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For most of us, the news that the Committee on Discipline (COD) is investigating dozens of MAT 202 students warrants nothing more than a casual glance. We wonder how it must feel to be accused of cheating. Perhaps our peers under investigation elicit a pang of sympathy. Perhaps they don’t.
Fifty years ago tonight, more than 2,500 students and faculty thronged into the Chapel, enraged by President Richard Nixon’s 9 p.m. announcement that U.S. troops had deployed to Cambodia. By the time a bomb threat forced them to evacuate two hours later, those present had voted to “strike immediately against all academic and social functions of the university.”
Thirty years ago this Friday, more than 600 students and University personnel gathered to demand that Tiger Inn and Ivy Club — the last two all-male eating clubs — allow women to become members. On the steps of Robertson Hall, class president Erica Fox ’91 declared, “The male-only admissions policies create a situation which, by preventing us from being whole people, hurts all of us.”
It is unbelievable that just under a year ago, I was addressing you all for the first time as the editor in chief. Today, I am addressing you for the last time.
Nearly a month has passed since first-years moved onto campus to start their careers as Princetonians. For all of us, the arrival of the school year coincides with the disappearance of most of our free time, and very rarely do you hear students on campus complaining about how they have nothing to do. Yet through the constant running around, all of the lectures, readings, problem sets and extracurricular activities, we sometimes lose sight of the other things around us: those memories that may not mean much now, but before we know it, will become the most important part of our college experiences.
On Friday, the student body will take part in one of the most important events of the year: room draw. To a certain extent, your upcoming year is defined by this process; whom you choose to share a living space with — if anyone — has a huge impact on both your academic and social life. While some can make the argument that a poor living situation can be mitigated by simply not using your room, that logic only goes so far. There is a reason why students spend hours together with their draw groups, staring anxiously at a spreadsheet while room after room disappears, hoping that they have an opportunity to get a living situation they are satisfied with.
Actions may come and go, but words will never die.
Each night, likely while you’re sleeping, we send our page files to a printer in Philadelphia. A few minutes later I get a call — usually from Mike or Leo — to tell me the pages are good to go.
School nights for The Daily Princetonian team are different from those of most students. Each evening we diligently shepherd the paper from reporters’ ideas to editors’ critiques to copy staffers and finally into the hands of our designers, who place our careful labors onto the physical pages of the paper and the online world. A minute before midnight, we send our files to a printer in Philadelphia who runs them through their machines, trucks these preciously creased paper squares back to New Jersey, and delivers the broadsheet newspaper that students open each weekday next to their morning orange juice.
In anticipation of the University celebration of women’s acceptance to Princeton, this issue shows exactly how women became Tigers — from their first matriculation, to co-ed eating club memberships, to influential student body leadership.
Since the sexual misconduct allegations against Professor Sergio Verdú by graduate student Yeohee Im, The Daily Princetonian continued to cover the case. Recently, the ‘Prince’ published a piece detailing additional allegations of sexual misconduct Verdú has had with his graduate students. In response, members of the University community have expressed support for both Verdú and for Im. Yanina Shkel, a postdoctoral scholar in the ELE department, wrote a Letter to the Editor today critiquing the ‘Prince’s coverage of this case.
In the first week of the 142nd Editorial Board of The Daily Princetonian, we wrote an article describing an incident in which an anthropology professor used the word “n****r” in his class to make a point about hate speech, blasphemy, and other oppressive cultural symbols. He then used the full word repeatedly, according to a recording of the class obtained by the ‘Prince.’
New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait called liberal speech on campuses a “war on the liberal mind.” Conservatives frequently decry “snowflake liberals” on our college campuses. President Trump threatened to cut off federal funding to the University of California, Berkeley, over its alleged suppression of conservative speech. Here at Princeton, some go so far as to allege that the University has become a haven of left-wing groupthink. For its part, the left seems like it will tear itself apart over ideological differences — just look at the Ta-Nehisi Coates and Cornel West feud, or the continued battles in the Democratic Party between the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wings.
Today, so many of us mourn the lives lost in a mass shooting at a church in San Antonio – a gross violation of the sanctity of a place of worship and its community. Today, I hang my head in shame at our collective inaction and complacency. As a journalist, I hang my head in shame at the proliferation of fake news and a double standard in the reporting on recent attacks. As a student, I hang my head in shame at our silence. Prayers and condolences are not enough, so I ask each of us to critically consider our capacity and responsibility to act in the service of humanity. Our campus community seems confined to politically polarized echo chambers, and it can be rare to find a platform for discussion across ideological differences, as opposed to vitriolic debate defined by identity politics. I invite you to engage directly with someone who does not share your race, faith, or political stance, because we are all part of one community and the onus is on each and every one of us to act in its service.
To the Princeton community and administration,
This fall, The Daily Princetonian will revise its process for publishing unsigned editorials, which accompany the bylined columns, guest contributions, and letters on our Opinion pages. Historically, until about 12 years ago, these unsigned editorials generally were written by the most senior members of the ‘Prince.’ In recent years, they have been written by an Editorial Board consisting of students with no other ties to the ‘Prince.’
To the Princeton community and administration,
I've wondered what I would write in this column. What would I have told myself three years ago, in the summer of 2014? It feels like so long ago now that I was a starry-eyed prefrosh trying to figure out which classes I’d take, where I’d live, or what clubs I’d join.