USG Senate Meeting
November 18, 2012
Austin Jackson is a sophomore here representing Restaurant Week.
Mr. Easop: Congratulations on keeping a lot together over the past week. Looking ahead, voting starts on Monday! It was exciting to see the debate that just happened. Also, thank you to everyone who was involved at the Bonfire event—this represents so much of what makes Princeton unique, and we got to see students past and present getting together independent of social affiliations, academic goals, etc. and unite around this age-old tradition at Princeton. Thank you for your commitment to making this possible. Finally, huge congratulations to women’s field hockey for winning the national championship. Without further ado, can we get an approval of the minutes?
Restaurant Week Recap
Ms. Mancenon: We’re going to split this up into two sections.
Ms. Shen: If you look at the numbers that the restaurants estimate, they aren’t exact (but we’re looking to improve this.) But we have overall wonderful feedback. The managers were really impressed with how we promoted this event. These are the metrics below.
Mr. Jackson: We thought the website would be a supplement, but it really shocked us because we had nearly 8000 visits, and about 4,300 unique visitors. Almost all of the undergraduates went to the website, and they spent about 3 minutes on it. It was very successful for a short-term campaign.
Ms. Mancenon: Some tangible feedback is continuing this week indefinitely. The Prince wrote two articles on us. In terms of efficiency, the total cost for the week was $280 in total. The GSG is governing the advertising cost. For the USG, it was about 67 cents per meal. We got almost 3000 meals. In terms of the implications, it leveled the playing field financially. It improved mental health on campus. And student activity groups had chances for social gatherings. Lastly, it gave students incentive to leave the orange bubble.
Ms. Aliviatsos: We do not know how much unique visitors there were to each restaurant, so we’d like to discuss having a mechanism to follow this. Also, expanding this to get both lunch and dinner would accommodate more schedules, and many restaurants wanted this. A lot of the restaurants were upset about the little amount of tips left.
Mr. Riley: With the gratuity issue, could we build in the tip into the price?
Ms. Shen: We wanted the price to encompass the tip. Next year, we may have two tiers—so we’ll have “fine dining” and then options like Thai Village.
Ms. Mancenon: Restaurants that were cheaper (like Mehek) typically had less attendance.
Mr. Stolzenberg: Can we have this every semester?
Ms. Shen: We’ll have to look out for timing since Princeton town has its own restaurant week.
Mr. Blumenfeld: It’s very possible that this is one of the most successful projects that USG has ever done. I’m very proud of everything from its goals to what its accomplished and the student response.
Mr. Easop: What really struck me about the Princeton opinion piece was that this was noted as a “cultural shift.” This is something we talk about at USG, but this was a really tangible change. Congratulations.
Ms. Mancenon: Just wanted to say the website was all Austin’s work.
Mr. Easop: Is there any effective way to get feedback from people who were involved in the event?
Mr. Wagstaff: Trap is the incoming CCA chair, and he wants to send out a survey about this.
Ms. Kim: I like that Restaurant Week was very impactful without being expensive. We should seek to leverage existing resources to find cheaper ways to create meaningful projects.
Recap of CPUC Meeting
Ms. Kim: I’m the U-Council chair and I’m recapping the CPUC meeting. There are two main items that were discussed. The first was the priorities committee (budget allocation) and the second was the presidential search committee town hall. The priorities committee told us they are doing very well after the 2008 crisis, and they are seeing strong Annual Given results. However, they still may not be able to accommodate all project proposals even as their budget grows. In the presidential search committee, they said they were a blank slate and wanted to hear what students wanted from a president. They were taking in all the advice that the audience members were giving. If you look at the bottom half of the page, there are really nice notes that Zhan typed up. One big take-away is that there were a lot of diverse opinions; it seems they are really interested in listening to whatever opinions exists. If you have any, please post them online.
Mr. Kugelmass: I think the faculty were very cool (i.e. negative) on having a President with a non-academic background. It was interesting to see the “inter-division conflicts” between faculty members from different departments. There seemed to be a range of opinion on what the next President should focus on.
Mr. Okuda-Lim: I think the big take-away was that we had faculty, U-Councilors, staff, alumni, Bruce, and Stephen were there—and the different views we all brought to the discussion.
Ms. Clifton: They were also really interested in specific suggestions or questions, if you have one in mind.
Food Committee Update
Ms. Kim: Hi guys! I’m presenting again. It’s my day. I’m part of the food committee with a few other members of the Senate, and I had a very in-depth discussion with Bruce to come up with three specific goals for this committee. I’ll share the goals and seek your feedback. The first is conducting a comprehensive survey of food-related activities of independent students. Very few USG-members are independent, and there isn’t a representative body/personality. This is the first time USG looks at how independent students try to eat. The second is improving late meal, which is the platform for like half of you guys who are running. It’s probably important to all of you. We want to expand location eligible for late meal, consider upperclassmen late meal, and examine the money amount allowed in late meal. The first step we’re going to take is to understand what these motivations are, but we don’t know the set of comprehensive goals the administration has in its philosophy. The third is bringing affordable fresh produce to campus. There is a farmers market in front of Firestone library, but there has been some conversation to see if there is a possibility of doing a crop share. You’d get a box and you’d get fresh produce delivered to you. It’s a good way to start exploring diversity of food access for students. If you have any experience working with any of the stakeholders involved, or if you have any feedback.
Ms. Shen: I really like these three specific agenda items. I would get in touch with Kaitlin Poladian ’12. Another idea is to look at it for RCA’s as a personal plug. Definitely, the sooner the better because so many of the current candidates are running on this platform.
