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It’s the beginning of another year: doe-eyed frosh and self-assured seniors alike flood campus, bringing it to life. New friends are made, old friends are greeted, and everyone indulges in the buzzing excitement of being back again. In years past, at this point, many people would be heading to the eating clubs for a weekend of festivities and partying known as “Frosh Week.” Though technically the Interclub Council (ICC) policy has always stipulated that first-years are not allowed into the clubs during orientation period, this has never been actually enforced until this year.
Welcome back to campus. This summer brought a lot of front-page headlines from the climate files—from Hurricane Dorian wiping out the Bahamas and ravaging the East Coast to swaths of the Amazon rainforest and Arctic tundra burning at record rates. Europe and Japan suffered through immense heat waves that left thousands dead; wildfires swept through Australia. These ever-graver catastrophes have blown away many of our predictions for what “normal” weather looks like.
To take advantage of opportunities for which this campus is especially noted, we are often encouraged to attend exclusive, high-profile, and high-brow events. The distinguished speakers likely attended the University, and they might have donated substantially. Regardless, take a look at your inbox for the past week; how many emails did you overlook or pay heed to, depending on your disposition, regarding the institutional ties held by impending guests, ties which we are taught relentlessly to covet and venerate?
Donald Trump’s presidency can often feel like an inevitable catastrophe that gets easier and easier to become desensitized to and disengaged from. Trump has successfully deconstructed and rendered irrelevant the traditional neoliberal niceties that have conveniently shielded this country from confronting its history, and continued practice, of structural violence: Trump is an indecent man who has lived an indecent life, and runs the country in accordance with this indecency — yet, unlike his predecessors, he makes no attempt to hide his amorality, and we make no attempt to remain shocked and horrified by his cruelty.
Living in New Jersey, I had the convenient option of loading my car up, driving it to campus and unpacking all my stuff as I moved into year two of my Princeton journey. After a few hours of moving bags and boxes into my room and saying farewell to my family, I had one final thing to do: say goodbye to my precious Toyota Rav 4. Not yet belonging to an eating club and not having what the university calls “a compelling need” to have a car on campus, I had to watch as my family took my car back home, leaving me in the suburban bubble of central New Jersey.
In March of 2018, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the former President of Peru and a 1961 graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School’s Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) program, resigned from office a day before the Peruvian Congress would have held an impeachment vote against him. He was accused of laundering money while in public office to benefit the Brazilian contractor Odebrecht with multi-million dollar infrastructure projects.
Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, the late Toni Morrison, the canonical novelist, Nobel laureate, Pulitzer winner, and the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emerita, theorized in The New Yorker, “So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble.”
Coming into Princeton, I’d heard of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and it was no surprise for me to learn that a concentration in “Woody Woo” was among the most popular at the University, along with the closely associated politics concentration. Naturally, I expected this widespread academic interest in political science and public policy to extend into extracurricular life, manifesting itself in anything from a robust student government to animated grassroots campaigns for change. How wrong I was.
As of June 11, 2019, nine international Princeton students have received their work permits for the summer. That’s less than 10 percent of the total number who have applied. For many of us, the processing delays have resulted in the loss of jobs, and with them, the incomes we planned on using to pay for food and rent.
To U. President Christopher Eisgruber and Davis International Center Director Jacqueline Leighton:
I read with great interest President Eisgruber’s recent statement on sexual misconduct concerns for the University. The statement's vague language and unsupported claims remind me of writer Rebecca Solnit's observation, "It is the truest, highest purpose of language to make things clear and help us see; when words are used to do the opposite you know you’re in trouble and maybe that there’s a cover-up."
On Friday, May 10, University-appointed “Open Expression Monitors” denied students involved in Princeton IX Now, which organized the recent Title IX-reform protests, the right to enter a reception to which “staff, faculty and community members” had been invited. At the same time, other students entered the building freely.
Music groups are widely celebrated and loved on campus. From the department ensembles to niche performance groups, rock to a capella, it seems like we have it all. The University frequently uses these groups as a selling point, hosting “This Side of Princeton” performing arts showcases at each Princeton Preview event. For bright-eyed prefrosh, the musical opportunities seem so beautiful and boundless — it’s easy to be captured by the talent and mesmerized by the fun. One arch sing, and before you know it, you’ve committed.
In the months following the attacks on New Zealand mosques on March 15, and the days since charges were brought against the alleged shooter in a Poway, California synagogue, there has been a rigorous debate as to how society should treat the ideas that inspired the hatred fueling these alleged attackers.
Over the past week, several undergraduates have sent emails to residential college listservs calling for suggestions for what they call the “redesign” of McCosh Health Center. While not specifying in any further detail the extent of this apparent “redesign,” or describing in any detail how such feedback will be incorporated, they state that University Health Services (UHS) “is undergoing a major remodeling” and “they want student input.” As is typical for such mass emails requesting student feedback, they reassure students that the survey, whose link they provide, is “super short.”
Recently, in the wake of three institutional embarrassments, the campus community has been unusually and excitingly responsive. Attempts to cover up and minimize scandals have blown up, from the non-randomness of room draw, the structural inequality in the form of introducing the criminal history checkbox on the graduate school application, to the ineffectiveness of the Title IX office. Activists have held their ground in calling for the reform of a dysfunctional Title IX system. Unfortunately, the administration has been utterly condescending to some of its most courageous community members.
Every student on campus, whether it be in first-year writing seminar or during the senior thesis grind, has had experience with entering the “scholarly conversation.” Entire databases on the Princeton University Library website — not to mention the millions of physical books in the libraries themselves — are devoted to countless scholarly works. Most of these journal articles, books, and encyclopedias are the result of extended research and careful analysis from experts who have studied these various subjects for decades. Much of the existing scholarly work — as well as the millions of works both Princeton students and professors will continue to contribute — however, is unread, unused, and essentially useless. This is a bleak sentence for the prospects of academia and the wealth of information and possibility it holds.
A courtroom battle in Boston recently busted Harvard’s admissions process wide open. As the public awaits the judge’s decision on affirmative action, few have paid much attention to the leaks of the advantages beyond race that Harvard bestows upon high school seniors.