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Letters to the Editor: Sept. 23, 2009

Lawnparties fall flat for freshmen

Regarding “Fall Lawnparties preview” (Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009):


September means two things to Princeton students: the beginning of a new academic year and, more importantly to some, the resumption of their social lives after summer break. Fall Lawnparties is one of the biggest events of the year (second only to Houseparties, or so I hear). Accordingly, I saved my first real visit to the Street for Sunday. Though it is possible that I went in with unreasonable expectations, I would be lying if I said I had a good time. I will admit, watching police officers helplessly “patrol” the Street while plastic cups filled with cheap, free-flowing alcoholic beverages adorned the private front yards of the clubs was amusing. But the USG futilely tried to compensate for the lack of any headlining band by sponsoring events at Campus Club, which was a disaster. Waiting in long lines for mediocre carnival food is not exactly my idea of a good time. And at the recycled T-shirt giveaway, I was given a youth XL. It’s a good thing I have a sister and that I could put it to use as a gift; otherwise my “recycled” shirt would have been wasted. Now, I understand that the students voted for this, but I have to question the accuracy of a vote decided by a minority of the student body. I know we freshmen will have “our time” soon, but we need to make some significant changes for next year, or else next fall’s Lawnparties will fall flat once more.

Gary Fox ’13

Gray squirrels must  be stopped

Regarding wild life on campus (Reunions 2009):

I have long held a fascination with the famous black squirrels that populate the campus of Princeton University. Many times as an undergrad, I would pull an all-nighter and walk around at 6 a.m. as the black squirrels held their secret morning conferences within the peaceful confines of the solitude offered by students sleeping off their drunken orgies. Er, I mean, resting after a hard night's study.

Often, I would count the number of black squirrels. Usually, in my informal survey, there were at least 10 black squirrels for every 2 gray, scurrying across the green lawns in front of Whig-Clio.


I was concerned, however, during my recent trip to Reunions. Waking up at six on Friday morning — yes, no more all-nighters — I was astonished to discover only one solitary black squirrel contemplating his secret stash of squirrel nuts and student leftovers in the dim light of the dawn. Not only that, the ratio of black to gray squirrels was grim as, on each successive morning, the black squirrels were seemingly nonexistent. On the last morning, I counted 21 gray vs. only one lonely black squirrel.

True, this is not a scientifically conducted study. Plus, I may have been squinting a bit, and my poor double vision may have accidentally made me miscount the number of gray squirrels. But there is no doubt in my mind: The population of black squirrels has diminished since the period of my matriculation at Princeton. This I am certain.

Perhaps the demise of the black squirrel is explained by a horrifying video I took on the eve of the last day of Reunions. It fully documents the ferocity that is the grey squirrel. I pray that the campus will not wake up one morning to discover the carcasses of the remaining black squirrels who are now on the wane because of these bloodthirsty, brutal little fiends. This is too terrifying a thought.

Mimi Chen ’79

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A proposal for the naming of new Butler buildings

Regarding “New buildings still unnamed” (Monday, Sept. 21, 2009):

I read your recently published article titled “New buildings still unnamed” in The Daily Princetonian, and since I have lived around the Butler area for the past three years, I would like my name to be given to one of the new Butler buildings that are still unnamed.

Efe Murad ’10