This Board welcomes the opportunity to continue in the tradition of formally endorsing a candidate for President of Undergraduate Student Government. In the Winter 2017 election cycle, the three candidates for President are: Matt Miller ’19, Ryan Ozminkowski ’19, and Rachel Yee ’19. After careful consideration of each candidate's platform, the Board endorses Yee for President of USG.
The USG President has the potential to create significant policy changes that impact the current and future student body at Princeton. In light of these considerations, we believe that Yee’s platform articulates the best understanding of the gravity of the position and its implications.
Miller states that his two primary reasons for seeking the position are to solve “problems with easy fixes” and “allow all students to be heard by USG.” He lists mental health initiatives as one of the line items he would focus on if elected President. However, it is clear that Yee’s emphasis on implementing “salient changes that will impact future Princetonians for decades to come” demonstrates that she has thought more carefully about the feasibility of implementing policy goals from her platform. While Miller’s goal of implementing mental health initiatives certainly mirrors Yee’s, it is evident that Yee has taken the initiative to consider the feasibility of her policy goals by outlining a plan for mental health reform in full detail on her , which includes details on the progress that she has made previously in combatting the stigma of mental health issues on Princeton’s campus. Furthermore, Miller overemphasizes the role that the President ought to play in selecting a Lawnparties headliner, a task that has traditionally been reserved for the USG Social Chair. Yee’s focus on reducing the perception that USG’s sole focus is Lawnparties seems like a more pragmatic approach toward viewing the potential magnitude of the role.
While neither Ozminkowski nor Yee hold previous Senate experience, Yee’s prior role on the 2018 Freshman Class Council gives her an advantage over Ozminkowski in terms of experience in delivering service-oriented results and promoting campus unity. Furthermore, Ozminkowski’s platform lacks clearly defined goals for improving USG’s communication efforts and promoting future projects in the coming year. The lack of depth within Ozminkowski’s platform is evident when compared to Yee’s willingness to implement items such as a USG table rotating at dinners in residential colleges and an updated version of the USG Constitution, plans which she notes have been thoroughly discussed “beforehand with faculty and administrators” to measure feasibility.
The Board fully supports Rachel Yee for President of USG and we urge the student body to vote for her during USG elections, which last from Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Given that this marks Yee’s second time running for the position of President, it is clear that she is dedicated to achieving the policy goals outlined in her platform and has carefully weighed the amount of time and effort that it takes to lead Princeton’s USG.
Editor’s Note: All of the USG presidential candidates answered a questionnaire circulated by the Daily Princetonian, which was then used to adjudicate endorsements. Links to the questionnaire responses can be found here.
Emily Erdos '19
Crystal Liu '19
Grace Rehaut '18
Connor Pfeiffer '18
Sebastian Quiroz '20
Ashley Reed '18
Nicholas Wu '18
Sarah Sakha '18 and Sam Garfinkle '19 abstained from the writing of this editorial.