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USG Senate approves Jackson '15's revised Ivy Policy Conference funding proposal

A revised $4,000 funding request for the Ivy Policy Conference to be held on campus March 28-30 was approved at Sunday’s USG Senate meeting with 19 votes in favor and three opposed to the proposal.

The annual conference brings together representatives from all Ivy League universities to examine existing administrative policies and discuss improvements. Following the Senate’s rejection of last week’s internal funding request of $5,500 to cover the cost of holding the conference, USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 changed the budget to provide more details about the benefits of this conference for University students and cut costs wherever possible.

One of Jackson’s points of emphasis was that although he requested $4,000, he does not anticipate spending the entire amount. Before approving the funding request, voting members requested regular updates as the conference approaches on how much external funding gets secured and how much USG money actually ends up being used.

Additionally, Projects Boards co-chairs Tyler Lawrence ’16 and Carolyn Yang ’15 presented funding requests of $2,000 to sponsor HackPrinceton Spring 2014 and $2,000 for the Advertise This REACH Conference.

Both requests were approved by the Senate.

Simon Wu ’17 also presented an update on the Princeton Public Works Projects, an effort to make a creative space, gallery or venue for students to showcase artwork.

Wu said the projects are important “so people don’t have to seek out art, but rather they can just encounter it.” Responding to Wu’s update, USG members discussed the University’s current policy against chalk art and the possible benefits of working with administrators to revisit and revise that policy.

U-Councilor Azza Cohen ’16 reported on some of the biggest issues students who take time off from the University often encounter. As project leader for the Extended Leave Report, she asked for feedback as the project team works with the Gap Year Network to publish a report that evaluates existing policies and suggests improvement.

“We’d like to provide more resources because right now it’s just the Gap Year Network trying to handle what’s obviously a big University issue,” Cohen said.

Committee chairs also provided updates on the different projects they are working on. Social Committee chair Logan Roth ’15 said preliminary steps have been taken toward organizing a concert on Dean’s Date, and that the committee is now working on finalizing partnership with a local or arts-related charity for Lawnparties.

After meeting with the residential colleges’ directors of studies to discuss academic advising, Academics Committee chair James Baase ’15 reported that the USG might find a role in helping to publicize available academic advising resources to students who may not be actively seeking out those resources.

Campus and Community Affairs chair Paul Riley ’15 discussed different options for establishing a school-wide mentorship program and presented the possibility of organizing another Restaurant Week, this time during reading period.

Marking a change in proceedings starting with last night’s meeting, public session Senate meetings will now be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday evenings rather than at 8 p.m. Private executive committee sessions will convene afterward only if members motion to move into executive session at the end of the public session meetings.

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