Ms. Kim: I feel like Late Meal is like the PDF policy or grade deflation.
Ms. Aliviatsos: I think we should aim for focus groups, because within the independent student groups, there are people from Spellman, etc.
Mr. Sharp: I don’t really see how the Residential Colleges relate to any of these points.
Ms. Kim: In order for upperclassmen to get two meals, the Res Colleges fund it. In order to use these two meals for Frist, you’d have to get the input of the people who are funding it.
Mr. Sharp: What would allow Res Colleges to give you funding for money spent in Frist?
Ms. Kim: We can see if there are any compromises.
Mr. Easop: I think the idea was not that the Res Colleges would give up the money, but the domino effects—it makes me less likely that the upper classmen would ever eat in the Res Colleges anymore. Would there be collateral damage to the residential college community?
Mr. Kugelmass: I don’t’ think there is much we can do with changing the 2 meals, but I think we could try getting “Later meal.” I think there are more options.
Mr. Wagstaff: It’d be great to discuss what independent students are already doing, but also see tools we could provide them.
Ms. Davoudiasl: I got an email from an independent upperclassmen who wanted to know about kitchen appliances. Also, we don’t have a “union” for independents?
Ms. Kim: But “union” is what they’re not, versus what they are.
Mr. Stolzenberg: Maybe we could put a question on the survey of whether they wanted one?
Mr. Easop: There actually used to be one, so it’d be interesting to bring it up again.
Pursuit of Mappyness Update
Mr. Martens: A lot of you weren’t here with this project was last discussed, but this is a map integrated with the student events calander. Because it hasn’t been brought up in Senate for a while, I wanted to give you guys an update and get some feedback. Currently, it has general information about what buildings are open, etc. It gives students a one-stop-shop for knowing what resources are available to them. What we have so far is student events calendar integration, facilities integration, and room-draw guide integration.
Mr. Sharp: Sports games?
Mr. Martens: Would you guys want that?
Ms. Shen: Yeah—it’d be great to click on Jadwin and see that there’s a game right now.
Mr. Martens: We want to get students to start using the student events calendar. If you have a map, it’ll make this calendar a more valuable tool.
Ms. Kim: Academic department events?
Ms. Davoudiasl: Can someone clarify the relationship between student events calendar and POM.
Mr. Martens: You’d register with student events calendar, and use that information to map it on POM.
Mr. Wagstaff: I met with a lot of people last spring, and they called for filters, so you can see what the E-club is doing right now, or where the Basketball team is partying right now, you could. Looking at bathroom codes for girls, you could do it by having people log in. And we also want to look into booking rooms as a student groups. If you could click it on a map, it’d be awesome.
Mr. Martens: This would probably happen around the time that room draw tie-in would happen.
Mr. Easop: 1) In answer to Deana, I see it as a different format for the Student Events calendar that’s more spatially focused. I think it doesn’t replace it, but it is a different way of looking at it. 2) In booking rooms, I would talk to Amy Campbell, because they’re already working on this. 3) We have had Point and PAM that centralized information but then that died, but looking from the start of where those went and how we can combat that would be a good goal.
Ms. Davoudiasl: Motion to expand time by 5 minutes.
Ms. Kim: I think these websites died out because they’re not useful. ICE didn’t die out, but it’s a good idea when you do a beta to see what part of the website is actually useful..
Ms. Sharp: I think PAM is unsuccessful because people are lazy, because eating club officers don’t care about this, and non-freshman don’t. But freshman do care!
Mr. Wagstaff: When we launch POM, we need to consider how the reactions are going to be. We shouldn’t launch an unfinished project; we should consider where we are, and how to continue.
Ms. Shen: Can you guys give us an estimated timeline? What are we looking at it.
Mr. Martens: We’re trying to get it by Reading Week.
Mr. Okuda-Lim: UHS is already working with people who do Score—maybe looking forward you can even click on McCosh to schedule an appointment.
Ms. Mancenon: Maybe CCA can work with you guys on this.
Mr. Cook: Eco-system integration, like having iCal, would be awesome.
Ms. Davoudiasl: God bless the IT committee, but this is a huge undertaking. But maybe the university will be willing to help us? How can we approach them for help. This is the time to approach the university and ask them to help us out.
Mr. Wagstaff: I agree with you, and I don’t think the tech teams should develop it, but the real interest is designing something for students, and students are going to know what they want versus an adminstration member.
Mr. Martens: I would rather have a high-quality product sooner, rather than having to go through more layers of bureaucracy. I think that in the long run, you’re right.
Mr. Stolzenberg: Have you considered having some sort of beta test?
Mr. Martens: I think the value of the service is the fact that there are a lot of people on it.
Ms. Shen: I have a question—what happened to student group website? Do we have a current senate member on it?
Mr. Kugelmass: I’ll review thanksgiving buses.
Ms. Bui: I’ll review Taste of Prospect.
Mr. Wagstaff: I’ll do Hoodie Allen!!
Mr. Riley: Can we do an update on the PDF? The intro-language PDF?
Mr. Easop: Evaluation of the bonfire/Buses to Yale.
Ms. Davoudiasl: I want to hear how the administration plans to use the playbook to maintain institutional knowledge (especially with a turn of administration)
Ms. Kim: Elections update
Mr. Sharp: The bike rack… Apparently the new date is sometime before Thanksgiving. Also, Benny and I may have an update for the Passport to the Arts project.
Mr. Easop: Mental Health Initiative?