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USG to spend 160K on lawnparties, budget tripled for semester

<h5>The first in-person USG meeting since Spring 2020</h5>
<h6>Andrew Somerville / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
The first in-person USG meeting since Spring 2020
Andrew Somerville / The Daily Princetonian

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) met on Sept. 5 for its first meeting this fall and its first in-person meeting since the spring of 2020.

USG Treasurer Turquoise Brewington ’22 submitted for review the $600,000 budget outline for this semester.

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Typically, the USG budget is funded by around $200,000 collected in student activities fees. During the 2020-21 academic year, however, the University aided the undergraduate student body and allocated approximately $200,000 in funds to USG, so they did not have to charge the undergraduate body directly. 

This semester, USG has funds from three sources: about $200,000 in student activities fees, about $200,000 in surplus funds from previous years’ USG budgets, and approximately $200,000 of surplus from last year’s University aid for pandemic-related costs.

“[This surplus] is specifically for initiatives that are related to issues surrounding the pandemic,” said Senate President Christian Potter ’22.

The total budget for the fall is thus approximately $600,000, a three-fold increase from the typical $200,000.

Within the budget were details regarding spending allocations for specific committees and projects for the semester. Significant spending areas included Tigers in Town, Lawnparties, and the renovation of the USG office located in Frist Campus Center, with budget allocations of $150,000, $160,000, and $120,000 respectively.

“We want students to come into the office and get to know everyone,” said Communications Director Hannah Kapoor ’23, regarding the renovation to the office space.

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Lawnparties will take place on Oct. 3, hosted by the Inter-Club Council (ICC) and the USG Senate Social Committee.

The budget for the Projects Board was also increased to provide support for clubs sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) to host more Tigers in Town programming.

The budget was unanimously approved by the Senate.

Sustainability Chair Mayu Takeuchi ’23 raised the question of whether or not Tigers in Town, an initiative which provides free items to students from local businesses, will continue to be categorized as a pandemic-related initiative. Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne clarified that it does fall under this category and will continue to be funded by the pandemic funds.

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Senate President Christian Potter ’22 also gave his first report of the school year in which he discussed the Involvement Fest that took place on Sept. 6, as well as various initiatives that took place this past summer and working committees within the Senate.

During the summer, the Senate prioritized the semester budget, fall Lawnparties, and the Virtual Academic Expo.

Chair of Campus and Community Affairs Lehman Montgomery ’22 submitted for approval three clubs to be formally recognized under ODUS, including the Princeton D&D [Dungeons and Dragons] Club, Princeton Impact Capital, and Princeton NeuroTech. All three were unanimously approved by a Senate vote.

Cheyenne Zhang ’22 was also unanimously confirmed as the chair of the Movies Committee for the fall semester.

USG Senate meetings are held in Robertson Hall 016 at 8 p.m. on Sunday evenings and are open to all.

Andrew Somerville is a staff writer who corresponds with and covers USG happenings and other campus news. He can be reached at jas19@princeton.edu.

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