Last May, the USG passed a charter change to rename the Undergraduate Student Life Committee the University Student Life Committee and allow graduate students to participate in the group.
Undergraduate chair of the ULC Adi Rajagopalan '13 said the change was made in part because the interests of graduate and undergraduate students overlap significantly.
"You begin to realize that many of the problems graduate students want solved overlap with problems undergrads want to be fixed," Rajagopalan said. "If we can talk as graduates and undergraduates, our voice is just that much stronger."
Current Graduate Student Government chair Chad Maisel GS said the breakdown of graduate and undergraduate students on the committee reflects the campus demographic. The committee said it intends to have its first meeting shortly after fall break.
Rajagopolan and Maisel have met several times this fall and discussed problems that both undergraduate and graduate students currently face. Rajagopalan said they have already identified projects that can benefit both groups of students.
"One of our projects was working to get extended hours in Dillon Gymnasium, and that's an example of a situation that affects graduate students just as much [as undergrads]," he said.
The idea for the change in the committee came from Rajagopalan, Vice President for Campus Life Cynthia Cherrey and former GSG president Kevin Smith GS '11. USG piloted the program by having Smith sit in on a few of the Undergraduate Life Committee meetings last spring. Rajagopalan said Smith's input was extremely valuable, and they decided to institutionalize the idea by renaming the committee and creating the charter.
Before the charter was passed, undergraduates, faculty and administrators were all part of the ULC. Maisel said that, in addition to the benefits of working with undergraduates, graduate student involvement with faculty members and administration will be helpful.
"Although we meet with faculty and administration to discuss certain topics, we haven't been able to interact with them in a formalized setting before," he said.
The original ULC has been in existence for almost a decade.
According to "Rights, Rules, Responsibilities," in addition to the two student chairs and 15 undergraduate and graduate representatives, the ULC includes six faculty members, Cherrey, deans of both the college and graduate school, the director of athletics and the executive director of University Health Services.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/17/31542/