This year’s OWN IT Summit expects to have double the attendance of last year’s event, and will feature over 150 speakers, including “Orange is the New Black” actress Laverne Cox. (Luke Harold / Wikimedia Commons)Fresh off the heels of 2018, dubbed by many as another “year of the woman,” students in USC OWN IT don’t plan on slowing that momentum down. The USC OWN IT Summit, which aims to “inspire the next generation of women,” will come to Bovard Auditorium with an expected 1,000 guests for its third year on Jan. 12. The event is entirely student-run and will feature keynote speaker Laverne Cox and 150 others. According to the OWN IT website, the organization helps connect the students of USC to inspiring female leaders with their annual event.“Almost all of our speakers come free of charge, so they have to really want to be a part of this event,” said executive director Erica Wenger, a senior majoring in business administration. The eight-hour event will give attendees the opportunity to meet and network with recruiters and hear from renowned public figures from different fields.“We’re being a lot more conscious of who we’re inviting to speak,” Wenger said. “The mainstage speakers are going to be the ones that we all know their names, they’ve made massive progress in their specific industry or for one department in general.” All of those who attend will be able to hear from mainstage speakers and an array of breakout panelists, including Lara Parker, the senior editor of Buzzfeed and Sheri Bonner, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.“Yes, [the speakers] were older than we were, but they made it relatable for people our age and girls in college,” said Stephanie Chang, a USC alumna who attended the event two years ago. “They made it really easy for USC college students to show up and get access to so many incredible women.” The event will cover a variety of topics ranging from career development to maintaining one’s mental health. “It’s a lot of what’s happening in the world right now,” Wenger said. “You want to be talking about just your career development, but also family relationships, right? What about romantic relationships and career?” Guests will be able to attend discussions on these topics from sisters Erin Foster and Sara Foster, the heads of creatives for the dating app Bumble, as well as Jessica Jackley, the founder of the non-profit loan service Kiva, and her husband Reza Aslan, a prolific religious scholar and author. Students who plan on attending the event also expressed the value of networking and meeting other students.“OWN IT is an opportunity to meet women who are evening the playing field, not only the entrepreneurial field but also simply as leaders of the changing world,” said Angel Duan, a freshman majoring in business administration who plans on attending the event. “It’s not just the speakers that are doing that, it’s also the people who are going. These are the people who are going to be following into the speakers’ footsteps.”
The No. 3 men’s water polo team will have an opportunity for revenge against the No. 2 Cal Bears (15-2) on Saturday following a nonconference matchup with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags (10-12) on Thursday night.Emily Smith | Daily TrojanThursday night lights · Junior driver Matteo Morelli and the No. 3 men’s water polo team host two games this weekend, starting with Claremont on Thursday at 5 p.m. They play No. 2 Cal at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.Coming off a big 13-8 win over No. 6 Long Beach State this weekend, USC (16-1) has rattled off eight straight wins, seven of them thanks to double-digit scoring.Against the 49ers, the Trojans were outscored early 3-2, but were able to bounce back and obtain an 11-6 lead going into the final frame despite a raucous Long Beach State crowd.“It was a really tough game in the beginning,” junior driver Matteo Morelli said. “As the game went on, we scored a couple goals, and the momentum went our way. That is a tough pool to play in. It’s a good crowd.”USC got out of Long Beach with a 13-8 victory. Nine different Trojans scored goals, including four who had two goals.With the momentum gained from their latest top-10 win, the Men of Troy have a chance to make a legitimate claim for the nation’s No. 2 spot versus Claremont and Cal.At 10-12, Claremont has experienced adversity against talented teams this year, sporting a 2-12 record against teams in the top-25.With just 19 players to mix in and out of the pool, the Stag’s lack of roster depth has troubled them, especially late in games.In terms of USC’s game plan for Claremont, the Trojans are playing with the same attitude as every other contest this season.“We just need to be ready to win the game,” senior driver Nick Bell said. “We go into every game like it’s the championship game; we can’t think about anything else. Cal’s coming up, and it will be a fun game.”After their meeting with Claremont on Thursday, USC will play host to Cal, the same team that gave USC its first and only loss in September at Cal’s invitational tournament earlier this month.Ten games later, the Trojans are preparing for a similar offensive assault that downed them earlier in the season.In a close 10-8 loss, the Trojans mounted a furious five-goal comeback after being down 6-2 at halftime. By the end of four periods, the Bears and their six different scorers proved to be too much for the USC defense.“I was a little disappointed we weren’t able to pull off first place, but it’s difficult playing away games, and playing Cal at Cal is difficult with their home crowd,” junior driver Grant Stein said. “To get back up, we try and motivate each other with support to lift each other’s spirits in that huddle.”Cal’s Johnny Hooper, the former MPSF Newcomer of the Year and current leading goal scorer, has fired in 50 total goals in 2016, including three goals against USC.Along with Hopper’s 50, Safak Simsek (20) and Odysseas Masmanidis (17) can each provide scoring support should the Trojans bottle Hopper up.If the Men of Troy survive Saturday’s contest, a No. 2 spot in the national rankings is imminent. But before they take on Cal, the Trojans need to take care of business against the Stags. Thursday’s game is at 5 p.m., and Saturday’s contest begins at 6:30 p.m.