University Trustee Bob Hugin ’76, who has made inflammatory remarks on the inclusion of women and LGBTQ+ individuals in the eating clubs, is now running for U.S. Senator from New Jersey. President Eisgruber has defended Hugin as a “terrific trustee for this University.” The Board calls on Hugin to prove he is the person Eisgruber believes him to be.
Student journalists — at The Daily Princetonian and elsewhere — are the future of the democratic free press. We commend the hundreds of editorial boards nationwide who have written articles last week combating attacks on American journalism. Quilted together on the front page of The New York Times, these editorials send a strong message: journalists will not back down.
Two years 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 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 Rachel Yee for USG President.
In the midst of a national conversation on sexual misconduct and the abuses of power by national figures like Harvey Weinstein and others, it should hardly surprise us to learn (or perhaps, remember) that academia is home to perpetrators of sexual misconduct as well. A university’s hierarchical organization enables those in authority to exploit vulnerable individuals in the hierarchy, often without consequence.
As sexual assault has become an issue of increasing concern on college campuses and in national politics, the Board has advocated proposals to help prevent assault at Princeton and encouraged students to take the We Speak survey. We must consider a related issue with equal concern: how the University can ensure a fair, impartial process as it adjudicates alleged sexual misconduct.
As the 2016-2017 academic year comes to an end, the University is already preparing to welcome the next incoming class in the fall. First-years will participate in a host of activities that comprises the University’s orientation program. This program is designed to ease the transition to campus life “by introducing first-year students to the values, expectations, and resources of the inclusive Princeton community.”
In recent weeks, there has been considerable debate in the opinion pages of The Daily Princetonian about the Honor Committee. Recent columns have touched on the very nature of the Honor Code itself, even opposing the current penalties for academic integrity violations during in-class exams. The Board supports the current standard penalty of a one-year suspension for Honor Code violations because this appropriately upholds community standards and provides opportunity for rehabilitation.
The Board supports increasing the size of the Honor Committee to reduce the burden on individual members and to better preserve institutional knowledge. However, the Board believes that requiring a closed session and supermajority vote of the USG Senate to confirm committee nominees will unduly restrict a transparent and fair confirmation process.
Given the celebration of Earth Day this past Saturday, the Board finds it appropriate to commend the University on its successful sustainability measures and to propose some campus-wide recommendations for future implementation.
We believe both the process of choosing a major and students’ experience within their departments can be further improved in the form of creating departmental summary sheets, hosting open-houses earlier, appointing student ambassadors, forming departmental listservs, and increasing uniformity in department courses.
The Honor Committee and the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline are two bodies on campus that are responsible for enforcing disciplinary actions following violations of student standards outlined in "Rights, Rules, Responsibilities."
One commendable effort organized by the University to gain a better understanding of the incidence of sexual assault and sexual misconduct is the annual We Speak Survey. As we have in past years, the Board encourages all students to participate in the survey, to which all students received a link via email.
We echo our editorial from April 21, 2016, in which we rejected private prison divestment, and contend that private prisons do not meet the threshold of community consensus and moral unacceptability required to justify divestment.