USG reflects on past year and discusses transition for new officers| Jan 14, 2018
The final Undergraduate Student Government meeting of the Jemison administration took place on Sunday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m. in Frist Multipurpose Room B.
USG Vice President Daniel Qian ’19 convened the meeting and covered the President’s Report for president Myesha Jemison ’18. Neither president-elect Rachel Yee ’19 nor Jemison was able to attend the meeting due to personal conflicts.
The newly elected officers under Yee will officially take over from their predecessors on Feb. 5, the first day of the spring semester.
Qian briefly discussed the Honor Code Referenda and quoted Jemison’s report, which notes a spike in student engagement since the Honor Code vote. An example of this engagement is the uptake in emails to Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun, Yee, and Jemison in the last weeks.
Academics Committee Chair Patrick Flanigan ’18 read his final report and confirmed developments in discussion between USG and administration in terms of financial aid and admissions, the academic calendar, and general education requirements.
Flanigan dissolved the Honor System Subcommittee, effective immediately, but extensively praised the subcommittee for its work in getting all four referenda passed through “record-shattering 64 percent turnout by the student body,” with even “the least agreeable proposal supported by 87 percent of the voting students.”
In addition, Flanigan acknowledged that although many students may be “disheartened by the administration’s actions on the reform,” he urged all students to “continue to uphold the Honor Code and to maintain civility in their discourse with the administration and faculty on the Code.”
“Despite this administrative overrule, I believe these common-sense reforms will prevail because they represent the fundamental values of our university,” said Flanigan. “We need a system where no student is put on trial without sufficient evidence, a system where a student who is convicted of cheating on a quiz in the first week of school is given a second chance, and a system where no student is put through a trial and sentenced to permanent academic probation for writing ‘see back’ on the front of her exam.”
Flanigan also encouraged all continuing USG senate members to “continue to advocate for justice.”
“The movement lives on because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” said Flanigan.
After Flanigan concluded his report, Social Committee chair Lavinia Liang ’18 presented the final Social Committee update.
“The Social Committee’s work is not done yet,” said Liang. “Dean’s Date is our last project for the semester to provide this alternative celebration for students at night.”
Liang confirmed that the Senate “generously allocated $75,000 for Lawnparties for the fall semester, $5,000 for committee events, and $54,000 for Dean’s Date,” although she anticipates a significant surplus for the Dean’s Date celebration featuring Gryffin.
Shifting the focus to the 2017 Lawnparties Report, Liang noted 380 responses in a three-day period from the last week of November, with 90 to 100 responses from each class.
“Through a limited timeframe and a limited number of responses, we found that people’s favorite Lawnparties acts from the past few years have been [in order] Big Sean, Tinashe, and Jeremih,” said Liang. “The latter two were the two Lawnparties from 2017, so I’m really happy that the student body has been pleased with this committee’s selections.”
Liang also referenced the fall 2017 Jade Bird concert, the Social Committee’s first-ever open house in Frist, and the Dean’s Date concert.
“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just about Lawnparties,” said Liang. “The Social Committee is about holding events that all undergraduate students can enjoy.”
Liang described the Dean’s Date concert as “an important part of our mission as USG and as the Social Committee to find alternatives to high-risk drinking on these sorts of nights.”
Currently, the Social Committee Chair and Campus and Community Affairs Chair positions are still open and seeking applicants. President-elect Yee and class senator Nate Lambert ’20 will be interviewing candidates in the coming weeks to find suitable successors.
Each USG Senate member is required to create a “playbook” for their successor to be reviewed by Qian and executive secretary Traci Mathieu ’20 during Intersession.
Student Groups Recognition Committee co-chair Aaron Sobel ’19 recognized eight new student organizations: Vexillological Society, Princeton Chamber Music Society, Pasifika American & Islander Student Coalition, Princeton Calisthenics, The Bread-fast Club, Dunder Mifflin, Princeton Electronica, and Machine Learning, Big Data, and Finance.
USG voted unanimously to approve all eight organizations.
At the end of the meeting, Qian officially presented the final send-off on behalf of the Jemison administration, retiring Flanigan, Liang, Mathieu, Director of Communications Maya Wesby ’18, class senator Eli Schechner ’18, class senator Soraya Morales Nuñez ’18, class senator Andrew Ma ’19, and class senator June Philippe ’20.
Wesby is a former chief copy editor for The Daily Princetonian.