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We are rapidly approaching the middle of the spring semester after what feels like a very short January and February. The past few weeks have flown by, and once again, we are facing midterms. For some first-years, classes this semester will define the track they will take in their studies during the remainder of their years here. So, what do you do if you find yourself doing worse than imagined in classes for what you once thought was your major? Are the results you’re receiving now an opportunity to explore other areas of interest? Now is the best time to ask yourself whether this is a good time to genuinely reevaluate your future rather than jumping to conclusions that you have no chance at succeeding in the current areas you are in.
When I lie in bed at night unable to fall asleep, I reach for my phone so that I can scroll through my favorite Facebook posts — namely, the anonymous submissions on the Tiger Confessions group. The proclamations of love give me joy, and the inside jokes make me laugh. The heartfelt confessions that I find there remind me that I’m not alone in whatever I’m going through.
As a member of Quipfire!, an improv comedy group on campus, I know the elements of a comedic performance when I see one. Donald Trump’s words and actions on stage at CPAC 2019, the annual gathering of conservative activists, held this year in National Harbor, Maryland, proved more similar to an absurdist one-man improv show than a direct address by the president of the United States. He began the two-and-a-half-hour speech by hugging the American flag and declaring, “You know I’m totally off-script right now.” The improv performance was filled with voices, impressions, expletives, and absurd untruths.
This past week, a group of scientists in London announced that, for the second time ever, a patient was cured of HIV. This replicated the same procedure used 12 years ago for the first patient who was cured of HIV, which involves a bone marrow transplant meant to treat both patients for cancer. Thus, both patients are considered to be in “long-term remission” for both their forms of cancer and for HIV. Though this procedure can only be done in patients with both HIV and cancer, it suggests that a more widespread cure of HIV/AIDS is possible. This announcement came decades after HIV/AIDS activism reached a peak in the 1980s with the activity of organizations like Act Up!
We can and should do more when it comes to offering our students research opportunities. The cutting edge of research shouldn’t just be available to Ph.D.s, graduate students, and faculty. Rather, there should be more of an active effort to recruit undergraduates into these positions. I don’t say this because I am envious of research in higher education — it’s a well-known fact that undergraduates have access to as many, or even more resources, than grad students here — but because I see a waste of resources in putting the majority of our students in nonacademic campus jobs.
The rise of Tiger Confessions since last October has generated plenty of discussion around campus, as the Facebook page’s popularity seemingly exploded over winter break with no signs of letting up. Many have contributed to the important conversation of how this page, which now boasts over 6,000 posts, is affecting Princeton’s culture and how we should respond. These discussions have included an interview with the founder, known by the pseudonym Ty Ger, in The Daily Princetonian, and a recent op-ed by Managing Editor Samuel Aftel.
Around a month ago, a Duke University professor sent out an email to her graduate students warning them not to speak Chinese on campus. In her email, she cautions that her colleagues were “disappointed that [the students] were not taking the opportunity to improve their English” and “being so impolite,” even though the conversations took place in the student lounge/study areas. Furthermore, she states that students who continued to do so would, as a result, receive fewer opportunities for internships and projects.
On Feb. 19, Hayden Williams — a representative of a group that provides training for conservative campus groups — was assaulted by Zachary Greenberg, an Oakland resident, at the University of California, Berkeley. Though, according to the New York Times, neither man was a student at the university, free speech on college campuses is often a popular topic in the news, and the recent event that unfolded at the U.C. Berkeley has once again brought it to the attention of the American media.
Compared to other universities, Princeton takes a unique approach toward student alcohol consumption. Although “Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities” makes clear that underage drinking is illegal, the University does not penalize inebriated students who are checked into McCosh Health Center. Instead, the University reserves disciplinary action against students who fail to “McCosh” one of their very drunk peers.
When “Green Book” was selected as Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars, many viewers were outraged. Observers criticized the film for its simplistic depiction of race relations in America and disputed its portrayal of the real-life relationship between Tony Vallelonga and Don Shirley.
Since the anti-apartheid movement began in the 1960s, dozens of divestment campaigns have swept through Princeton’s campus. Yet more often than not, the University has chosen to deny student demands, including the push to divest from fossil fuels in 2015. It’s not like choosing to divest is an uncommon decision, either, especially with regard to climate change. Across the country, 48 U.S. universities have either partially or fully divested from fossil fuels. So why does Princeton consistently avoid shifting its investments?
Loneliness is an inevitable feeling. No matter how many people you may surround yourself with, you’re going to feel lonely at some point. It may sneak up on you during a quiet moment in the day walking between classes, or when you’re pulling an all-nighter and find yourself alone in a group study space. While it may not be fun to be lonely, it’s incredibly important.
This past February, it seemed like every day some new story of racism appeared in my news feed. Blackface controversies spread from the leadership of Virginia’s state government to the fashion industry. At the same time, oversight of persistent racial discrimination in favor of feel-good stories about a post-racial society influenced both Howard Schultz’s claim “I don’t see color” and the triumph of “Green Book” at the Academy Awards. And that’s just to name a few incidents.
Courtesy of Sascha Kohlmann / Wikimedia Commons
I joined the Army directly out of high school. I spent four years as a medic, including a deployment to Afghanistan. Afterwards, I attended two different community colleges and graduated with an associate degree.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a startling email in the Forbes listserv from a student claiming that he had ruined his eyes by overusing electronic screens. Maybe you remember seeing the email, too, with its foreboding title: “Don’t Be Me. Graduate on Time!” Later that day, I brought the email up with some friends, and we reflected on its urgency, half shrugging it off but half wondering whether such a thing could really happen to us — would we wake up one morning, suddenly unable to look at a phone or computer, like the email’s author said happened to him?
In 2008, Rebecca Solnit published the groundbreaking article “Men Explain Things to Me” outlining her repeated experiences with men ignoring her established knowledge (Solnit has written seventeen books about the environment, politics, and art) and condescendingly explaining her expertise to her — in one extreme case, explaining her own book. The publication of this article led to the coining of the word “mansplaining,” or “the explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing,” according to Oxford Dictionaries.
This Friday, the Trump administration announced its new rule, which will cut Title X funding for clinics that provide abortions or abortion referrals. Providers will have to make abortion facilities “physically and financially” separate from their federally funded clinics, including separate staff and entrances. The rule will also contain a “domestic gag rule,” which will prohibit doctors and nurses from providing their pregnant patients with any information about the abortion procedure.
Auditions season is once again upon us. Every day, it seems, another group is sending out an email telling us we should come to auditions. Many of these emails will joyfully claim that no experience is necessary. But it seems that many students — or at least many on Tiger Confessions — feel this is not quite true. Post #3866, for instance, expresses this frustration exactly, claiming that the exclusivity of many audition-based groups is arbitrary. Having prior experience gives students a significant advantage in the audition process. Understandably, the status quo has left many of our peers feeling frustrated: many feel they were roped into an unfair audition. Perhaps, then, it is time to change auditions to placement-only auditions, wherein each group has a “Varsity” and “Junior Varsity” sub-group.
From Maria Ressa ’86 to Imee Marcos, Princeton University has been making headlines lately in the Philippines. The Daily Princetonian Editorial Board last week expressed their solidarity with Filipino journalist Maria Ressa after her arrest, and a few days later, the paper’s News section clarified that provincial governor Imee Marcos (the daughter of Ferdinand Marcos, a former dictatorial president of the Philippines) did not graduate from the University. These two cases are not isolated events, but in fact are tightly linked and reflective of the worsening political climate under the controversial regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.