The Daily Princetonian: December 3, 2021

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Friday December 3, 2021 vol. CXLV no. 59

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ON CAMPUS

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Joshua Babu ’22 (left) and Wafa Zaka ’22 (right) will both pursue graduate study at Oxford next fall.

Joshua Babu ’22 and Wafa Zaka ’22 win Community members wait hours Rhodes Scholarships for boosters, isolation housing expands amid COVID-19 spike ZACHARY SHEVIN / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

Community members outside of Jadwin Gym at around 11:50 a.m., prior to the Pfizer vaccine clinic opening. The line would grow in the coming hours.

U. AFFAIRS

By Evelyn Doskoch Head News Editor

By Marie-Rose Sheinerman, Sidney Singer and Isabel Yip

Senior writer and contributors

As the University marked its highest single-day COVID-19 positive case count since the beginning of the semester, hundreds of students and community members stood in line for hours to receive vaccine booster shots at a University-sponsored clinic. On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the University reported 18 undergraduates cases, one graduate case, and eight cases among faculty and staff, according to the COVID-19 Resources website. From Nov. 20–30, a total of 70 new undergraduate cases

were reported on the COVID-19 dashboard. By comparison, in the entire month of October, 11 positive undergraduate cases were reported — and from Nov. 1–19, eight cases were reported. Though more recent data is not available at the time of publication, the isolation dorm occupancy rate stood at 35 percent as of Nov. 26, according to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard — the highest rate since the semester began on Sept. 1. Thirtyeight undergraduates and nine graduate students are reported as currently being housed in designated isolation rooms. “The higher number of positive cases among students in recent days has led to in-

creased use of spaces set aside for isolation housing,” Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “The rise in demand highlights the need for the community to adhere to the University’s COVID protocols and public health guidance to minimize transmission.” Following the uptick in cases and the classification of campus risk status as “Moderate to High” on the dashboard, the University mandated new COVID-19 protocols, including increased testing frequency, prohibitions on social gatherings for more than 20 people, and mask mandates in all acaSee COVID page 4

Seniors Joshua Babu ’22 and Wafa Zaka ’22 have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships to study at the University of Oxford next fall. Babu, who hails from Scottsdale, Ariz., is one of 32 Americans to receive the prestigious fellowship this year. Zaka, an international student from Lahore, Pakistan, is among more than 100 international winners from over 60 countries. The Rhodes Scholarship program was established in 1902 through the will of Cecil John Rhodes and fully funds two to three years of graduate study at Oxford. Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious international scholarship programs, the fellowship selected its entire cohort virtually for the second time, following a virtual process in 2020 caused by the

COVID-19 pandemic. Both Babu and Zaka will begin their graduate study at Oxford in Oct. 2022. Joshua Babu

When the Rhodes committee read his name aloud in a Zoom call of other finalists last Saturday, Babu “could not believe it.” “I closed my laptop, went to a little room in Frist and started jumping up and down,” he told The Daily Princetonian in an interview. “It was just complete disbelief. I was so grateful.” A molecular biology concentrator with a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Babu will use his scholarship to pursue a Masters of Science in Comparative Social Policy and in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation at Oxford. Afterward, he plans to attend medical See RHODES page 4

IN TOWN

Cannabis Task Force recommends cannabis retail in Princeton By Lia Opperman and Charlie Roth Contributors

After more than seven months of meetings, Princeton’s Cannabis Task Force (CTF) recommended that cannabis retail businesses be allowed to open in town. The CTF is composed of Town Council members, local health and public safety experts, business representa-

tives, and concerned citizens. The group submitted its first proposal to the Princeton Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 30. In the proposal, the CTF talked about possible dispensary locations, equity and racial justice, and how tax revenue should be allocated. Town Council member and CTF Chair Eve Niedergang GS ’85 told The Daily Princetonian she hopes the

group will be able to introduce an actual ordinance to the council by “late January or February.” The CTF proposed five potential areas for a dispensary, three of which are within walking distance from the University. These include the Dinky Area South, the intersection of Harrison Street and Nassau Street, and Witherspoon Street between Green See CANNABIS page 4

COURTESY OF LIA OPPERMAN

Princeton’s Nov. 30 Town Council Meeting.

