To the Editor:
It’s election season again on campus, and I write to urge candidates to run for Undergraduate Student Government (USG).
The role of USG on campus is too often underestimated. As USG President Stephen Daniels ’24 wrote in his own Daily Princetonian article when he was a U-Councilor in December 2021, “the Senate is an important voice on things that matter to students, whether that be grading policies … dining, or Lawnparties.” Further, the Senate has created the Pay with Points initiative while also advocating for students’ mental health and campus safety concerns. All this, however, is only a small sample of everything that USG does for the student body. USG is a place where students can advocate for student needs and work towards real change for campus life. Students should thus take advantage of this opportunity and apply.
USG is open to any and all students — it is not only for SPIA or politics majors. USG aims to represent the entire undergraduate student body; it needs your unique, diverse perspectives.
A brief description of the U-Councilor role:
Each member will “exercise leadership in all activities affecting the life of all undergraduates of Princeton University and represent the interests of all undergraduates. The primary function of a U-Councilor is to discuss, deliberate, and vote on questions relating to or affecting undergraduate life. Additionally, U-Councilors work to advance USG initiatives by serving on committees and serving as voting members of the USG Senate throughout their term. U-Councilors are expected to participate in the weekly USG Senate meetings, attend meetings of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), and collaborate directly with administrators and trustees in subcommittees.”
The elections for U-Councilors in particular provide a unique opportunity for potential candidates. These races use a system of approval voting, meaning voters can select as many candidates as they like, and the 10 candidates who receive the most votes will be chosen. With this system, you don’t need to necessarily worry about appealing to the largest number of voters possible; if your perspectives and ideas resonate with enough people, you can be elected a member of the USG Senate.
If there is an issue that you are passionate about that you feel is under-covered by the student government and you think others feel the same way, I highly encourage you to run for office.
So what exactly does the election process entail? The first step is to attend one of three rules meetings with the Elections team next week. These are scheduled for Tuesday, March 28; Wednesday, March 29; and Thursday, March 30. The meetings will be short (around 30 minutes), and attending does not obligate you to continue with the elections process.
After the rules meeting, the petition process begins. For a U-Councilor, you need to gather 50 signatures from fellow undergraduates. While this may seem daunting at first, USG passed reforms last semester that now allow for digital petitioning and collection of signatures.
With enough signatures, your candidacy will be approved! From there, the campaigning period begins, and you have a whole week to spread your message and vision for the future of the campus community. After those seven days are up, the student body has three days to vote and make its voice heard.
Still not convinced? Feel free to reach out to email@example.com with any questions or concerns. If you would like to know more about the role of a U-Councilor or Class Officer, send a message to that email address, and we can get you in touch with those who have previously held those roles. We look forward to hearing from you!
Alex Sorgini ’26 is the Chief Elections Manager for USG. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.