Even if we believe that the bill does not affect us personally (which it could), we cannot allow these perpetrations to continue. Already, we allow citizens to be monitored under the Patriot Act. Already we allow torture to take place in secret prisons. Already, we have allowed military law to carry on outside of due process, and now we are allowing it to extend to our own fellow citizens.
All of a sudden, I saw one girl walk onto the stage; she then jerked her neck to the side to simulate lynching. Then, “Strange Fruit” began to play. For those of you who don’t know what “Strange Fruit” is, this song was originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol to vent the horror of seeing a photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, two black men, in an almost carnival-like background. I couldn’t believe my ears — or my eyes.
There seems to be a campus ban on appearing unworldly, uncultured or unintelligent, an unspoken agreement to position Princeton not as a place for learning but as a place for the learned. What is it about being among the often remarked “best and brightest” that makes us wary of ever admitting that in some areas we are the “worst and dullest”?
Verbal vagueness is a time-honored college tradition. It is the overworked student’s trusty standby in those seminar sessions when everyone except the teacher knows that no one did the reading. However, there’s such a thing as excessive equivocation, and too many students at Princeton are toeing the line.
As Movember illustrates, a man has much more freedom to present himself in a way that makes him physically unattractive without confronting any of the social risks that a girl who chooses not to wear makeup faces, but he also cannot talk openly about prostate cancer without making people uncomfortable.
If the University and downtown shopping venues were to work together to allow prox purchasing, they would create a mutually beneficial relationship, whereby students would have easier, more appealing access to outside food, stores would have more customers and Princeton University would create a positive, working relationship with its neighbors.
So in order to round out my patented three step approach to American assimilation, I set out to experience the quintessential American holiday. However, the slight obstacle of 9,558 miles separating New Jersey and Singapore prevented me from doing the requisite amount of feasting with family this Thanksgiving.
The United States is a country with a prosperous past, but also one straddled with an uncommonly uncertain future. Standing in the long customs line at Newark Liberty International Airport when I arrived in September, with Manhattan’s skyline dominating the glass window behind me, I had no idea what to expect from this country. Now, almost three months in, I am still struggling to piece together the parts of this jumbled American jigsaw.
Metzger dismissing the Nass is characteristic of the general Princeton attitude to the arts in general. In this particular case, the Nass takes the hit because it is the most prominent artistic voice on campus, but what’s really being questioned here is the role of the arts, specifically literary, in the Princeton community.
Students and Public Safety officials ought to be on the same page — the general welfare and comfort of the Princeton community is everyone’s objective. Unfortunately, this ethos has not been created and Public Safety’s mode of operation has sometimes turned hostile and even adversarial.
What we don’t understand is that being happy isn’t like being a good student; emotions aren’t graded. If they were, the only way to get an A would be admitting to others and, more importantly, to ourselves when all we want to do is cry.
Using our talents, passions and personal interests to create social change is a primary legacy left by Kopp. We should all be incredibly proud of Teach for America, but we should also be proud of students such as Satok and Friedman and perhaps take inspiration and motivation from them to be creative and be our own vehicles for global change.