Meeting Minutes for December 09, 2012

USG Senate Meeting





Mr. Easop: Welcome everybody to our last meeting before break. We have our holiday decorations out, and we’ll be taking a picture after Senate. Thank you for those of you wearing holiday colors. First, I’d like to welcome Ms. Hamilton-Chandler who’ll be speaking about the Career Service office and upcoming developments. We’ll also going through a few other presentations, including another monthly update on our budget. Without further ado, let’s have a vote to approve the minutes.


The motion passes.


Zack Ogle is standing in for Sarah Wiley. Greg Smith is standing in for Elektra Aliviatsos. Jeff Kessler is standing in for Dylan Ackerman.


Ms. Hamilton-Chandler: So career services in the summer of 2010 started a review process, and it was interesting in that it was both a peer-review and an external review. It was favorable in that they thought we had the right blend of programs, but we were short-staffed, but as a result, we hired two new staff members. There was some comment about us needing to use more technology, which we’ve rectified by having an online scheduling. I think we’re more visible than we’ve been, but I’ll leave you all to tell me that. There were some areas that came up in conversation; there seems to be a perception that Career Services is just for seniors. There seems to be a sense that a lot of what we do has to do with corporate opportunities than with non-profits. We continue to benefit from alumni being involved in office activities, and there was a desire for even more involvement. There was also discussion about early engagement with freshmen, because the way students start their experience early does matter. All of the counselors have a relationship with the residential colleges and academic department, but we wanted to increase outreach to freshmen. Prior to this, we’d seen 45% percent of the class, but after this initiative, we saw 60% of freshmen. I think our efforts in social media have been pretty significant- there are lots of presentations that students can see online. With the increase in staff, we’ve increased the Princternships program. We think students need to explore an interest in a short-term environment, which is why we created and expanded the Princeternship program. We continue to reach out to alums to have them become involved; as you can see, the blogs on the website have students who talk about the benefits of the program and the relationships they form with alumni. The alumni career network, which is a database of 4500 alums, is heavily used, but there is a desire from students to form more personal relationships with alums. Up to about 2007, we had employers coming and then the market became so fragile that alums pulled back a bit- but we’re working on them becoming more a presence. We have always bene involved in the non-profit end, but what’s happened is that all the emphasis on investment banking (with the suits and dress up events at the beginning of the year) creates the false impression that we don’t focus on non-profits. If I look at the number of job postings, non-profits is a leading industry, followed by finance and consulting. We’ve expanded our work with the graduate students, but we offer the same range of services. We’ve continued the employer networking events, and broadened the kinds of industry-representation that we have. Many departments have opportunities, but they sometimes send those opportunities to students within those departments; we’ve made an effort to reach out to these departments. The issue is access for me; all the internships should be available and centralized for students to see. It has to be less dependent than a relationship with a particular professor, but to have all the opportunities available, which is why we’ve been spending on much time on this. We’re trying to target sophomores where we assess your strengths. We’re going to continue to roll this program out; the response has been positive. I’m not a big fan of testing, but I think students have an idea of what they’d like to do, so the service is very personalized. While we get your feedback, I think the real strength is trying to have these opportunities. To help students understand the whole timing of things- some people think it begins and ends near the beginning of the year, but employers come at different periods of time. Also, some students are interested in things that don’t come to campus. This is where we are, what we want to continue to do. The goal is to strengthen the partnerships we have on campus, and also the external ones. We’d like to create an advisory board with employers and alums to guide us moving forward. Students want to talk to alums, speak to them briefly, and leave. Alums are looking for a more involved relationship; so we want to reconfigure expectations. So we’ve had very small feedback sessions where students have given us opinions. I think this is an overview!


Mr. Easop: Thank you so much for that overview! It is great to see these initiatives. There are five areas that I wrote down. Earlier outreach is one particular initiative, focusing on non-profits, alumni involvement. Let’s talk about alumni involvement.


Mr. Kugelmass: Do you see these relationships being mediated by your office in the long term? Is this like Princeternships or marriage?


Ms. Hamilton-Chandler: We’re not sure about the best way to move forward with the mentoring program, because we want to make sure that for every time there is an interaction with an alum, the student walks away happy. We’re on all of the alumni groups, but I’d like to see a program where students sign up and choose some alums and have the alums make the connection with them, talk for a bit, and then move on. We don’t want ownership of this, but we want the resources to assist.


Ms. Alberts: How is this different from the alumni career networks? It’s a lot easier to directly email an alum when it comes with a disclaimer and they know how you found their email.


Ms. Hamilton-Chandler: I think it’ll be slightly different, but there are some alums who want a more involved relationship, so it’s just creating an additional resource.


Mr. Wagstaff: I was talking to an alum along these lines, and they envisioned seeing a dating-site which matched undergrads and alums. Maybe this could deal with the “commitment” thing- like, looking for “long-term relationship”


Ms. Hamilton-Chandler: Yes, I’d love to chat with you about this.


