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The Daily Princetonian

Thursday october 12, 2017

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STREET writers reflect on the origins of various groups, courses, and places at Princeton.

Dohm Alley Art Exhibit JACK ALLEN Contributor ‘21

For its proximity to an institution with such busy students, it is no surprise that the Princeton Starbucks is full almost any time of day or night. Indeed, it is often a battle to secure a table for that last bit of reading or those pesky problem sets. And having been slow to

add milk to my tea, I lost out on the last available spot in the house. So, tea and Chinese textbook in hand, I carried myself out of the door and set off, dejected, down Nassau Street in search of another spot to finish off my studying for the day. I did a double take, though, as I passed by a moon gate I had never noticed before. Its lush green grass and white flowers stood out from the drab white buildings between which it lay. Stepping through, I

felt as if I had jumped straight down the rabbit hole. To the left stood a tribute to the cities of the Industrial Revolution, with lumps of charcoal flanking sooty chimneys and foggy landscapes reminiscent of a Lowry masterpiece. The right-hand wall, on the other hand, evoked the rolling hills of rural northern England, interspersed with sculptures of Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, among others. Dohm Alley styles itself as a “dynamic sensorium,” and this is clear from the moment one steps into the space; one’s ears are taken away from the traffic and noise of Nassau and lent over to birdsong, calming music, and the smooth flow of water from the fountain. In construction since November of last year, the recently opened space is currently dedicated to the era of English Romanticism, though its creators have ambitious plans for further exhibitions on everything from theatre to food literacy. This first exhibition is a promising start. The fight between rural life and urbanization in the 19th century is well captured by the space, and each of the six selected poets is poignantly represented by the eclectic mixtures of tributes to them. Byron, for his flamboyance and love of all things Italian, is cast in the Greco-Roman style by

Joshua Kof fman, while George Nista gives a nod to radicalism in his depiction of

Shelley. I enjoyed the short time I could

afford in Dohm Alley to relax in the company of the birds, poetry, and nature, though work was calling. From the grassy haven at the bottom of the alley, I passed through the depictions of the industry and toil of yesteryear, desperate like Wordsworth to escape my toil and be back in the company of nature sometime soon.


The Daily Princetonian

Thursday october 12, 2017

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Those Itty Bitty Little Things SANJANA DUGGIRALA Contributor ‘21

Like a fish out of water. That’s how I felt when I came to Princeton. Out of place. I know most people usually feel this way as freshmen, but coming from a super tiny high school (with a class size of 27) where I knew everyone, I started off the year questioning whether or not I would ever feel comfortable here, or belong here. I came in with only one upperclassmen friend, and never before had I walked into a dining hall and not known anyone. All of a sudden, I started scheduling who I would catch meals with in advance. One month later, there haven’t been major changes. I still plan out all my meals and use Google Maps religiously (that awkward moment when the voice comes on and everyone knows you’re a freshman). I have, however, begun to appreciate some little things, signs that make me feel like I might belong at Princeton. I finally understand a handful of the million different acronyms that are used for everything. I can now greet a handful of people on the way to class or when I walk into a dining hall. Some of us at Forbes have also developed a minitradition of gathering in the dining hall in the wee hours of the morning to finish long-procrastinated work (which can end up with rooftop excursions instead of finished problem sets) and think of creative substitutes for milk to eat cereal with (there is always a milk shortage and the top contenders for milk substitutes are coffee and egg whites.) I’ve also learned that people who say, “Let’s hang out sometime” really don’t mean it. When I really want to spend time with people, I make a Google calendar event right there and then, so we are both held accountable. I relate with people running with me to Frist at 10:03 p.m., hoping for late meal, at a fundamental level. I love walking home from the Street on Saturday nights, having befriended people who I never thought I’d talk to. Even my tiny shower, which I never thought I would adjust to, is what I most look forward to at the end of each day. I know that it’s only been a month and that it’s unrealistic to have wanted to feel at home from the second I stepped foot on campus, but the feelings of comfort are slowly creeping in as I become settled because of all these itty bitty little things.

Student enjoy Sunday brunch at Forbes.

