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I was fortunate enough to do some traveling abroad over spring break, particularly spending time in art museums. As I walked into the room of the Louvre that displays the Mona Lisa, perhaps one of the most famous pieces of artwork in the Western canon, I was struck first not by the painting’s beauty, nor by its famous smile, but instead by the sea of selfie sticks around the painting, all in spite of the Louvre’s ban on selfie sticks inside the museum.
Princeton has one of the oldest, strongest and most connected alumni networks of the world’s higher education institutions, a pleasant reality that we are reminded of every year when we place the second largest annual beer order in the US for our Reunions celebrations. From the hectic and joyous party in June to a lifetime of loyalty and belonging, the status of a Princeton Tiger is a privilege and point of pride that we are endowed with for life. Yet recent circumstances beg the question: is it really a status for life?
For a scientist, it is of crucial importance to secure a patronage either of the state or private sector to carry out research work and possibly to offer the world a new discovery or invention. Without this support, many ideas couldn’t be realized and many scientists would fail. The patronage bears, however, some risk of dependence on sponsors and of implementation for profit or power purposes. In striving for success, the scientist might be also tempted to sidestep the rules of ethical conduct. For this reason, medical doctors are obliged to take Hippocratic Oath and to reveal their conflicts of interest when publishing scientific articles. Other scientists like physicists, biologists, chemists, engineers or historians need not take any oath at all or reveal their conflicts of interest.
My senior year of college has been filled with countless “what ifs.” As my time on this campus began to dwindle, I increasingly worried about everything I had accidentally forgone. Reminiscing with friends about the classes we’ve enjoyed, people whose paths we have crossed and our Princeton experiences as a whole — it becomes difficult not to question our decision-making these past three and a half years. It’s easy to wonder what I could have done differently, or, really, better.
On the night of the Oscars, a user of a community-driven music blog I write for made a “list” (basically a vehicle for driving site-wide discussions) asking his fellow commenters to discuss the fact that Sam Smith had just won the show’s award for Best Original Song. In the thread that followed, one user argued that “if you were going to pander to the LGBT crowd, Lady Gaga would have been a better shot" (Gaga was nominated for “Til It Happens To You,” a song she recorded for “The Hunting Ground,” a film about sexual assault survivors on college campuses). Although this accusation of “pandering” was by no means the most blithely offensive comment made in the list (read the thread if you must), it made me consider its implications. Lady Gaga has undergone a fair bit of scrutiny from the queer community for her involvement with gay rights over the past half-decade or so. What, then, does it mean for a person to be an advocate for the LGBTQA+ community when that advocacy is framed as being a “vehicle for their voice,” standing up loudly for a group of people of whom she may not be a part? In other words, what happens when someone speaks up for a community without the approval of its members?
Editor's Note: This article does not representthe views of the 'Prince'.
It would ask me questions, it would give me answers and it would forgive me for procrastinating.
Everyone I know was thrilled to hear that Princeton Preview, a chance for prospective students to get a taste of the Princeton experience, was once again going to include an overnight stay. For the past two years, the overnight portion has beencancelled in light of a meningitis outbreak in 2014. And while, perhaps, we seem overjoyed that this provides high school seniors a better view of Princeton, most are actually excited because this change means student clubs can host more events to specifically entice prospective students to join them.
Let’s be honest: many of us love the status quo. I hate the status quo, but it sustains me and if you happen to be affiliated with this university, it may also sustain you. This sustenance, however, is no justification for its maintenance.
Editor’s note: The author of this column was granted anonymity due to the intensely personal nature of the events described.
Yesterday, 17 students published a convincing letter in support of Professor Michael Barry. I have never met the man, but I am convinced that dismissing him would be wrongheaded. No one at the University can replace his expertise.
In every election cycle, pundits and politicians alike assert that the United States is at a unique moment in history, a tilting point. No, I’m not going to argue that this time, "it's for real." What is striking about this election cycle, however, is how polarizing the candidates in both parties are. In the 113thSenate, Bernie Sanders was the thirdmost liberal senator, and Cruz the fourthmost conservative, with Rubio only a few spaces behind. For lack of many specific policy proposals or any voting record whatsoever, Donald Trump cannot be placed on this spectrum, but in his own way, he represents the same approach. That is one of uncompromising commitment to, in his case, his own self and outlook, but in the senators’ cases, to their own convictions and points of view.
Food for thought: in six years, everyone on this campus will have been born in 2000 — or later.
Life is busy. Yet, it is sometimes more important to take a step back from the stress of everyday life and escape to another world. This past week, at the urging of my friends but against my better instincts, I downloaded Neko Atsume, the cat simulator game. There is no way to win this game. The sole goal of the game is to attract as many virtual cats as possible to your virtual home with gifts and cat food. There is no interaction with the cats in the game except for the ability to take virtual pictures of them, which are then stored in the app’s "catbook." The cats do nothing more in the game than lounge about in your virtual home.
Princeton has always had the ability to attract stirring speakers. In the past three years, I’ve listened to Toni Morrison, Arianna Huffington, Laverne Cox and the lateJustice Antonin Scalia just to name a few. While their ideologies and fields of study vary, all of these visitors have sparked important dialogue on the state of campus, national and global affairs.
1986 –Around the time of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in November, the “Washington Post” and the “New York Times” ran articles on Mikhail Gorbachev's view of America. They reported that Gorbachev saw the U.S. as a nation dominated by business interests, ruled by a small clique with little concern for the interests of most Americans.
Throughout frosh week I was bombarded with information about life at Princeton, but there seemed to be a special focus on alcohol education. Before I even set foot on campus, I, along with all incoming freshmen, was required to take an alcohol education course online which had a second part to be completed later in the semester. Princeton spends an incredible amount of time ensuring that students drink responsibly.
Early in the morning on February 13, the Supreme Court lost its conservative powerhouse, Justice Antonin Scalia. Appointed by Reagan, Scalia was known for both his scathing and witty dissents and his originalist interpretation of the Constitution—that is, analyzing the document as the Founding Fathers intended when it was written, almost 230 years ago. The passing of a justice brings to the forefront one of the most important roles of the President: nominating an individual, with the Senate's approval, to the vacant seat on the court. This particular case, though, is peculiar and nuanced, as Scalia’s passing comes in the last year of Obama’s term, something that, as the National Constitution Center reports, has only happened eight times in the extended history of the Court.
Columnist Sarah Sakha made many excellent points in her column last Friday, “The Paradox of Princeton’s Publicity,” arguing that Princeton University tours shouldn’t aim to avoid discussing student activism because it is something the school should be proud of — and it might even help to attract prospective students. But because she allowed for some exceptions, such as Wilson, eating clubs and grade deflation, her posed argument was flawed. Her argument can, and should, be extended. The goal of tours to prospective students should be complete honesty and openness, as much as possible. And even our controversies over these other issues could be a positive to prospective students.
Orange Key tours of Princeton’s campus best — and most frequently — present Princeton’s public narrative. A Presidents’ Day article on the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879, tackled some of the challenges of this narrative, depicting a tour guide, Charlesa Redmond ’17, who has grappled not with what she has to say on her tours, but with what she has left unsaid.