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Starbucks’s red Christmas cups made national news this season. People complained that their plain red design was a symbol of the culture “war on Christmas” in the public sphere. Donald Trump even suggested boycotting Starbucks because of its choice in holiday design. And while this became a national controversy, there seemed to be less national or campus outrage in response to a Bloomingdale’s advertisement that insinuated rape. I don’t understand how the first caused so much anger and the second didn’t.
Firestone Library has seen hundreds of Princeton seniors make themselves at home among its labyrinthine stacks as they race to finish their theses. It is undoubtedly the library that sees the most traffic at the University, and it has recently undergone extensive renovations to make the space a more welcoming one for students who spend much of their time holed up inside its walls. In the several months that I was writing my own thesis at Firestone, however, it was those very walls that made me feel most unwelcome.
By the Alliance of Jewish Progressives
With course selection fast approaching, I am reminded that, as a sophomore, I am left with the inadequate time frame of one more semester to come to terms with the limitations of my skill set, the scope of my academic passions and the professional realities a certain degree might produce for me. As a lover of the humanities who has been sidetracked by some ill-defined yet insuppressible attraction toward the pragmatic, employable and fiercely pertinent intellect of STEM concentrators, I have hoped that some level of reflection would bring me closer to discovering the exact origins of this feeling of vocational uncertainty that I have and whether it is at all remediable.
Over Thanksgiving break, my best friend Jeff’s father died. Just two weeks earlier, Jeff’s father was initially diagnosed with stage 4 inoperable kidney cancer. With his mother having passed away a little over a year ago and without any siblings, Jeff, who is only 19, has suddenly been left more alone than anyone else I know. Jeff has suffered, and is suffering, in ways few of us will ever know. I can’t pretend to understand Jeff’s suffering and I felt powerless to help. All I could do was sit and listen to my friend in pain.
The school system back in Australia is a little different, especially in how we’re tested and how we’re prepared for the college application process. Almost nothing we do before the end of “year 12” counts toward our formal assessment; no test, exam or coursework contributes to our official record as a student. Our entire education is assessed through a series of final exams at the end of senior year. What we’re left with is a national ranking, a percentile that places us among all Australian students in our cohort (e.g. 65.70, 88.35, 99.95).
In the days after President Obama’s rare Oval Office address to the nation in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the Republican presidential candidates’ pushback was predictably racist and horrible. Ted Cruz ’92 and Jeb Bush doubled down on their absurd and unenforceable Christians-only refugee idea, and Mike Huckabee claimed the President cared more about the “reputation of Islam” than the security of the American people. But of course, none was more repugnant than Donald Trump’s idea to ban all Muslims from entering the United States for any reason.
We often talk about the need for a more inclusive, diverse campus environment, but we unfortunately tend to forget about the town of Princeton when holding those conversations. Although the world outside the Orange Bubble can sometimes seem very distant from campus life, the town and the University maintain a symbiotic relationship. When the town benefits, so too does the University. Even something as seemingly mundane as housing and zoning laws can have an outsized benefit on the overall environment of the campus and town.
In the last week of November, Pope Francis continued to surprise the world with an unprecedented trip to the religiously conservative countries of Kenya, Uganda and — most notably — the war-torn Central African Republic. The Pope has been redefining the perception of the Roman Catholic Church in society with his strikingly liberal and forward-thinking statements, especially relative to the past conservatism of the papacies of John Paul and Benedict. When Francis was elected to receive the highest office of the Church, he came into a Church ravaged and torn by sexual abuse cases in dioceses throughout the nation and lacking in the times. Catholics were turning away from their old religion.
It was only a month ago when I first watched the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” By the time the two or so minutes had passed, the grin on my face seemed permanently fixed. Almost immediately afterward, my friends from back home started to talk about it and plan when we’d be seeing it together. It’s an understatement to say the film will be dominate the season’s box office, if not the entire year — and with good reason. Star Wars has a colossal following, as perhaps the most popular, influential film series to date. And with impressive direction like J.J. Abrams, it is sure to draw in both new and old fans.
Much has already been expressed about the recent Black Justice League protest, but the backlash over the mandated cultural competency training has really surprised me. I understand that some of the demands, like removing Wilson’s name from campus buildings, are controversial to say the least. But I honestly thought that basic faculty and staff cultural competency training would not be nearly so contentious.
Dearest Princetonians, you have reached, if you will, the home stretch of your regular season. With classes just a week and a half away from winding down, you may, as I do, begin to wonder in vain why we have been allotted merely two weeks of rest and relaxation instead of three, as has been the case in years past. How, you may ask, will be the most productive way to spend your holidays? Preparing for Dean’s Date? Getting a head start on your upcoming exams?
The Black Justice League is demanding to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus institutions, and in doing so they are asking for a divisive legacy to be reconsidered. I believe this is a crucial issue — today’s Princeton is an institution that prides itself on bringing together people of all walks of life and all backgrounds. However, I argue that there are more pressing sources of divisiveness than Wilson’s name in today’s Princeton. Woodrow Wilson’s woes were relevant to Princeton of the early 20th century, the time he governed the University. Before we travel more than 100 years back in time, I believe we should be fixing the Princeton we live in today.
By now, the dust has already cleared on the widespread backlash against the Black Justice League’s (BJL) sit-in. Now that it’s been a few weeks since the protest, I imagine Yik Yak has probably gone back to poop talk.
As some Princeton students have called for the changing of the name of the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs and Wilson college, others have argued that this would be an erasure. They have argued that in changing the name we would forget all the good Woodrow Wilson did, or forget that every legacy (especially his) is complicated. Frankly, I am worried that we would forget him altogether.
Last Thursday, senior columnist Imani Thornton wrote an op-ed titled “Can you be ‘Woke’ and B.S.E.?” She concludes that because B.S.E. students are not required to take social analysis classes, they were not “woke” enough to participate in the protests. As an African-American B.S.E. student, I say that this is completely false and baseless.
The evening after the final football game, the Band gathers in the inner sanctum of Nassau Hall — the cavernous Faculty Room. Under the watchful portraits of past presidents, our senior leadership bids heartfelt goodbyes, then we play a final song and sing Old Nassau while our notes are swallowed by history’s ponderous echoes.
By Cameron Zeluck
The word “SeaWorld” used to evoke smiles and excited giggles, but that time has long since passed. With public opinion of the theme park going downhill, SeaWorld San Diego has been forced to reconsider its plans and has been adopting multiple changes to its parks in the past two years.
You might know the type: the social justice warrior on your Facebook feed, posting provocative articles about white privilege, gentrification or the death of yet another black person killed by a police officer. If you’re anything like me, you might assume that these warriors would probably be one of those humanities or social science major. They take classes with really long titles about race, gender or nationality and use words like “intersectional” and “problematic” more than your average B.S.E. major.