THE SEXPERT Dear Sexpert, From what I hear, things are beginning to get hot and heavy between my roommate and his partner. I wouldn’t be surprised if my room was their final destination after a night out this weekend. I’ve never had a roommate before, so what should I do if my roommate wants to have sex in our room? Where should I go? --Dorm-less for the night Dear Dorm-less for the night, Living with a roommate, especially if you’ve had your own room leading up to college, can be quite an adjustment. Giv-

ing forethought to unfamiliar situations within a shared living space is an important step in creating a comfortable environment for both you and your roommate. Whether it is around sleep schedules, visitors, or cleanliness of the room, negotiating and compromising on preferences early on may lead to a more successful roommate experience. The same goes planning for “private time,” either by oneself or with a significant other/partner. Banishing a roommate from a dorm for the purpose of engaging in intimate activity (more commonly known as “sexiling”)


‘SEXILED’ BY YOUR ROOMMATE is not an uncommon practice on college campuses. In fact, studies show that 82 percent of college students have dealt with this issue. Because there is not a prescribed set of actions on how to handle being sexiled, or sexiling your roommate, it is important that you and your roommate set expectations that work for you both. This way, you will have a game plan whether your roommate is planning ahead for some alone time or sends the late night text asking for the room for the night. Research has shown that roommate interactions may affect you more than you think — your roommate can impact your academic achievement, health, and social attitudes for better or worse. In a 2016 study, while only 3.6 percent of students reported that alcohol use impacted their academic performance, 5 percent of students found that roommate difficulties impacted their academic performance. (could copy have this link to fact-check?) Even behaviors that seem to be indirectly related to your living situation can impact your roommate. Therefore, it helps to consider how your behaviors, such as “sexiling,” inf luence the health and wellness of your roommate by keeping an open line of communication. As previously noted, there is not one hard-and-fast answer to the question of what you should do if your roommate wants to have sex in your shared space or where you should go. All of this depends on arrangements that you and your roommate

agree upon. However, there are two common options when confronted with the issue of sexiling: some roommates choose to agree on arrangements before being confronted with privacy issues, while others choose a more spontaneous “sock-on-thedoor” approach or use some other signal. However, studies have shown that these strategies are not equally effective — while students perceive spontaneous strategies as selfish and uncomfortable, previous arrangements result in direct and unaggressive requests for privacy. To approach a conversation regarding such advanced arrangements, try using the roommate contract provided by your residential college adviser (RCA) as a template. When conversing, it is important to keep certain principles in mind: 1) Privacy is universally essential: everyone needs time away from their roommate and private space to allow for self-ref lection and coping with social pressures; 2) Compromise: each roommate should be making equal concessions. It is reasonable to expect that, if you sleep on an air mattress in your friend’s dorm this Saturday, the next time you request privacy to be with your partner, your roommate will respectfully crash on the futon next door. University Residential Life Policies state that “roommates are expected to be sensitive to each other’s need for privacy and reasonable about the need for occasional guests in their room.” If it gets to the point where you

feel as though this policy is not being upheld because favors to your roommate are not being returned or your privacy is not being respected, you may want to talk to your RCA. RCA responsibilities are vast and include managing health and adjustment issues, problems between roommates, and the demands of academic work and extracurricular activities. Even if there are no problems between you and your roommate and you simply want to practice talking about behavioral expectations, your RCA would be happy to help. This is a great time to practice skills in negotiating what you want within your shared space! Due to the inf luence of roommate interactions on your college experience, transparent and frequent communication regarding expectations is essential. If you continue to anticipate unfamiliar situations, as you did when asking this question, and talk through those hypothetical situations with your roommate, you are on your way to an optimal living situation. ~The Sexpert Information retrieved from College Choice, American College Health Association, and Association of College and University Housing Officers For more advice from The Sexpert, visit To submit a question, email The Sexpert at sexpert@

The Daily Princetonian

Thursday october 12, 2017

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Origins of Petey Greene: A Program that Creates New Beginnings AISHWARYA KALYANARAMAN Contributor ‘21

Since its origin in 2007, the Petey Greene Program has allowed Princeton students to tutor in a rather unique set-

carcerated people.” Today, the program consists of hundreds of volunteers from 32 universities, but it all began here at Princeton. Executive director Jim Farrin recalled the day in 2007 when he got a call from an