BEYOND THE BUBBLE

U. continues support of DACA in new federal filing By Lia Opperman Contributor

BENJAMIN BALL / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

Christopher Eisgruber ’83, Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez ’18, and Brad Smith ’81 speak to reporters outside of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In This Issue

Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 and Microsoft President and University Trustee Brad Smith ’81 have filed a comment in support of the federal government’s latest proposal to preserve and strengthen the Deferred Action

THE PROSPECT | PAGE 19 Love hot chocolate? Check out these reviews.

for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, according to a statement released by the Office of Communications on Nov. 29. DACA is a policy that provides relief from deportation and work authorization to around 800,000 young adults, known as “DREAMers” (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), who were brought to

the United States as children. In a cover letter to the filing, Eisgruber and Smith encouraged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exercise its authority to establish “fair” rules that uphold lasting protections for DREAMers and take all actions appropriate to strengthen DACA. The two also push See DACA page 6

PUZZLES | PAGE 8 How many elves does it take to solve our themed crossword?


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ON CAMPUS

Campaigning Begins for USG Winter Elections By Annie Rupertus and Erin Lee News Contributors

Campaigning for the Undergraduate Student Government’s (USG) winter elections began Monday, Nov. 29, after candidates were announced via an email to the undergraduate student body the night before. Students are running for various positions within USG, including president, vice president, treasurer, and class senators, as well as chairs of the Academics, Campus and Community Affairs (CCA), Social, and Sustainability committees. Online voting begins Monday, Dec. 6 at 12 p.m. and closes Thursday, Dec. 9 at 12 p.m. USG president Jasman Singh ’23 and Mayu Takeuchi ’23 are running for USG president. Singh, a School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) major, represented his class in his first and second years as USG senator. He intends to jump back into office after taking a gap year by running a campaign that emphasizes improving student facilities and amenities. “I want to prioritize areas where USG is uniquely able to make a quick, valuable impact on student’s lives without the need for significant buy-in from the administration,” he wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. As such, his platform includes implementing bike and scooter rentals on campus, creating offcampus options for students to use their meal plan with food delivery services like Uber Eats, and opening up more gender-neutral bathrooms. Takeuchi, also a SPIA major, aims to draw from her varied academic and life experiences to serve her student body. Takeuchi spent the past year

working in the USG as Sustainability Committee chair. As President, Takeuchi said she hopes to foster a student-centered environment at Princeton. “My priority is student well being. Because yes, we’re students — and we’re athletes, artists, workers, entrepreneurs — but we’re all people, first and foremost,” she wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Her platform includes improving the quality of support at Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) and off-campus care, removing the student contribution requirement for financial aid, improving student-athlete representation, and supporting the student-led movement for fossil fuel divestment at Princeton. A presidential debate will be held on Friday, Dec. 3 at 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Zoom. USG vice president There are three candidates for the position of USG vice president: Stephen Daniels ’24, Will Gu ’23, and Hannah Kapoor ’23. Daniels is a First College Council co-chair, the communications chair for Club Football, a U-Councilor, and a CPUC Executive Committee representative. As co-chair of the Community Dining Task Force, he has worked with offcampus trial programs such as Tigers in Town, which he would like to expand. In addition to community dining, Daniels intends to focus on disciplinary process and Honor Code reform, housing, anxieties regarding the pandemic, and communication with the administration. Gu is an Economics major who has served as Forbes College Council co-chair, USG social chair, and as a Forbes College RCA. Stemming from his experience working with large-scale events and ever-changing COVID-19 poli-

cies, Gu aims to improve transparency between USG and the student body. “One of the hardest roles of USG as an extension of Princeton students, is accurately voicing the dynamic ideas and concerns of the student body in a rapidly-aging, uncompromisingly traditional education system,” he wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Kapoor, who is concentrating in SPIA, has served as the USG director of communications for the past two years, and indicated hopes to continue her work through improving the USG’s transparency and accessibility for all students. According to her statement, she aims to specifically address mental health issues, sexual misconduct on campus, academic accommodations, and social programming. USG Campus and Community Affairs (CCA) Committee chair Alexandra Orbuch ’25 and Isabella Shutt ’24 are seeking election for CCA Committee chair. Orbuch was treasurer of her high school student council and is running on a slogan of “Pop the Orange Bubble” to encourage students to engage with the broader Princeton community. “It is very easy to fall into a routine confined to the orange bubble, so I want to help them break that routine even in small ways — like grabbing a free meal at a local restaurant on Nassau Street,” she wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Orbuch plans to organize initiatives such as trips to local landmarks and to expand the Tiger in Town and Fall Fellows Programs. Shutt is a U-Councilor and serves on the Mental Health and Transparency, Engagement, and Community Relations Task Forces

