In the final meeting of the term, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senate heard updates on security cameras, budget, and committee activities in Betts Auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 4. The Senate also approved minor adjustments to the language of the Honor Committee Constitution and a resolution regarding USG transparency.
The meeting marked the conclusion of what some in the USG consider an especially engaged Senate administration, as compared to recent administrations.
Reflecting on her experiences in USG since her first year at Princeton, USG Vice President Hannah Kapoor ’23 remarked that “this [year] is the first time I’ve seen each and every committee chair so active.”
To kick off the meeting, USG President Mayu Takeuchi ’23 delivered her final President’s Report, where she told the Senate that USG had submitted a report to administration based on feedback around the University’s planned expansion of campus security cameras.
She described a “consensus” among student respondents around a desire for “at most, a very minimal expansion.” Though she did not list reasons why students responded this way, many students voiced concerns in a Nov. 21 feedback session around privacy and the potential for security cameras to be used to police non-violent violations of University policy.
She also reported that a nighttime safety walk would be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in accordance with recent discussions around campus lighting.
The Senate voted in favor of two amendments to the Honor Committee Constitution which had already passed a vote by the Honor Committee.
Honor Committee Chair Dylan Shapiro ’23 presented the amendments, the first of which modified constitutional language specifying that students may choose up to two peer representatives to assist them in Honor Committee proceedings.
Previous constitutional language stated that students may choose “a current undergraduate … to serve as a peer representative.” In practice, students are already allowed to have two peer representatives, so Shapiro explained that the only impact of the amendments would be to “[conform] the constitution with existing practices.”
The second amendment fixed a contradictory rule in Article Two of the Honor Committee constitution. Previously, the constitution wrote that students may receive a reduced penalty under the extenuating circumstances where “the Committee fails to conclude that a student should reasonably have understood that their actions were in violation of the Honor Code.”
“If we hadn’t been able to conclude that a student should have understood that their actions were a violation of the Honor Code, we shouldn’t be talking about penalties at all. So all we’re doing is deleting that clause because it’s already covered higher up in the Constitution,” Shapiro said.
The amendment also made very minor changes regarding the movement of a point about reprimands from Article Two to Article Four and a grammatical error.
The Senate voted unanimously to approve the changes.
Senators Sean Bradley ’24 and Mariam Latif ’24, co-chairs of the Housing and Facilities Task Force, provided an update on their committee’s work. Bradley and Latif shared with the USG that they are working to compile data collected from the student body about continuous housing and plan to release a report by the end of December.
USG Academics Chair Austin Davis ’23 gave a report on his committee’s activities this term, highlighting discussions around the soon-to-be-implemented minors program. He reported that the first minor proposal has been submitted to the Committee on the Course of Study and that students will likely “have a sense of what minors will be offered next year” by the end of the upcoming spring semester.
Davis also reported that the Academics Committee has been working on introducing a mobile version of TigerHub.
Sustainability Committee Chair Audrey Zhang ’25 shared a recap of the Eco-Festival that her committee hosted on Nov. 19. Zhang played a video highlighting events and student engagement at the festival, and shared plans to continue to expand the USG’s outreach to the student body encouraging sustainable practices.
Campus and Community Affairs (CCA) Chair and USG presidential candidate Isabella Shutt ’24 gave an update on Tigers in Town, reporting that the program has spent about $7,300 “of its allotted $10,000 for the semester,” and that her committee is considering how to use remaining funds to “offer people rest and community” during the stressful end-of-semester rush.
Treasurer Adam Hoffman ’23 provided an update on USG’s spending and remaining funds. “Overall, we did a pretty good job with the budget this year. No big blow ups, no massive unanticipated costs and expenses,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman explained that the USG had initially set aside $10,000 for a bonfire in the event that the football team beat both Yale and Harvard this year. Since this did not occur, Hoffman described plans to reserve some funding for programming for students remaining on campus over winter break.
Additionally, the USG voted to reallocate $9,000 of funding to Projects Board, which will allow the USG to grant more funding to student groups looking to host events throughout the remainder of the semester.They also approved a $1,100 funding request for a Princeton Caribbean Connection Christmas dinner event.
Before the meeting wrapped up, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to establish a standing rule to “ensure timely publication of Senate legislation.”
U-Councilor Daniel Shaw ’25 explained that he presented the resolution in the spirit of “transparency” after realizing that while the USG Constitution requires that USG publish agendas and minutes from its meetings, it did not previously include anything that required USG to make Senate resolutions “publicly accessible.”
This week’s meeting was the final session of Takeuchi and Kapoor’s term. “I think this is the first time we’ve ended on time,” joked Kapoor in closing the meeting.
Weekly USG meetings will resume in the spring semester under a new president and vice president; voting for these candidates ends at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Annie Rupertus is a sophomore from Philadelphia, an assistant Data editor, and a staff News writer who covers USG for the ’Prince.’
Alison Araten is a staff news writer for the ’Prince.’
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