The Undergraduate Student Government discussed Campus Dining, the fall semester budget, and the progress of various committees during its weekly meeting on Sept. 30.
Chris Lentz, associate director of marketing and community engagement for Campus Dining, discussed ways that Campus Dining can collect feedback and deliver news to the student body. In the past, Campus Dining has used a student advisory board and focus groups, and Lentz hopes that USG can collaborate with Campus Dining to come up with innovative ways to improve the collection of feedback.
Lentz noted that working with USG can help Campus Dining reach out to various groups on campus.
“We want to have some sort of formal process in place to help us as we’re moving forward so that we are in concert with the student body and that we’re making decisions representative of the full student body,” Lentz said.
Currently, Campus Dining has been using texting to receive feedback and noted that the majority of the feedback has been positive. The department aggregates the feedback and shares it with the team.
“That honestly has been the best part of it so far,” Lentz said. “The positive side of it has probably been the biggest impact for our teams.”
Campus and Community Affairs Chair Caleb Visser ’20 spoke about the success of the Vote100 initiative so far, talking about a challenge where a student can invite five of their friends to take the Vote100 pledge. If all five take the pledge, then the student inviting them will receive a Vote100 hat.
Academics Chair Olivia Ott ’20 discussed the various projects that her committee is working on, including improving pre-law advising and sophomore academic advising. Her committee is also looking at how the University does not count internships as part of its curriculum and how that may affect international students’ visa statuses after their undergraduate years.
Ott also talked briefly about the formation of a potential subcommittee that would focus on financial aid resources related to academics at the University. The subcommittee would cover issues such as the cost of thesis binding, Pequods, and textbooks as well as work-study. It would also be a collaborative effort among various USG committees.
“There’s a lot of very specific niche issues associated with that topic [of financial aid resources related to academics],” Ott said. “But they’re all interrelated in the sense that they’re related to the same time.”
USG Treasurer Alison Shim ’19 presented the fall 2018 budget proposal, which allocates $258,550 for the fall semester. Shim noted that the figures on the budget are only the allocated amounts and may not be the actual amounts spent. The total available budget for the year is $460,651.
This year, USG approved $123,000 for Lawnparties.
“We’ve always just spent more in the fall than in the spring,” Shim said, noting that fall semester usually includes additional expenses, such as Thanksgiving buses and gear giveaway for Dean’s Date.
According to Shim, the budget allocation for the movies committee also increased in order to provide viewings of more first-run movies, or movies that have recently been released.
The senate approved the budget proposal unanimously.
Class of 2019 Senator Nancy Wenger ’19 and U-Councilor Aditya Shah ’21 also gave a summary of the Council of the Princeton University Community meeting on Sept. 24.
The senate confirmed Reilly Bova ’20 as TigerApps chair and Rhea Park ’22 and Joel Fong ’22 to the communications committee.
The next USG meeting will be held on Oct. 7.