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As I headed into this semester’s midterms, I tried to figure out how I was going to study for my four exams. The stress of the semester had culminated in the challenge of attempting to ready myself for my tests while keeping up with regular class work as well. Most of this semester has been triage, figuring out which assignment requires the most attention, resulting in others that aren’t completed to the best of my ability. I’ll be honest, time management has never been one of my strongest skills. Knowing that, I booked a McGraw Center appointment to try and navigate the nightmare that is a Princeton B.S.E. schedule. Even after a productive meeting, I realized something extremely important. It’s impossible to manage time that doesn’t exist.
By some measures, interdisciplinarity seems to have gained a central place in our undergraduate education here at Princeton. Some courses, like “Computer Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach” or “Interdisciplinary Design Studio” are explicitly termed cross-disciplinary. Others are given cross-listed course designations: to take an arbitrary random sample of non-language and non-writing seminar classes offered on Thursdays this semester at 11 a.m., 44 of 80 are cross listed between any number of other departments.
A cornerstone of the college experience is receiving a freshman housing assignment and learning to live with people you have never met in an entirely new location. Conversely, another key component of college is finally getting to make choices about with whom you are going to the room, where you are going to room, and, at this University, whether or not you would elect to live in substance-free housing. Yet our substance-free housing system is flawed because it intersperses substance-free and substance-permitting rooms, negating nearly all of the benefits that substance-free housing is supposed to offer.
At the beginning of every semester, we all attend new classes and have to figure out the routes and schedules that we will stick with for the following twelve weeks. An important and necessary part of making these decisions is determining meal times throughout one’s schedule. For many among the student body, this is not a difficult decision. For many other, however, the geographic nature of the various eating locales on campus can make this a difficult choice. An unaffiliated dining hall closer to the E-Quad could help resolve this problem.
When the news that the Princeton Dinky service would be temporarily closed, “Save the Dinky” petitions immediately appeared near the service as passengers expressed their frustration with the line shutdown. Since October, passengers have complained that the bus replacement has been “leaving commuters behind and causing them to miss their train connections.”
We are rapidly approaching the middle of the spring semester after what feels like a very short January and February. The past few weeks have flown by, and once again, we are facing midterms. For some first-years, classes this semester will define the track they will take in their studies during the remainder of their years here. So, what do you do if you find yourself doing worse than imagined in classes for what you once thought was your major? Are the results you’re receiving now an opportunity to explore other areas of interest? Now is the best time to ask yourself whether this is a good time to genuinely reevaluate your future rather than jumping to conclusions that you have no chance at succeeding in the current areas you are in.
When I lie in bed at night unable to fall asleep, I reach for my phone so that I can scroll through my favorite Facebook posts — namely, the anonymous submissions on the Tiger Confessions group. The proclamations of love give me joy, and the inside jokes make me laugh. The heartfelt confessions that I find there remind me that I’m not alone in whatever I’m going through.
As a member of Quipfire!, an improv comedy group on campus, I know the elements of a comedic performance when I see one. Donald Trump’s words and actions on stage at CPAC 2019, the annual gathering of conservative activists, held this year in National Harbor, Maryland, proved more similar to an absurdist one-man improv show than a direct address by the president of the United States. He began the two-and-a-half-hour speech by hugging the American flag and declaring, “You know I’m totally off-script right now.” The improv performance was filled with voices, impressions, expletives, and absurd untruths.
Today, March 15, young people around the world are participating in strikes for climate action. We, along with others in the Princeton community, will be joining them. Princeton students have a determined history of environmental and energy action, working with the University to lead by example as a sustainability-oriented campus, and independently advocating for action beyond our campus. Students have worked at the town and state level on solutions aligned with the global goal of keeping temperature rise below 2º Celsius. Students have also sought to foster conversation across a range of environmental perspectives, giving rise to a range of green groups on campus such as the Princeton Student Climate Initiative, the Princeton Conservation Society, and the newly formed Princeton Environmental Activism Coalition.
This past week, a group of scientists in London announced that, for the second time ever, a patient was cured of HIV. This replicated the same procedure used 12 years ago for the first patient who was cured of HIV, which involves a bone marrow transplant meant to treat both patients for cancer. Thus, both patients are considered to be in “long-term remission” for both their forms of cancer and for HIV. Though this procedure can only be done in patients with both HIV and cancer, it suggests that a more widespread cure of HIV/AIDS is possible. This announcement came decades after HIV/AIDS activism reached a peak in the 1980s with the activity of organizations like Act Up!
We can and should do more when it comes to offering our students research opportunities. The cutting edge of research shouldn’t just be available to Ph.D.s, graduate students, and faculty. Rather, there should be more of an active effort to recruit undergraduates into these positions. I don’t say this because I am envious of research in higher education — it’s a well-known fact that undergraduates have access to as many, or even more resources, than grad students here — but because I see a waste of resources in putting the majority of our students in nonacademic campus jobs.
The rise of Tiger Confessions since last October has generated plenty of discussion around campus, as the Facebook page’s popularity seemingly exploded over winter break with no signs of letting up. Many have contributed to the important conversation of how this page, which now boasts over 6,000 posts, is affecting Princeton’s culture and how we should respond. These discussions have included an interview with the founder, known by the pseudonym Ty Ger, in The Daily Princetonian, and a recent op-ed by Managing Editor Samuel Aftel.
Around a month ago, a Duke University professor sent out an email to her graduate students warning them not to speak Chinese on campus. In her email, she cautions that her colleagues were “disappointed that [the students] were not taking the opportunity to improve their English” and “being so impolite,” even though the conversations took place in the student lounge/study areas. Furthermore, she states that students who continued to do so would, as a result, receive fewer opportunities for internships and projects.
On Feb. 19, Hayden Williams — a representative of a group that provides training for conservative campus groups — was assaulted by Zachary Greenberg, an Oakland resident, at the University of California, Berkeley. Though, according to the New York Times, neither man was a student at the university, free speech on college campuses is often a popular topic in the news, and the recent event that unfolded at the U.C. Berkeley has once again brought it to the attention of the American media.
Compared to other universities, Princeton takes a unique approach toward student alcohol consumption. Although “Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities” makes clear that underage drinking is illegal, the University does not penalize inebriated students who are checked into McCosh Health Center. Instead, the University reserves disciplinary action against students who fail to “McCosh” one of their very drunk peers.