USG IT Committee Chair Michael Yaroshefsky ’12, who goes by “Yaro,” is the only sophomore in this year’s three-way presidential race. The other candidates are Jack Altman ’11 and Jack Lindeman ’11.
“The fact that I am running as a sophomore actually demonstrates one of my most important qualifications for the office: I am enthusiastic about pursuing goals, no matter how hard they seem,” he said in an e-mail to The Daily Princetonian. Conventionality may not be a limiting factor matter either: Pony rides are among the goals cited on his campaign video.
On his campaign website, mikeyaro.com, Yaroshefsky has listed 24 initiatives he would like to pursue as USG president, ranging from dealing with grade deflation to sponsoring tailgates to improving the quality of toilet paper.
Yaroshefsky explained that he is relying on his technological skills for his campaign strategy. “My technical expertise enables me to think systematically and leverage cutting-edge tools, both of which will be extremely valuable competencies for leading the USG and attempting difficult projects,” he said.
His website also includes plans to create a “Best of Princeton” blog where students can exchange information about various classes and make suggestions to other students.
Grade deflation, one of Yaroshefsky’s banner issues, would also be linked to technology. Yaroshefsky said he hopes to be able to establish a database of institutions familiar with Princeton’s grade deflation policy so that students can know where Princeton’s policy is known and where the message needs to be spread.
He also hopes to establish “Firestone Video Chats,” emulating former U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt’s famed radio-broadcast fireside chats, in an effort to provide general updates for students.
But his platform also proposes changes beyond students’ firesides. Yaroshefsky said he would also like to extend late meal to regular lunch hours to alleviate the hassle of “trekking to a dining hall across campus.” He added that he hopes to use this as a “catalyst for future enhancements to dining plans.”
Though Yaroshefsky “strongly” supports sustainability, he explained that he doesn’t support the idea of a printing quota because of its inconvenience. He said he would rather implement a sustainability reward system like RecycleBank, a company that offers financial rewards for students to recycle.
“The ideas I have outlined include the initiatives I am most eager to bring about, and I am determined to accomplish most of them and attempt all of them,” he explained.
Austin Hollimon ’12, treasurer for the Class of 2012, has worked with Yaroshefsky since his unsuccessful first foray into Princeton politics.
“I have known Michael since he ran for [Class of] 2012 president his freshman year, and I do not believe anyone on this campus can say that Michael has not shown a passion for USG,” Hollimon said.
“The only charge I’ve heard against [Yaroshefsky] are accusations of ‘toolishness,’ [but] Princeton students are savvy enough to decide that for their own how they feel about Michael,” Hollimon added. Hollimon endorsed Yaroshefsky earlier this week.
Yaroshefsky lost the election for class president his freshman year in a runoff against Ashton Miller, who later took time off and returned as a member of the Class of 2013.
Yaroshefsky then ran for USG senate last year. According to the initially released results, Yaroshefsky lost the election, and he was later named USG IT committeechair by USG president Connor Diemand-Yauman ’10. An election audit later showed that Yaroshefsky had in fact won the election. He was offered a senate seat, but he rejected it in favor of continuing as IT chair.
This is the last in a series of articles on the candidates for USG president.