USG Meeting Discusses Eating Club referendum, student group approvals| Feb 26, 2017
The Undergraduate Student Government discussed project ideas for the eating club referendum as well as student group approvals in their weekly meeting on Feb. 26.
U-Councillor Olivia Grah ’19 led the Senate in discussing ideas and responses to the referendum.
The referendum, which was passed last December, called for eating clubs to release information regarding the demographics of their members and applicants. The current phase of the project involves conducting research as well as interviews with members of the Inter-club Council to create a position paper for the referendum. Grah indicated that the current demographics of interest included race, gender, and academic major.
Grah also said the referendum team was considering including income as another demographic of interest. U-Councilor Pritika Mehra ’18 expressed her disapproval of this inclusion, arguing that the wording of the approved referendum did not account for the collection of such information and that collecting income statistics could exacerbate existing labels about eating clubs.
Class of 2019 Senator Andrew Ma ’19 responded to her comment, citing the importance of transparency, “Whether there is an issue or not, I think it’s better to know what the reality is,” Ma said.
U-Councilor Devin Kilpatrick ’19 stated statistics could alternatively be collected about what percentage of members are on financial aid.
“I think that [about income] a less contentious question that still gets at the meat of what people want to know is just to ask a simple are you on financial aid or not,” Kilpatrick said.
Matthew Miller ’19 added that statistics about athlete and international membership could also be collected from eating clubs.
The Student Groups Recognition Committee co-chair Emily Chen ’18 presented on the student group Eleusis, formerly known as the Center for Interdisciplinary Psychedelic Study. Eleusis, which states its mission as to “[remove] the psychedelic taboo in favor of developing a neutral, informed, and interdisciplinary mindset, through academic discussion in a variety of domains”, failed to achieve student group recognition in last week's meeting.
Class of 2018 Senator Eli Schechner ’18 expressed his concerns about the legitimacy of the group, citing the University’s stance against the usage of illegal drugs.
Chen stated that she had attended several of Eleusis’s meetings, and clarified the group’s position:
“The group will be based off on discussion and research, not actual practice. It does not condone the use of illegal substances in any way,” Chen said.
After further deliberations as well as a re-vote, the Senate voted to approve the group’s recognition.
USG Treasurer Alice Shim ’19 presented the USG budget for the spring semester. The budget includes allocations for various projects, including the USG Movies Committee and the Undergraduate Student Life Committee. The Senate subsequently approved the budget.
U-Councilor Wendy Zhao ’19 presented a recap of the Council of the Princeton University Community's meeting, where President Eisgruber presented his annual letter.