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It’s the beginning of another year: doe-eyed frosh and self-assured seniors alike flood campus, bringing it to life. New friends are made, old friends are greeted, and everyone indulges in the buzzing excitement of being back again. In years past, at this point, many people would be heading to the eating clubs for a weekend of festivities and partying known as “Frosh Week.” Though technically the Interclub Council (ICC) policy has always stipulated that first-years are not allowed into the clubs during orientation period, this has never been actually enforced until this year.
Welcome back to campus. This summer brought a lot of front-page headlines from the climate files—from Hurricane Dorian wiping out the Bahamas and ravaging the East Coast to swaths of the Amazon rainforest and Arctic tundra burning at record rates. Europe and Japan suffered through immense heat waves that left thousands dead; wildfires swept through Australia. These ever-graver catastrophes have blown away many of our predictions for what “normal” weather looks like.
To take advantage of opportunities for which this campus is especially noted, we are often encouraged to attend exclusive, high-profile, and high-brow events. The distinguished speakers likely attended the University, and they might have donated substantially. Regardless, take a look at your inbox for the past week; how many emails did you overlook or pay heed to, depending on your disposition, regarding the institutional ties held by impending guests, ties which we are taught relentlessly to covet and venerate?
Donald Trump’s presidency can often feel like an inevitable catastrophe that gets easier and easier to become desensitized to and disengaged from. Trump has successfully deconstructed and rendered irrelevant the traditional neoliberal niceties that have conveniently shielded this country from confronting its history, and continued practice, of structural violence: Trump is an indecent man who has lived an indecent life, and runs the country in accordance with this indecency — yet, unlike his predecessors, he makes no attempt to hide his amorality, and we make no attempt to remain shocked and horrified by his cruelty.
Living in New Jersey, I had the convenient option of loading my car up, driving it to campus and unpacking all my stuff as I moved into year two of my Princeton journey. After a few hours of moving bags and boxes into my room and saying farewell to my family, I had one final thing to do: say goodbye to my precious Toyota Rav 4. Not yet belonging to an eating club and not having what the university calls “a compelling need” to have a car on campus, I had to watch as my family took my car back home, leaving me in the suburban bubble of central New Jersey.
Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, the late Toni Morrison, the canonical novelist, Nobel laureate, Pulitzer winner, and the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emerita, theorized in The New Yorker, “So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble.”
Coming into Princeton, I’d heard of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and it was no surprise for me to learn that a concentration in “Woody Woo” was among the most popular at the University, along with the closely associated politics concentration. Naturally, I expected this widespread academic interest in political science and public policy to extend into extracurricular life, manifesting itself in anything from a robust student government to animated grassroots campaigns for change. How wrong I was.
Music groups are widely celebrated and loved on campus. From the department ensembles to niche performance groups, rock to a capella, it seems like we have it all. The University frequently uses these groups as a selling point, hosting “This Side of Princeton” performing arts showcases at each Princeton Preview event. For bright-eyed prefrosh, the musical opportunities seem so beautiful and boundless — it’s easy to be captured by the talent and mesmerized by the fun. One arch sing, and before you know it, you’ve committed.
In the months following the attacks on New Zealand mosques on March 15, and the days since charges were brought against the alleged shooter in a Poway, California synagogue, there has been a rigorous debate as to how society should treat the ideas that inspired the hatred fueling these alleged attackers.
Over the past week, several undergraduates have sent emails to residential college listservs calling for suggestions for what they call the “redesign” of McCosh Health Center. While not specifying in any further detail the extent of this apparent “redesign,” or describing in any detail how such feedback will be incorporated, they state that University Health Services (UHS) “is undergoing a major remodeling” and “they want student input.” As is typical for such mass emails requesting student feedback, they reassure students that the survey, whose link they provide, is “super short.”
Recently, in the wake of three institutional embarrassments, the campus community has been unusually and excitingly responsive. Attempts to cover up and minimize scandals have blown up, from the non-randomness of room draw, the structural inequality in the form of introducing the criminal history checkbox on the graduate school application, to the ineffectiveness of the Title IX office. Activists have held their ground in calling for the reform of a dysfunctional Title IX system. Unfortunately, the administration has been utterly condescending to some of its most courageous community members.
Every student on campus, whether it be in first-year writing seminar or during the senior thesis grind, has had experience with entering the “scholarly conversation.” Entire databases on the Princeton University Library website — not to mention the millions of physical books in the libraries themselves — are devoted to countless scholarly works. Most of these journal articles, books, and encyclopedias are the result of extended research and careful analysis from experts who have studied these various subjects for decades. Much of the existing scholarly work — as well as the millions of works both Princeton students and professors will continue to contribute — however, is unread, unused, and essentially useless. This is a bleak sentence for the prospects of academia and the wealth of information and possibility it holds.
A courtroom battle in Boston recently busted Harvard’s admissions process wide open. As the public awaits the judge’s decision on affirmative action, few have paid much attention to the leaks of the advantages beyond race that Harvard bestows upon high school seniors.
HackPrinceton shirts from 2016. Four new Wilson College Council long-sleeved shirts with their CustomInk tags still on them. And the worst offenders — piles of Clash of the Colleges t-shirts, worn once before being tossed away by jaded freshmen who couldn’t care less about the falsified residential college rivalry.
Thousands of high school seniors logged onto the admissions website over the last few months to see if they had earned a spot at Princeton. Over 90 percent were rejected. Until the moment they signed in, no one knew whether they had been admitted — except for select groups of students.
A columnist at the Harvard Crimson recently wrote a column titled “Who Can Be ‘Racist’?” The columnist explores the question of whether minorities in the United States may make comments such as “I hate white people” — and whether such comments may be labeled as racist.
Within the last three weeks, two events shocked people around the world. In Sri Lanka, bombings killed hundreds of innocent civilians on Easter Sunday; in France, a fire destroyed part of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. To me, one of these events is clearly more devastating than the other.
Growing up in Michigan, the Pistons meant everything to Detroit. It’s been over a decade since the team has been relevant, but the Pistons have always remained a source of pride from their win in the 2004 Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers. The series is still discussed today, not just because Detroit, with only one All-Star, upset a team led by Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Gary Payton, but because of the way they played. The constant speculation of in-fighting between superstars Kobe and Shaq was a big juxtaposition to the Pistons, who were seen as playing much more cohesively with a blue-collar approach.
To Whom It May Concern:
It is no surprise that sharing a bathroom with many people is less than ideal. What makes it even worse is when none of the users have any enforced responsibility to ensure that the bathroom stays presentable.