Samuel Aftel


Mercy should be the guiding principle of Honor Code reform

Compassion, reason, and mercy should be synthesized with a promotion of total academic integrity as core principles of the University’s Honor Code. In addition, faculty alone should not be the ones to establish the University’s principles — especially pertaining to the Honor Code, which has a direct and disproportionately substantial impact on student life. 

Mental health reform starts with students

The University — specifically, the University’s student body — needs to undergo a cultural reformation. That is, we need to be more conscious of how we contextualize and frame mental illness, as this will affect how students with mental illness are socially ranked.

Sophomore spring can be really stressful. Let's change that.

As a sophomore, I have seen how the obligations of this period have taken a toll on myself and on my peers. Many people I have spoken with recently feel like they need more time to make these important long-term decisions and believe that sophomore spring arrived too soon. 

Reject the misguided rhetoric of the Princeton Pro-Life “love” letter

Providing love and other forms of emotional support to survivors of sexual violence is unambiguously important, but survivors need more than just that — they need unfettered access to health care services, which necessarily includes access to medically safe and legally protected abortions.

Valuing people more at Princeton

As students, we must make active choices to make Princeton a more socially inclusive and less lonely place. Every day, we must prioritize a friend, or simply a human being.

We owe ourselves more sleep

While walking to Firestone in the late hours of a recent November night, I was interrupted by a friend who remarked that I looked incredibly fatigued. My friend tried to persuade me to get a good night’s sleep and start fresh the next morning, in lieu of a late night in the bookstands. After some hesitation, I agreed, and returned to my dorm for a rarely satisfying sleep.

Princeton, possibility, and living in the moment

When we stay in the library until 2 a.m. to finish that problem set or to read that scholarly text, we are not doing so simply because we cannot get enough of differential equations or the wisdom of Nietzsche. The future employers and others that we must impress to achieve professional happiness appreciate a strong academic record. In other words, there is a profound thirst for future possibility among Princetonians.

A plea for self-compassion

The philosophy that Princetonians need is one of self-compassion; to love and accept themselves, flaws and all, and to recognize that failure is an inevitable and necessary aspect of the Princeton experience. The difference may seem trivial, but these are two fundamentally different approaches to building resilience.