On December 3, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) held a virtual debate between its two candidates for the USG president in 2022: Jasman Singh ’23 and Mayu Takeuchi ’23.
Singh, a junior returning from a gap year, is concentrating at the School of Public and International Affairs and was USG Senator for the 2022 class. Takeuchi is a junior who is concentrating at the School of Public Affairs and international organizations and currently holds the USG sustainability position. Chair.
The debate started with a one to two minute introduction for each candidate to highlight their programs and plans for the Presidency,
Singh began by stating that there was “a lot of fruit at hand on campus” or issues that could be easily resolved.
Singh’s platform is divided into three main positions: enhancing campus mobility by improving access to rental scooters and bikes, making proximity scans applicable for use in off-campus facilities and with delivery services such as DoorDash, and bringing more gender neutral bathrooms to Campus.
Takeuchi said that [Princetonians] are ready to learn and grow as a class and student body, and is ready to implement lasting change.
“I am ready to learn and listen, and most importantly, ready to serve you regardless of your background, beliefs and identity,” says Takeuchi.
Takeuchi also underscored his desire to lead with compassion and understanding in his statement, especially during the challenges of COVID-19. Takeuchi noted that she will be a “people first” president and said that student body members are people before they are students.
Following the presentations, candidates responded to questions posed by previous USG leadership, as well as questions submitted by members of the student body.
Each candidate had two minutes to answer each question. After each candidate responded, they had the opportunity to ask a follow-up question to the other candidate who had 30 seconds to respond.
The first question, posed by moderator and current USG President Christian Potter ’22, asked, “What have you learned throughout the pandemic, and how will this inform your leadership – especially with which future classes will suffer long term effects?
Takeuchi responded first, saying she would include more transparency about how decisions are made around COVID-19, seeking to “be all part of the conversation”.
Singh said that, like Takeuchi, he finds an advantage in setting expectations and establishing transparency through the issues surrounding COVID-19 on campus. This way, “students will know when a certain number of cases will result in certain restrictions and possibly termination.”
Later, an audience member asked about insights the candidates had gained outside of USG that are useful for leadership.
Singh mentioned his background in technology, which allows him to design effective solutions to diverse campus needs, often asking himself, “What’s the most efficient and least expensive way to solve a problem?” ”
Takeuchi noted her experience working in the entrepreneurial space and said she has visions to the future for how students can make Princeton a space that will transcend generations to come. Takeuchi also mentioned that her experience as President of USG Sustainability allows her to have a more diverse perspective on issues, as she has dealt with race, gender and identity and their relationship to l ‘environment.
Singh questioned Takeuchi’s statement by asking, “How would you intersect your work as chairman of sustainability as chairman?” “
Takeuchi replied that she would integrate work related to environmental justice. As president of sustainability, she maintained that she had experience creating a confluence of ideas surrounding campus environmental efforts.
Later in the debate, another question was asked about how the candidates would improve mental health on campus.
Takeuchi said: “I would like to extend the quality and capacity of CPS [Counseling and Psychological Services], as well as ensuring a great diversity of advisers.
She also noted her advocacy for removing the expected student contribution for financial aid in order to reduce the burden on first-generation low-income students. She affirmed the importance of approaching mental health in a systematic way.
Singh argued that providing outpatient care options through CPS – so that students do not have to be subjected to long wait times at university facilities – was an important step towards reform.
The candidates were then asked about their experience in maintaining administrative relations.
Singh noted an experience as a freshman in the USG Senate, where he tried to bring two-ply toilet paper to campus. He discussed having conversations with university facilities and brought the plan to fruition at Forbes and Whitman Residential Colleges. Singh also mentioned having previously served on the Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, where he corresponded with senior administrators like College Dean Jill Dolan.
Takeuchi returned in the spring of 2021, when disposable containers and utensils were used frequently. She said the U.S. government’s sustainability committee faced many questions about what to do with the excess waste. Takeuchi said that acting as part of her role as president of USG Sustainability, she had embarked on a “goose hunt” to find a director willing to shoulder her responsibilities.
In doing so, Takeuchi believed that the sustainable development committee had established strong relationships with various administrative bodies and showed that “we [students] have that knowledge of the student experience,… bring that to the table and bring those conversations together. As a result, we were able to collect two cartons of non-perishable food and utensils that we were able to donate to the Trenton area soup kitchen.
Voting will begin at 12 p.m. on Monday, December 6 and end at 12 p.m. on Thursday, December 9.