To the Editor,
Support the ‘Prince’
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To the Editor,
It’s the week before classes end, each of your five classes has a deadline you must meet, and you effectively budget your time at the beginning of the week to allow for the completion of all five assignments. Of course, five courses with deadlines the same week clearly puts you at a disadvantage, as less time can be allocated for the completion of each assignment when compared to a student with fewer deadlines. Twelve hours before the deadline of your most time-consuming assignment, the professor announces a 24-hour extension, since many of his students complained that they needed extra time. You’ve already completed the assignment for this class (after all, you knew it would take the most time), but the deadlines for your remaining assignments remain unchanged — leaving you, the proactive student, disadvantaged yet again. How is this fair?
Princeton is a place of hustle and bustle. The University teems with a palpable, unstoppable energy that knows no bedtime. Dangerously, the cultural pace of Princeton allows one to easily look past the everyday, micro-level emotional experiences of the University’s student body. But if one did look past Princeton’s superficial “never-stop-grinding,” always-moving-forward intensity, one would find a campus that holistically struggles with loneliness.
As I take a stroll through the hallways of any residential college, I am faced with a buffet of condoms hanging from each RCA’s door. The options seem endless — glow-in-the-dark, chocolate strawberry flavored, fluorescent orange. Perhaps this is our adult version of a chocolate emporium, except the treat at the end is safe sex.
To the Editor,
To the Editor, I write to share clarification and historical context in response to the letter by former Honor Committee chairs that was published on Monday, Dec. 11. The authors declare that for violations of the honor system, “in 1893, Princeton students settled on a consequence — one-year suspension...” In fact, for the majority of the Honor System's existence, the standard penalty for Honor Code violations was expulsion. A one-year suspension was not a listed penalty in the Constitution of the Honor System until 1974.
Dec. 12 began the voting period for the four referenda on the Honor Code Constitution. The first referendum calls for a degradation of standard penalty for violations of the Honor Code on in-class examinations from a one-year suspension to disciplinary probation until graduation. We would like to provide some additional information and raise a number of questions that students should consider as they think about how they will vote on this referendum.
I recently decided to disaffiliate with Princeton Graduate Students United. The decision came after being told by representatives of the union that I was creating an “unsafe” organizing space. I was shocked by the accusation since, well, I don’t go to the union’s meetings, take part in their committees, or do much to regularly support their cause. In a short meeting, I was informed that an unnamed member of the union had accused me of an unnamed offense and that a determination was made by an unnamed committee to ban me from the union meetings — meetings I don’t actually attend. There was no opportunity to confront my accuser, state my side of the story, or resolve the matter. The situation signaled quite clearly that between the University administration and PGSU, the University administration remains the more preferable option for graduate students.
As Peer Representatives, our role during Honor Committee hearings is to advocate for students accused of violating the Honor Code.
Last Thursday evening, the prominent Francophone novelist Patrice Nganang was arrested as he was about to board a flight leaving Cameroon. Initially charged with “insulting” the president, Nganang has been a vocal and visible critic of the oppressive and brutal tactics that Paul Biya’s regime is using against Cameroonian citizens in the English-speaking western part of the country. Nganang had just finished an extended visit to the area and had written a piece highly critical of Biya for a French newspaper. Since being arrested, he has been held in a detention center in the capital, Yaoundé, awaiting a hearing.
The USG pitchforks are out, and this time there is a new target: Princeton’s 124-year-old honor system. Princeton students are being asked by a USG sub-committee to vote yes on four referenda, including a reduction in the severity of punishment for cheating on a Princeton exam to disciplinary probation, a change that would fundamentally alter Princeton’s honor system. This proposal is both bad policy and a result of a biased and highly imprudent process. As the longest-tenured member of the USG Academics Committee, I have seen how USG can positively influence University policy from calendar reform to departmental requirements. This referendum, however, represents the exact opposite: a hasty attempt by certain members of USG to change an important policy without consulting faculty and administrators or considering the consequences. This is the wrong way to pursue reform. I think most students can agree that changes are needed to our Honor System. But disciplinary probation is simply too lenient of a penalty for cheating during an in-class exam, and we need faculty and administrator support so that more options for reform, like a one-semester suspension as standard penalty, can be on the table. I urge students to vote no on the first referendum and instead support a more responsible process for reform already taking place this spring.
Note: The Honor Committee case described below is a true case. The student in question granted the author permission to share this story. That student’s name and identifying details have been changed or omitted to protect the privacy of the individual.
A year and a half after the last referendum on the Honor Committee failed to reach threshold limitations, it is time for a concrete change in policy. Each of the four referenda on the ballot this election cycle proposes an important change to the Constitution of the Honor System. While the language of these referenda could be more specific, the proposals represent an honest effort to reform a dangerously flawed honor system, and we urge students to vote for them.
This Board welcomes the opportunity to continue in the tradition of formally endorsing a candidate for President of Undergraduate Student Government. In the Winter 2017 election cycle, the three candidates for President are: Matt Miller ’19, Ryan Ozminkowski ’19, and Rachel Yee ’19. After careful consideration of each candidate's platform, the Board endorses Yee for President of USG.
This semester, a group of graduate students at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has been working to improve diversity and inclusion at WWS as part of a new organization, Students for Educational Equity and Diversity. This organizing culminated in a letter, signed by 71.7 percent of all WWS graduate students and 79.7 percent of Masters in Public Affairs students, that was sent to the WWS administration and offered several proposals toward SEED's goals. The letter was shared with the Wilson School's Dean, and SEED members are in open and productive communication with the administration regarding the letter's contents. Moreover, over the past two weeks, two op-eds have been published by members of SEED referencing these efforts. In the spirit of openness and accountability, the full text of the letter is available here, and an abridged version is reproduced below. Faculty, alumni and undergraduate allies are welcomed to express their support by signing this support letter.
“I totally got raped.”
Anybody smart enough to be admitted to Princeton should have realized what really ought to have been an obvious fact about cheating at the University: people don’t refrain from cheating because of their impeccable moral compasses. Rather, they do so because they’re scared of the consequences that will follow if they do cheat. People at Princeton are like people anywhere else — they’re selfish. When they think cheating will get them a better grade, they’ll do it barring grave consequences, because a better grade gets them their better consulting job, or better law school acceptance, or better fellowship opportunity. Reform number one, which proposes dismembering existing penalties for cheating and reduces them to mere disciplinary probation — a sad joke of a punishment — is, without any doubt, going to increase the prevalence of cheating at Princeton, devaluing your work and mine.
Editor's Note: As a clarification, the Honor Constitution, as adopted in 1895, determines a punishment of expulsion for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and recommends a punishment of suspension for first-years who violate the Honor System.
To the Editor,