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In the last week of November, Pope Francis continued to surprise the world with an unprecedented trip to the religiously conservative countries of Kenya, Uganda and — most notably — the war-torn Central African Republic. The Pope has been redefining the perception of the Roman Catholic Church in society with his strikingly liberal and forward-thinking statements, especially relative to the past conservatism of the papacies of John Paul and Benedict. When Francis was elected to receive the highest office of the Church, he came into a Church ravaged and torn by sexual abuse cases in dioceses throughout the nation and lacking in the times. Catholics were turning away from their old religion.
It was only a month ago when I first watched the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” By the time the two or so minutes had passed, the grin on my face seemed permanently fixed. Almost immediately afterward, my friends from back home started to talk about it and plan when we’d be seeing it together. It’s an understatement to say the film will be dominate the season’s box office, if not the entire year — and with good reason. Star Wars has a colossal following, as perhaps the most popular, influential film series to date. And with impressive direction like J.J. Abrams, it is sure to draw in both new and old fans.
Much has already been expressed about the recent Black Justice League protest, but the backlash over the mandated cultural competency training has really surprised me. I understand that some of the demands, like removing Wilson’s name from campus buildings, are controversial to say the least. But I honestly thought that basic faculty and staff cultural competency training would not be nearly so contentious.
Dearest Princetonians, you have reached, if you will, the home stretch of your regular season. With classes just a week and a half away from winding down, you may, as I do, begin to wonder in vain why we have been allotted merely two weeks of rest and relaxation instead of three, as has been the case in years past. How, you may ask, will be the most productive way to spend your holidays? Preparing for Dean’s Date? Getting a head start on your upcoming exams?
The Black Justice League is demanding to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus institutions, and in doing so they are asking for a divisive legacy to be reconsidered. I believe this is a crucial issue — today’s Princeton is an institution that prides itself on bringing together people of all walks of life and all backgrounds. However, I argue that there are more pressing sources of divisiveness than Wilson’s name in today’s Princeton. Woodrow Wilson’s woes were relevant to Princeton of the early 20th century, the time he governed the University. Before we travel more than 100 years back in time, I believe we should be fixing the Princeton we live in today.
By now, the dust has already cleared on the widespread backlash against the Black Justice League’s (BJL) sit-in. Now that it’s been a few weeks since the protest, I imagine Yik Yak has probably gone back to poop talk.
As some Princeton students have called for the changing of the name of the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs and Wilson college, others have argued that this would be an erasure. They have argued that in changing the name we would forget all the good Woodrow Wilson did, or forget that every legacy (especially his) is complicated. Frankly, I am worried that we would forget him altogether.
Last Thursday, senior columnist Imani Thornton wrote an op-ed titled “Can you be ‘Woke’ and B.S.E.?” She concludes that because B.S.E. students are not required to take social analysis classes, they were not “woke” enough to participate in the protests. As an African-American B.S.E. student, I say that this is completely false and baseless.
The evening after the final football game, the Band gathers in the inner sanctum of Nassau Hall — the cavernous Faculty Room. Under the watchful portraits of past presidents, our senior leadership bids heartfelt goodbyes, then we play a final song and sing Old Nassau while our notes are swallowed by history’s ponderous echoes.
By Cameron Zeluck
The word “SeaWorld” used to evoke smiles and excited giggles, but that time has long since passed. With public opinion of the theme park going downhill, SeaWorld San Diego has been forced to reconsider its plans and has been adopting multiple changes to its parks in the past two years.
You might know the type: the social justice warrior on your Facebook feed, posting provocative articles about white privilege, gentrification or the death of yet another black person killed by a police officer. If you’re anything like me, you might assume that these warriors would probably be one of those humanities or social science major. They take classes with really long titles about race, gender or nationality and use words like “intersectional” and “problematic” more than your average B.S.E. major.
“The point of college is to be offended,” my friend said as we left our annual middle school reunion. His words took me by surprise, and we soon ended up in a conversation about rising tension on college campuses. It seemed to the two of us that recent student protests across the country were asking, tragically, for less exposure to controversial material.
With Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)” playing from the room’s speakers and accompanying my steps, I marched confidently into Richardson Auditorium two weeks ago. I was there to hear Laverne Cox, a woman who is the epitome of confidence, personally tell her powerful message: “trans is beautiful.”
“Freedom, ‘I’dom, ‘Me’dom, where’s your ‘We’dom?” It’s an unequivocal call for compassion, sympathy and solidarity. Pop artist M.I.A.’s seemingly stoic but nonetheless fierce mien prefaces a stark shot of hundreds of people running in two straight lines behind her in her newest song, “Borders.” The scene of the self-directed music video is meant to emulate the reality of the refugee crisis today, hordes of people escaping their homes, climbing fences, packing into boats.
“Too poor for college, too rich for financial aid” is a phrase that describes the awkward financial status of those who can afford college, but not comfortably. Many upper middle class families belong to this income bracket. They are financially secure, but even for them, the extravagant cost of college these days is a huge burden. Therefore, when it comes to summer planning, many such families find that they simply cannot justify spending additional thousands of dollars so that their children can participate in summer study abroad programs.
Everyone knows “that kid” in precept. The one who talks far too much. The one who has the answer to every question. The one who tries to influence the professor into grading tests, essays or problem sets more favorably. We have all dealt with one during our Princeton experience.
I hate to do this, but let's talk about Yik Yak for a moment.
I grew up in Colorado. When I tell people this, they usually make some reference to its natural beauty, its ski resorts, or the possibility of legally purchasing marijuana there for recreational purposes. The associations that most people have with Colorado are, thus, not historical in nature. Even as I think about it now, I have trouble thinking of a major historical figure or event associated with Colorado. It is not a place with much of a history.
Take a flashback with me for a moment. It’s 2013, and your favorite Sports Editor is riding on Cloud Nine after his beloved hometown team has had their best season in years. The New York Knicks — a longtime source of shame for many in the Big Apple — had absolved themselves of the previous decade’s disappointments. With a record of 54-28, and a long-overdue trip to the conference semifinals, the team had finally become something that all of us could look upon with pride.