COURTESY OF MAYU TAKEUCHI AND JASMAN SINGH

Mayu Takeuchi (left) and Jasman Singh (right), the two candidates for USG president. in the Senate, which she says has shaped her mindset toward improving student life. “I see USG as a facilitator of growth. This year, we will connect students to necessary resources and advocate for their rest and well being, so that they have the space to shape and improve our home,” she wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ As part of her platform, Shutt hopes to develop a community education program through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement Community House, a community dining program with local restaurants, and form CCA partnerships with community leaders. Shutt is a former news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ USG Social Committee Chair The two candidates for Social Committee chair are Emma Limor ’25 and Madi Linton ’24. Limor is an Operations and Research Financial Engineering major whose “goal is to bring energy back to campus: the energy of excitement that exists the first month of every school year,” she wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ From farmers’ markets to escape rooms to pie-eating contests, Limor hopes to help students

break out of the cycle of schoolwork and appointments. She is also interested in implementing policies that can facilitate breaks during the day, such as cancelling certain Monday classes and installing napping stations. Linton, who has experience serving as a member of the Undergraduate Student Life Committee, says she aims to bring the student body together on a platform of music, responsibility, and love. She plans to organize events such as Lawnparties with more student input and also hopes to make them safer with increased security and supplies on-site. “I want students to have a say in what University-sanctioned social events look like,” she wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Class senators The classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025 will each elect two class senators. Gisell Curbelo ’23 and Kanishkh Kanodia ’23 are on the ballot unopposed for the two 2023 senator seats. This race is one of four that will run uncontested. “This is an infrequent occurSee ELECTIONS page 6

HEADLINE FROM HISTORY

TOWER CLUB KITCHEN VANDALIZED, CHRISTMAS TREE STOLEN DEC 3, 2004


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The clinic administered 542 booster shots and 118 pediatric vaccines on Dec. 1 COVID

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demic contexts. The University is also administering booster vaccine shots to all community members and distributing pediatric vaccinations for children ages 5–11 in the Jadwin Gymnasium clinic. In a message to undergraduates on Nov. 27, Dean of the College Jill Dolan urged all students to receive a booster shot as soon as they become eligible. On Dec. 1, the clinic administered 542 booster shots and 118 pediatric vaccines, according to Hotchkiss. Students who received the booster reported that Jadwin Gym hosted four immunization stations throughout the day. But as of Monday, Nov. 29, there were no appointments available online for the Jadwin clinic and students were left to try their luck with walk-ins. Now, following Wednesday’s long wait times, the University plans to offer a student-only Moderna booster shot clinic at

Jadwin Gym on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Hotchkiss wrote that the clinic is intended “to make it easier for students to get their booster.” A TigerAlert announcing the clinic warned students that they should “be prepared for the potential of long wait times outdoors,” and included information about how to register with the New Jersey Vaccine Registering System, which could provide opportunities to receive boosters at other sites in the area. In addition to the studentonly session, Hotchkiss added, a separate walk-in Moderna clinic will be held for the University community at Jadwin Gym from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m Tuesday, Dec. 7. Phoebe Lin ’23 stood in line for five hours on Wednesday to get her shot. “Comparatively to, like, Disneyland, this line is long,” she said, when interviewed at the three-hour mark. At 3:45 p.m., around 60 people were still waiting in line outside of the gym in hopes of getting a shot. A public safety

officer outside of Jadwin Gym, who spoke with the ‘Prince’ on the condition that he not be named, said he would estimate the last person in line at that moment still had two hours to wait to be admitted. By the time they would reach the front of the line, it would be 6 p.m., when the clinic was scheduled to close for the night. Lin, who was closer to the front of the line, wouldn’t receive her shot until two hours later — at around 5:45 p.m. The officer said that although doors were scheduled to open for vaccines at 12 p.m., a line had already started to form more than 90 minutes before then. Those he observed standing throughout the day felt “aggravated,” he said, but on the whole seemed to remain in good spirits. “One lady came with a chair,” the officer said, but most were left standing. A few students began to play cards, he recounted, and one student practiced juggling. Many in line seemed to take advantage of the wait to get some work done, pulling out laptops

