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After coming out as openly queer, I had a partner inform me that she would only continue to date me if I specifically identified as a lesbian, constantly questioning my queerness (and interest in her) because I had dated men in the past. I was told that I wouldn’t be “enough of a woman” to date women-loving-women if I cut my hair short, that I’d be too much of a man if I didn’t painstakingly remove my body hair.
My first column for the ‘Prince,’ written in the summer of 2020, detailed the importance of protecting the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The Tongass acts not only as one of the world’s best carbon sinks, a place of economic potential through tourism and outdoor recreation, and an abundant source of wild foods, but has also been the traditional homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples for over 10,000 years. When I wrote the column, the Trump administration had proposed a rollback of the Roadless Rule, which protects over nine million acres of land in the Tongass, despite 96 percent of public commenters opposing the rollback of these protections.
Like countless towns throughout the Finger Lakes region, my small town of almost 600 people is brought together by a shared love for our lake, Honeoye. Growing up, the lake was a central part of our town: a place to go swimming, boating, fishing, water-skiing, you name it! The town’s economy once thrived during the summer, as seasonal residents and tourists would come from all over to enjoy the lake and all it had to offer. In recent years, this main economic driver and source of recreation has been threatened.
In the wake of college decision season, Princeton surely is seeking to ensure that the Great Class of 2025 represents the best and brightest of applicants. But the longer Princeton hesitates to take decisive climate action through divestment from fossil fuels, the less likely Princeton is to attract these bright young minds.
Editor’s Note: This piece discusses sexual misconduct, which some readers may find troubling.
This article is part of the Opinion section’s Black Futures at Princeton series. Click here to view the full project.
Content Warning: Mentions of mental illness, risk of suicide
Upon matriculating at Princeton, I received two things in the mail: the classic black Princeton t-shirt and a copy of the pre-read, “Speak Freely.” I wasn’t the only one: the entire student body was encouraged to read the book. That’s how seriously the University takes freedom of speech — at least on the surface.
Last week, U.S. Congressman Ken Buck ’81 argued in a guest column that “divestment from fossil fuels would be a disaster,” and recommended that the University continue to “withstand [the] pressure” from student climate activists. As a proponent of divestment myself, I consider Buck’s column a win for fossil fuel divestment activists.
Turning out to vote in an election is an important part of our civic duty (and, evidently, is an area for improvement among University students). Just as important, however, is educating yourself on what is at stake in the upcoming election. This fall, we are voting for more than just the next president; we’re voting for the future of our planet. Under a second Trump term, nobody wins except the oil operators, and even they won’t be spared from the growing effects of climate change.
Over the past few months, the University’s long history of systemic racism has become increasingly more visible. Between the changing of the name of the Woodrow Wilson School and Wilson residential college and the Department of Education investigation on racism, the University’s history of racism has made a lot of national headlines.
On Friday night, upon receiving the news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, I was devastated: my biggest role model had passed away. Justice Ginsburg’s work for the feminist movement is the reason I changed my major from Psychology to Anthropology and decided I wanted to go to law school.
Last week, I read “Malignant” by S. Lochlann Jain, an ethnography about the politicization and sexualization of breast cancer for my anthropology departmental course. Jain had been battling breast cancer and was given the choice to have a single mastectomy for the cancerous breast, or to remove both for appearance’s sake. While personal considerations like comfort and aesthetics were important in her decision, either choice would also make a political statement about femininity and cancer. For Jain, there was no apolitical escape route.
Dear incoming first-years,
One of the things that stood out to me about Princeton two years ago, besides the name, the endowment, and the generous financial aid, was learning our informal motto: “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity.” As one of the typical “I want to save the world” type kids, I was excited to engage in meaningful work with the support of the institution and likeminded peers. Throughout my first two years at Princeton, though, I have been sorely disappointed by lackluster student civic engagement — and resistance from the University itself.
With decreased air pollution in India, reduced carbon emissions in China, and improved water quality in Venice, much of the environmental rhetoric during the coronavirus pandemic has been about nature “healing” itself. Of course, there is value in the optimism gained by signs of nature’s capacity to heal, but now is not the time to ease up on environmental activism. The fight against climate change has not yet been won.