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Election season is here, and I can hear your collective groan. We’re still recovering from the national trauma of a seemingly endless campaign season, and once again our doors, walls, and email accounts are plastered with posters demanding that we exercise our civic right (read: duty) to vote.
I’ll admit that I felt very conflicted about President Eisgruber’s statement about the call to declare Princeton a “sanctuary campus,” or a campus that would not voluntarily assist federal immigration officials in the deportation of undocumented faculty, students, and staff. Normatively, I think that he is wrong. Recognizing that I speak from a position of privilege when speaking about citizenship as a natural-born U.S. citizen, I believe strongly in the rights of undocumented immigrants and the need for us to protect undocumented students in our University community and beyond.
Ten years ago, a white Princeton student was nearly five times as likely as an Asian student to be in a selective eating club. Compared to black or Hispanic students, a white student was twice as likely to be in any eating club.
If you go to the second floor of Frist and walk down the hall of classrooms, you’ll see an exhibit all about the 13th President of Princeton and 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. Not unfamiliar to controversy, Wilson has undoubtedly been on the minds of Princeton students and the public in recent years given debates and protests surrounding the President’s controversial stances on the civil rights of African-Americans in the 20th century. This exhibit, entitled “In the Nation’s Service? Woodrow Wilson Revisited” and created by Princeton’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, doesn’t shy away from the truth and provides a holistic view on the American figure’s public service, encouraging students, faculty, and anyone passing by to, as the title suggests, revisit the legacy of one of America’s most well-known Presidents.
I never understood why old people liked to go on walks. Not even nice walks out in the country or the sunshine, just walks up and down unseemly neighbor streets.
Every so often, you might go to an academic honor society initiation or a religious gathering and hear some sort of exhortation to do good deeds or be of good character. It’s quite an interesting experience, and it sort of feels like you’ve been transported back in time to an era in which talking about moral values was the norm. Nowadays, we tend to be more pessimistic about the reality of how the world works — do we really think exhortations are going to change anything? Do we really need to focus our lives so much on being good people?
How do men get off? I have no doubt that even those of us who are less sexually experienced can answer this question just fine. Friction, socks, lotion, or something of that nature. Furthermore, we all have something of an idea of what male genitalia is supposed to look like from the condom demo our woefully embarrassed health teachers gave us before prom.
Public bathrooms make me uncomfortable. In the bathroom earlier this year, I found an uneasy-looking student standing by the sinks. As I passed him, he said, “Watch out, there’s …” His voice trailed off as he gestured to a stall. The toilet flushed, and a female student came out, her cheeks turning red. She apologized for trespassing, explained that she didn’t know the women’s bathroom code, and then hurried out.
“Post-truth” was just announced as the Oxford English Dictionary word of the year. Before you say “wait, that’s two words, not one,” you should be more unsettled about its meaning. This adjective is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
The Orange Bubble is a pervasive topic for students at Princeton. We walk around campus amongst magnificent Gothic buildings and stroll down Nassau Street with affluent shops and restaurants at every corner. For the most part, this is what we see of Princeton; this is the edge of our bubble. Maybe you’ve walked all the way down to Hoagie Haven or even taken an Uber to the Walmart or Target nearby. But many of us don’t go beyond Nassau Street, let alone venture out into the other streets and neighborhoods that make up Princeton, New Jersey.
Walking through Princeton, we are surrounded by an almost inconceivable amount of history. That only begs the question: how should that history be displayed? The best, or at least the most effective, monuments or pieces of history are those that do not impose upon you how to think. Rather, they simply exist and allow viewers to reach their own conclusions.
A lot of us are lulled into such a sense of security that it seems implausible that Roe v. Wade could ever be overturned. Yet, I think we sometimes forget that the court decision that gave women the right to make decisions about their own bodies happened not too long ago; in 1973 in fact, just 43 years ago. Even Griswold v. Connecticut, which prohibited laws from controlling contraception, wasn’t decided until 1965. That means that our own grandmothers, or in some cases, our own mothers, were prohibited from taking the pill in certain states in our beloved America. We must remember that we are not so removed from an America that would dictate the state of our bodies and violate our rights to our own flesh. Even today, the issue of reproductive health keeps getting dragged into our news and, perhaps most dangerously, into our government. The private and the personal elements of the female self keep getting made political.
In today’s editorial, the Majority argues against a proposal that would require students to “take at least one course with international content and one course that explores the intersections of culture, identity, and power.”
I have always found interesting the Arabic word for human, “insān,” which comes from the word “nasyan” meaning “forgetful: It was a mystery to me how out of all the adjectives to describe human, the Arabs chose “forgetful.”
Since his unexpected victory in the election, President-elect Trump’s policy platform has been shifting erratically. It may be the case that Mr. Trump expertly adopted an effective façade during his campaign that he is now shedding in favour of a more realistic, presidential demeanour. Conversely, he may simply have had no understanding of the tangible restrictions and pressures that a president faces in office. Regardless of the forces behind the newfound malleability in Mr. Trump’s policy platform, some of the changes being made are welcomed.
María José Solórzano ’20 couldn’t go home for fall break and doesn’t plan to go home for Thanksgiving. She wanted to — especially because her grandmother was visiting from El Salvador — but tickets from Newark to Los Angeles are out of her family’s budget. “I’ve been pretty homesick since the summer,” she said. “Going back home would be a way to be around people who really love me.”
Over the weeks that Harvard's dining workers were on strike, some Princeton graduate students decided they wanted the opportunity to threaten to do so, too. A small group is seeking unionization, and it is the threat of strikes – the deployment of “economic weapons,” as labor law puts it – that gives them their negotiating power. But if Princeton graduate students were to strike, it could only be for a small portion of their time, and could only cover a small fraction of the financial support they receive from the University.
There is something we can do, but it is only within ourselves.
There was a time when progressive-minded people had the luxury of worrying that our leaders wouldn’t fulfill their promises. Now, we fear that the campaign promises may, and likely will, become a reality. Soon, the people who have continued to support a proto-fascist demagogue may realize their mistake, but it’ll be too late. Conservatives and Republicans who declined to support Trump may come to understand that he merely represents the logical outcome of their own xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and racism. Smug liberals may realize how truly far out of touch their self-assured assumptions were all along. Progressives might understand the damage that’s been done to the left’s credibility, having spent the final weeks of an unspeakably disturbing campaign season wasting their energy on building an opposition movement to a hypothetical Clinton administration, on the doorstep of a complete right-wing takeover.
I no longer feel safe in America. I’m terrified not only of the laws that a far-right Congress will pass, but also of our country’s widespread and powerful intolerance. The voters rejected Hillary Clinton’s message that we’re “stronger together” in favor of a platform of xenophobia, sexism, and not-too-subtle white supremacy. The central conflict of the election seems to have been between hatred of other groups and unity across differences, and the public chose hatred.