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Harsimran Makkad

A tale of two cultures

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. 

OPINION | 04/16/2020

The University’s announcement affects the Princeton eligibility of seniors such as men’s lacrosse captain Michael Sowers. 
Shelley M. Swazst /

COVID-19 and student athletes: An open letter to President Eisgruber

We hesitated to write you because we feel you've done an outstanding job leading the University, and with the gravity of the pandemic backdrop, because you obviously are facing many unforeseen and serious challenges every day. However, we feel compelled to reach out to you on this issue because we feel strongly that Princeton has made the wrong decision on not permitting its students to withdraw and come back next spring. 

OPINION | 04/14/2020

Harsimran Makkad

Princeton’s award paradox

Teaching styles, grading disparities, high school backgrounds, and departmental politics all play roles in who’s crowned Old Nassau’s top students. I will explore each of these factors in depth for subsequent columns. But first, I’ll give a brief overview of who at Princeton is winning the nine prestigious academic awards to show why their results are so baffling.

OPINION | 04/13/2020

Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Extend the P/D/F deadline

Like it or not, grades are a way by which society evaluates us, but Princeton can alleviate the burden in this unusual semester by giving us the full ability, through an extended PDF deadline, to choose which grades we reveal while navigating the challenges of online learning.

OPINION | 04/12/2020

Photo by krzysztof-m //

How to interpret the big numbers in the news

In an effort to comprehend the exponential growth and the resulting large numbers associated with coronavirus, I have furnished some heuristic analogies that I hope will help  display the full expanse of the disease more concretely. If we take the time to comprehend the intuition-defying numbers of confirmed and new cases of the coronavirus, these numbers, while terribly disheartening, should become more manageable.

OPINION | 04/07/2020

McCosh Hall houses the Department of English at the University.

When life gives you COVID-19, start learning for learning’s sake

With examinations, the pressures of job applications or graduate schools, and our own internal wills to maintain high GPAs looming over each semester, we often forget that learning can be fun. The coronavirus, while wreaking havoc in almost all aspects of our lives, can — if we make the most of the opportunity it has provided us — bring back the joys associated with being curious. 

OPINION | 03/26/2020