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In his Jan. 6 opinion piece in The Daily Princetonian, Jon Ort ’21 underscores the importance of academic freedom that is the lifeblood of the University, but incorrectly suggests that Google’s recently announced plans to open an artificial intelligence research lab in Princeton undercuts that freedom.
In 1991, a brutal video of police officers beating motorcyclist Rodney King was released to the general public. Across the country outrage surged, with anger towards King’s assailants crossing racial and political lines. As critical theorist Kimberle Crenshaw describes, the video represented an “easy event for the entire mainstream of American culture to abhor, it did not present any of the hard questions of nineties’ controversies over race.” Disgust over the beating united left-leaning and conservative politicians alike; who, after all, couldn’t condemn a clear example of “old-style … racist power” that was caught on tape? Of course, Crenshaw wasn’t insinuating that the beating of King shouldn’t have been thoroughly condemned. The scholar merely points out that overt examples of racism, such as the King videotape, “[gave moderates] the opportunity to oppose clear-cut racism,” thus supposedly demonstrating that an ignorance on more nuanced racial issues was not “linked to interests in racial supremacy.” Though I diverge from Crenshaw, I begin my piece with echoes of her ideas.
Many of my friends from high school have lovingly graced my social media feeds with #StandUpToHarvard, campaigning to end Harvard’s rules affecting those who are a part of “unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs),” commonly Greek fraternities and sororities. Beginning with the class of 2021, undergraduates in USGSOs are barred from leadership roles in major clubs and sports, and, perhaps most discouraging, will not be endorsed by the school for prominent scholarships, like the Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Lawsuits were filed Monday against Harvard on the federal level by Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma, and on the state level by Alpha Phi and the Delta Gamma Fraternity Management Corporation, an Ohio-based group that supports the Delta Gamma sorority.
Every time the Tigertones perform, our highest priority is to create a positive atmosphere through an engaging and energetic performance that is welcoming to every member of our audience. For years, our group has aimed to sing “Kiss the Girl” from the Little Mermaid in that same spirit, bringing a lighthearted, youthful energy to our performance of the song. As an opinion column in The Daily Princetonian on Monday pointed out, we have failed to achieve that end while keeping all members of our audience comfortable.
Princeton University, and the country that grew around it, was constructed as a White supremacist institution. Following the extraordinary research done by the Princeton & Slavery Project, the University community was made aware of Princeton’s reprehensible exploitation of Black bodies. It is now time to act on what we know.
Earlier this year, the Common Application announced to its member institutions that, starting in the 2019–20 admissions cycle, it will no longer ask applicants about their criminal history. The decision marks a major victory for the national civil rights campaign known as “Ban the Box,” which is focused on eliminating discrimination against people with conviction histories.
In the days and weeks after the 2016 presidential election, our campus was witness to waves of intense initial activism and civic engagement. I was proud to see scientists in particular (many of whom had previously considered themselves apolitical or even indifferent to political events) organize together in an extraordinary effort, rapidly educating themselves and others on civic topics. I was impressed at how quickly and effectively groups on campus were able to train themselves in advocacy and activism principles. I was most inspired by how many of us took action in the months following the elections by engaging with our elected representatives, attending or organizing protests, or otherwise participating in the civic sphere. However, as we approach the 2018 midterm elections, I notice that our community is becoming desensitized to our present politics.
I want to thank Rachel Kennedy for writing about her perception of safety on campus (How safe should I feel on campus?, Sept. 27, 2018). The men and women of PSAFE work hard every day not only to create the perception of safety, but to make it real. In fact, Princeton is frequently ranked as one of the nation’s safest campuses.
This piece is a response to a column in The Daily Princetonian by Gabe Lipkowitz ’19 entitled “There is no art of science.” I consider Lipkowitz a close friend and recognize that he wishes to promote discussion by deliberately taking a bold stance. But his latest article, in my opinion, takes a stance much closer to ridiculous.
To the editor,
To the Class of 2022,
Dear Princeton University Administration,
This May marks the 40th anniversary of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. It is our time to focus on not only the successes of Asian Americans but also the overlooked barriers they continue to face. Asian-American women face unique challenges. They are victims of both glass and bamboo ceilings — invisible barriers that prevent women and Asian Americans, respectively, from advancing in their careers. While it is tempting to lump Asian American women in with either all women or all Asian Americans, this approach is shortsighted. Instead, we need to consider how the stereotype of Asian femininity compounds with the “model minority” myth, the stereotype that all Asian Americans are hardworking and successful without requiring help. The complex interplay of these stereotypes generates unreasonable expectations of extreme compliance and unquestioning service for Asian-American women. And it is these expectations that can severely restrict them from moving forward.
Sexual Health and Wellness Services are a major and valued component of Medical Services at University Health Services, located in the McCosh Health Center. An opinion column published by The Daily Princetonian on April 23, 2018 drew my attention. As the Director of Medical Services, I agree wholeheartedly with two of the primary points, that “the failure to disseminate knowledge about how such services work only heightens fear and apprehension in the student body,” and that there is always room for improving access to services. Therefore, I felt it important to respond by clearly communicating information about our approach to ensuring ready access to health care and a few of the specific services we offer.
Imagine a crowded living space with bad plumbing, old hallways, and exposed pipes, where toilets overflow and make an unsanitary disaster, where human feces are found in the shower, urine found in trash cans, shower curtains removed as pranks, and then people of color and people of unprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds have to clean it all up.
In the fall of 2018, Princeton’s history department will offer sixty-four courses. Of those courses, none are cross-listed with the Program in Latin American Studies. Only one, a junior seminar open only to juniors in the history department, addresses a Latin American topic: U.S. Imperialism in the Modern Caribbean.
The first time I met the Class of 2019, I was Anna in the SHARE play. I met the Class of 2020 the following year, as a director. A funny thing happened to me when I did that. When I told people, “I’m directing the SHARE play,” more often than not, they would tell me their opinions about misconduct on campus. Sometimes, people would share a personal story. I learned that lots of people don’t know the University’s definition of sexual misconduct. I learned that many people, more than I originally thought, have dealt with misconduct, but would never dream of talking to the University’s Title IX committee and couldn’t handle the stress of an investigation. Moreover, I learned that people don’t talk so much about misconduct after freshman year. One RCA went so far as to say that juniors needed to see the SHARE play again — that they were the ones who needed it.
Last winter, the passage of the four referenda concerning the Honor Committee made it clear that students wished to reform the Committee. The implementation of the fourth referendum opened the door to changing practices of the membership without changing the Committee’s current institutional framework. While we may not be able to change the “rules” of the Committee, we can and should ensure members are “playing by the rules.”
Here at the University, “changing the world” is a glamorous affair. From the opening exercises of our first year, we undergraduates are praised as future world leaders, or, in the words of President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, “pilots of the rafts on which we travel.” Everyone is a member of the Great Class of Twenty-something, and we’re all presumably in The Service of Humanity. The implication is understood. In order to make the world a better place, one must be intelligent, successful, and powerful — in short, one must necessarily be Great.
The University administration circulated a survey to collect feedback on the Proposed Meal Plan Changes for 2019–20. The Princeton University Board Plan Review Committee’s plan includes compulsory meal plans for upperclass students, but only independents and co-op members. This proposal apparently came from the “first comprehensive review of board plans since 2005.” My phone-typed response soon had the length of an essay, and I’m sharing part of that here. As an engineering major focused on sustainable design, and a health-focused individual who treasures the interpersonal warmth of a great meal, I’ve long taken issue with the required meal plans at this university. The forced predetermination of one’s food and eating place is incomprehensible to my friends and family, in Germany and across the globe.