Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidate Ryan Ozminkowski ’19 drew criticism from his opponents after . Further comments by Ozminkowski during the USG presidential debate prompted the question: how seriously should USG take itself?
“I’m sure you might have seen the ‘Prince’ article this morning that is, I think, affectionately being referred to as ‘Domain-Gate,’” Ozminkowski said during the debate. “I’m sorry if anyone’s offended. It was just intended as a tease, as a joke.”
However, controversy doggedly followed the “fun” candidate in the presidential debate between Matthew Miller ’19, Rachel Yee ’19, and Ozminkowski on Wednesday.
“Being in USG is not a sexy job,” Yee said. “It requires a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work, and planning in advance.”
According to Yee, the USG Senate must operate with the University administration in mind. She considers Class Council to be more appropriate in promoting fun activities.
“There’s already a space and there’s already a body that does that,” Yee said.
Ozminkowski believes that running for USG president does not involve significant, contentious issues. In Ozminkowski’s opinion, all the candidates’ platforms already largely agree on campus issues.
“Don’t vote for an idea, but vote for an ideal,” Ozminkowski said. “My ideals are just fun, community, and culture.”
Ozminkowski said he regards much of his campaign as a means to entertain and interact with students. He argued that the constituents, especially through his cabinet, will introduce the ideas.
The debate also covered mental health, campus inclusivity and engagement, and the Social Committee.
Yee discussed the establishment of satellite offices for Counseling and Psychological Services in high-stress and underrepresented areas like the Engineering Quadrangle and Jadwin Hall. She hopes to have a pilot program in a residential college by Fall 2019.
“We want to provide [mental health] services,” Yee said. “Not everyone’s going to win, not everyone’s going to get into everything that they want.”
Miller and Ozminkowski both concurred with Yee’s plan.
Taking the lead on the question of student services and inclusion, Miller examined the necessity of a “universal” policy on meal exchange and busing to airports.
“I’m willing to make a public fuss,” Miller said.
Miller mentioned how his diverse background as a member of the LGBT and athlete communities has influenced his platform.
“There should be direct lines of communication from affinity groups to USG,” Miller said.
Anticipating the absence of a Social Committee Chair after elections, as no one is running for the position, the candidates also weighed in on Lawnparties.
Citing his position as co-founder of Princeton Tonight, Ozminkowski emphasized his experience bringing artists to the University. He talked about working with the Social Committee to host Jade Bird.
“Everybody wants more money for Lawnparties, but it’s not a matter of that. It’s knowing how to work with these agents and with these Hollywood executives,” Ozminkowski said.
Miller suggested reaching out to rising artists who might have a lower price tag and eliminating opening acts. Yee advocated combining Fall and Spring Lawnparties to allow for more expensive acts.
The debate took place in the American Whig-Cliosophic Society Senate Chamber at 6:30. Voting will commence on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at noon and continue until Thursday, Dec. 14 at noon.