Five-point platform announced, budget approved at first USG Senate meeting under Parikh ’21| February 10, 2020
In her inaugural President’s report at the first Undergraduate Student Government (USG) meeting of the year on Sunday, Chitra Parikh ’21 announced her plans for the new administration to execute the five-point platform she ran on, which focuses on mental health; Title IX and sexual misconduct; housing, dining, and transportation; sustainability; and accessibility of resources and information.
Specifically, Parikh plans to work with CPS to expand resources, foster survivor-centered community for victims of sexual misconduct, ensure more wheelchair accessibility, integrate sustainability into the First Year Residential Experience (FYRE), and make USG support more available to student entrepreneurs and activists.
“Not only should we be open and willing to receive student feedback and opinions, we should also be proactive in reaching out to people,” Parikh said.
The USG Senate also approved one honor committee internal referendum, two clubs, five task forces, 18 appointments, and the $228,412.03 spring semester budget during their meeting.
Camille Moeckel ’20, Honor Committee Chair Emeritus, presented a referendum to add six words to the Honor Committee constitution, which would allow the clerk of the Honor Committee to sit in on selection of new members. While the clerk had previously been excluded from new member selection under referenda passed last spring, the motion passed unanimously.
USG also approved two clubs previously vetted by the Student Group Recognition Committee. The Princeton South Asian Progressive Alliance aims “to promote and encourage amongst its members a spirit of free speech and social justice regarding events in South Asia,” while First Love provides “outreach opportunities to expose students to the compelling knowledge of Jesus Christ,” according to Lutfah Subair ’21, of the Student Group Recognition Committee (SGRC).
Five task forces, workshopped at a USG retreat on Saturday, were officially confirmed: the Town Hall Task Force, the Mental Health Task Force, Study Abroad, Community Dining, and Transparency. The task forces will collect student feedback on their respective issues and attempt to implement reforms such as emergency mental health funding and stipends for FLI students to eat off campus with peers.
Eighteen people were confirmed to USG appointed positions for the coming year. Two U-Councilors, Sarah Lee ’22 and Allen Liu ’22, were elected as CPUC Executive Committee representatives during the meeting, after 25 minutes of Senate deliberation in executive session.
Finally, USG passed the budget, which funds all its initiatives from mental health week, to free fitness classes, to first-day-of-school bagels. Prepared by Treasurer Rachel Hazan ’21, the approved budget allocates $500 to each USG committee or project for general expenses, with additional funding granted on an ad hoc basis for special events. Revenue for the budget comes from students’ $42.50 activity fee.
“My goal is to not put us in a deficit,” Hazan said.
The meeting, held in Lewis 138, took place at 7 p.m. This represents a change in USG Senate meeting times; they were previously held at 8 p.m.