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USG hears presentation on recent transit pilot at mid-semester meeting

Image of the room with 10 people are in the picture, watching a person give a presentation on election turnout on the left-hand side.
USG Meeting on March 19, in Friend Center 008.
Christopher Bao / The Daily Princetonian

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senate gathered for its fifth meeting of the spring semester on Tuesday, March 19. In the meeting, the recent spring break transportation pilot was discussed, an update on elections was given, and committee chairs provided mid-term reports.

President Avi Attar ’25 began the meeting by praising various recent USG initiatives, including buses to athletic games and a midterms celebration trip to NYC. Looking ahead, he mentioned meetings with the Interclub Council (ICC) and Graduate Interclub Council (GICC), as well as a watch party for women's basketball's upcoming March Madness game in Iowa.


Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) Executive Committee Representative Aishwarya Swamidurai ’26 presented a report on the spring break transportation pilot that added more early morning shuttle trips between Princeton station and Princeton Junction station. The additional shuttle trips were designed to expand connecting service to NJTransit trains to New York, Trenton, and Newark Liberty Airport when the Dinky does not run on early weekend mornings. She called the initiative, which was done in collaboration with U-Councilor Anuj Krishnan ’27 and the Transportation and Parking Services (TPS), a “massive success.”

“TPS informed us that they picked up approximately 65 passengers on Saturday and over 50 on Sunday, and this is just for an early morning service that we didn’t advertise as soon as we anticipated,” Swamidurai said. She added that all buses were either early or on time.

Swamidurai also said the initiative would be extended because TPS has leftover funds that they “allowed [USG] to claim … for the remainder of the year, so people can now expect this service to be happening more regularly.”

She also presented an update on a future mobility forum to be hosted in April in collaboration with USG and Graduate Student Government (GSG) to incentivize a discussion among people impacted by mobility issues, such as athletes in the aftermath of the personal electrical vehicle ban.

Samuel Kligman, Class of 2026 Senator, gave a presentation on the elections working group, which he is on alongside U-Councilor Isabella Shutt ’24, Chief Elections Manager Alex Sorgini ’26, and Parliamentarian Sebastian Mehrzad ’26. He began by pointing out low turnout in the winter 2023 USG elections and spring 2023 Class of 2026 elections, which saw participation rates of 47 percent and 36 percent, respectively. The other elections in the spring of 2023 were uncontested.

Kligman argued that more contested elections would lead to higher turnout and more media coverage, in turn leading to better policies and candidates.


“Our spring goal for the election working group is to increase 2024 election turnout by finally having contested U-Councilor elections,” Kligman said. Specific policies Kligman mentioned included an upcoming U-Councilor info session, reaching out to unsuccessful candidates from previous elections, and increasing communications about election logistics.

Social Committee Chair Enzo Kho ’26, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Chair Abby Lu ’26, and Academics Chair Vivian Bui ’26, presented for their respective subcommittees.

Kho emphasized the work that the Social Committee has been doing so far to organize events, specifically Lawnparties and Dean’s Date celebrations. He pointed to efforts to improve all students’ experiences with Lawnparties, saying that the committee is “trying to think about expanding on food options, and also accessibility, thinking about sending accommodation requests ahead of time.” Kho added that the committee is planning to add additional smaller events, though he did not specify what types of events.

In her presentation, Lu said the DEI committee is a newer committee and struggles with a lack of institutional memory, but nonetheless thinks that “...something that the DEI committee does really well is supplementing our knowledge of students experiences to fill the blind spots of institutional organizations…“ She also mentioned that the committee is working on Ramadan accommodations for next year.

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Bui emphasized student feedback, especially regarding the new final exam pilot, and the importance of bridging the gap between admin and students. Specifically, she mentioned plans to host coffee chats with students and collaborate with the McGraw Center.

“What [the] Academics Committee has been doing is engaging in a dialogue between McGraw Center and administration and students … and see how McGraw can really help with first-year students transition to college, especially in light of the conversation regarding mental health and academics.”

Additionally, all three committee chairs emphasized that they had overlap with various working groups within the USG. Bui, for instance, said that there is an overlap between her work with the international students working group and the Academic Committee in helping international students navigate OPT (Optional Practical Training).

USG meetings are open for all students to attend and are typically held on Sundays from 4 to 5 p.m. in Robertson Hall 016.

Christopher Bao is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

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