In addition to chicken salad and turkey sandwiches, President Shapiro and the USG Senate chewed over the Wythes committee proposal to expand the student body size last night.
After last week's raucous U-Council meeting over the fate of the Chancellor Green rotunda, USG senators were respectful and cautious in questioning how the expansion might negatively affect academics and student life, repeatedly commending the Wythes Committee Report and thanking President Shapiro for his presence.
The meeting with Shapiro was part of an already busy day for the USG.
During a meeting with USG officers yesterday morning, Provost Jeremiah Ostriker, Associate Provost Allen Sinisgalli and classics professor Josiah Ober took steps to fulfill the promise made after the U-Council meeting to consider student input on the Chancellor Green issue.
Ostriker offered to add at least one student to a faculty committee discussing the planned renovations and agreed to hold a public forum to solicit student input on the issue, USG vice president Spence Miller '02 said.
"There was a substantial difference," Miller said of administrators' attitudes in yesterday morning's meeting. "They were cordial and willing. They wanted our input."
At last night's dinner meeting on the Wythes committee's recommendations, U-Councilor Teddy Nemeroff '01 told Shapiro that he was "curious to hear a little bit about how much thought has gone into" plans to avoid exacerbating the University's existing problems with over-enrolled classes.
Shapiro responded that adding a faculty member to an understaffed department after a faculty member leaves an overstaffed department — as outlined in the Wythes report — would ameliorate some problems with over-enrolled classes.
He also said with a continually growing faculty like that of the University, "If anything, class size remains the same or goes down."
Nemeroff and Shapiro's polite exchange was characteristic of the meeting. As USG senators voiced reservations about the Wythes committee's proposals, Shapiro either explained how the problems will be resolved or said that though the concerns are valid, addressing them is not a priority for the University at this time.
One difficult issue to resolve pertained to the increased demand for performance arts space that would result from a larger student body. "The legitimate requirements of the faculty and student body far exceed our capacity to fulfill them," Shapiro said.
Nevertheless, Shapiro admitted that "we really do have a need that is unfulfilled and unsatisfactory" in regard to music practice space.
Shapiro also noted that having a larger student body would be "socially responsible" because the University's resources could be used to educate more people and further human knowledge.
"I have a general view that although Princeton is a private university it operates as a public trust," he said. "We have to take other people into account."