Michael Yaroshefsky ’12 was just a sophomore when he ran for his first term as USG president. He had a proven record of accomplishment as IT chair of the USG and a desire to serve Princeton students. This experience, combined with his realistic policy proposals and a well-thought-out platform, led this board to endorse him in both of his campaigns. Now, two years later, we reflect on how he carried out those goals and the impact that he has had as president.
When he first ran for office in 2010, our chief concerns about his candidacy centered on his ability to delegate as a leader and provide a long-term vision to unify many of his goals. However, Yaroshefsky amply met that challenge with his outstanding accomplishments as president. Most notable are the changes he made in technology and the impact he had on student life at Princeton. During his first term, he focused mainly on student life and non-academic affairs, creating several Princeton web applications like the Integrated Course Engine and the iPrinceton app that helped to make life as a Princeton student easier on a day-to-day basis. Under his direction, the USG also sponsored free fitness classes in Dillon Gym and promoted monthly community service projects.
When running last winter for a second term, Yaroshefsky vowed to maintain a greater focus on academic issues. Though not all of his plans came to fruition, he built the framework for future presidents to accomplish his policy proposals. During his second term, as Yaroshefsky had promised, students did receive a discount at Labyrinth; furthermore, he helped to make course evaluations more accessible on the registrar’s website. It is our hope that the incoming USG will continue to work toward the goals Yaroshefsky set out to accomplish in 2009, from increased awareness about grade deflation to the extension of late meal to regular lunch hours.
Two years ago, Yaroshefsky told The Daily Princetonian that he was eager to bring about change. In reference to his lofty goals, he said he was “determined to accomplish most of them and attempt all of them.” He came into the presidency with big shoes to fill as Connor Diemand-Yauman ’10 stepped down. It was our hope then that Yaroshefsky would be able to build on the progress that Diemand-Yauman had made during his very successful term. We are delighted that he not only built on that progress, but that he made progress of his own. Yaro, as the student body has dubbed him, leaves the USG with a strong foundation for future progress and we are excited to see where the USG goes under Bruce Easop’s’13 leadership.