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As campus dining staff, we work hard every day to make students feel at home away from their homes. We take a lot of pride in our work and enjoy our jobs in many ways. University students are generally polite, interesting to talk to, and a pleasure to serve. We know that they are under a lot of stress as they study for exams and write papers, and we’re glad to be able to brighten their day with broad smiles and tasty, nourishing meals. We are proud to support University students both physically and emotionally.
Our service workers are essential to the running of the University and deserve not only our praise, but also our respect. Yet, their diligence and commitment to the community cannot be admired if their rights as workers and human beings are not also addressed. After listening to stories and feedback from many service workers, mostly from Frist Campus Center and Facilities, we, the Young Democratic Socialists of Princeton, object to this treatment and demand that the University do better. We do not seek to deny the ability of campus workers to act on their own; instead, we aim to leverage our positions as students to bring these demands to the administration. Student actions in solidarity with workers do not preclude workers from acting on their own behalf; rather, they strengthen workers’ ability to advocate for themselves by bringing greater awareness to their situation. The Princeton administration has failed in its moral duty to treat its workers with respect by not fully compensating them for their labor and not providing for their needs.
The economist Albert O. Hirschman once wrote that there are three sorts of arguments used to “debunk and overturn ‘progressive’ policies and movements of ideas.” This response will argue that the progressive action will produce the exact opposite of that objective; that the effort to change something won’t make a difference at all; or that the effort will put in danger good things that already are in place. In short, negative reactions to progressive change boil down to the perversity thesis, the futility thesis, and the jeopardy thesis.
The defining feature of the University’s Honor Code and Honor Committee is its legacy of student ownership. The Committee is entirely student-run, differentiating it from other disciplinary bodies at Princeton and other universities. The Committee’s responsibilities are twofold: we act as both investigators and adjudicators for alleged Honor Code violations. Every step of the process, from report to investigation to hearing, is entirely student-directed.
We appreciated the feedback from the recent opinion piece on the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office. This input is very helpful and Jared Shulkin ’20 made some great points. With changing technology and customer needs, it is important for our services to evolve. The good news is that we continue to develop our support and explore ways that we can improve service. However, we need to do a better job of communicating the capabilities of the current services while we enhance systems and processes.
Daniel Krane, in his April 10 op-ed, draws attention to the alleged plagiarism in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s 2006 book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” We do not intend to offer an opinion about whether the issue of plagiarism ought to have been a factor in determining Justice Gorsuch’s suitability for the Supreme Court of the United States, but in case the public discussion of his writing has caused any confusion, we write to clarify for Princeton students the University’s expectations about the proper citation of sources in work submitted to fulfill academic requirements.
For many university students and young people around the world, the 2016/2017 academic year has not been very hopeful. There is a sense that world leaders are shying away from addressing global problems such as climate change and forced migration, yet, as the generation with the greatest level of higher education, we are acutely aware of how seriously these problems threaten our future.
Last Wednesday, a largely overlooked chapter of the circus surrounding the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court unfolded: “A Short Section in Neil Gorsuch's 2006 Book Appears to be Copied from a Law Review Article” wrote Buzzfeed. “Gorsuch's Writings Borrow from Other Authors” proclaimed Politico. No matter how much these articles couch their claims, any student familiar with Princeton University’s Honor Code could conclude only one thing after reading the passages in question: Gorsuch plagiarized.
In her March 29 opinion column titled “Outrage,” Jacquelyn Thorbjornson demands that we be in an uproar over the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by two of her classmates because liberal media organizations are protecting the defendants, due to their status as undocumented immigrants. The article is calling for outrage on the Maryland rape case, but more specifically the alleged failings of liberal media, itself perpetuating the unconsented exploitation of private tragedy for public, partisan attacks. A 14-year-old may have just been raped in a high school bathroom. Should the conversation on that focus on attacks on undocumented immigrants and attacks on liberal media outlets? Should we be having a national conversation on that at all?
In your edition on April 3, you published an open letter to me from the Princeton Private Prison Divest Coalition. The letter raised a number of questions that I know are of interest to many members of the campus community. I have addressed those questions in the following open letter to the PPPDC.
Last Monday, the Resources Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community attempted to justify its decision to reject Princeton Private Prison Divest’s proposal for divestment and dissociation from the private prison and detention industry. But before committee chair Professor Michael Littman took the stage, University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 made an unexpected address to the audience and stated that Princeton does “not hold investments in the companies that are the current subject of this petition,” and that it does not intend to obtain such holdings.
Two weeks ago, the University became embroiled in a dispute regarding the confidentiality of using affirmative action in the admissions process, a practice that a conservative interest group, Students for Fair Admissions, is portraying as a civil rights violation against Asian applicants. The University filed a lawsuit in order to block the release of documents relating to a civil rights complaint that SFA filed a year ago with the Department of Justice, alleging anti-Asian bias in the University’s college admissions process. SFA argued that the University was depressing Asian admission rates. In its view, even though the number of Asian applicants had increased, the percentage of Asian undergraduates at Princeton remained constant.
Why can’t some kind of jointly-operated music school be developed with Princeton University? Why not a newly-contoured school where students are chosen for admission based on their musical abilities, where the degrees they receive come from either Rider or Princeton, depending on where they matriculate? Westminster Choir College is too wonderful a place to let slip down the drain. It is the crown jewel of choral music schools and of our community.
Today, the University announces its decision to continue funding for-profit prisons and immigrant detention centers. The University thus defends its complicity in institutional violence against the nation’s most marginalized communities.
Are we asking the right questions about public schools? On March 14, ‘Prince’ contributing columnist Sarah Dinovelli ’18 published an op-ed regarding Princeton Public Schools’ budget. In light of this piece, I want to engage in dialogue about the broader themes of public education and Princeton schools in particular.
I will always remember my very first midterms week at the University, staggering under the weight of work and despairing at the growing realization that I was desperately behind. One night is etched in my memory. Caught in a vicious cycle of being too stressed to sleep and becoming more stressed because I couldn’t sleep, I sat on the couch in my common room, alone, utterly exhausted, and wondering what I was doing at this school.
To the workers who came in on Tuesday (or even spent the night on campus) during the blizzard:
The past two Executive Committees of the Graduate Student Government have published statements highlighting the central issue of integrating Princeton’s graduate students into the University campus. Graduate students are critical to Princeton’s teaching and research mission, but our effectiveness depends on our integration into the campus landscape. We, the outgoing GSG Executive Committee, would like to highlight the progress we have made on integration and provide our recommendations for the University.
Dear President Eisgruber,