and books for classwork. “All of us wanted to get this out of the way as soon as possible,” Albert Lin ’23, who waited in line with Phoebe Lin (no relation), told the ‘Prince’. “We all assumed it’s something we’ll have to do at some point anyway.” Rolf Ryseck, a senior research scientist in the molecular biology department, likewise waited in line for hours. In part motivated by encouragement from the University and in part by his desire to protect his own health, Ryseck said he wanted to get the shot as soon as possible. Hotchkiss added that the University does “strongly recommend that all members of the University community get a booster as soon as they are eligible.” “Vaccination continues to be our best weapon against COVID and provides robust protection against severe illness and death,” he wrote. Another mitigation measure for the uptick of cases, the University stressed, is ensuring that contact tracing can pro-

ceed efficiently. “We want to remind students of the importance of being responsive when contact tracers reach out to them,” Hotchkiss wrote. “Contact tracing is an important tool in slowing the spread of COVID.” Isabel Yip is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at isabelyip@princeton.edu or @ isaayip on Instagram. Marie-Rose Sheinerman is a senior writer who has reported on COVID-19 policy, faculty controversy, sexual harassment allegations, major donors, campus protests, and more. She can be reached at ms78@princeton.edu or on Twitter at @rosesheinerman. She previously served as a news and feature editor and presently assists with content strategy. Sidney Singer is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at sidneysinger@princeton.edu or on Instagram at @sidneysinger.

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school. At Princeton, his research has centered on healthcare for transgender youth, an area of both personal and professional interest to him. “I am gay, and I grew up in a very conservative, very religious environment,” he said. “There were a lot of hurdles there.” Babu explained that in his first years at Princeton, he approached molecular biology professor Dan Notterman with a goal fueled by his desire to give back to the queer community: to study LGBTQ+ health, and in particular, the benefits of gender affirming healthcare for transgender youth. “Gender affirming care for kids is super politicized,” he said. “In 2019, there were bills being drafted in some states trying to ban that sort of care, all under the assumption that there’s no evidence for it being an effective tool.” Notterman connected Babu with endocrinologists and other experts, and they spent the next two years building a team, getting grant funding, and conducting research. “I’ve been so lucky to have so many medical professionals who have been so excited to start this project with me,” Babu said. Babu told the ‘Prince’ that one of his favorite classes at Princeton was POL 455/GSS 435: LGBTQ Politics: Identity, Voice, Policy, taught by politics professor Andrew Reynolds. “We had some of the foremost queer and trans politicians in the United States and abroad come and speak to our class, and it was the most inspiring thing ever,” he said. At Oxford, Babu plans to use his intersectional study of

biology, gender and sexuality studies, and social policy to make a difference. “My goal at Oxford is to gain this policy perspective and acumen in the political sphere,” he said, “then be able to go to medical school, work with LGBTQ patient populations, learn from them what they need, and then use that policy acumen … to enact real change.” Outside of the classroom, Babu is the president of the Footnotes, an all-male campus a capella group, and has done extensive volunteer and advocacy work. When asked who he credits for supporting his academic success, Babu pointed to several mentors: Notterman, African American studies and gender and sexuality studies professor Dannelle Gutarra Cordero, and Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne. “My closest mentor at Princeton has definitely been Dr. Dan Notterman,” Babu said. Cordero, who taught three of his classes, “was a huge mentor to me.” And Dunne directly inspired him to pursue the Rhodes Scholarship: “It was not on my radar whatsoever, and then … he really pushed me [to apply].” Babu told the ‘Prince’ he is also grateful for his friends. “I credit pretty much all of my success to them,” he said. “They’ve been so supportive and loving through this whole process.” Wafa Zaka Like Babu, Zaka was overcome with emotion when she learned that she’d won a Rhodes Scholarship. As the last student in her cohort to be interviewed, she’d waited nearly nine hours before hearing any good news.