Mr. Easop: I believe you will be presenting at the CPUC meeting, but Stephen and I will start an email chain with a series of specific points to give to the u-councilors.


Ms. Hamilton-Chandler: What do you like about the service?


Mr. Kugelmass: The staff is great.


Ms. Kim: I like the Alumni network.


Mr. Wagstaff: I like your emails!


Ms. Clifton: I think the strengths-thing is amazing.


Elections Update


Mr. Dean: It’s taking me a while but I finally have some of the answers you guys had about numbers, etc. We talked a lot about voter turnout, gender breakdown of candidates, and voter behavior under approval voting. Going back through the Helios elections, I have data going back to Spring 2011, which was the second year we used Helios. The first thing: we have a higher turnout in the fall than in the spring. You should know that winter dominates spring. It’s not surprising given that the winter has higher-profile races. There was lower turnout in this spring than the fall, but also because there were fewer candidates and no social chair election. The next question was about gender; the question is, why don’t men want to be class secretary?


Mr. Adi: Do you think this is enough data to be a trend?


Mr. Dean: This is all the data there is. I can you the raw data if you’d like. A lot of positions aren’t tracking women candidates, but as Adi said, this data is all we have. Then we can see that approval voting is predictable, meaning that when more candidates run, voters click consistently more approvals (with an R-score of .99). This is astounding.


Mr. Kugelmass: Given that this is so predictive, would you see this is as a reason to continue with this voting.


Mr. Dean: We should do instant-runoff so you rank the candidates instead of doing it by equal-approval.


Mr. Rajagopalan: Given that approval voting is one of the less efficient systems, we should talk about it.


Mr. Dean: There is going to be a new elections manager, so they’ll probably have something to say.




Mr. Kessler: We approved three groups this week. The first was the Princetonians for Individual Rights in Education. The second group was “the Alternative” which wants to discuss the hook up culture on campus- they don’t want to criticize it, but it’s a place for people to discuss and seek alternatives.  The last group was the LEDA Scholars at Princeton, which wants to be a support network.


Mr. Stolzenberg: Any questions for Jeff?




Ms. Yu: First, ? Second, we have to conserve spending for the last few weeks because our general account is almost empty. Third, the office fund has the most remaining, but this may be because we haven’t spent the copy or printing service fee, which is usually spent at the end of the semester. Fourth, the project board spends most of the funds during the spring semester.


Ms. Byrne: Why do we still use the SDA?


Ms. Shen: It may have been for the Athletics project.


Mr. Sharp: This $1000 might be a problem because, unless we’ve already been billed, we’re still going to be charged nine-hundred something for the bike rack installation.


Ms. Javier: The Pizza on the Bonfire is showing up here right now, but we’re getting funding from other sources, so it won’t be a problem.


Ms. Yu: There is a duplicate on the Project Boards tab.


Mr. Easop: I don’t think we’ve ever come in under the budget on Office Fees.


Mr. Kugelmass: This $17,000 remaining dollars in Projects Board- what are they waiting for?


Ms. Bui: We have a budget for the fall semester, which we’ve met.


Mental Health


Ms. Bui: Since the beginning of the semester, we’ve had 2 to 3 meetings with ODUS, UHS, etc. and we’ve worked with u-councilors at the CPUC meetings. We’re looking to create another mental health week (the last week in February). We met with Jed Marsh and figured out the timing of other surveys so ours don’t coincide. We have three components to the week. The first is the survey. The second is the CPS Residential College liaisons- they hold workshops and programs for the underclassmen. And the third is mental health week, we’re looking to do the department cookies again. We’re looking to speakers this week, and we’re doing a video series, and looking to extend the video series.


Mr. Easop: I’ll lead into some of the discussion questions; we’ve been in touch with a few sources. Each have been very valuable in terms of getting past information and build on already existing surveys. First- the end of February follows bicker, which may influence people’s responses to the timing. Maybe we’ll have the surveys start the week before mental health week. Is this a fine time?


Ms. Davoudaisl: Are you going to ask bicker-related questions, like “have you been hosed?”


Mr. Easop: This may be a source of stress, so maybe. But it won’t be a significant part of the survey.


Mr. Stolzenberg: Put them at the end of the survey so it doesn’t stress people out!


Mr. Ogle: Can you get the survey out pre-bicker?


Mr. Easop: No, because we want to make it part of mental health week. Do you have any ideas on how to incentivize the survey?


Ms. Shen: Don’t give U-stores gift-cards.


Ms. Davoudiasl: Send it out through the RCAs.


Ms. Bui: Elektra is part of Terrace and they have a person who makes sure their members are healthy, like they bring in puppies to Terrace. Maybe we could think about how to get involved?


Mr. Cook: Puppy-therapy-raffle?


