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USG discusses collaboration with MSA; approves budget increases for trips, events

Students sit in rows facing another student standing in front of a screen displaying a Google Doc with a table.
Student representatives hear a request for budget item increases.
Thomas Catalano / The Daily Princetonian

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Senate convened for its sixth meeting of the spring semester on Sunday, March 24. The Senate heard presentations on a University diversity report and regarding collaboration with the Muslim Student Association (MSA). They also approved a number of budget increases.

USG President Avi Attar ’25 began the meeting with an update on various initiatives. He mentioned work on a Passport to the Arts pilot which would bump the number of free student events tickets from two to three. He also highlighted work being done to increase the accessibility of menstrual products across campus. 


Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Shawn Maxam presented the third annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) report to members of the Senate. Maxam had also presented the report’s findings to the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) earlier this month. 

“One of the things I think is incredibly important about us having this report and talking about our values is we’re all aware that the value of higher ed writ large is sort of being questioned or criticized, but also these kinds of values around diversity, equity, inclusion, are also being questioned and criticized, sort of under attack,” Maxam said.

In January, President Christopher Eisgruber defended the need to pursue both excellence and inclusivity in his annual letter to the University. 

In response to a question from Senator Samuel Kligman ’26, about whether all survey questions were included in the report, Maxam said that many questions were not included for the sake of length. Kligman followed up by asking if the data was publicly available, to which Maxam replied that it is not for “a variety of reasons, and we’re still thinking about the ways in which we can show some of that data broadly.”

MSA co-president Leena Memon ’25 gave a presentation on the organization and its collaboration with USG. She highlighted that the association broadly has five key goals, which are “a welcoming community, compassionate community, service-oriented, diverse,” and to “celebrate joyful Islam.” She pointed to various events like cooking nights and off-campus trips as examples of work to bring the community together. 

Memon also noted various issues, like physical space, as areas where USG could help MSA.


“​​Students have been sending in photos with them finding random closets on campus to observe one of the five daily prayers in, which is definitely not ideal,” she said.

She also claimed that because MSA is affiliated with the Office of Religious Life (ORL) and not the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS), they don’t have access to similar financial resources as most other student organizations. She specifically pointed out that she hoped USG would be able to help the MSA by more widely promoting its resources to promote wider awareness of support systems for Muslim and Arab-identifying students. 

The Senate also approved budget items at the end of the meeting, which included funding for Porchfest, Six Flags, and a book fair trip. 

Campus and Community Affairs Chair Genevieve Shutt ’26 requested $2,000 more for Porchfest, explaining, “We originally had a budget of $8,000, and inflation has hit, so our sound engineer and our equipment rentals are a lot more than we expected.” Shutt also requested $5,387.23, to cover bus, food, and tickets for an upcoming trip to Six Flags, as well as $1,850.50 for a book fair in New York City.

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USG meetings are open for all students to attend and are held on Sundays from 4 to 5 p.m. This week’s meeting was held in Robertson Hall 016, but the next two meetings will be held in Frist Campus Center 302.

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

Assistant News editor Thomas Catalano contributed reporting.

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