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President Eisgruber argued earlier this year that “petitions emphasize conformity” because “their logic suggests that since so many have signed, nobody should think otherwise.” He expressed reticence about taking stands on the University’s behalf that could “chill discussions that it is our responsibility to promote.”
When accusations against Harvey Weinstein were first brought to light this October, it seemed like another stand-alone case. After the media cycle moved on to another story, the film industry would return to its normal ways, waiting until the next Weinstein was revealed.
“I choose now to live as a gay man,” Kevin Spacey solemnly acknowledged in a tweet. By "now," he means the crucial first moment after he was accused of sexual assault by a man who was, at the time, a minor. By "now," he means when it is most opportune. After reports surfaced of Spacey allegedly molesting Anthony Rapp in 1986, when Rapp was 14, the world awaited Spacey’s statement with bated breath, wondering how the notoriously private actor would respond to the explosive allegations. The answer, perhaps, is best summed up by comedian Billy Eichner on Twitter, “Kevin Spacey has just invented something that has never existed before: a bad time to come out.”
I write to solicit nominations for the Pyne Prize, the highest general distinction the University confers upon an undergraduate, which will be awarded on Alumni Day, Saturday, February 24, 2018.
I affectionately joke that the small community living in my Wilson basement is a nudist colony. Despite our limited interaction as nearly strangers, my dorm neighbors and I have a healthy sense of platonic camaraderie when it comes to accepting the unintended consequences of living with members of the opposite sex in tight quarters. If we accidentally bump into one another wrapped in towels having just left the shower, or see one of our ranks sleepwalking in their pajamas or folding laundry in the hallway wearing nothing but boxer shorts, we still manage a neighborly “hello” sans prudish judgement.
Princeton has been patting itself on the back a lot lately.
You know it’s bad when the scientists are marching. In the months following the Nov. 2016 election, STEM-field graduate students rallied together for a multitude of causes, from prison reform to climate change. This phenomenon reflected a widespread sense of alarm regarding the Trump administration’s disdain for crafting policies based on evidence and its active dismantling of vital government institutions, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Our own student organization, the Princeton Citizen Scientists, was forged from an initial fervor of activism: for us, evidence-based policy is not just desirable, but fundamental — even imperative — to the structure of a healthy society. Achieving this requires fostering a sense of personal and collective responsibility within our community to create and maintain conversations related to critical social issues and advocacy goals.
I am a Princeton student and an Israeli. I am proud of both these titles, despite the fact that neither Princeton, nor Israel, are perfect. Monday’s talk at Princeton by Tzipi Hotovely, an Israeli member of parliament, coincided with the launch of the Princeton & Slavery project. There isn’t much in common between the two occasions, other than the simple truth that both Israel and Princeton must reckon with legacies fraught with inequality and intolerance.
Occasionally, in our efforts to be students, we forget to be friends. In a place as stressful as Princeton, we surround ourselves with difficult classes, meaningful extracurriculars, and abundant internship applications. But, beneath it all, so many people on campus have turned to me and said that they feel as if they haven’t really set aside time for their friends this year. One friend put it well when she said that “friendships are the one extracurricular they haven’t really focused on.”
We often forget those citizens who spend months, decades, entire adult lives behind bars. Over 2.2 million U.S. adults are incarcerated, nearly 25 percent of whose prison sentences are questionable because they committed non-violent crimes. For instance, unlike many other crimes, offenses rooted in drug use and mental health disorders are often viewed as nonviolent in nature. Because of this distinction, it is important that the U.S. prison system differentiates between treatment of violent and nonviolent offenders, at all levels of government.
“I feel so removed from everything.” “There is nothing here.” “I’m so stuck in the Orange Bubble.” I often hear these grumbles while walking to class or sitting in Frist. We are removed, and as lovely as Nassau Street is, there is not much here in Princeton. But I don’t think Princeton students should have to be stuck in any bubble. Taking trips to New York City could be a way to pop it.
Under pressure from a coalition of left-leaning students and groups such as the Alliance of Jewish Progressives, the Center for Jewish Life cancelled an address by Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely on Nov. 5, a day before her scheduled appearance at the University. The coalition seized on process as an instrument of protest and argued that the CJL violates its own Israel Policy in the instance of Hotolevy. Hotovely, they contend, never entered the review process that CJL’s Israel Advisory Committee oversees in order to prevent sponsorship of speakers who might “foster an atmosphere of incivility, intend to harm Israel, or promote racism or hatred of any kind.” Rabbi Julie Roth, the executive director of the center explains in the cancellation letter to the Israeli consulate that the CJL was not “consistent in the application of our process for program sponsorship,” but adds, “We look forward to continued robust and healthy debate around Israel in our community.”
Next to memes, Netflix, and alcohol, your typical Princeton student spends a lot of time thinking about their grades. Since we’re all so interested in our grades, we ought to be interested in the methodology of our professors and preceptors. One of the most important things in any evaluation is that the judgment be fair, and one of the ways to assure fairness in grading is to adopt blind grading. Blind grading is grading assignments without first identifying the author. This can be done using student ID numbers or by simply writing names on the very last page. Because blind grading reduces biases in grading and has several advantages over non-blind grading, it is a superior and fairer way of grading papers that professors at Princeton should consider adopting.
A brief background on current events regarding sexual assault in Hollywood: Harvey Weinstein was exposed for rampant, repeated sexual predation that had been allowed for decades because of his money and influence — color me shocked. After an initial exposé published by the New York Times, other actresses have come out and revealed their own experiences with sexual predation by Weinstein, or with dozens of other men who got away with this behavior not-so-secretly. Op-eds about sexual harassment and assault in film have been written (or dredged up from the last time an incident like this became newsworthy) and the fury has trickled down to social media.
On the evening of Nov. 5, in an email to students and members of the community who planned to attend an address by Tzipi Hotovely, a member of Israel’s Knesset, Rabbi Julie Roth, the executive director of the Center for Jewish Life, and the CJL Israel Fellow, Lior Sharir, announced they would be postponing Hotovely’s visit to the CJL pending further review by the Israel Advisory Committee.
Today, so many of us mourn the lives lost in a mass shooting at a church in San Antonio – a gross violation of the sanctity of a place of worship and its community. Today, I hang my head in shame at our collective inaction and complacency. As a journalist, I hang my head in shame at the proliferation of fake news and a double standard in the reporting on recent attacks. As a student, I hang my head in shame at our silence. Prayers and condolences are not enough, so I ask each of us to critically consider our capacity and responsibility to act in the service of humanity. Our campus community seems confined to politically polarized echo chambers, and it can be rare to find a platform for discussion across ideological differences, as opposed to vitriolic debate defined by identity politics. I invite you to engage directly with someone who does not share your race, faith, or political stance, because we are all part of one community and the onus is on each and every one of us to act in its service.
Editor's Note: As of the time of publishing, the Center for Jewish Life has indefinitely postponed this event with Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely until it is vetted through the CJL's Israel Advisory Committee.
I paused in surprise while I was reading an article on the effect Woodrow Wilson’s expression of and support for self-determination had on Asian countries. The author had just claimed that the significance of Wilson and the doctrine of self-determination in numerous non-European societies, including my own home country of South Korea, has received little attention in discussions of international histories.
To the Princeton community and administration,