In their first weekly meeting of the second semester, the Undergraduate Student Government discussed new position appointments and student group recognitions on Feb. 19. The Student Group Recognition Committee’s Chair Aaron Sobel ’19 presented newly recognized student groups, a distinction that grants groups access to an email listserv and deems them legitimate. As legitimate student groups, they are eligible for funding from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.
Of the 12 groups that applied for recognition, eight received approval. Among the approved groups were: Fire Hazards, a gender-inclusive A capoella group; the Princeton Southern Society, which aims to increase awareness of southern culture; and the Princeton Student Climate Lobby.
While junior class senator Eli Schechner ’18 noted that recognizing eight groups out of 12 represented a relatively low yield, Sobel indicated that the groups not receiving approval failed to turn in requisite paperwork, did not garner enough petition signatures, or needed further clarification. However, Sobel added that groups that did not receive recognition are able to reapply in a cycle later this year.
Several USG members raised concerns about the Center for Interdisciplinary Psychedelic Study, which was one of the eight groups recognized. CIPS states its mission as to “[remove] the psychedelic taboo in favor of developing a neutral, informed, and interdisciplinary mindset, through academic discussion in a variety of domains.”
U-Councilor ExCom Chair Miranda Rosen ’18 noted that the use of “center” in the group’s name could potentially be misleading, as the group is not officially affiliated with any campus academic departments. Sobel agreed, noting that he “realize[s] that probably could be confusing, because it [would be] under ODUS listed groups.”
The USG Senate voted to approve seven out of eight of the recognized groups, with the exception of CIPS.
Additionally, they approved four Senate appointments: Soraya Morales Nunez ’18 for Class of 2018 Senator, Nadeem Demian ’19 for Mental Health Initiative Co-Chair, Aaron Sobel ’19 for SGRC Co-chair, and Laura Hausman ’20 for Chief Elections Manager.
The Senate also approved two appointments for the Honor Committee, Camille Moeckel ’20 and Wade O’Brien ’20. Honor Committee Chair Carolyn Liziewski ’18 stated that the approved candidates were analytical thinkers who displayed maturity and empathy about academic integrity issues. Liziewski also noted that increased diversity among applicants would be a priority in the future; while the current Honor Committee consists of six males and six females, the application pool for Spring 2017 consisted of ten males and only three females. Along with gender diversity, Liziewski stated she hoped to promote greater diversity in academic concentrations among members of the Committee.
“We are really trying to pull from some different groups on campus who don’t necessarily see representation on the Honor Committee right now,” Liziewski said.
Social Committee Chair Lavinia Liang ’18 also presented the committee budget. The budget, which was subsequently approved by the USG, primarily allocated funds for Spring Lawnparties and the Dean’s Date Celebration.