who are engaged or looking to be engaged in the community, and are enthusiastic about Unruh Associates and its mission.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process?

(1) You must attend the Unruh Open House in SOS B15 on August 28, 2018 at 5:00 PM. If you cannot attend this event, please reach out to our executive board at unruhassociates@gmail.com and we can accommodate your application.
(2) The written application opens after the open house on August 28, 2018 and is due September 3, 2018 at 5:00 PM.
(3) An individual interview will be conducted sometime between September 5-6, 2018.

Applicants will be notified of their application status on September 7, 2018. Shortly after the interviews we will welcome our new members!

What if I’m a freshman or have recently become interested in politics?

We want you to apply, whatever your experience level in politics. Your application is welcomed as long as you’re interested in politics / civic engagement, want to learn more about what a career in politics looks like, or are passionate about connecting with other politically minded students.

Is Unruh Associates partisan? Do we subscribe to one party’s vision of the country?

Nope! We are a nonpartisan organization and invite students of all political persuasions to apply.

Do you have to be political science major to apply?

Nope! We want you to apply, whatever your major, school, or interest. We have members from many schools at USC, and our members have a wide variety of skills and interests.

What if I have a different question?

Great! Shoot us an email @ unruhassociates@gmail.com, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

We want you here! Joining Unruh Associates is your opportunity to connect with political professionals through on-campus events and off-campus summits and foster civic discourse through impactful student-run events and initiatives.

Get in touch

Feel free to reach out with any questions.