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Every year, when Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, rolls around, I find myself staring at a list of people I’ve offended. It takes me hours to put it together; I go through my phone contacts, Facebook, and even class rosters to mark everyone I’ve annoyed, hurt, or disappointed. The process has become automatic at this point, but it’s nonetheless unpleasant. I don’t enjoy being reminded of all the times I’ve screwed up.
In an op-ed yesterday, my fellow student Sam Aftel ’19 condemned the weaponization of campus free speech to sow what he perceives as hatred and division. Noble goals, to be sure, but I must dissent quite strongly from much of what he says.
Being at Princeton can feel like a race to the bottom. If you slept three hours last night, the person next to you hasn’t slept in two days. If you have two finals, someone else has four and a paper.
When I arrived at Princeton as a wide-eyed freshman, joining a sorority was the last thing on my mind. This was especially true given the broad negative stereotypes that surround Greek life organizations, including that they are entirely focused on social life or that their membership is based on superficial characteristics. During freshman year, however, I realized that many of the upperclassmen whom I most admired were all a part of Greek life, so I decided to go through recruitment on a whim — despite some of those negative stereotypes. Little did I know that joining a sorority would be one of the most integral of my experiences at Princeton.
There is likely no more contentious sociopolitical issue on college campuses today than free speech, and Princeton is no exception. In terms of institutional policy, at least, the University is decidedly free speech absolutist; accordingly, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 selected the book “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech” by politics professor Keith Whittington as the 2018–19 Pre-read. According to the University, “Speak Freely” “presents a thoughtful examination of free speech and its essential role in the truth-seeking mission of colleges and universities.”
While studying in Frist Campus Center one night, I overheard a conversation at a nearby table. A student was considering whether to take POL 315: Constitutional Interpretation. Ultimately, he decided against it. The reason? He disagreed with the political views of its professor — famed conservative Robert George — and thought that his work was “unscholarly” because of them.
To the Class of 2022,
Today, the largest wildfire in California’s history is burning at over 459,000 acres and counting. The previous record holder raged only eight months before. Just as the world is being struck with harsher fires, stronger storms, more crop-eating pests, and other devastating consequences of climate change, we risk becoming cripplingly inured to these warning signs. It will fall to our generation to take the action against climate change that we sorely need.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is trying to convince Democrats that he would not be an anti-women judge. But his opening statement to the confirmation hearings should do little to assuage anyone.
“Crazy Rich Asians” has opened up conversation within the Asian-American community about important topics surrounding racial identity, including media representation. Senior columnist Hayley Siegel ’20 recently contributed to this discourse in her latest article, criticizing the movie for being “too Asian.” Siegel suggested that instead of having race play a central role in a character, a racially blind approach would signify real progress for the Asian-American community.
Student journalists — at The Daily Princetonian and elsewhere — are the future of the democratic free press. We commend the hundreds of editorial boards nationwide who have written articles last week combating attacks on American journalism. Quilted together on the front page of The New York Times, these editorials send a strong message: journalists will not back down.
At the moment, hundreds of students from U.S. universities dot the globe knee-deep in development projects. I am in Accra, Ghana, on a research project, and this city is awash with interns from Princeton, Harvard, and the like determined to transform the world. The stints come with good perks: dining and drinking with Accra’s high society, living in posh upscale neighborhoods, and for the really lucky ones, being chauffeured around the city in diplomatic vehicles.
White Americans can finally congratulate themselves on being not racist — at least towards Asians as the non-threatening “model minority” — by going to see Jon M. Chu’s new film, “Crazy Rich Asians.” They can celebrate that they, unprompted by a token Asian friend or family member, chose to spend 15 hard-earned dollars to sit through a feature-length film that boasts an exclusively Asian cast in an Asian setting. What’s more, white Americans can now consider themselves informed viewers, thanks to the film’s secondary role as a millennial idiot’s guide to pan-Asian culture. In an effort to pander to expectations, the film is peppered with self-referential reminders — such as lessons in dumpling making, panoramic shots of jewel-toned chinoiserie, and romantic strolls in lotus flower gardens — that it is, above all, “Asian.”