Petey Greene volunteers work with prison inmates.

ting — prison. The organization’s mission is rooted in criminal justice reform and focuses on “preparing volunteers, primarily college students, to provide free, quality tutoring and related programming to support the academic achievement of in-

he was unfortunately too busy with his ow n business to be involved. 24 hours after this conversation, though, Farrin’s wife was attending the f irst reunion of the Princeton Theological Seminary where she happened


old classmate, Charlie Puttkammer. “He said he wanted to start a program with Princeton students entering prisons to help incarcerated individuals.” However, while Farrin, who was a businessman at the time, thought it was a great idea, he told Puttkammer that

to meet the chaplain supervisor at Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility, the very place Puttkammer told Farrin he wanted to send Princeton students to volunteer. Seeing this as a “sign from above,” Farrin reassessed his initial response and headed to Wagner to

pursue the opportunity. After going to the prison, Farrin decided to take the job, but one small detail still remained — what would the program be called? “Jim, we’re gonna call it Petey Greene,” said Puttkammer, to which Farrin responded, “Charlie, I’m a marketing guy and if you call the program by a name like that, I’ll spend half my life explaining to people who Petey Greene is.” Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene, Jr. was a formerly incarcerated individual who eventually became one of Washington D.C.’s most famous talk show hosts and media personalities. Puttkammer was a close friend of Greene and wanted to start the program in his honor. Farrin finally conceded after Puttkammer promised this would be “the only direct order I’ll ever give you” if he agreed. Eventually, Farrin found his way to the head of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. However, when he proposed bringing the Petey Green Program to campus, he was initially met with hesitation and told that Princeton students might be too busy to express interest in this ty pe of program. He walked away with just a couple of inserts in the newspaper. But, even with only a few inserts, Farrin received ten responses in only one week. After the first meeting in Frist 302, twenty-five students completed background checks so that they could start volunteering. The program took off and found incredible success, Farrin noting, “We surveyed our volunteers after the first semester and very surprisingly, they gave it a 4.75 out of 5.” “The most common reactions were ‘I didn’t know this population existed,’ ‘This was my first time to help people’ and ‘I want to go for all my time here.’” Een Jabriel, a New Jersey Division Manager who was formerly incarcerated himself, noted the impact tutors have on their students: “You never know what kind of conversation you could have that could just spark something.” Jabriel believes participation in programs like Petey Greene should be mandated for all college students so that they can gain a better understanding of

the shortfalls of the criminal justice system. “I noticed that it broadens a lot of peoples’ perspectives, because we’re mostly limited to whatever the media shows us. And for the guys inside, I think the biggest thing they should be able to get out of it is realizing that there are people on the outside that don’t look at you the way the media wants them to. Then you don’t limit the way you behave. You don’t limit your possibilities.” Today, due to both strong pushes by the program and intense volunteer enthusiasm, Petey Greene operates in 34 facilities and includes 425 volunteers from 32 universities across 7 states along the East Coast. According to Program Director Jessica Weis, the process for expansion is initiated in two ways: either the program contacts a university if it seems like a good fit, or an eager student reaches out to Petey Greene, wanting to create a community on campus dedicated to criminal justice reform. The same procedure is followed for bringing new correctional facilities to Petey Greene. However, Weis noted that recently, there has been an increased number of prisons seeking out the program themselves, as opposed to Petey Greene contacting them first. “When a prison comes to us, they want our services,” said Weis, when discussing how the organization’s impact is in increasing demand. Looking to the future, Weis noted the importance of seeing results produced by the program: “We’re really trying to understand our outcomes and how our students are progressing as a result of our tutoring.” Farrin also expressed his desire to make Petey Greene a nationwide organization. Regardless of where Petey Greene goes, Princeton students have the privilege of saying that it all started right here. Farrin concluded by saying, “If you were to walk into my office on 9 Mercer Street, you would see a wall filled with testimonials from volunteers from Princeton and other schools, who are thanking us for the opportunity. It’s the best job I’ve ever had because we’re helping people.”

