Members of the Senate debated a proposed constitutional amendment to split the existing USG structure into two separate bodies at their Monday evening meeting. They may vote at their Dec. 8 meeting on whether to separate class governments from the Senate, replacing the current model under which the class governments report to the Senate.
Several members of the Senate expressed concern about how the class governments would be held accountable and how the two sections of the USG would be able to work effectively.
While USG president Shawon Jackson ’15, who helped to draft the proposed revisions, questioned why the class councils should be held accountable to the Senate rather than to the student body, others argued that the hierarchy was necessary to avoid conflict.
“I don’t think that a two-headed USG is really a wise course to take in the future,” Undergraduate Student Life Committee chair Greg Smith ’15 said. “The problem is that it doesn’t deal with problems of disagreements between the two; it merely makes it so there’s zero mechanisms for dealing with it.”
Likewise, members debated whether it was necessary to detail in the constitution that the class council officers would have to have weekly meetings and that they would be accountable to their respective classes.
“We should create a constitution that lays out what ought to be done and let people figure out how it can happen,” U-Council chair Elan Kugelmass ’14 argued.
The Senate did not vote on the package of amendments affecting the class governments, but it could potentially do so at its next meeting on Dec. 8.
Another set of amendments, consisting mostly of technical changes, passed unanimously with 22 Senate members voting in favor. The amendments will go into effect if they are passed when the Senate votes on them for the second time at its next meeting, in accordance with regular Senate procedure.
Of these amendments, the only debate centered around proposals to change the titles of the U-Council chair and the U-Council executive committee representative, positions currently held by Kugelmass and Zhan Okuda-Lim '15, respectively. The amendments propose to rename their positions Council of the Princeton University Committee chair and CPUC executive committee representative.
Because the title of CPUC chair belongs to University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, the Senate voted to maintain the U-Council chair title but change Okuda-Lim’s title.
U-Councilor Azza Cohen ’16 presented an update on ongoing work on “The Happiness Project.” She presented ideas like a campus mentoring project pairing seniors and freshmen, an open art studio and a mix-up dinner for students to meet new people.
Elizabeth Dolan ’16, a member of the Campus and Community Affairs committee who spoke on behalf of committee chair Trap Yates ’14, presented an overview of Restaurant Week, which occurred the week of Nov. 10.
Yates is also a former associate editor for Street, and Dolan is a copy editor for The Daily Princetonian.
Eleven restaurants offered discounted dinners through the program this year, and three offered lunch. The exact number of student participants is not yet available, asDolan said an online survey to ask about student experiences during Restaurant Week is in the works.
Class of 2015 Senator Mariana Bagneris presented a recap of the “Beat YaleGate” tailgate, which took place on Frist Campus Center’s South Lawn before the football game against Yale. Members discussed how the tailgate related to the work of the USG’s former Tiger Universe committee, which worked to increase school spirit and student attendance at athletic events.
“I do think that, going forward, there’s a lot of worth to having someone just always thinking about projects related to athletics,” Class of 2014 Senator Charissa Shen said.
During executive session, the Senate voted to approve Joseph Obiajulu ’17 as the freshman member of the Honor Committee. His term will begin effective immediately, Jackson said.
The Monday meeting was rescheduled due to Sunday evening’s celebratory bonfire.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article misattributed the first quotation. It is now correctly attributed to Undergraduate Student Life Committee chair Greg Smith '15. The 'Prince' regrets the error.