The administration of newly elected Undergraduate Student Government president Rachel Yee ’19 began in earnest on Sunday, when USG discussed a potential collaboration with the polling platform College Pulse, an adjustment in voting procedures, and new position appointments during its weekly meeting.
Cathy Wu ’21 and TJ Smith ’20 presented on a possible partnership between USG and College Pulse, a survey platform founded by Dartmouth students that incentivizes participation with a rewards program. According to Wu and Smith, College Pulse’s demographic breakdown would allow a better understanding of student responses to surveys on topics like the bicker process or professor Lawrence Rosen’s use of a racial slur in a lecture.
“The incentive means that the response rate is infinitely higher than anything else,” said Smith. “It’s great because it’s a transparent and direct line of connection between the USG and your constituents.”
However, the implications of USG support of the platform remained troublesome to some members of the Senate. For U-Councillors Pooja Patel ’18 and Miranda Rosen ’18, collaboration with College Pulse raised potential concerns related to student privacy and bullying.
“A lot of the questions are multiple choice, so it’s not like people can post harmful things,” Wu responded. “Even for the short-response ones, if people post something harmful, they’ll take it down.”
USG will further address the possibility of collaboration with College Pulse at its meeting next week.
U-Councilor Ben Press ’20 introduced Senate Resolution X-2018, which would allow the president to place items that do not necessitate extensive deliberation onto a consent agenda. The Senate would then enact the consent agenda unanimously, provided no objections arise.
The Senate voted to adopt the resolution.
Yee and vice president Nate Lambert ’20 also requested funding for the USG retreat and transition training at the Chauncey Center in Princeton, N.J., on Friday, Feb. 24.
“It is pretty important to create a good USG culture so that we can work seamlessly together,” Yee said.
“We thought this would be a good way to really start the year with a stronger mission,” Lambert added.
Moreover, Yee asserted that the retreat would grant an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of past administrations and ensure that USG was not “doomed” to repeat previous mistakes.
The Senate also decided to pass the Financial Report Resolution submitted by the Financial Reform Team. The resolution allocates a recurring annual funding increase of $10,000 to the USG Student Group Projects Board during the spring semester. The funding increase will become permanent contingent upon the successful amendment of the Projects Board Charter.
“One of the biggest foci of this initial funding would be to support groups specifically in the area of diversity,” former Projects Board co-chair Nick Fernandez ’18 said.
The Senate voted to confirm the following members: Eliot Chen ’20 and Isabella Bosetti ’18 as Projects Board co-chairs; Casey Kemper ’20 and Joshua Gardner ’20 as Mental Health Initiative co-chairs; Jonah Hyman ’20 as Parliamentarian; Tori Gorton ’21 as Director of Communications; Emily McLean ’20 as Historian; Caleb Visser ’20 as Campus and Community Affairs Chair; Liam Glass ’19 as Social Committee Chair; Chitra Parikh ’21 as Executive Secretary; Dora Zhao ’21 as Alumni Affairs Chair.
The next USG meeting will take place on Feb. 25 at 4:30 p.m.