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An ordinary notice board hangs in my neighborhood with a simple note tacked: “Please share your stories or any facts you have debunked during these troubling times. Let us help combat disinformation and give our society hope!” This board stood empty the evening it was placed but was immediately swarmed with newspaper clippings and handwritten stories the next — some meant to instill hope while others busted false information that was circulating around our community during the pandemic. Some scientists and medical professionals working at the frontlines also shared their experiences and tips for the community to keep themselves safe. This board serves more than to show a community coming together during a crisis; it reinforces an age-old lesson. Science alone cannot combat this pandemic without substantial help from the humanities, and a well-blended combination of both in an individual’s education equips them with lifelong tools to respond in the time of a crisis.
Vote100 is an ODUS-sponsored, student-led initiative. Our mission is to ensure 100 percent of Princeton students are civically engaged, with an emphasis on ensuring that those eligible to vote in each election can do so.
I spent the majority of my childhood and young adulthood in China. I lived there for a decade, in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. China’s contemporary political history is of extraordinary relevance to our current moment because it is a lesson in historical revisionism. It lays bare the dangers of censorship and the importance of preserving an academy that studies history in its entirety, not just its dominant narratives.
White supremacy is literally wrong, a set of falsehoods about the inherent worth of Black people and other communities of color. It is a gross and willful misunderstanding of human history and culture. It is violent. It is deadly. When white supremacy masquerades as research and scholarship, it looks like eugenics, like phrenology, like the Tuskegee Study, like intelligence tests, like the Bell Curve, like the Troublesome Inheritance, like any number of white-washing histories of civilization, philosophy, religion, and literature that falsify arguments to the detriment of nonwhites. When these false premises are used to support or justify the discrimination against, or withholding of opportunities from, nonwhites, they become elements of a system of active injustice. In seeking to serve an obfuscated agenda, white supremacy defies standards of academic rigor. It forestalls debate and confuses the relationship between freedom and accountability.
Two years ago, I wrote that “each woman’s experience navigating an insurance and medical system [to access birth control] that demonstrates anywhere from casual disregard to active hatred of women falls along a dramatic spectrum. In some cases, access is circumstantial, stressful, or unduly expensive.” Last week, the Supreme Court in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania granted employers a broad moral exemption to providing contraceptives, limiting that spectrum of access even further. This decision makes clear the necessity of understanding how women’s positionality impact their ability to access medication.
When I initially learned that seniors were not going back in the fall, I felt upset. But, as I began to process the decisions that came out July 6 and how they would affect us all differently, I realized I must be mindful of our classmates in less fortunate positions. If Princeton is truly our home, we must share it with those who have nowhere else to go.
Powerful protests for racial justice and political change have taken our nation by storm. After many years of hard work and slow change, our world has shifted decades’ worth in days. Though the direction of this change is positive, with it comes a dangerous rise in illiberal attitudes, which has become apparent in the practice of smear-mongering.
On July 6, we received news describing Princeton’s plans for inviting incoming freshmen and rising juniors to campus this fall. As international first-years, we are excited at the prospect of being able to go to campus and connect with the vibrant Princeton community. Due to the present situation, though, several questions and concerns have been raised by the incoming cohort of international students.
“The man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes,” Adolf Hitler once said.
Picture this: you open your latest email from a Princeton account, and you see a fellow student has chosen to address your entire residential college. The topic, this time, is academic standards; the email says the University hasn't held up its end of the bargain, so we are no longer bound, as fundamentalists by scripture, to its outdated, Boomer ethics! The email inquires what is so bad about plagiarism in the end? Of course, such a message has not been distributed among us undergrads. But if we were to receive such an email, there would be a common understanding that its contents are incompatible with how we are taught to carry ourselves and even to think as students in good standing at an elite university. The same is not the case, however, for something as simple as affirming the equality and humanity of all in our class.
On Monday, July 6, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued unnerving new guidelines regarding international student visas: if the student takes an entirely online course load, the student must either “depart the country or transfer to another university that can offer in-person instruction.” This statement is detrimental to our community of international students, who play a big part in making Princeton a unique and diverse university.
In his recent opinion piece, in the wake of years of discourse on the legacy of Woodrow Wilson Class of 1879 — discourse that has suffered from the charge, incessantly levied by those in positions of power, that it must justify over and over again its very existence — Akhil Rajasekar ’21 paints a picture of what he, on behalf of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition (POCC), believes to be the state of free speech on campus. From his perspective, the picture is bleak. He assures us, however, that with the aid of POCC’s efforts we can achieve what he says we need: a “thoughtful conversation … on significant, deeply personal issues like race, identity, and culture.”
A statement from the Princeton Filipino Community and the broader Fil-Am student community calling for democratic civil liberties in the Philippines.
On July 6, the same day the University announced its plans for the upcoming academic year, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released updated policies that severely limit the possibilities for international students to remain in and return to the United States during the upcoming academic year. During the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, exceptions had been made to allow students to remain in the United States while still taking a fully online course load, something that would not be permitted under normal circumstances. However, these concessions have now been struck down and replaced with the following guideline: if your school is only going to offer online teaching, you are not allowed to remain in the United States.
In a recent opinion piece, Andlinger Center Director Lynn Loo defended the Center’s research partnership with ExxonMobil on the grounds that engagement with oil and gas companies is required for rapid decarbonization. This piece came within 24 hours of an announcement that Exxon had re-upped the multimillion dollar partnership for another 5 years.
In a recently circulated piece, a group of around twenty students warned the University against implementing anti-racist training and curricular reform. All of these claims are made under the purported grounds that it would limit free speech and academic freedom.
Firstly, I wish to thank the Black Justice League (BJL) for its primary role in the renaming of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Fail as he may to acknowledge the BJL by name in his June 27 letter to the University community, President Eisgruber cannot erase the collective memory of Black students’ impact on Princeton. As long as students, alumni and faculty continue to amplify the real history and material forces that brought us this far — namely, the BJL’s incredible direct action against the administration five years ago — whitewashing can never win.
I spent my first two summers of high school completing state-required gym classes so that I could fit more science classes into my schedule during the academic year. Every morning, I had to run a lap on the track with my classmates under the searing July sun.
Howard Greene was finishing his graduate work at Harvard in 1963 when he received a call from a dean. Sweeping social changes were underway in the ’60s, he was told. Princeton was looking for a couple of young guys to come in and change its culture.
This letter was submitted to administrators on Tuesday, June 23. The text appears verbatim below.