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USG issues mid-year updates

In his introductory letter to the student body, USG president Michael Yaroshefsky ’12 wrote that the mid-year report, which the USG had been working on since mid-August, was “one of many projects we have undertaken to make the USG more responsive and effective.”

“My primary goal with this report is to inspire dialogue,” Yaroshefsky said in an e-mail to The Daily Princetonian on Monday. “Students deserve a fair account of our successes and of our setbacks, and we welcome feedback on both.”

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Yaroshefsky said he hopes the report will be the first of many the USG will issue in the years ahead, explaining that he hopes to leave a legacy of transparency after his term ends. “I hope to establish a tradition of USG administrations releasing semesterly updates,” he said in his e-mail to the ‘Prince.’ “Such reports build trust, facilitate dialogue and encourage introspection.”

In the report, Yaroshefsky recognized both internal reforms and more visible USG achievements, such as Project 2014, which includes the newly launched “Insider’s Guide to Princeton” website that is aimed at offering the Class of 2014 a resource for adjusting to campus life. He wrote that another aim was to build relationships with the incoming class, so that freshmen would approach class government with enthusiasm.

In addition to the president’s letter, the mid-year report included updates from vice president Sam Dorison ’11, treasurer Trevor Martin ’11, Academics Committee chair Becca Lee ’12, Undergraduate Life Committee chair Michael Weinberg ’11, Campus and Community Affairs Committee chair Steven Rosen ’13, former Social Committee chair John Wetenhall ’11, Social Committee chair Jake Sally ’12 and Information Technology Committee chair Rafi Shamim ’13. The report also included an appendix that explained the current status of projects undertaken by the USG.

Yaroshefsky said the report has already earned the USG positive feedback. “From what I have heard, our mid-year report is refreshing because it focuses on individual contributors and avoids sugarcoating the truth,” he explained.

“The administrators with whom I shared an early draft of the report commented on its professionalism and were impressed to read about all of our initiatives,” Yaroshefsky added.

The USG’s 2009-10 operational budget was $155,500, according to the treasurer’s report. The largest amount, $60,000, was allocated to the social budget, which covers concerts and entertainment events like Lawnparties. The Projects Board, which sponsors student-group events, spent $35,000, and the USG general fund, which primarily funds events sponsored by the USG Senate, spent $31,530.

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Among the key future projects for the USG are installing more printers in Frist Campus Center, improving the meal exchange system, proposing academic calendar changes, organizing a FrostFest winter festival and a Battle of the Bands event, and facilitating professors’ ability to post course materials online.  

“Ideally, these documents will serve as the starting point for discussions with students outside the USG, who can provide their feedback on USG initiatives that are in-progress,” Dorison said in the report.

The report was compiled by USG projects manager Adi Rajagopalan ’13, who is also a columnist for The Daily Princetonian.

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