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As I celebrate the victory of Joe Biden, I am overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that so many Americans were mobilized to vote for decency in this election. Joe Biden has surpassed Obama’s record for the most votes ever received, winning more than 74 million votes in total. Biden’s presidency marks an extraordinarily necessary mending of democracy; his overwhelming voter turnout this year reminds me that so many Americans have recognized the gravity of Trump’s dictatorial tendencies. However, it was not just Biden who achieved a record number of votes — Trump, too, surpassed Obama’s 69.5 million votes in 2008 with a whopping 70 million.
I read “What TV gets right about sex” by Andi Grene ’24 out of curiosity. I’m not a big TV person, but the cover photo was taken from “Euphoria,” a show I vaguely plan to watch eventually. While I was amused by Grene’s anecdotes of her grandmother’s horror at how “pornographic” TV has become and her personal experiences watching “Big Mouth,” I disagreed with her equating casual sex with female liberation. Any attempt to describe what everyone’s sex life should look like, regardless of whether the intention is to empower or oppress, will inevitably fall short. Any such prescription strips away agency. I will be focusing on the experiences of women in particular, but it is important to recognize that the following questions of sexual agency and choice are ones everyone grapples with.
A few weeks ago, I hustled to one of my lectures — as much as one can to a Zoom call — where we discussed ancient Chinese philosophical texts. In one of the works, there was a story about a carpenter passing by a massive, ancient tree and remarking, “It has no use; that is why it has been able to live so long.”
One Saturday in my sophomore year, I ventured all the way from my room in Whitman College to the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding (CAF) to go study with some friends. I was inconvenienced, to say the least. Walking the more than half-mile in the famously-brisk New Jersey November weather was suboptimal. But I went all the way to CAF to study because I wanted to do something that I hadn’t done since I got on campus: study in their African American study space. Once I got there, snacks and water with me as I arrived, I had an underwhelming feeling of the space.
As a young person, there is no better time to stand up against oppression than today. Here at Princeton, we demanded that racist legacy be condemned, and demonstrated that we will never settle for mediocre resolutions. We were successful in renaming Wilson College and positively redefining our narrative. First College —to be renamed for Mellody Hobson ’91 — is our legacy, and history will remember.
At a virtual town hall last month, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 stood by the University’s hardline free-speech policy, which came under fire this summer, after his administration declined to respond to instances of racist speech, citing free speech protections. If the events of this summer made clear that Princeton has failed in its efforts to combat racism and prejudice on campus, Eisgruber’s remarks only underscored this reality.
After days of waiting, the American people have elected Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris as our next Vice President. The palpable anxiety and tension from an admittedly, but justifiably, lengthy process of counting votes has been alleviated. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be tasked with governing an economically crippled nation still in the throes of a pandemic and one that is bitterly divided politically. They will need to make their victory a victory for all Americans by uniting the country and facilitating a cooperative, principled, inclusive, and free political culture — a culture that young people like us now have the numbers and willpower to build. The days and weeks ahead will give us opportunities to shape and strengthen our democracy but only if we make crucial decisions. This path is not a given; it must be chosen.
In 2016, American Sign Language was the third most studied language in American postsecondary schools. That same year, The Daily Princetonian’s Editorial Board released this piece urging Princeton to allow ASL to satisfy the University’s language requirement. Four years later, Princeton has not budged. ASL still does not satisfy the University’s foreign language requirement.
A 14-hour time difference from Korea to Princeton is difficult, as anyone I’ve complained to about my sleep schedule can attest. Yet being an international student in the age of COVID-19 means much more than a time difference. Rather, what’s most frustrating is feeling different and oftentimes less important than our United States-based peers. The University must ensure better, equitable treatment of our international student body.
Amid one of the most historic and consequential elections in our nation’s history, it’s not difficult to justify intense political reporting. Politics regularly dominates media airwaves, for partisanship and polarization drive the most clicks, and sensationalism has taken a greater spotlight than in the recent past.
It has been eight months since we were all forced into the safety of our homes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of things have changed since then. On the micro scale, Princeton first-years like me were welcomed into the virtual campus community and have started our journeys, we have met new people along the way, and the leaves have started falling as we welcome fall. On the macro scale, our country is going through an election, a newly appointed Supreme Court justice, and a large-scale reckoning on racial inequality. With all these things that are happening, we must still deal with the one constant affecting our lives: the pandemic is not over yet.
Since Sept. 27, the civil population of Artsakh, also referred to as Nagorno-Karabakh, has been under malicious attack from Azerbaijan. Bolstered by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s military assistance that includes 4,000 hired mercenaries from Syria on the ground, a F-16 warplane, and 150 senior military officials in their command centers, Azerbaijan has started a full-on military offensive throughout its line of contact with Artsakh and Armenia.
Environmental activists on Princeton’s campus have been ratcheting up their campaign to convince the University’s board of directors to divest the endowment of fossil fuel investments. This counterproductive effort prioritizes a political fad over economic and energy realities, and Princeton’s leadership has been wise to withstand this pressure.
With the presidential election tomorrow, calls to get out the vote are circulating with an increasing sense of urgency and commitment. The fate of our democracy itself, we are told, is at stake in a way it has not been before, and only through encouraging those around us to act out their civic responsibility at the ballot box can we hope to protect and extend this democracy.
In a recent CNN column, Thomas Koenig ’20 expressed concern for the then-upcoming confirmation hearings of President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. He wrote about his dread for the partisan spectacle that would ensue.
When former Vice President Joe Biden began his campaign for President, not a single one of my liberal friends wanted him to win the Democratic primary. It was candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who received floods of Instagram posts and retweets expressing a revived sense of optimism and a novel attitude of political engagement among young voters. After Biden received the nomination, I, as well as my classmates, were struck with an aggressive wave of disappointment; disappointment at his age, disappointment at his submergence in establishment politics, and disappointment in the absolute lack of surprise at his nomination. However, as the radically unexpected events of 2020 have unfolded, Biden’s embodiment of vanilla politics might be just what Americans need.
Illness can be unexpected, to say the least. It spikes our temperature — compelling us to face newfound pain and unaccustomed fragility. The bodies we travel in are suddenly forced to stop in their tracks, making us question if we were going too fast, too hastily, or if we were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In September, I attended a webinar hosted by the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) featuring Valeria Luiselli, the author of the novel “Lost Children Archive.” A few minutes after 5 p.m., a moderator from PLAS introduced the writer before removing herself from the main Zoom room.
In the United States, only 36 percent of licensed architects, 13 percent of engineers, 27 percent of tenured professors, and 37 percent of lawyers are female. Women are outnumbered by their male counterparts in all four of these professions, putting us in a minority — as is the case with many other professions.
Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Extend this further, and you can also measure the justice of a society by how it treats those who have been previously incarcerated. America fails both measures on many fronts, but one realm which lays bare the unconscionable injustice of our legal system is voting rights.