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After email soliciting more candidates, historically large group to contest every USG position

Pictured is a white building with large white columns and steps in front. There are two large trees on both sides of the building and a large area of grass in front of it.
Clio and Cannon Green
Zehao Wu / The Daily Princetonian

On Wednesday, the student body received an email: more than half of the elected positions for the upcoming USG winter elections were uncontested, meaning that either the position had the exact number of candidates running as there were positions to fill or, as was true in at least one case, no candidates were running at all.

Yet after an appeal to the student body, soliciting people to run for all positions where there was no contested election, no uncontested spots remain. In the 11 years of records from USG elections, there have never been no uncontested positions for winter elections. With a historic class of new candidates, many of whom have never run for elected office before, the upcoming election promises to be one of the most competitive in recent memory.


Nine USG positions were uncontested on Wednesday while seven were contested at the time. Per a list of position descriptions included in the email, the following positions were uncontested: Vice President, Academics Chair, Social Chair, Sustainability Chair, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair, two Class of 2026 Senator positions, and two Class of 2025 Senator positions. The positions of President, Treasurer, Undergraduate Student Life Chair, Campus & Community Affairs Chair, Mental Health Chair, and two Class of 2027 Senator positions were contested.

According to a source close to USG, at the time of the Wednesday email, there were no candidates running for Class of 2025 Senator.

Ned Dockery ’25, who has served as a Class of 2025 Senator since he was a first-year, confirmed to The Daily Princetonian that he is not running for re-election. The other Class of 2025 Senator, Braiden Aaronson ’25, is running for USG president.

Other candidates have jumped into the race after the email went out. Bryce Springfield ’25, the former president of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), notably is running for Class of 2025 Senator. A total of six candidates, all new to USG elected office, are running for the role which almost never has a contested election.

Srista Tripathi ’25, the current Academics Chair, is running for Vice President. Since the email, two other candidates have jumped into the race. Chase Magnano ’25, who has never run for a USG position before, is challenging Tripathi. A member of the Class of 2027 is also running for the position.

A large number of first-years are contesting a number of previously uncontested positions. 13 first-years are running for executive committee or committee chair positions.


In an email to the ‘Prince’, Chief Elections Manager (CEM) Alexander Sorgini ’26 wrote that “[f]ollowing the extended deadline this afternoon, every position in the Winter 2023 election is currently contested.”

Apathy in USG has been a long-time concern. In Dec. 2021, now-USG President Stephen Daniels ’24 wrote in the ‘Prince’ that few students outside of the group understand what different groups that make up the body actually do.

“The apathy many students have towards USG, an apathy USG has allowed to fester, has serious consequences,” he wrote.

This past March, in a Letter to the Editor urging students to run for USG, Sorgini wrote, “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.” The majority of upperclass USG members are SPIA majors.

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Whig-Clio and the ‘Prince’ will co-host a presidential debate at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28 in the Whig Hall Senate Chamber.

Trends in the past few years have shown that junior Class Senator positions are often uncontested, followed by the Undergraduate Student Life Committee Chair, the Treasurer, and the Academic Committees Chair.

Nov. 26 was the last chance for candidates to register and complete their petitions. In the past, USG has appointed students for positions for which no one ended up running.

According to the winter 2023 elections calendar, voting will take place from Dec. 4 to 6. If by Dec. 8, no complaints are active — complaints are due Dec. 8 at 12 p.m. — then “the CEM will check results at 12 p.m., with an announcement of results following as soon as possible.”

In the lead-up to the election, a USG Senate full of members seeking new positions or seeking new places on campus outside of USG met for ten minutes on Sunday.

In its meeting, USG approved an amended budget allocation — increased to $12,000 — for reading period events. Some of the events will include a jewelry study break with a tea bar, a hot chocolate bar, and a spa break with bubble tea. USG president Stephen Daniels ’24 remarked that the amount “fits within the remaining budget without going into the reserves, but gets us very close to the edge.” 

Following the success of a pre-screening of the movie Saltburn, which had 194 students registered, the USG Movies Committee is organizing a surprise pre-screening of another film. The meeting also included a discussion of a recent trip to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which had 52 registrants. The trip left campus at 5 a.m.

USG Senate meetings are held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sundays and are open for all students to attend. Although meetings are typically held in 219 Aaron Burr Hall, Sunday’s meeting was held virtually due to various students commuting back to campus after Thanksgiving break. 

Alena Zhang is a News contributor for the ‘Prince.’

Nandini Krishnan is a staff News writer for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at nandinikrishnan[at]

Please send any corrections to corrections[at]

Editor’s note: Shortly after publication, the full list of candidates was released. This piece has been updated.