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In anticipation of the University celebration of women’s acceptance to Princeton, this issue shows exactly how women became Tigers — from their first matriculation, to co-ed eating club memberships, to influential student body leadership.
Since the first female undergraduates matriculated in 1969, the University has achieved near gender parity in the undergraduate student body, chartered campus organizations such as the Women*s Center, and begun to combat sexual violence on campus. The University welcomed its first female president, Shirley Tilghman, in 2001. Women have led the past four USG administrations. Nine out of 11 eating club presidents, an overwhelming majority, are women.
“God bless your dad.” “I feel sorry for your father.” “That must be hard for your dad.”
The feeling that nothing has been accomplished over the weekend haunts much of Princeton’s campus each Sunday night. There are endless declarations of “I didn’t do anything this weekend” or “I was so unproductive.” But if you ask almost any of the people making these declarations what they did that weekend, they will describe a weekend that is actually far from unproductive. Most people spend their down time attending talks, dance and theatre performances, or sports games. These events, though a distraction from schoolwork, add many important experiences to students’ time at Princeton, and allow students to form connections that cannot be found inside in a lecture hall. Perhaps it’s time for us to recognize that time spent building friendships and building community is just as productive as time spent working on schoolwork.
For a program that hosts some of the biggest global leaders of the field, the computer science department suffers from profound student dissatisfaction. Students are drawn in by the rewarding challenges of 126 and 226, both well taught and well organized. These introductory courses, both prerequisites for the COS major, are taken by a large portion of undergraduates inside and outside the department, with over 300 students enrolled in COS 126 most semesters. But as students move into upper-level classes, their academic lifestyle is too often defined by frustration.
I’ve been lucky to have an adviser who not only responds to my emails but also sets aside WASE appointments for his advisees and has made an effort to learn what I want out of my academic career. Most first-years cannot say that they feel they even know a faculty member, never mind have one that knows their name, hopes, wants, and dreams. Yes, Princeton prides itself on the focus on undergraduates, but I was not expecting that promise to be so fulfilled. I thought of anything I heard on a college tour as a campaign promise.
Genuine surprise is one of the rarest reactions to today’s current news cycle, but it was the only way to describe my response when I heard about the newly agreed-upon peace talks between North and South Korea late last month. As the first inter-Korean summit in 11 years, this groundbreaking meeting of the President Moon Jae-in and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un offered a glimpse of hope and an idealistic, albeit precarious, vision of international relations. Rather than tend toward force and violence as solutions to the world’s most glaring conflicts, we must move to embrace a new mode of thinking with regards to the world — one that upholds communication, discourse, and shared humanity between opposing sides in the quest for peace.
What do vehement vegetarians and chastity champions have in common? Surprisingly, many people I know on campus belong to one or both of the aforementioned categories. Life at Princeton sometimes feels bloated, buoyed by an eleven-figure endowment, rife with waste and unnecessary things, overwhelmed by opportunities to pursue success and wealth. Yet I think most people don’t want to live in a world where all there is to life is ambition, self-promotion, and gratification of desires. In various forms, I have seen people embrace practices of asceticism like vegetarianism and celibacy to testify to higher values and ideals.
As I walk through the tourist-heavy north side of campus, there’s always a decent chance that my ethnic identity will invite people to speak to me in languages that I am unable to understand. The interaction typically starts with an inquisitive remark in a foreign language and ends in an embarrassed shake of my head. Every once in a while I get a pitiful laugh in response and a look that implies, “It’s a shame that he can’t even converse with his own culture.”
The restaurant was modern chic. Not only was it was illuminated entirely by dim “mood lighting,” the water was also served in prim little mason jars, and the menu had not a single capital letter, only variations of the same aesthetically pleasing, gentle font. It was my first Asian fusion restaurant. As I scanned the menu, the only hallmarks of purported “Asianness” were buzzwords such as ‘bok choy,’ ‘soy,’ or sometimes just the adjective ‘Asian’ itself. The entire food cultures of various Asian countries were condensed to a few descriptor fragments that sounded vaguely exotic — but not too exotic.
When another admission cycle came to a close last month, I felt a familiar sense of unease with my place on campus, as it brought back memories from the first few months after I was admitted to Princeton. My father is a professor here, and my uncle was an undergraduate student, so my admission was almost guaranteed, so long as I maintained a good academic record in high school.
Princeton University’s inspiring informal motto, “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity,” challenges the University’s students, faculty, and administration to pursue a higher purpose in life and broaden their perspective from personal gratification to the well-being of all members of the human community.
Princeton University is world-renowned. Our endowment, at $23.8 billion in 2017, is bigger than the GDP of Iceland in 2016. Our students are increasingly diverse and hail from all 50 states and many different countries. Our alumni include presidents, astronauts, authors, and royalty.