Instead of addressing the inequities and burdens of online learning, the destabilizing effect of lost income or housing, or the trauma of a public health crisis, Betsy DeVos has devoted the Department of Education’s energy to making the Title IX process more difficult for survivors.
The pandemic should not be a farewell to traditional education in favor of innovative alternatives, but rather a temporary turn to the high-tech; from the pandemic, we can garner even more appreciation for the traditional educational methods that we will hopefully be returning to soon.
Though newspapers across the US, concerned activists, and even Princeton University itself decry the sexism in society in past and present against women, they nevertheless show evident favoritism in promoting men’s sports and in discreetly and subtly denouncing women’s athletics. This indifference only feeds the toxic anti-female environments that flourish around the world.
Imagine the kind of example that the University could set by using its vast resources to reinforce an ethic of care in higher education. Imagine the kind of leadership that would show amid this historic crisis. What a shame, then, that our leadership chooses to do little instead.
During these unprecedented times, many people want to help the world get through the pandemic. Recently, I realized that in addition to social distancing, I can do something else — volunteer for vaccine human challenge trials.
Although this might seem at first contradictory to the stay-at-home orders, for those of us with the privilege and comfort of safe environments, now is our time to get involved. We came to Princeton to become leaders in our fields and serve the world – a pandemic isn’t the time to forget that mission, but rather the time to get to work.
By providing broadband access to all — or at least mandating it — the greedy practices of large-scale internet corporations will be halted, and some amount of equity will finally be granted to those who live in the political and social periphery.
With Princeton’s transition to digital classes, we lost the physicality of the studio, and all the experiences that come with it. We are still expected to make models and drawings, which may compensate for what we have lost academically, but that doesn't account for the Murray-Dodge runs and the scavenging through leftover catering from a special conference or guest lecture.
I realized that my friend’s silence wasn’t about me. And, more importantly, that everyone “hurts,” i.e. responds to trauma, differently. My response to this situation was to reach out to friends. I didn’t realize that my friend’s coping mechanism was to stop reaching out altogether.
The disruption of life-plans — short-term, long-term, and everything in between — can be painful and harmful in its own way. We should not minimize the pain that students are going through right now. Such reductions in well-being ought to be recognized for what they are.
Many academic awards select winners using predetermined criteria. Committees evaluate students’ accomplishments on the same abstract scale. This approach seems egalitarian: everyone plays on the same field. In practice, though, it ignores substantial cultural divides between fields of study that affect class arrangements, study habits, relationships with professors, the amount of free time they have, and how they spend it.