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White Americans can finally congratulate themselves on being not racist — at least towards Asians as the non-threatening “model minority” — by going to see Jon M. Chu’s new film, “Crazy Rich Asians.” They can celebrate that they, unprompted by a token Asian friend or family member, chose to spend 15 hard-earned dollars to sit through a feature-length film that boasts an exclusively Asian cast in an Asian setting. What’s more, white Americans can now consider themselves informed viewers, thanks to the film’s secondary role as a millennial idiot’s guide to pan-Asian culture. In an effort to pander to expectations, the film is peppered with self-referential reminders — such as lessons in dumpling making, panoramic shots of jewel-toned chinoiserie, and romantic strolls in lotus flower gardens — that it is, above all, “Asian.”
Guest contributor Max Parsons (no relation) recently responded to a column I wrote outlining the U.S. government’s attacks on the legal immigration system and the consequences faced by international University students and skilled immigrants. I appreciate Parsons’s response, which seems a genuine attempt at constructive discourse with my “partisan diatribe.” But Parsons’s reply, which focuses on a loophole in the H-1B visa program and advocates for a “deservingness”-based immigration system, reflects a lack of engagement with several of the key points I made in the original column, and contains misinformed ideas about the history of legal immigration in America.
Managing editor and migrant student Sam Parsons (no relation) recently offered his perspective on the state of America’s immigration system in a looming 2,100-word column titled “Defending Princeton’s 12 percent: The unseen side of the anti-immigration movement.” In what quickly morphs from an insightful remark on the often untold vocational difficulties faced by international students to a partisan diatribe, Parsons lurches into a clumsy yet familiar attack on Trump and his not-so-recent failure to pass immigration reform. However, besides the conflation of the F-1 visa, which Parsons presumably uses, and the H-1B, which he clearly does not, what I found particularly problematic was his framing of American identity as merely an arbitrary construct. To me, like millions of other Americans who support key elements of Trump’s immigration proposals, the question of who is admitted to our country for work, travel, and citizenship is a weighty question that requires continued scrutiny.
Twelve percent of students in Princeton’s incoming Class of 2022 are not U.S. citizens, on par with the proportion in recent years. Instead they hail from 77 countries around the world, united by an educational pilgrimage to the United States to become Princetonians. In their four years of college, these students will make some of their strongest lifelong friendships. They will build their professional networks, get their first jobs, fall in love with America, and, perhaps, with an American. They will be as much a part of Princeton as their American peers. But at some point in their four years they will be harshly reminded that no matter how much they love America, America does not love them back. At least not those who presently hold power.
In every University graduating class, there are hundreds of students who plan to pursue a career in medicine. Medical schools have tough enrollment requirements such as organic chemistry, molecular biology, and physics to start, on top of a wide range of electives and extracurriculars. The work of students who successfully complete all of the requirements should be commended, given the difficulty of these classes on top of the time commitment required for clinical experience and studying for the MCAT. These classes and experiences are integral to a future career as a doctor — biochemistry, for example, provides a foundation for learning how certain drugs affect metabolism and cell function, which is undoubtedly necessary for doctors. Yet as comprehensive as pre-medical requirements are in some areas, they are lacking in others that are critical to an effective career in medicine.
The final rays of sunlight fell on Nassau Street as a crowd gathered around a lone man. David Hicks — a hardcore atheist-turned-born-again Christian — preached the gospel of the Flat Earth to anyone who listened.
An iridescent blur darted and dived before me, as it cut elegant arcs across the sky. Several seconds later, I recognized the fleet form as a purple martin, Progne subis. It disappeared behind a grove of scraggly oaks, but its fellow aerial acrobats continued to carve the sky. The purple martin is just one of dozens of Neotropical migratory bird species that anyone, from career ornithologist to curious observer, may find in the Institute Woods just south of campus.
During the summer, most of us enjoy a reprieve from our campus obligations. Unfortunately, that break often includes whatever level of political activism we might have engaged in during the academic year. Now, however, is not the time to take the summer off. In light of the continuously heinous misogyny of President Donald Trump, Princeton students and faculty — many of whom boast of a record of advocacy against gender-based violence and marginalization — have an obligation to speak up.
After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored an underdog victory in a congressional primary, her call to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement swept through the Democratic Party. Now, other leading Democrats are echoing her.
Speaking at the University’s 271st Commencement on June 5, President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 urged the Class of 2018 to champion the value of a college degree. Implicit in any such correct urging was the plainly considerable benefit of University graduates being able to engage with the world both intellectually and emotionally. Indeed, without such an absolutely overriding benefit, this value would merely have a more or less identifiable cash equivalent, a plausibly recognizable and tangible validation by the commercial marketplace.
On June 20, President Trump signed an executive order that ended his administration’s migrant family separation policy. The order stated: “It is … the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”
Wake up, Princetonians. Wake up, America. Wake up to the state terror that is happening every single day in the United States.
Front Campus will soon be filled with enthusiastic students in black robes and mortarboards as Commencement begins. By the time they walk through FitzRandolph Gate for the first time in four years, they will have already partaken in another time-honored Princeton tradition: Annual Giving. As part of the “Senior Class Pledge,” seniors are asked to support their alma mater’s donation drive before it even becomes their alma mater. This tradition should stop; it has minimal costs and will improve the University’s image.
For the next few days, legions of orange and black-clad alumni will be walking around the University’s campus. After graduating from the world’s top university, many became wealthy from stellar careers as financiers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and captains of industry. At Reunions, University administrators will be asking alumni to give some of the monetary rewards from their success back to the school that prepared them.
In this year’s first round of Honor Committee reforms, reform advocates advanced an interesting line of attack favoring a weaker Honor Committee. “Anyone so eager to punish their peers that they would join the Honor Committee,” the thought went, “must be as vicious as they are retributive. Therefore, we shouldn’t trust them with very much power at all.” If this suspicion is legitimate, it seems that we would do well to extend it to another group of students on campus: USG. Indeed, the student government was remarkably active in the last round of reform, with most members staunchly supporting it. Any way that you frame it however, USG’s support for reform was self-interested — either an attempt to improve its image or to expand its campus prerogatives. Claims of caring for the student body as reasons for supporting the reform are disingenuous or deluded.
Two metal stegosaurus silhouettes guard the side of a lonely road in northern Kentucky. They straddle a driveway to the Creation Museum. It’s an institution dedicated to the teachings that — according to literal interpretations of the Bible’s Book of Genesis — God created the world in six 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. The museum is a $27-million attraction in Appalachia that draws 300,000 tourists annually.
During this midterm elections campaign season, many female candidates have used their status as mothers to defend their policy stances and appeal to voters. Some argue that this is detrimental to gender equality, because it plays into the idea that women must justify their leadership in some way. But while using motherhood as a campaign strategy may play into gender norms in the short term, it will be advantageous over the long term in the fight for gender equality.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out about what I would write here — how can one sum up their four years going through Princeton in the words allotted to a Daily Princetonian column? Looking back through our archives, there are any number of ways that retiring columnists have reflected on that process and thought towards the future.
Dear Princeton University Administration,