Little changes can make a big difference. This was the underlying theme of Sunday night's USG meeting which focused on pet projects — small-scale policy reforms and initiatives lead by individual USG officers.
The projects included lengthening late meal hours, scheduling later class times, increasing financial aid and expanding the number of substance-free dormitories.
USG officers also discussed methods of increasing student participation in USG initiatives such as Sustained Dialogue — the biweekly informal discussions on race relations.
"Though they are small projects, together they make up a large part of USG commitment to students," USG president PJ Kim '01 said.
In response to student requests for longer late lunch periods, Undergraduate Student Life Chair Melissa Kemp '02 has been working with the Department of Dining Services to increase the hours and funding allotted to late meals. "Instead of late meals running for only two hours they should be available all day," she said. "Late lunch should run until the next dinner hour."
Academics chair Jeff Gelfand '01 said he is working to help convince the University to delay classes that would begin at 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The proposal originated from the Varsity Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which has expressed concerns to the faculty that 7 p.m. classes conflict with team practices.
In addition to changing late meal and class hours, several pet projects involved room draw and ways to make moving into dorms easier.
U-Councilor Tovah Rosen '02 will be working with the University to evaluate the results of an upcoming survey to poll interest in the number of substance-free and smoke-free dormitories.
If there is significant interest, Rosen will work with the housing department to increase the number of areas on campus with this designation. Rosen said she also wants to supply golf carts to transport students and their luggage to the Dinky at the end and beginning of each semester.
Like Rosen, U-Councilor F. Dok Harris '01 wants to start a program to help students, particularly incoming freshmen, move in and out of their dorms.
"I see a lot of dads out there sweating," Harris said. "We could provide water and directions. It would be a cool way to introduce freshmen to the campus."
Senators Charles Alden '03 and Peter Hegseth '03 said they want to include laminated campus maps underneath blue phones so students have an easier time locating buildings.
Other pet projects discussed at the meeting included increasing financial aid and subsidizing the $100-to-$150 Dormnet service fee."Dormnet is becoming increasingly necessary for students here," said Senator Jacob Hodes '02, noting that most students have Dormnet connections. "Dormnet fees are currently subsidized at other schools. If we include it in the tuition bill we could possibly subsidize them here."
Improving student facilities and curriculum was also on the USG agenda.
U-Councilor Jim DeRose '01 has been working with the copy center at Firestone Library to have prox cards also serve as copy cards next year.
Samara Abrams-Primack '02, also a U-Councilor, said she wants to revamp the Wilson Black Box. "It's one of the few student art performance centers here," said Abrams-Primack, "and it's really crappy."
Three new spring events were also included as part of the pet project plans. Student Groups Liason Aime Scott '01 is organizing another student leadership conference for this semester following last weekend's event.
Class of 2001 president Justin Browne said he plans to have a "Mr. Princeton Pageant" and donate the proceeds to charity.
Social chair Carolyn Chao '01 said she is working on a spring concert in conjunction with the annual Communiversity events.