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My naïve freshman self was shocked by the avalanche of emails that took over my inbox during the first week of Fall semester. As I scrolled through my new collection, I became increasingly anxious that I was not busy enough. These electronic envelopes all seemed to hold the golden ticket to a fulfilling semester, with their google application forms and open houses. The sea of applications overwhelmed me — they were reminders of how I wasn’t taking the full advantage of what the University was offering me. The University showered me with amazing opportunities but did not offer the guidance I needed to navigate through the complex web of options I was faced with, often for the first time.
The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. is unshakable. As a student, it is difficult to imagine such a situation, such a shadow of grief hanging over a school, a campus.
It only took one less-than-ideal grade to find myself jumping from one fatalistic thought to the next. Within mere moments, I went from seeing a grade on a paper to convincing myself I would never get into grad school. The weather was gray and cloudy. I had a massive headache. Nothing was going right — and it didn’t seem like it was going much better for many of my peers, either. It’s not like everyone around me was getting A’s and enjoying the weather.
When course selection comes out right after the grind and frustration of midterms, it's tempting to seek out the classes whose course evaluations promise an “easy A.” Another semester of all-nighters in Sherrerd Hall sounds less appealing than two hours of lecture a week, one hour of reading, and an in-class midterm plus final. But, as we plan for our limited semesters here, we should keep in mind that it is this academic rigor — the constantly challenging material and ambitious curriculum — that drove us to Princeton in the first place.
Dear Mr. Fingerhut,
On April 12, 2011 — seven years ago today — a much-loved senior Spanish lecturer at the University killed himself. The University had suspended him without due process, and in seeming violation of its own procedures. In the time since, there has never been an independent investigation of what the University did. Whenever I think of my Princeton experience, the University’s actions around the death of a beloved community member is what I remember most of all.
If you told your friends that you were entertaining some controversial view — perhaps that you doubted the existence of man-made climate change, or that you weren’t exactly clear on why stationing guards at schools would make them less safe, or that you could see how lower taxes for the rich might stimulate economic growth — how would they reply? I imagine you would be met with shock, anger, disgust, and, most likely, dismissal. I believe that such reactions are ill-founded. Liberals should instead entertain and discuss the heterodox views their peers hold to maximize the chance that their ideas succeed.
The assault on architectural modernism on campus continues.
The unfortunate truth is, for most undergraduates, the majority of their time spent “learning” at Princeton is occupied by lectures. Last spring, I argued that professors should stop lecturing us; in other words, Princeton should get rid of lectures completely. Sadly, though unsurprisingly, the University has not ended lectures since the publication of my article. While I wait for the administration to follow my “moderate” and sensible reform for the sake of its students, I will offer a series of moderate and sensible reforms in an (ultimately vain) attempt to make lectures better.
On March 26, the Honor System Review Committee discussed its preliminary findings regarding the three suspended referenda — which were passed with overwhelming support by the student body — at a Council of the Princeton University Community meeting. The Committee took great issue with the first and third referenda, which would reduce the Honor Code’s standard penalty of a one-year suspension to academic probation and exonerate suspected students if their professor claimed they did not violate the Honor Code, respectively. The Committee “revised the wording” of the second referendum, which “originally required two pieces of evidence in order for a case to move forward.”
Donning a pastel pink polo and a fanny pack, Brian Imanuel — who goes by the stage name Rich Brian — became a viral YouTube sensation with his song “Dat $tick”. Much of his initial fame came from the spectacle. Imanuel is a baby-faced teenager from Jakarta, emulating trap music from Black communities in the United States. To many, Imanuel seemed to be a one-hit wonder; audiences were laughing as much at him as they were with him. The world did not take him all that seriously. But Imanuel has proven his naysayers wrong. Two years after “Dat $tick” was released, his debut album Amen took the number one spot on iTunes for hip hop albums.
I did not glimpse the program beforehand, so the Princeton Glee Club concert in March surprised me with its first piece. The music was distinctly non-Western. The singers did not chant or sing in Latin, but in Telugu, Tamil, and nonsensical syllables. The soulful turns of phrase haunted me. The piece unlocked my imagination, evoked in my head images of places I never have visited.
Political divisions are higher than ever in our country. A recent Pew Research Survey found that 44 percent of each party’s membership almost never agrees with their opposition —that’s close to half of both parties. Twenty years ago, the number was less than 20 percent. Congressional gridlock is extremely high: both parties are obsessed with political survival. We’ve already seen the government shut down once this year. If we can’t work together, we'll all lose.
The emotional power of the recent March for Our Lives movement is undeniable — the sheer numbers speak for themselves: at least 1.2 million people marched in one weekend. Although unprecedented in scale, it’s also hard not to see the march as a continuation of the horrific cycle that has occupied the U.S. social and political atmosphere for the last few years: a young boy, usually in a relatively well-off suburban neighborhood, terrorizes the local school, killing innocent young (mostly white) children and tearing apart the sense of safety and protection expected in schools. Then, emotional trauma, outrage, and calls to action ensue. And then nothing else substantive happens, and the cycle repeats.
On a recent sunny afternoon in Princeton, Black Lives Matter and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson spoke at length on perception and power dynamics and their effect on race. The energy he brought was infectious — and the brutal honesty he carried in every word was equally so.