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This year, I had only one New Year’s resolution: to receive a rejection letter from a literary agent. This wasn’t because I didn’t want to succeed. It was because rejection isn’t the opposite of success, but a necessary step on the road to accomplishment.
The infamous Harvard lawsuit is over. Judge Burroughs decided in favor of Harvard on all four counts, upholding a race-conscious model of admissions that not only Harvard, but many prestigious private universities — including Princeton — openly support and implement.
The University is home to over 300 student organizations, with plenty of students also participating in off-campus opportunities they find enriching during the academic year. The desire to have extracurricular activities is a great one, and one that the University should continue to encourage. What needs to change are some of the excessive ways in which students try to promote their clubs, events, and businesses.
In an op-ed published earlier this week in the The Daily Princetonian, several accusations were made against the co-sponsoring organizations of the event “Fighting for Justice from Gaza to Ferguson: Black and Palestinian Solidarity.” Among them, the one that most caught my attention was the assumption that we and our members are lacking “moral-political compasses” and do not oppose “manifestations of hatred.” These are strong accusations, and, as an organizer for the event, I find that such a personal attack warrants a personal response.
On Oct. 23, two dozen Republicans staged a new form of resistance to House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States. While members of the House Intelligence Committee met in a private session to hear testimony with government officials and experts on Russia, Ukraine, and the Trump administration’s foreign policy, the group of House Republicans began their protest by chanting “Let us in! Let us in!” outside the doors before pushing Capitol Police away and charging the private chambers of the closed-door committee hearing.
In New Jersey and in the rest of the nation, the maternal mortality rate has been on the rise for the past two decades. Most of these pregnancy-related deaths are preventable — according to the CDC, 60% of maternal deaths could be avoided. Pregnancy has become especially dangerous for women of color, who are at least three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications.
At Princeton, we are inundated with messages that emphasize the necessity of civic engagement. For example, the Vote100 campaign urges Princetonians to vote in national elections, with a mission to achieve 100 percent voter turnout on campus.
Last spring, when the Alliance of Jewish Progressives (AJP) was approached by its allies in the Young Democratic Socialists (YDS) and Princeton Committee on Palestine (PCP) to cosponsor an event with Dr. Norman Finkelstein, it was put to a vote of membership. At the time, I was a co-Chair of the organization, and, like the vast majority of members, I voted in the affirmative. “Fighting for Justice from Gaza to Ferguson: Black and Palestinian Solidarity” was presented as an exciting opportunity for the university community to learn about the concept of solidarity and movement building. As a leader of AJP, I saw our decision to cosponsor the event as not an endorsement of any particular speaker or political message, but rather to deem the event as worthy of attendance and in keeping with our core values.
I am the seventh person in my family to attend Princeton. The surprise that comes across many faces when they hear this from a black woman cuts down my embarrassment a bit. But not nearly all of it. I have benefited from a system that perpetuates tokenism and the myth of American exceptionalism. That’s an embarrassing fact.
Printed on a pair of socks in Labyrinth Bookstore is “so many books, so little time.” It’s a cute, positive sentiment: when you love books, the pile to read seems endless and exciting. But when I passed it last week, the phrase hit home differently.
Midterms week is upon us. For many of us, this means papers and exams consuming much of our time during a week we would usually devote to preparing for our weekly classes — preparation that, unfortunately, must still happen.
Princeton may have the most beautiful architecture of any school campus. It may have an endowment larger than many countries’ GDPs — and more Olympic gold medals, too. But those facts didn’t shock me as much as what I witnessed when I first set foot on campus, as a prospective student at Preview. I filed into Richardson Auditorium for “This Side of Princeton,” a yearly show that features a capella groups, dance companies, stand-up comedy, and more.
The past few years have brought renewed focus on the intersection between sports and politics, from Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest to Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, calling out President Trump. But while many fans celebrate these players using their voices to stand up against injustice, often those in power, including leagues and the media, have sought to uphold a barrier between sport and politics. The NFL and U.S. Soccer banned kneeling during the anthem after Kaepernick’s and Rapinoe’s protests.
According to Norman Finklestein, I am one of the “Jewish students who allegedly were pained” by his remarks at the “Fighting for Justice: From Gaza to Ferguson” panel on Oct. 10. I am pained by the vile things he espoused, and I am pained that, instead of engaging critically on the Israeli-Palestinean conflict and intersectional solidarity, Finklestein was invited to do what he does best: express anti-Semitism.
I really don’t like math. It’s absolutely terrifying: as soon as an Excel spreadsheet opens, the tears appear. I’ve cried in front of professors about it, and it never becomes less mortifying. I’ve tried to deal with my math phobia over the years by going to tutoring, asking friends for help, going to therapy, and spending hours banging my head against a wall. But more often than not, at the end of the day, I’m still really scared of math.
Back in 2018, a fellow columnist of mine argued that the lecture system that dominates the Princeton educational experience was not working — and, more importantly, could not work. While the author suggested that there are ways to at least make them better, these improvements were, at best, remedial measures.
A recent bout of listserv emails from the Princeton undergraduate chapter of Letters to Strangers (L2S) left me unsettled. When my friends questioned why I was so jarred, it took me awhile to be able to pinpoint exactly why. L2S is a cute and often harmless group. Its main shtick is organizing biannual, anonymous letter exchanges as a form of friendly support, often during important testing periods. The letter I received from them around Dean’s Date last spring fit the general perceptions I had of the group: it was cute, wholesome, and appropriately endearing.
Your life is worth $7.4 million. Don’t agree? Ask the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets its current valuation of a statistical human life at that amount. It’s not only humans that get a dollar amount — anything from an urban street tree (around $170 according to one study) to the U.S.’s supply of pollinators ($1 billion of crops dependent on insect pollination) have been assessed and priced by summing up their conferred benefits on the world (e.g. energy savings from tree shading) and comparing these to the assumed costs of production (e.g. initial planting cost for a tree).
While the American press tends to focus more on domestic rather than global stories, the international community, particularly the United States, should be intently following the Brexit proceedings. What happens in Britain could shift global momentum from our current political moment. While we find ourselves at the zenith of far-right, autocratic populism, the impending doom of Great Britain’s “hard Brexit” could inspire a backlash against such vigorous antiestablishment populism. Just as Brexit brought the beginning of this global populist moment, its inability to deliver Great Britain the baseless promises of freedom, independence, and prosperity could demonstrate the empty rhetoric and inaction of similar populist movements around the world. Even more significant, if Britain’s economy and political situation for its population of more than 66 million worsens into recession and regional crisis, Brexit could actually spur a global reactionary movement.
When I was 16 years old, I painted a portrait of Isaac Newton and hung it in my room. Every night that I would have to study for math or physics, I looked up at it for inspiration. As one of the great minds of the Scientific Revolution, his image motivated me to strive in those subjects to finally become a physics major. The portrait still hangs in my dorm today, and while it got me through high school physics, it doesn’t quite have the same effect now that I’m in college.