At their last Senate meeting of the semester, the Undergraduate Student Government discussed the results of the bathroom code survey and the menstrual products pilot program among other issues on Jan. 15. At the end of the meeting, outgoing USG members, President Aleksandra Czulak ’17, and Vice President Jeremy Burton ’18 celebrated their terms.
In the meeting, U-Councilor Devin Kilpatrick ’19 presented the results of the bathroom code survey that was issued in December 2016. The proposed bathroom code pilot program would deactivate all keypad locks on residential bathrooms in the spring semester. While the current policy has locks installed on all residential college bathrooms, only those for women’s restrooms are activated.
According to Kilpatrick, 131 students responded to the survey. Kilpatrick noted that many comments were strongly against the pilot program, citing the lack of privacy and safety that the removal of the bathroom locks would introduce.
One such comment read, “Quite frankly, I am appalled by this policy. While it's absolutely true that the bathroom codes provide minimal protection, if any, opening women's bathrooms up to men without restriction is incredibly foolish and a violation of privacy for women on this campus. I have been told repeatedly throughout my time at Princeton that we have a ‘sexual assault crisis.’”
Comments in support of the pilot program cited equality and convenience as primary motivators for removing the locks. One supporting comment stated that the changes would remove a barrier for non-gender conforming students.
Later in the meeting, U-Councilor Wendy Zhao ’19 presented an update on the Wintersession course listings. Zhao stated that there have been 45 course proposals so far. She added that courses had been proposed from a variety of campus groups, including Health Professions Advising, dance groups, the Writing Center, and Career Services. The last round of course proposals are due by Monday, Jan. 16.
Senator Cailin Hong ’17 discussed the results of the menstrual products pilot program that was conducted last semester. The program, aimed to address the accessibility of menstrual products, placed a basket of tampons and pads in women’s, men’s, and gender-neutral bathrooms in Frist Campus Center. In total, over 1000 products were distributed. Hong added that a post-program survey with over 800 responses showed that the program had a 99% approval rate.
Academics Committee Chair Shannon Osaka ’17 presented the results of the General Education Task Force Survey. The survey garnered over 1000 responses, as well as roughly 300 table visits from undergraduate students. Osaka noted that while students generally approved of proposed changes like the increased curriculum flexibility as well as the calendar changes, most disapproved of the proposed foreign language changes. The foreign language changes would require all A.B. students to take a requisite amount of foreign language courses regardless of their prior proficiency.
The meeting concluded with a private session during which the outgoing members and officers said goodbye to the current USG and welcomed the new members.