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“Ya se agotó,” I said, incredulous (I shouldn’t have been; it’s a weekly occurrence). It’s already run out. The marker I was dragging across the whiteboard was leaving the dingy surface whiter than it had been before I tried to explain the difference between “food” and “foot.” And we were only twenty minutes into the lesson. I ran upstairs, interrupted the Level 1 class, grabbed a handful of markers from the bottom of our bag. They were all bright colors — pink, green, orange — that I knew no one sitting more than two seats from the front of the class would be able to see.
Over the last 3 years, there has been a surprising new trend across student groups: back-to-back women leaders of student groups including the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), Whig-Clio, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Princetonian, and Business Today.
When I graduated from high school, every member of our class received a book called “The Noticer.” I didn’t read the book, but Amazon says that the story revolves around a mysterious man named Jones who has been given a gift of noticing things that others miss. There’s nothing in particular about the story that prompted me to write this letter. But I always remembered the title, because I wanted to be able to describe myself as a “noticer” like Jones.
Uri Schwartz ’20, a Mexican-American student, recently wrote an opinion piece condemning the responses from Princeton Latinos y Amigos and the Princeton University Latinx Perspectives Organization on the recent Cinco de Mayo-themed party. In it, Schwartz calls PLA’s and PULPO’s responses to the party “excessive, unnecessarily harsh toward the University, and, in some respects, unsubstantiated.”
Nearly forty years ago, anthropology was forced to reckon with its colonial past and present in a period of upheaval that nearly ended the discipline as we know it. Concerns ranged from the role of anthropologists in imperial expeditions and colonial governing efforts, to the intellectual conclusions that talked of “primitive” peoples and human development. With the goal of reimagining the discipline beyond its colonial origins, decolonizing anthropology sought to undo the complex legacies of colonialism. What it precisely means to decolonize remains a hotly debated topic, even as it is an unfolding process that has taken multiple pathways, from active efforts to include the voices of people historically underrepresented in the discipline, to anthropologists calling on academia as a whole to be more actively engaged in addressing the larger political forces that prop up the elite institutions where many of us work and study.
As a Mexican citizen, I felt my skin crawl when I saw the headline “BREAKING: Racist Princeton Students Host Mexican-themed Party” posted by the Princeton University Latinx Perspectives Organization (PULPO). Almost immediately, my phone buzzed with emails from Princeton Latinos y Amigos (PLA), one of which stated that PLA “stands in solidarity” with the Mexican community on campus and that they are “here to support” me and my community during these times.
To my conservative friends,
“Design tells the story” is the type of lofty phrase an artsy friend might use while gushing about the supposed elegance of a paper clip lying on a white sheet of paper that has somehow been elevated to “work of art” level. Notwithstanding my skepticism over what constitutes art, the architecture of Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust remembrance center, frames not only the walls of the museum but also two key lessons which are ever relevant.
My grandfather was born and raised in rural Jamaica in the late 1920s. His mother died as an infant, and his father died when he was 13, leaving him, the oldest male in the family, to take care of his stepmother and his siblings. Although he had already been working in the cane fields as a boy, he now had to work extreme hours, often sleeping in a hammock connected to trees. Because of this, he never attended school and therefore never learned to read, much to his detriment. Later, he and a friend entered into a business partnership and he was cheated out of everything because he did not understand the terms of the contract.
While I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s, my grandfather Alan Fitz Randolph (B.S., Chemistry, Princeton, 1913), a descendant of Nathaniel Fitz Randolph, who had contributed the original land for Princeton University in 1753, spoke often of his pride in the University. It wasn’t until I was nineteen years old that I discovered, by accident, that he had received a degree in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in 1916. When I asked my parents why my grandfather never talked about his time at Columbia, they told me that he never discussed it because he did not feel it was a gentlemen’s school, due to having monitors in the exam rooms, instead of an honor code like Princeton.
We, the Executive Board of Princeton’s chapter of the Network of enlightened Women, write in response to this week’s opinion piece “The conservative persecution complex.” We do not consider ourselves persecuted or oppressed, either as conservatives or as women. Yet the piece’s author, Bhaamati Borkhetaria, charges that “social and even fiscal conservatism in the government often directly contributes to creating an imbalance of power against ethnic minority groups and women.” She goes on to describe conservative viewpoints as “racist, misogynistic, and often ignorant.” These claims present a biased and incorrect assumption that conservatives are not people of good will, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of what conservative policy ideas seek to accomplish.
Earlier this week, along with other veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces, I signed a letter in support of J Street U Princeton’s decision to invite the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, composed of former IDF soldiers who seek to share their military experiences in the West Bank with Israeli society. J Street U had requested to host the photo exhibition in the Center for Jewish Life, and was turned down, sparking some controversy. Our letter did not address the role the CJL at Princeton played in this episode; I would like to do so here.
The article “The conservative persecution complex” by columnist Bhaamati Borkhetaria ’19 questions whether conservatives are being oppressed. In the first few paragraphs, she does an excellent job in setting up the conflict in question: Many conservatives feel hesitant to share their opinions when there is convincing evidence that right-leaning policies are harmful to minorities and foster power structures favorable to rich white males.
Mass incarceration is one of the great moral challenges of our time. With merely 4.4 percent of the world's population, the United States holds almost one quarter of the world’s prisoners, far more than any other country. Nearly nine times as high as Germany’s, our incarceration rate is the highest on the planet (save for that of tiny Seychelles). While the destructive impact of mass incarceration is being felt across all poor communities, the racial dimension stands out: one in three black men can expect to go to prison at some point in his life, a fact of devastating consequence for the African-American family.
There are two academic systems at the University that remain stuck in the past. The first is our academic calendar, which I am thankful is on the path to change. The second, however, receives less attention: the limited options for concentrations. Sophomores, take note: The options that were offered to you this spring are not nearly as comprehensive as those offered at other Ivy League and top universities. If we hope to live up to our reputation and values as a liberal arts university, this must change.
As members of the Princeton community and as veterans of the Israel Defense Forces, we, the undersigned, support J Street U’s decision to host Breaking the Silence.
Like most universities, Princeton is committed to the “robust expression of diverse perspectives.” But there is little value in the expression of diverse perspectives, if they are not also rigorously entertained. We should actively encourage students to consider views they are disposed to reject, lest our many avowals of the value of free discourse amount to empty platitudes. The Princeton Pre-read is an ideal opportunity for us to do so.
It was with great interest that I read the "Disinvite Shkreli (again)" by Crystal Liu ’19 in The Daily Princetonian. Unfortunately, Liu’s uncareful analysis misses the mark. While Liu may feel I am “disgraced” and “vitriolic,” in a brazen display of intellectual dishonesty she fails to mention my distinction as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world.
The “most hated man in America” is coming to Princeton. For those who are unfamiliar with Martin Shkreli, he first faced public outrage for raising the price of Daraprim, a drug used by HIV patients, by over 5,000 percent.
Campus Dining is brilliant.