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I joined the Undergraduate Student Government as a class senator because I saw a gap in student representation on the Senate. As a first-generation, low-income woman of color, I was not familiar with anyone on the USG Senate who also identified with all three of these backgrounds. I viewed this as an opportunity to bring to the table the visions people of these communities on campus have for Princeton’s present and future.
By now, you’ve likely heard that there are four referenda on the ballot for next Tuesday proposing reform to the Honor Code. Why is such reform necessary? I hope you’ll read this and find out.
“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness…. [O]ne ever feels his twoness — an American, a [Black person]; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” — W.E.B. Du Bois
Academic integrity is one of the core values of the University community. For many of us, it influenced our decision in choosing Princeton over other schools. Maintaining the highest standard of academic integrity is indeed a cardinal responsibility of all Princeton students. However, as a former Honor Committee member, I solemnly believe that the current Honor Constitution is not serving its core objective to the best of its capabilities, and therefore requires immediate reform.
This week, the student body will be asked to vote on four referendum questions that would make significant changes to Princeton’s student-run Honor System. As members of Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and a former member of the Honor Committee (HC), we the undersigned believe that these referenda are the result of a highly problematic deliberative process by certain members of USG. On substance, these referenda would make the Honor Constitution untenable as a meaningful way to handle academic integrity violations on in-class examinations at Princeton. Most notably, the proposal to change the standard penalty for Honor Code violations from a one-year suspension to disciplinary probation would result in an unsustainable disparity between penalties in cases before the Honor Committee and the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline (CoD), creating an unfair system with inconsistent penalties for similar violations. The student body should reject these proposals and, instead, support a more responsible process for potential Honor System reforms already being undertaken this spring by a University Task Force composed of students, faculty, and administrators.
Hey, Princeton! My name’s Matt Miller, and I’m running for Undergraduate Student Group president because I see a whole host of problems with easy fixes. I’m the only candidate that has been on USG this past year (I worked in communications), and while I was on USG, I saw some problems that I wanted to fix but couldn’t. You can read my whole platform on my website matt4usg.com, but here are some highlights:
The Undergraduate Students Government Academics Committee Subcommittee on the Honor Constitution has sponsored four referenda on which students will vote from Dec. 12 to Dec. 14. We write, as students with a connection to the Honor Committee, to express our opposition to these four referenda. We are not opposed in principle to Honor Code reform; indeed, we believe strongly that the Honor Constitution is a living and evolving document with which students should continually engage to ensure that it is reflective of our community values and norms. Our opposition to these referenda pertains to the process by which they have come about, which has not allowed for the kind of comprehensive discussion with faculty, students, administrators, and legal counsel that reforms of this magnitude require. This is the first in a series of articles in which we will outline our concerns about the language and substance of the proposed reforms and advocate for a more thorough Honor Code reform process which effectively engages all relevant constituencies over the coming semester.
There you are. It’s Christmas morning and you’re surrounded by all of your loving family and friends. You’re ready to open presents and nothing can ruin this moment — or so you think. It’s a feeling that a lot of Princeton students inevitably face during breaks. You feel uneasy and you don’t know why. You feel like you should be doing something and then you remember: You should be studying for finals.
I generally keep a low profile on campus. I’m not really involved with much outside of my team, eating club, close friends, classes, etc. I apologize for the very personal nature of this piece as it is not something I am naturally inclined to do nor something I take any pleasure in. However, I feel the need to speak up due to the questions of the character of Ryan Ozminkowski ’19 in the current Undergraduate Student Government presidential election. To be completely transparent, I will be voting for Ryan, but I think Matt Miller ’19 and Rachel Yee ’19 seem like great people and candidates, and I encourage my fellow students to vote for whomever they think will make the best president. This piece is not an attempt to persuade your vote, rather a defense of the character of my friend.
I first met Rachel Yee ’19 exactly one year and five days ago. I was getting late meal with a friend after a particularly unhappy meeting with a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services. I have bipolar disorder and despite CPS’s best, if limited, efforts, I was depressed as all hell. Rachel was going around talking to everyone. She was campaigning, I suppose, but I didn’t know that until later, and by then, I didn’t care. I didn’t care because Rachel did something that is unfortunately rare now. She asked me, a total stranger, how I was doing, and I unloaded onto her entirely too much personal information about how pointless my life was and how stupid I felt on a campus that was so smart and talented.
Despite the best efforts of students and faculty, the sordid saga of Professor Verdú may end not with a bang, or even with a whimper — but with inaction. Resolutions have been passed and petitions submitted calling for the University to respond to Verdú’s sexual misconduct. My colleague Ryan Born has gone so far as to call for his termination. Despite it all, the University has shown no intention of acceding to these numerous and full-throated requests. Perhaps that’s because it believes, as my colleague Liam O’Connor does, that Verdú’s punishment shouldn’t be retroactively altered “based on ever-changing popular will and political winds.” Whatever the reason, Verdú is here to stay.
Each day, we immerse ourselves in the same world. But this world presents itself differently to each one of us. In other words, my world is different from yours — as close as we are to our best friends and as well versed as we may be in the lives of our parents, we can never fathom someone else’s experience the same way that person can. Even if, theoretically, we were to spend our entire lives alongside another person, each of us engaging in the same experiences, these occurrences would still have different meanings, yield different emotions, conjure different reactions for each person.
It can be hard to evaluate candidates. Luckily, all undergraduates have access to the USG Winter 2017 Candidate Biographies document online. I will be pulling from this document extensively in the following election special. I will discuss each candidate in turn, starting with my endorsement of Yee, a discussion of Ryan Ozminkowski ’19, and my second choice in Matthew Miller ’19.
The world today is politically polarized and radically diverse, riffed by the divisions of politics, international relations, and conflicting ideologies. In this landscape, natural disasters are some of the only instances left in which global citizens form a unified, cohesive response. Individuals and leaders of different nations, faiths, and political ideologies overcome obvious differences, banding together to provide aid and security to those afflicted in these catastrophes. We saw such a response in Haiti and Fukushima, and more recently in Texas, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico.
The Republican Congress is currently debating, voting on, and passing extremely complex legislation designed to change the tax code. As of Dec. 2, the Senate version of this legislation was passed, and has seen a range of analyses ranging from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, Vox, and the Washington Post. This article will not be focusing on the Senate version, but rather the House version, which is still under debate.
“Wifi: No hardware installed.” The unwelcome message flashed across my computer screen last Thursday. After three hours of repeating the same futile steps to revive it, I decided to seek professional help. My computer spent the weekend as a guest at the Quaker Bridge Apple Store.
Ten years ago, in 2007, Whitman College was built. Designed by the Greek architect Demetri Porphyrios, this 250,000-square foot complex now houses 500 students each year, as well as a dining area and the Writing Center. Despite this prominent role in campus life, there is surprisingly little discussion within the Princeton community about Whitman’s architecture. Busy students and faculty walk, eat, and sleep in it without thinking deeply about the space itself.
Princeton students, as long as I’ve been a student here, have suffered from the unbearable condition of cancelled plans — plans later decided to be too troublesome or plans never truly intended to be honored. Things invariably come up that make that brunch date inconvenient: a deadline, an all-nighter, snow, a hangover. We carry a plan-cancelling device in our pockets, and an “I’m so sorry!!!!” text almost feels guilt-free. Princeton students need a little Shabbat.
Can protest make a difference?