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USG hears Lawnparties Review Committee Report, approves task forces for the upcoming year

<h6>Timothy Park/The Daily Princetonian</h6>
Timothy Park/The Daily Princetonian

In its meeting on Sunday, Feb. 13, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) heard an overview of the Lawnparties Review Committee Report and approved eight task forces for the upcoming year.

Director of Campus Club Lexy Sarstedt, who works under the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) and has served as an advisor to the USG Social Committee since August 2019, presented a brief overview of the report compiled by the Lawnparties Review Committee following the Fall 2021 Lawnparties.

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“The purpose of the Committee was to look at the way Lawnparties is run, kind of review everything from how we get an artist, how we select an artist, all the way to the implementation of the show and how we assess the success of that show afterwards,” Sarstedt said.

The Lawnparties Review Committee conducted a student experience survey this fall and received 768 responses, which they used to make three recommendations for future Lawnparties.

Their first recommendation was to implement a vetting system for potential performers that includes vetting within the USG Social Committee and the possible addition of a third-party public relations firm. They further recommended working towards better coordination with the USG Executive Committee, which includes the USG president, vice president, treasurer, U-Council chair, and core committee chairs.

The Committee’s second recommendation was to continue to conduct student experience surveys after each semester’s Lawnparties concert. The Committee’s report also highlighted a final recommendation of increasing dialogue between USG and University administration regarding issues such as safety during Lawnparties. Sarstedt emphasized a continued partnership with the Princeton Department of Public Safety, in order “to make sure that th[ese] show[s] [are] as safe as [they] possibly can be.”

In Fall 2021, USG announced that they would no longer host LANY as the Lawnparties headliner five days before the event after misconduct allegations about the band’s lead singer arose. The most recent Lawnparties event also saw unruly crowds and an unstable barricade, resulting in reports of student injury.

In response to a question from U-Councilor Eric Sklanka ’23, Sarstedt also noted that in the future, Lawnparties planning will need to involve consideration of increased class size and new buildings on campus as the University expands.

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USG Vice President Hannah Kapoor ’23 also raised a question about transparency in the artist selection process for Lawnparties.

Sarstedt explained that while the Social Committee collects student input regarding the genre and type of artist they would like to see, it would be difficult to solicit more direct student input for the selection of specific artists.

“Artists or agents have a really hard time wanting to work with clients — in this case, that would be us — who are wide open about the vetting process,“ she said.

This is because of worries around payment information becoming public — artists who give the University a good deal for whatever reason likely would not want that fact to become public knowledge as it could hurt their careers in the long run.

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Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne added that a system in which students vote for a headliner would likely not be feasible for similar reasons.

“Artists would not necessarily enter into that voting process. Nobody wants to be the semifinal loser of the Lawnparties vote at Princeton,“ he said.

The Senate unanimously approved $1,500 in funding for a new Curling Club to purchase equipment. The other half of the club’s $3,000 request will be covered by ODUS. Projects Board Co-Chair Stephane Sartzetakis ’22 noted that the club’s interest form received over 100 signups.

A number of task forces for the upcoming year were also introduced to the Senate body.

Stephen Daniels ’24 discussed the Mental Health Resources Task Force, which will focus on improving mental health resources on campus in conjunction with Counseling and Psychological Services.

Senator Sean Bradley ’24 will chair a Move-Out/Resale+ Task Force, with the purpose of supporting and institutionalizing the Office of Sustainability’s efforts with move-out and dorm item resale.

USG President Mayu Takeuchi ’23 introduced the Disability Task Force, which was started in the fall of 2020 and provides resources for and raises awareness of issues relating to disability. Naomi Hess ’22 and Jennifer Lee ’23 will serve as chairs.

Hess is a news editor emerita and a contributing copy editor for the ‘Prince.’

Senators Mariam Latif ’24 and Sean Bradley will co-chair a Housing and University Facility Task Force with the intention to “make housing more equitable for all students.” Latif specifically mentioned hoping to clarify room draw guidelines to prevent confusion.

Daniels also gave an overview of the Community Dining Task Force, a continuation of efforts in the previous USG term to establish “community dining as part of the meal plan.”

Takeuchi detailed the Menstrual Products Task Force, which is chaired by Rayyan Sarker ’22. The task force “operates essentially independently from the USG Senate” but is funded by USG, explained Takeuchi.

Senator Gisell Curbelo ’23 will chair a Transfer Student Task Force. Given that Princeton’s transfer program is expected to eventually double in size, the task force aims to “build resources to support the transfer student community and promote events and programming that will build community, not only within the transfer student community, but also beyond and between transfer and non-transfer students,” said Takeuchi.

Senators Ned Dockery ’25 and Walker Penfield ’25 will co-chair a First-Year Experience Task Force. Penfield explained that the new task force is dedicated to incorporating student input into Princeton’s orientation program and making University resources more accessible for first-year students.

“It’s an exciting task force,” added Kapoor, “especially with the [ongoing] campus expansion.”

Senators and U-Councilors are all required to sign up for at least one task force. All eight task forces were approved unanimously.

USG Senate meetings are open to all and are typically held in Robertson Hall Room 016 at 8 p.m. on Sunday evenings, but this week’s meeting took place at 2:30 p.m. due to the Super Bowl.

Annie Rupertus is a first-year from Philadelphia and a News Staff Writer who covers USG for the ‘Prince.’ She is also a designer for the print issue. She can be reached at arupertus@princeton.edu or @annierupertus on Instagram and Twitter.

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