“With one semester left I think we have an ambitious set of goals, and I look forward to ... turning as many as possible into tangible and visible changes for the student body,” Easop said.
Easop said he is hoping to make changes this semester to three big areas of the student experience: food and dining, academics and student health.
According to Easop, the USG wants to make late meal available at more locations and provide more nighttime dining options for upperclassmen. The current late meal model has been very successful, Easop said, so he is now focusing on expanding it to provide for as many people as possible.
Easop said he also wants to find a way to have more affordable, fresh produce on campus in a variety of locations. He also wants to build on last semester’s TigerDeals program by implementing a restaurant week that would encourage students visit the town more regularly.
Academics remain high on the list of issues the USG hopes to address this semester, Easop explained, especially regarding changes to the pass/D/fail option. Easop said the USG is currently working with the Academic Life Total Assessment implementation committee — a USG initiative to address issues in students’ academic lives — to allow students to rescind the P/D/F option after electing it.
According to Easop, addressing health issues like sexual activity and mental health issues on campus is particularly important, as he spearheaded last semester’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
“[Mental health] is something that ... we saw was of great value to the student body, and this semester we’d like to see where counseling and psychological services can expand their offerings to really address what students need the most,” Easop said.
Easop added that he always prioritizes student feedback when helping set USG’s agendas and that the USG’s concerns for this upcoming semester have largely come as a result of heavy student feedback. He hopes to encourage even more student engagement through the releasing of a new USG website that will be much more focused on publicizing USG initiatives and allowing students to give input on them.
Already, Easop has released two surveys this semester in the hopes of gathering more feedback. The first survey offered students the opportunity to write out their own suggestions for the USG, while the second survey took the best of those suggestions and compared them to one another through a “Would You Rather”-type survey.
According to the survey, the highest priorities for students are canceling classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, providing students with the opportunity to rescind the P/D/F option once they are aware of their final grade and offering late meal at Frist Campus Center on Friday evenings.
“It’s always great to see when projects that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect wind up toward the top of students’ interests ... and that’s really why we conduct these surveys,” Easop said.
Although much of Easop’s time with the USG has been spent looking outwards and connecting with the student body, he explained that he has implemented a number of internal changes that he hopes will make the USG more efficient and forward thinking.
“Having implemented some new internal policies ... will make the internal workings of [the USG] a little more fluid, which I think will allow us a greater amount of time to focus on external initiatives,” Easop said.
Easop led the semester’s first USG Senate meeting on Sunday night where the body discussed matters ranging from the rules governing freshman class council election rules to the USG Summer Storage Initiative.
The senate voted to 16 - 2 with two abstentions to change the rules regarding freshman elections this fall. The new election policy included more detailed descriptions of each elected position, while also implementing the new five-person class council structure that was supported by the student body in a USG referendum last semester.
U-councilor Haebin Kim ’13 then said that of the nearly 3,000 boxes stored through the USG’s summer storage program, not a single one was reported as damaged. The 3,000 boxes stored represented a 50-percent increase from the previous year. The program won the Alberto Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation and was imitated by Yale University this past summer.
The USG also discussed a new proposal in which storage boxes would be picked up from students’ rooms at the end of the spring semester; the senate considered instituting a $5-to-$10 increase in the price for the service, but the USG did not vote on the issue.
At the end of the public portion of the meeting, the senate discussed USG interaction with campus administrators, especially due to the Saturday announcement of University President Shirley Tilghman’s retirement. Easop told the group that he would meet tomorrow with University Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee ’69 to discuss the selection of the two undergraduate representatives who will serve on the presidential search committee.
Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article misstated that the USG implemented a door-to-door storage service this past summer. In fact, that service, and a potential fee, has yet to be voted on. The 'Prince' regrets the error.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/09/24/31223/