Mr. Easop: Would eating clubs be receptive to having liasons?


Ms. Shen: Don’t ask for their feedback, but instead present them with specific ideas to accept or reject.


Ms. Mancenon: Maybe don’t include eating clubs because eating clubs are a safety net- you should include people not in clubs because they need a safety net.


Ms. Kim: In some classes, I get extra credit for surveys


Ms. Yu: The health center has a mindfulness course. The McGraw Center has motivational speakers.


Mr. Cook: There is a meditation club that meets at Murray Dodge.


Mr. Easop: For Lily and Andy- do you have any other thoughts about reaching out to eating clubs?


Mr. Martens: It’s not a particular useful way to solve people’s stress?


Mr. Alberts: Who are you even liason-ing to? Counseling and Psychological services?


Holiday Lights


Ms. Kim: USG did a survey to figure out what students wanted- Holiday lights was a high scoring one. I’m here to give you a progress report. So, basically, this project is just installing holiday lights down McCosh walk. I worked with the University architect and Landscaping, and we realized that at Princeton, it’s going to be much more difficult because our trees are more sparsely located; this is a very labor-intensive project. There were different models, but it seems that the money we need is much larger than we initially expected. So we decided to launch this in Winter 2013 so we have a backup in financial resources. So this project isn’t an imperative, so it’s difficult for a single office to commit the full amount. We’ll have to tap into a bunch of different offices. I’m continuing to work on this, but unfortunately I won’t be here next year.


Ms. Clifton: How much does it cost?


Ms. Kim: I’ll say during Executive Session.


Mr. Wagstaff: If it is so expensive, we should ask students if they really want this?


Mr. Jackson: Is there is a different location? Like Forbes had a dinner outside Woody Woo.


Ms. Kim: The main concern is safety, we want it to be about 6-7 feet off the ground.


Constitution Changes


Mr. Kugelmass: So this is a project to clean up our constitution and rectify some of the language, grammar, misspellings, inconsistencies, semantic issues. The first package got sent out to USG forum on Thursday evening, and then there is an additional packet that Zhan put together. So, we have a number of options. The first is to pass nothing. The second is to pass (an amended version of) the first package. The third is to pass both packages. In the first package, Stephen and I separated this into substantive changes and cosmetic ones. The first category is mostly to reflect what we actually do and make sure we’re being procedurally loyal. The second was to clean up things like “that’s not what this position is called anymore” or “you used the wrong word.”


Mr. Stolzenberg: Should we talk about Zhan’s changes instead, because those haven’t been presented yet?


Ms. Davoudiasl: For Article III B, why do you want to change it?


Mr. Stolzenberg: Because it doesn’t make sense. The new option is either the President or the Vice President or three senators.


Mr. Sharp: “Looking at the revision you make to IV.E.9 ‘Strips Social Chair of immunity from review, conflicted with other provisions’ what exactly are you doing here? I’ll read the part of the constitution so that everyone knows what we’re talking about. ‘Before the Social Chair commits funds to an event totaling over $1000, the Social Chair must obtain Senate approval (see Article III, Section D). If the Social Chair needs Senate approval before the next meeting of the Senate, s/he may seek approval via electronic mail or call for a special meeting of the Senate.  In seeking Senate approval, the Social Chair shall give the Senate as much general information as possible concerning the proposed event, but s/he reserves the right to refuse to give any information that might break confidentiality agreements.  If the Senate approves the proposed event, the Social Chair shall have the freedom to plan the event as s/he deems fit.’ (VI.E.9). Which part of that are you changing?”


Mr. Kugelmass: We’re removing the line: “If the Senate approves the proposed event, the Social Chair shall have the freedom to plan the event as s/he deems fit”


Mr. Wagstaff: I think that’s silly; I think you should add another line saying you can review it. It’s an issue because we have a timeline and if we have to go to senate for every minor decision, then it slows our efficiency.


Mr. Riley: I have a question about the proxy statements- does that count towards voting too?


Mr. Kugelmass: I think that’s the spirit of the role.


Mr. Stolzenberg: Are we ready to approve this today, or should we hold off?


Mr. Sharp: Is anything controversial?


Mr. Rajagopalan: Movement to approve everything except 6 E 9.


The motion passes.


Mr. Okuda-Lim: In conjunction with Stephen and Elan, I explain in my handout that throughout my constitution there are sporadic instances of three types of voting. The first is majority/fraction of those present and voting; the second is the majority/fraction of those present; the third is majority/fraction of entire membership.


Mr. Stephen: We’re out of time, but let’s discuss next week.


Agenda Setting


Mr. Stolzenberg: Constitutional changes (Sunday at the end of reading period), CPUC recap.


Ms. Davoudiasl: Tiger Universe will have funding request.


Mr. Sharp: Passport to the Arts


Ms. Bui: Taste of Prospect


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