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An article written by columnist Bhaskar Roberts ’19 on Sunday, April 16, claims that white artist Dana Schutz’s controversial rendering of Emmett Till’s dead body was born out of empathy for Till and, by extension, the pain suffered by the black community. Roberts was particularly scandalized by black artist Hanna Black’s response to Schutz’s work, noting that Black is constraining the ways that white people can fight oppression on behalf of black people.
During his book talk last Tuesday, “What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense,” Dr. Ryan Anderson ’04 said a lot of things that offended me. “Let me start, as any good conservative should start, by turning back the clock 50 years,” he said. I wanted to scream that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us. He went on to emphasize the importance of gender-differentiated parenting roles that only a man and woman joined in union can play. I wanted to describe in painstaking detail how my parents strove to mix and share roles, and how my childhood friends who were raised by two moms, two dads, or single parents are all well-adjusted. Remark after remark flew in the face of nearly everything I believed about family, sexuality, and gender. Part of a father’s job, according to Anderson, is to help his daughter navigate being a woman and protect her from some of the complications of sexuality. I was ready to retort that I don’t need him or anyone to protect me. But I kept quiet. I later conveyed my dismay to a conservative classmate. He conveyed his surprise that “lefty students” like me didn’t protest the event. He was relieved to see our “new appreciation for free speech.”
As I write this column, it is almost the tenth week of spring semester. Many seniors are PTL, children and students are frolicking in the Woody Woo fountain, and I am still struggling to find a summer internship. As the end of the school year approaches, I am growing more resigned to the fact that I may not find an internship at all — and that is just fine.
The economist Albert O. Hirschman once wrote that there are three sorts of arguments used to “debunk and overturn ‘progressive’ policies and movements of ideas.” This response will argue that the progressive action will produce the exact opposite of that objective; that the effort to change something won’t make a difference at all; or that the effort will put in danger good things that already are in place. In short, negative reactions to progressive change boil down to the perversity thesis, the futility thesis, and the jeopardy thesis.
After the “shock” of Donald J. Trump’s electoral victory settled down, I remember hearing any number of choice quotes about college students’ responsibilities for Trump’s election.
This past year, the Princeton Club of New York remodeled its main dining room. The changes were unveiled in March. What was once the Woodrow Wilson Dining Room has now been rechristened as the “Nassau 1756” Dining Room. The reason? According to a recent Daily Caller article, Princeton alumni now consider Woodrow Wilson to be a negative reflection on the University’s legacy as a notable “white supremacist.” Following 2015 student protests over the display of Wilson’s name on University buildings — that involved an occupation of President Christopher Eisgruber ‘83’s office, among other events — it appears as though the Princeton community is still basking in a paradoxical state of indulgent self-hatred mixed with a smug, politically correct, self-satisfaction.
Debate flared when Princeton received a visit from Ryan Anderson ’04, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, on April 12. I attended his talk entitled “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It,” which triggered exactly the response from the campus community that you’d expect: accusations of bigotry and hotheaded listserv battles. Though I’m a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, I didn’t approve of these complaints about Anderson’s presence on campus. Speakers like Anderson are those that I’m always the most excited to listen to, because there’s no better way to craft your own argument than to understand the opposition’s claims. Know thy enemy, after all.
Whatever my brother Ben did, I ended up doing too. He joined the T-ball team, so I joined the softball team. He formed a Model United Nations Club, so I became its second president. He attended Princeton University, so I applied too. I had hobbies that I considered to be my own — reading, running, music. But I still felt like I was my brother’s shadow, following him through life and mirroring his every move.
I’ll admit that I take part in my fair share of “man bashing.” Any evening with my girlfriends used to involve talking about how much we “hate men,” how terrible our dating experiences have been, and how foolish our exes were. But we also spend hours getting over ex-boyfriends and complaining about being single, often to the detriment of our other pursuits. Our obsession with dating took valuable time out of our lives that we could have spent on self-improvement and learning, while we created an atmosphere of negativity and hopelessness instead.
This year, the Whitney Biennial exhibition displayed a painting of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black boy whose murder helped launch the Civil Rights Movement. The painting depicts Till’s open casket and evokes the horror of his murder. But in an open letter to the exhibition, Hanna Black, a black artist and writer, criticized the painting for being racially insensitive. Her problem: the painter, Dana Schutz, is white.
The notion of non-partisan neutrality can be particularly slippery on the University’s campus. As past and recent public debates have shown, it’s a familiar trick to disguise political agendas under the guise of neutrality.
The University’s housing system is a strange and convoluted beast. Our system is unlike that of Yale, where the residential college system is for four years, or Brown, where there are no residential colleges and many students live off campus. The system is needlessly complicated and, for the students who risk a poor draw time each year, it could be much fairer.
The defining feature of the University’s Honor Code and Honor Committee is its legacy of student ownership. The Committee is entirely student-run, differentiating it from other disciplinary bodies at Princeton and other universities. The Committee’s responsibilities are twofold: we act as both investigators and adjudicators for alleged Honor Code violations. Every step of the process, from report to investigation to hearing, is entirely student-directed.
The decision to suspend or expel a student should not be made by other students. It is too grave and consequential a decision to entrust it to undergraduates who are just getting their feet wet in the legal process.
We appreciated the feedback from the recent opinion piece on the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office. This input is very helpful and Jared Shulkin ’20 made some great points. With changing technology and customer needs, it is important for our services to evolve. The good news is that we continue to develop our support and explore ways that we can improve service. However, we need to do a better job of communicating the capabilities of the current services while we enhance systems and processes.
Daniel Krane, in his April 10 op-ed, draws attention to the alleged plagiarism in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s 2006 book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” We do not intend to offer an opinion about whether the issue of plagiarism ought to have been a factor in determining Justice Gorsuch’s suitability for the Supreme Court of the United States, but in case the public discussion of his writing has caused any confusion, we write to clarify for Princeton students the University’s expectations about the proper citation of sources in work submitted to fulfill academic requirements.
Princeton’s new gender-inclusive housing policy is beneficial to all Princeton students, not just to those who “expressly need” it. Two weeks ago, the Editorial Board of The Daily Princetonian recommended that Princeton Housing Services “exercise caution” when implementing the policy for the upcoming school year. The Board presumes that this policy confers special treatment on people who identify outside the gender binary or otherwise request mixed-gender rooms. It believes Housing Services must take extra care to account for the “well-being of all students,” given that the rules for room draw already “enhance living choice for some while restricting it for others.”
Three weeks ago, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped in her Maryland high school by two older students. I read a lot about it in my news feed because I happen to have graduated from the rival high school, located about 10 minutes down the road.
The truest things are said in jest.
If you have ever walked into Frist Campus Center to find a long line running around several corners, it’s probably a line for the ticket office. The office provides tickets for various campus events and performances, but it does not do so without flaws. The ticket office wastes an unacceptable amount of students’ time. Last semester, I arrived at Frist two hours before ticket sales went live for a Mathey College Broadway trip, and I wasn’t even among the first people in line. The inconvenience and unnecessary time consumption of buying tickets could easily be avoided through online ticket sales.