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The power box appeared in my courtyard last week, stuck on a wood post and silent, the harbinger of spring in Princeton. Soon, the wooden fences will appear, unannounced and under cover of darkness, to be followed by white tents and finally white-collared alumni, ready for a weekend of nostalgic revelry. Reunions, our annual campus-wide, beer-fueled bonanza, is right around the corner, and among all the boozing and schmoozing, plenty of Tigers (this senior included) will be on the hunt for that special someone in orange and black.
I received a text from my mom confirming that the check-up went well, and the mass in my dog Bosco’s stomach wasn’t cancerous. Two days later, I was studying in Frist for my psychology midterm the following day when a text from my mom popped up on my computer screen next to my notes about eighteenth-century mental institutions. She texted my sisters and I that the doctors were putting Bosco down because of internal bleeding. She asked me to FaceTime her to say goodbye.
For the past two weeks, Princeton University’s campus has been teeming with giddy high school students in bright orange lanyards and drawstring backpacks. Usually, they travel in packs of two to seven, though an occasional singleton can be found looking down at their phone before asking a passerby where the building called “Frist” might be. As I watch Princeton Preview unfold, I wonder: What will the Great Class of 2022 be like?
If Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s new baby had a mysterious medical condition and doctors thought it was going to die, it is almost certain the royal parents would be allowed to exhaust every available method, anywhere in the world, to try and save their baby’s life. Unfortunately, the United Kingdom does not afford that same right to its common citizens and so today the life of two-year-old Alfie Evans hangs in the balance. He suffers from a degenerative brain condition, and his British doctors think he will soon pass away. Instead of letting the boy’s parents take him to Rome to seek further medical treatment, his British hospital is currently starving him to death.
I spent almost the entire two first years of my college experience wondering if there was something wrong with me. I never liked going out to the Street — every time I’d tried, I hadn’t had a great time. Maybe I hung out with the wrong people or went to the wrong clubs, but when I reflect on the time I’ve spent on the Street, I mostly remember my general discomfort around people I don’t know and dances I don’t like.
I have been yelling at prefrosh for two hours. My throat, sore even when I first entered into the deafening jungle of Dillon Gymnasium, cracks and splutters.
It does not take a trained architectural eye to recognize the unabashedly modern design of New South Building. Built in 1965 and designed by the American architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, this administrative center in the southern part of campus presents an uncompromising façade of reflective glass and concrete, scorning all ornamentation. At seven stories tall, it stands as a veritable skyscraper on campus, surpassed only by Fine Hall and Cleveland Tower, located in the Graduate College. Overall, its form is dominated by one of the purest of geometric volumes, the cube.
Imagine a crowded living space with bad plumbing, old hallways, and exposed pipes, where toilets overflow and make an unsanitary disaster, where human feces are found in the shower, urine found in trash cans, shower curtains removed as pranks, and then people of color and people of unprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds have to clean it all up.
In the fall of 2018, Princeton’s history department will offer sixty-four courses. Of those courses, none are cross-listed with the Program in Latin American Studies. Only one, a junior seminar open only to juniors in the history department, addresses a Latin American topic: U.S. Imperialism in the Modern Caribbean.
April marks the exciting — but also terrifying — time of year when fellow A.B. sophomores must declare their concentration. Some sophomores have known what they want to major in throughout their time at Princeton. But other sophomores have been, and still remain, unsure of what they should declare. Unfortunately, many of these sophomores will halfheartedly select majors based on what they consider to be the safest choice — that is, the discipline that will guarantee them a suitable post-graduation job.
In recent months, the University has implemented major reforms in student health care for Counseling and Psychological Services. These reforms include reducing wait times from three weeks to six days and employing a team of professionals trained to handle eating disorders. These actions are major steps forward in making the environment of the University more inclusive and helpful to students struggling with their mental health, but there are other aspects of the student health care system that need to be reformed. Specifically, the sexual health department at McCosh Health Center desperately needs to improve its accessibility and breadth of services.
I’ve been discovering how to use space.
There is a university that exists where everyone says hi to each other. They greet one another with a warm embrace, arms outstretched and welcoming. Most of the time, the hugs aren’t hollow. Everyone eats together. They live together. Community is more than a euphemism. Apartness is elided.
For the past two Mondays, gaggles of elated high school seniors have been wandering around campus with their bright-orange folders for Princeton Preview. They’ve been admitted to Princeton and are now seeing what the University has to offer. Despite the myriad activities — ranging from a cappella shows to public lectures — Preview is missing a significant aspect of Princeton which no prospective student should leave without knowing about.
The Princeton University Board Plan Review Committee has been reviewing dining hall options for the past two years, and this week released a memo detailing possible changes for both under and upperclassmen. This proposal replaced the current options available with a mandatory “Unlimited” package for first-years and sophomores, and a mandatory “Community” meal plan for juniors and seniors not involved in the eating club system. This plan is less considerate of the diverse needs and wants of students than the current system and is out of step with undergraduate life.
Last winter, the passage of the four referenda concerning the Honor Committee made it clear that students wished to reform the Committee. The implementation of the fourth referendum opened the door to changing practices of the membership without changing the Committee’s current institutional framework. While we may not be able to change the “rules” of the Committee, we can and should ensure members are “playing by the rules.”
As we enter room draw and draw times are released, many will find that their draw time(s) are at inconvenient hours, specifically from 9 a.m. through 7 p.m. on weekdays. During these hours, most students will either be in lecture, lab, precept, or another prior commitment, creating a high likelihood of conflict. Facing this inconvenience, many students feel forced to get proxies to cover for them during their draw time. A proxy is another University student who can select a room for you during your designated draw time. Finding a proxy can be inconvenient and stressful, and it is only necessary because of the larger issue of room draw taking place during the middle of the week. But as I will show, this nuisance can be prevented through simple policy changes.
The University administration circulated a survey to collect feedback on the Proposed Meal Plan Changes for 2019–20. The Princeton University Board Plan Review Committee’s plan includes compulsory meal plans for upperclass students, but only independents and co-op members. This proposal apparently came from the “first comprehensive review of board plans since 2005.” My phone-typed response soon had the length of an essay, and I’m sharing part of that here. As an engineering major focused on sustainable design, and a health-focused individual who treasures the interpersonal warmth of a great meal, I’ve long taken issue with the required meal plans at this university. The forced predetermination of one’s food and eating place is incomprehensible to my friends and family, in Germany and across the globe.
Native English speaker or not, you have an accent. So does the girl sitting next you, and so do I. We all vocalize our thoughts with different rhythms, intonations, percussiveness, and inflections. Even within the United States, people speak English differently. Despite this natural tendency, we are keen to point out the “accents” of those who speak differently from how we do. We understand accents to be collective ways of speaking, unique to certain populations. This perception creates space for “us” versus “them,” and leaves room for us to value certain accents over others. We should struggle against this hierarchy.
The Board Plan Review Committee’s draft of proposed changes to the University’s dining plan claims they will create “more flexibility, affordability, and efficiency for an increasingly diverse community.”