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Vol. LXV, No. 43
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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University Hosts Jachera For Q&A Session After Moore Declines

Anne Levin

What was originally planned as a debate between Borough mayoral candidates Yina Moore and Jill Jachera became a question-and-answer session by Ms. Jachera Monday night, October 24, after Ms. Moore informed sponsors of the debate that she would not be able to participate. Ms. Moore, who debated Ms. Jachera at the Jewish Center of Princeton last month, attended a meeting of the Township Committee instead.

“We wanted to have some kind of debate where the students could get involved,” said Princeton University junior Guy Wood, a member of Pvotes, which registers students to vote. The University’s Whig Cliosophic Society sponsored the session at the Whig Senate Chamber. “We had made several attempts to schedule a debate, and this was the date that was finally scheduled,” he said. “But then Ms. Moore said she wasn’t able to come. We decided to have the event anyway, because we want students to know the issues, particularly regarding the University’s financial arrangements with the Borough. Both candidates have really been reaching out to the students during their campaigns.”

Students were outnumbered by community residents in support of Ms. Jachera at the event, probably because midterm examinations were in progress, said Mr. Wood. Some of those who were present wore “Jill for Mayor” tee-shirts and buttons. While 400 to 500 students have been registered to vote, Mr. Wood said, the issue is complicated by the fact that some of the campus sits in the Borough, while other, adjacent parts are located in West Windsor Township. That issue is particularly relevant in Whitman College, where students on one side of a hallway are residents of the Borough and their neighbors across the hall live in the Township.

Some of the questions posed to Ms. Jachera centered on the University’s relationship with the Borough. There are many ways the University contributes to the community that members of the community are not aware of, she said, citing funds given to maintenance of the Community Pool and to emergency services. Bickering between the University and the Borough “is very unproductive,” she said. “We’re on a collision course. The first thing we need to do is have a constructive, respectful dialogue.”

Asked her views about the Borough Police Department’s involvement in calls for assistance from the University’s eating clubs when students are intoxicated, Ms. Jachera said she does not agree with the current policy. The University’s Department of Public Safety notifies Borough Police on all calls for assistance from the Prospect Avenue clubs. “The most important thing is that students are safe,” she said. “But Public Safety at the University should handle it and call the police in if necessary.”

Ms. Jachera was asked how much of an impact students should have on the Borough and its policies. “Princeton students represent 40 percent of our population,” she said. “I’d like to have a students’ commission established. We’ve got a Shade Tree Commission, a Bicycle Commission, but 40 percent of our population is not represented. They need to have their own voice.”

Ms. Jachera shared some of her views on such issues as consolidation and the arts and transit neighborhood proposed by the University. Supporting consolidation because the current form of two governments is “incredibly inefficient,” she said that consolidation would help the University because they would be negotiating with one entity instead of two. After looking at the legal agreement associated with the University’s proposal to move the Dinky terminus to make room for the arts district, she believes that they do have the right to move the station.

Asked her views on sustainability, Ms. Jachera labeled herself “a fervent tree-hugger” and “a very big environmentalist.”

“I feel like I’m walking around with a big ‘R’ (Republican) on me,” she said, adding that the November 8 race is more about personal issues and values than adhering to a party line.

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