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On Oct. 1, a federal judge ruled in favor of Harvard University, stating the Ivy League school did not discriminate against Asian-American students in its application process. While the case may be brought before the Supreme Court, for the time being, we can contemplate one of the most interesting behind-the-scenes investigations into the admissions process of an elite school.
Next weekend, Whig-Clio will host Amy Wax, a disgraced law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, to discuss campus free speech alongside two University professors. Wax, whose racist, pseudo-scientific views have rightly garnered her infamy, does not deserve a pedestal at Princeton. The Editorial Board urges the students and administrators who lead Whig-Clio to immediately disinvite her.
We live in a world now that expects so much of our generation at such a young age. Fifth graders are designing a hydrogen atom out of paper mâché on board their flights to build houses in underdeveloped countries. High schoolers are updating their CVs while winning gold medals in three varsity sports simultaneously. Stress starts as early as kindergarten because certain schools promise to position young kids on the “track to success.” Perhaps the child at the exclusive private school will be using vegan, all-natural crayons instead of store-bought ones when she learns how to color within the lines. Because as we all know, that is what kindergarteners do.
Tomorrow the University will unveil a new marker on campus about Woodrow Wilson called “Double Sights.” In the meantime, inside the school that bears Wilson’s name, students are waiting for the administration to fulfill its commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is not a time to celebrate; when viewed in the proper context, the marker emerges as a monument to the University’s moral failure in dealing with Wilson’s legacy and should be seen accordingly.
If we do not denounce both white supremacy and white supremacists with clarity and conviction, the University can never hope to uproot and dismantle the racism nestling in its crevices. Though the University touts an increasingly diverse student body, the administration persists in taking concrete steps backwards to ensure that some of its students will feel perpetually uncomfortable on campus. Besides feeling uncomfortable, there’s a sense that the University is actively undervaluing the campus experiences of marginalized students by silencing their input on institutional matters.
The other day, a close friend reintroduced me to Lana Del Rey’s devastating, beautiful single “Summertime Sadness” (2012), which narrates the summer-symbolizing suicide of two lesbian lovers. As many have noted, the notion of summertime sadness feels oxymoronic, given our culture’s association of winter with depression and summer with eroticized, sun-soaked ecstasy. But summertime melancholy is indeed an extraordinarily real experience for those prone to depression and loneliness. The times when it seems most people are having a ball — a perception informed by beachy Instagram pictures and other modern mechanisms of misleading self-presentation — are often the most excruciating for the isolated.
I was eight years old when my grandpa gave me my first journal one summer day in Nanjing. My grandpa’s the most prolific writer I’ve ever known, partly by necessity. Years ago, he underwent an operation because of a cancer that has effectively robbed him of his voice. I don’t know what his words sound like, and I never would have been able to communicate with him were it not for our shared knowledge of English. In his room stacked high with books of all sorts, I would sit on his bed and write to him while he sat on his stool eating a late lunch and watching history talks on TV. From the hospital, he had an unlimited collection of manuals with red binding, and we would write notes to each other for hours on their blank backs.
In the course of our education, employment, and lives in general, we are often encouraged to refrain from rocking the boat. If we become frustrated with the behavior of another, especially in the case of an institutional higher-up, we are told that we should pick our battles, that it is not worth the trouble of addressing the issue at hand.
Last month, Princeton secured the number-one spot among national universities on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranking, for the ninth year in a row. As I read more into what criteria the rankings take into account, however, I realized that our first place position should come as no surprise, for U.S. News weighs only those criteria at which Princeton most excels, such as student test scores and alumni donation rates. The ranking system seems to be written almost specifically for Princeton (perhaps because we’ve been around for 273 years).
So, here we are again. Or, for many of you, for the first time. Summer is officially over, Princeton is hurtling into its fourth week of classes, and tourists are flocking to Blair Arch as a part of the ritualistic tradition of creating an obstacle course for students rushing to class. As a member of Mathey, I learned early on in my first year to allot a five-minute grace period when leaving for my classes, just to avoid getting caught in a mob or — God forbid — getting asked to take a photo of a visiting family.
While much of Princeton’s charm comes from its beautiful historical architecture, at the heart of the University are interactions between the students on its campus and the incredible buildings that offer them housing and educational spaces. It is important to ensure that as these buildings age, they are renovated to provide adequate housing for the students who live in them.
As I walked a first-year friend up the numerous flights of stairs to her dorm room at the top of 1937, she made an offhand comment about a relatively mild inconvenience that stuck with me. The dorm room assignment gods had not looked kindly upon her floor, and somehow my friend had been stuck on a hall where there were “seven-plus girls using one bathroom that only had one stall, one shower, and two sinks.” The designated “men’s” bathroom on the hall, on the other hand, was shared by just two boys.
It was getting pretty annoying: a friend in a foreign country only ever texted me when she needed help with her English homework. She was important to me, so at first, I was happy to oblige. After the fifth or sixth time, I began getting annoyed. Then, when I visited the country, I invited her to grab dinner with me. She accepted — but later reneged and never followed up. It hurt, but it finally hit me: I was “useful” to her. I served a very specific purpose in her life, and that was to help her with English homework.
On Monday, Sept. 23, a day before the official commencement of the 74th U.N. General Assembly in New York, the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres publicly announced the formation of a Syrian constitutional committee to bring together the government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Negotiations Commission.
In 2017, I published an article in The Daily Princetonian asking where the female faculty at Princeton were — the answer was that they are obscured by the sea of white-male faculty. While many of those male professors are excellent educators and mentors, the lack of female professors on campus should be disturbing, especially in light of the fact that about half of University students are female.
On Monday, Provost Deborah Prentice announced that the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) has dispensed with its long-standing practice of allowing the public to ask questions during its quarterly meetings. Trivial though the decision may seem, its undemocratic precedent should not be ignored.
As I begin my sophomore year at the University, I’ve become more serious about my academic career — especially relating to major choice. Having developed a broad set of interests from the courses here, I am conflicted about what discipline I should choose — the area of study that will label and define my university education. And while I’m being a bit overdramatic about it, I am sure that this concern is not unique to myself.
The spring junior paper (JP) is the first experience many students have with independent work while at the University. While the JP may be intended to function as a precursor to the eventual senior thesis, the lack of course credit for this work diminishes much of the value which the JP could potentially offer. Increasing the length of the JP, while also ensuring it counts for one course credit, would enable students to take three courses in their junior spring, hence letting them produce higher quality work for the paper.
The prospect of independent life can certainly be daunting. That was, at least to some degree, true for me. After having been on the required underclassman meal plan, I decided to join an eating club for my junior year. When I arrived in September for my last year at Princeton, I was returning an independent. What I have found so far has been a campus with so much more to offer and a living experience that gives me much more control over my eating options.
The streets of Paris came alive this summer as the Women’s World Cup enthralled the nation. Studying abroad there, I felt an enormous pride wearing my stars and stripes on America’s game days, not just because the U.S. National Team was playing, but because this team was taking the field.