Activism: Now more than ever

LUCY CHANG Contributor ‘21

“I didn’t want to get into anything, I didn’t want to start any trouble. For a while I was content to be quiet, get my degree, and get out.” — William Pugh, ’20 That’s the thing about activism, though. None of us think we’re going to adopt that role, let it sink into our skin and out of our lips, until a moment hits us. The moment hits us. For William Pugh, current sophomore

and now-president of Woke Wednesdays, a weekly podcast about race, that moment hit him when he was a junior in high school. When a typical watermelon became more than just a summer treat, when it became a symbol of ignorance and insensitivity. When words became more than just words. They were both reasons for his catapult into the identity of an activist. “I grew up in the South, went to high school in Charleston, South Carolina. Out of about 650 students, only 12 of us were black. The fall of my

The Woke Wednesdays staff record a podcast.


junior year, the football team decided they wanted to take a watermelon after beating predominantly black teams and draw a disgusting racial caricature on it with a sharpie, smash it, and make monkey noises. This became a post-game ritual.” And these were people he went to school with, whom he had genuine respect for and even if he disagreed with them, never imagined would allow their actions to extend to cruelty. A watermelon, in the guise of a joke, became on some deeper level a discriminatory excuse for bias and injustice toward one group of human beings. For William, staying woke began when he decided to write — when he decided to respond to this action. He continues to do so here at Princeton as the President and founder of Woke Wednesdays. I reached out to one of the youngest activism groups on campus, Woke Wednesdays, because engaging in dialogue is important now more than ever. Even early into the school year, participating in hot topics, becoming informed, and pushing the boundaries of perspective can help to shape the messages we project in the classroom and in conversations at the dining hall. In my search, I wanted to find the story behind Woke Wednesdays and hopefully gain a new lens. Woke Wednesdays was formed “with the idea of having a podcast series centered around uplifting marginalized and underrepresented voices on campus through discourse and dialogue.” (attribution for this quote?) Who would have thought a group of freshman could make such a difference? To them, most political conversations took place behind


closed doors. The creation of Woke Wednesdays was in hopes of expanding and building from the bottom up: to create a free and accessible discussion through the platform of Soundcloud. They talk about anything and everything that comes up in the news. Audiences may not agree with the speakers on the podcast, but they have been willing to engage in dissent and listen to the perspectives offered by the Woke Wednesdays team.

The podcast that airs every other week aims to channel student voices to the public. It’s about bringing to light issues like the watermelon, or kneeling during the national anthem, or former and current presidential policies. Staying woke is about introspection, self-observation, and refusing to be content with simple silence. It’s about listening as well as speaking. And that’s important now more than ever.

The Daily Princetonian

Thursday october 12, 2017

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New Writing Seminar: LEGOs TIFFANY SUN Contributor 21

For most doe-eyed freshmen, their first writing seminar class is an entirely new experience. Far from the easy-going English classes of high school, Writing Seminars act as a boot camp for blossoming writers, teaching the secrets to writing papers in just a few months. Writing Seminars are also a way for students to explore their interests, which can range from fashion to prison reform. The wide variety of topics makes it easy for students to find something they’re interested in. Starting in the fall of the 20172018 school year, the University began offering a new Writing Seminar with a unique topic: LEGOs. “LEGO Worlds” is taught by Assistant Director of the Writing Center Genevieve Creedon, who is interested in studying the interactions of literature and culture. Despite the seemingly random topic, Creedon had been thinking long and hard about a course based around LEGOs. She noted that this was “in large part because most students have some experience playing with LEGO, and it’s a very versatile, multidisciplinary topic.” Other contributing factors include the relative lack of scholarship surrounding LEGOs, and how unique LEGOs are when compared to other similar toys such as K’NEX. “What sets LEGO apart is

