As the first month of the administration of Undergraduate Student Government President Rachel Yee ’19 draws to a close, USG discussed the Ivy League Mental Health Conference, budget proposals, committee appointments, and elections resolutions during its weekly meeting.
First, Taylor Pearson ’18, Danielle Herman ’18, and Isaac Treves ’18 gave a presentation on the state of mental health care at the University. Current policy proposals include holding a “Me Too Monologues” event during freshman orientation — which would feature anonymous accounts of students’ struggles with mental health — and appointing a USG liaison to the Board of Trustees on mental health.
“It’s a sad thing about mental health that you don’t really realize how important it is until you lose it,” Treves said.
Social Committee Chair Liam Glass ’19 proposed that USG increase funding for Lawnparties from $73,000 to $108,000, due to reductions in the Alcohol Initiative Committee’s financing of the event.
“Yes, it is a large, significant increase in USG spending, though I think it is a worthwhile one that is more honest,” Glass said.
The Senate passed the request unanimously.
Parliamentarian Jonah Hyman ’20 and Chief Elections Manager Laura Zecca ’20 proposed two resolutions to amend the Referenda Handbook.
The first would include a procedure for handling referenda proposals that could not be simultaneously implemented, by not allowing people to vote on both referenda if they are contradictory. A student could vote on one referenda and not the other during a single voting period. The resolution included a section accounting for compromise between the two referenda if they are similar in aim.
The second resolution would require that referenda statements by the referendum sponsor and the opposition party appear in all voting-related emails and on the USG website, rather than on the ballot.
The Senate ratified both resolutions.
Student Groups Recognition Committee Co-Chair Emily Chen ’18 sought Senate approval of the following student organizations: Princeton GenUN, Decem, Tiger Anchor Society, and Kardashian Lifestyle Klub. However, Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne raised concerns about Tiger Anchor Society establishing an independent Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
“We need to have a conversation with the students and the navy officers for them to fully understand what this means,” Dunne said.
The Senate decided to approve all student organizations, with the exception of Tiger Anchor Society.
Projects Board Co-Chair Eliot Chen ’20 requested that Projects Board allocate $1,500 to the African Students Association’s Sankofa Fashion Show on April 7 at the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding. The funding request passed unanimously.
The Senate also confirmed the following members: Patrycja Pajdak ’21 and Linh Nguyen ’21 to the Communications Committee; Elizabeth Wright ’19, Mahishan Gnanaseharan ’20, Annie Sullivan-Crowley ’21, Sarah Deneher ’20, Jenna Shaw ’20, and Christine Jeong ’19 to the Campus and Community Affairs Committee; Aydan Celik ’21, Franklin Aririguzoh ’19, and Ans Nawaz ’21 to the Social Committee; Kavya Chaturvedi ’21, and Kezia Otinkorang ’20 to the Projects Board; Angelica Tai ’20 to the Alumni Affairs Committee; and Jaclyn Hovsmith ’20 as Graphic Designer.
Nguyen is a staff writer for The Daily Princetonian. Nawaz is a videographer for the ‘Prince.’
Lastly, Director of Communications Tori Gorton ’21 presented on making USG more accessible and on improving the reach of USG. Alongside Yee, she introduced an initiative to develop and release videos on such topics as loneliness at the University or room draw.
The next USG meeting will take place following the spring recess.