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USG candidates discuss respective platforms

Undergraduate Student Government announced the candidates for next year's offices last Sunday.

Dan Qian ’19 is running for vice president of the student body. As vice president, Qian hopes to make USG projects more transparent by surveying student opinion on Senate projects before priorities are set and relaying results of weekly administrator meetings to the student body. With experience on the Senate, Executive Committee, and Core Committee, he has worked with the Vice President, President, and the rest of the Senate.

Qian was not available for comment at the time of publication.

Alison Shim ’19 and Rawlison Zhang ’19 are running for treasurer of the student body.

As Treasurer, Alison Shim would like to bring transparency to the USG budget.

“I think that having that transparency will lead to feedback from the student body and insight into how they want things prioritized,” Shim said. As Public Engagement Chair and a member of the communications committee, Shim has worked with the USG President, Vice President, and others at senate meetings, and has also discussed the role with the current treasurer. Her familiarity with the senate and its current projects prepares her to serve well, she said. In addition, she did business operations for the Pace Center this summer, where she became familiar with Princeton’s financial systems.

“I’ve really loved my time in USG,” Shim said, “and I want to continue and take a larger role. And I think with my experience, Treasurer was the best fit.”

Patrick Flanigan ’18 and Eric Sklanka ’19 are both running for academics committee chair.

As a Peer Academic Adviser last year and Residential College Adviser this year, Flanigan has spent much of his time advising freshman on how to choose courses, he said. As a member of the Academics Committee, he has already worked with the board this year. Additionally, as a head tutor in and a member of the advisory panel for the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, he looks forward to using his connections there to bring about a partnership with USG. Flanigan said he will prioritize taking student input to the general education task force. One way he has already done this is through a student survey. Its results will be submitted to the committee on course of study. He is also seeking to make make it possible to elect the pass/D/fail option for introductory language classes.

Josh Gardner ’20 and Christine Jeong ’19 are both running for Campus and Community Affairs Committee Chair. Neither candidate responded to requests for comment.

Lavinia Liang ’18 and Wilglory Tanjong ’18 are campaigning for social committee chair.

“I love Princeton. And I love Lawnparties. And I love people. And I feel like these things are all combined in the Social Committee," Liang said.

Liang was involved in the Committee during her freshman year and half of her sophomore year. In her freshman year, she was part of a two-person team that worked directly with Campus Club and Office of the Dean of Undergraduates to plan Lawnparties.

Liang said a lack of “transparency of the process is a source of a lot of discontent” for Princeton students, and is something she wants to address. She also said she would like to improve the relationship between USG and the general campus population, ensuring that students feel comfortable approaching their student government. She said she wants to create "more of an internal community within USG as well.”

Tanjong is running for the position because she has seen collective frustration with Lawnparties and wants to address it.

“I think I have a shared sentiment of dissatisfaction that many Princeton students have with recent Lawnparties picks, particularly the past Fall and Spring lawnparties, because I’m an average Princeton student," Tanjong said. "I think those complaints are valid. It’s not about who the social chair in particular wants, but what the student body wants.”

Tanjong has experience organizing productions like the Sankofa fashion show, Sakata African Dance Competition, and Okwele African Student Academic Conference, and believes that she will bring new, refreshing, and different ideas to the USG social committee.

Tania Bore ’20, Kade McCorvy ’20, and Michael Zhou ’19 are running for University Student Life Committee Chair.

As University Student Life Committee Chair, Bore said she would like to create intersectional safe spaces “to show groups that are marginalized that they are supported by people outside of their specific groups.”

She also wants to hear feedback from the University community on a weekly basis. Other issues Bore said she wanted to improve were dining issues such as the distance between independent and eating club students, athlete inclusivity and support, through encouraging appointment of athletes in more student-represented organizations.

Bore said students “can come to me for anything, even if they just need someone to be a liaison or just want to say ‘Hi.’”

As for McCorvy's campaign, he emphasized his background in his small town high school in southeastern Texas. There, he led a campaign called ­­­­Project Understanding aimed at “creating an atmosphere that all people want to be a part of.” His project successfully changed major school policies. At the University, he is a current member of the Undergraduate Student Life Committee, and is currently in more subcommittees than any other member -- four of the six committees. He wants the University community to know that USLC is a “policy-heavy” committee.

“A lot of what we work on will become policy,” McCorvy said, stressing that he wants those policies driven by input by the student body.

Zhou, another candidate for USLC chair, said he wants to encourage an atmosphere of openness and engagement within campus community, not only between students, but also among students and professors. As an acting member on USLC since last spring semester, he has been involved in increasing awareness of the independent and co-op lifestyles available to underclassman. In particular, he helped create an event in the spirit of Lawnparties for independents and co-ops, and formed an independent and co-op student council in order to increase dialogue, share concerns, and gain more visibility.