both how widespread its use is and how broadly it’s been used in different forms of media,” explained Creedon. Despite not being commonly associated with scholarship, LEGOs play an important role when it comes to visualizations and ways of thinking in subjects ranging from chemistry to philosophy. “The use of LEGOs across disciplines is both interesting to me and makes LEGOs a good grounding for teaching writing and analytical thinking to students who are coming from all backgrounds in the University,” Creedon said. This encourages thinking both within and between disciplines. Beyond just multi- and inter- disciplinary thinking, “LEGO Worlds” also aims to “teach students tools for engaging in scholarly writing through defining an interesting problem or question, figuring out what kinds of evidence they need to address that question, analyzing that evidence, and articulating a compelling argument,” said Creedon. The fact that most of the issues around LEGOs have yet to be explored allows students to really be creative, to be curious, and to try new things. Creedon explained that “people who like LEGOs and exhibit many of the qualities that LEGOs encourage also have the qualities that can make them successful scholars.” Beyond just studying LEGOs, Creedon hopes her students will


expand their interests into other franchises, and even topics like Disney or robotics. From her own study of theme parks, she explained she has found joy and fascination through the study of multimedia

phenomenon. Besides teaching, Creedon finds joy in building LEGOs in her downtime, and hopes that you will too. If she were a student, Creedon said that she would “like to write about

the varied ways in which LEGOs are used in scholarship across fields as thinking tools and models, even when they’re not the object of study. That’s part of why I’m teaching this course.”

Memoirs of a So-Called Townie CHISOM ILOGU Contributor 21

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not actually from Princeton. No, it’s worse than that; I’m from the town next door, called Montgomery, which basically claims Princeton as its own even though parts of our town lack that illustrious 609 area code. From sixth through eighth grade, I spent my Friday nights loitering on Nassau Street and taking peace-sign pictures in the Woody Woo fountain. My crew and I used to pop out on a Saturday to have a formal sit-down dinner at Qdoba and wander around the tiny lawn outside of Nassau Hall like docile, penned cattle. I even remember the old, burnt toast-looking Wawa that was the size of a dorm in Wilson

and inherently a fire hazard. Yes, I’m an area girl, and despite the perks of familiarity and a home cooked meal 15 minutes away, I struggled with my local origins a lot during the first few weeks of school. We all know how the first few weeks of freshman year go; you’re talking to someone new and you’re asked your name followed by the inevitable “Where are you from? ” I would shrug up my shoulders and say something like “Oh, I live in Montgomery, it’s 15 minutes away or so…” but despite the difference in name and in school district, that still doesn’t change the fact that I’m from… well, here. My fellow freshmen had made the trek to Princeton from the likes of Arizona, California, Texas, and more. I’ve met inter-

national students who hail from Ghana, Pakistan, Greece, and other countries. On move in day, I made a grand voyage of eight miles. All of the fabulous summer adventures my classmates brought to the table didn’t help my feelings of inadequacy either. While others had traveled the world or embarked on life-changing service trips, I spent my summer blowing up inf latables and manning the craft table as a camp counselor at my alma mater, a prep school that is also about fifteen minutes away from Princeton (I can’t escape). Simply put, I thought my origin story was pretty lame. I’m effectively a townie, although we enlightened ones at Princeton would never use such a phrase with narcissistic, elitist under-

tones. I wasn’t sure when or how to chime in when people talked about their hometowns because I figured that everyone would eventually discover mine anyways. We even went to my local ShopRite on my CA trip. But as the weeks have passed and conversations have dipped below surface, I’ve started to see some of the ways in which my local roots might not be such a detriment. For one, I know where everything is in relation to campus, so if you’re looking for the mall or the best place to get your hair done, I’ve got you covered. I also feel remarkably comfortable here after a few short weeks and I can’t discount the benefit of being so close to loved ones and being able to see familiar faces just by crossing the street. I’ve slowly realized that it’s not

where you’re from that makes or breaks your identity or how you are perceived, but it’s the experiences you bring to the table that ultimately shape what type of impression you make on someone. I have indeed left this 15-mile radius before, and those adventures have inf luenced who I am just as much as the ones that happened down the street. Finally, everyone always claims that college is “all about new experiences” (cue montage featuring zany collegiate antics). Despite the overuse of this saying, I’ve found it to be true so far. One’s origin story will always be important, but it’s the memories we create together that will ultimately build relationships in this new environment. Princeton’s not done with you yet; take it from a townie.



Left: Ilogu with her friends in Montgomery. Top: A map of the distance between Montgomery and Princeton. Bottom: A picturesque lake in Montgomery.


STREET 10/12: Origins Issue