“I just immediately started crying,” she told the ‘Prince.’ “I was overwhelmed with gratitude.” A politics concentrator pursuing a certificate in History and the Practice of Diplomacy, Zaka plans to earn a Master of Studies in Global and Imperial History and a Master of Science in Modern South Asian Studies at Oxford. Born in Pakistan, her research interests at Princeton have centered on the political histories of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. “I think most of my research interests have stemmed out of discomfort,” Zaka said. She described learning about the 1971 War in Bangladesh during a Princeton class, and remembering that her high school textbook had devoted just a few paragraphs to the topic. “I was so shocked by the institutional silences in Pakistan regarding the war,” she said. Inspired by this moment, Zaka went on to work with the Global History Lab with history professor Jeremy Adelman during the summer. Her research project studied perceptions of the 1971 War — and though the work was “super difficult,” Zaka said she is “extremely happy” that she did it. “Most of my interest in Pakistan, doing research about Pakistan, is because of my personal history of not being exposed to these historical narratives,” she said. “In the future I hope that I can produce scholarship to diversify the range of voices that narrate Pakistani history.” Some of Zaka’s favorite courses at the University have delved into similar topics. One of her “best academic experiences” was in HIS 411: World After Empire, taught by professor Gyan Prakash. As a politics concentrator, Zaka was a rarity in the class of primar-

ily history students — but she told the ‘Prince’ that the interesting topics and Prakash’s support made the class memorable and meaningful. “We read works of very important anti-colonial thinkers like Gandhi, Césaire, Fanon, Edward Said, some of my absolute favorite people. It introduced me to very important critical historical questions,” she said. “I remember that he [Prakash] commented on my final paper: ‘Wish you were in history.’ That was the last push I needed to switch to history for my grad school.” Zaka also discussed her enjoyment of journalism classes at Princeton, taught by Deborah Amos and Suzy Hansen. “As an international student, and because English is my second language, I wasn’t ... very confident,” Zaka said. “But [Hansen] was extremely supportive, and she put so much confidence in me.” In Amos’ class, Migration Reporting, Zaka had the chance to do in-person reporting in Pakistan, an opportunity unavailable to many of her classmates living in the U.S. “There are very few courses that teach you how to translate stories effectively and ethically onto paper,” Zaka said. “[Migration Reporting] has helped me a lot to condense complex narratives into comprehensible but nuanced stories that do justice to people’s experiences.” The COVID-19 pandemic had both professional and personal impacts on Zaka: she told the ‘Prince’ that it was “history in the making,” but also a source of grief. Professionally, she noted that mainstream coverage of the pandemic recorded “a very limited number of voices,” inspiring her to build an archive to document experiences of the pandemic. Working again

with the Global History Lab, Zaka spent her time at home in Pakistan interviewing marginalized people, including religious minorities, refugees, women, and healthcare workers. “The narratives that we are producing right now ... are going to shape future systems of power and how we look back to this time period,” she said. On a personal level, Zaka also had to face several painful losses: the deaths of her grandmother, of close friend Zoya Shoaib ’20, and of Imam Sohaib Sultan, the Muslim life coordinator at Princeton. “It was a lot of grief, having to deal with that,” she said, “especially at a time when you’re not with them, and you’re not with people who are also grieving.” After Oxford, Zaka says she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Pakistani or South Asian history. She told the ‘Prince’ she is grateful to many peers and mentors for their support along the way, including her Princeton and Pakistani friends, and several professors. “I strongly, strongly feel that this is not just my hard work,” she said. “It’s a combination of privilege and support. I feel like I’m a project of so many people coming together.” Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Zaka’s interview took place on Zoom. The interview took place in person. The ‘Prince’ regrets the error. Evelyn Doskoch is a Head News Editor who has reported on University affairs, COVID-19 policy, student life, sexual harassment allegations, town affairs, and eating clubs. She can be reached at edoskoch@princeton.edu or on Twitter at @EvelynDoskoch.

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Street and Valley Road. Other suggestions are the Central Business District and Route 206 North. The CTF also recommends these locations be no less than 200 feet from schools, which is the same restriction placed on liquor stores. Marijuana was legalized in New Jersey in November 2020, with more than 75 percent of Princeton voters approving the measure. The CTF was created in March 2021 to determine the best approaches to bringing marijuana into the Princeton area. Of the six options for town recreational marijuana li-

censes presented by New Jersey law (cultivation, manufacturing, wholesaling, distribution, retail, and delivery), the CTF decided to focus on retail and medical licenses for now, with future recommendations planned for the rest. The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission is not accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries at this time. “We decided to focus on retail because it best addresses the need of the Princeton community most directly,” said CTF member Milan Vaclavik in the meeting. Equity is a top priority in the planning, according to CTF members. The group’s goal in allowing retail sales of marijuana is to positively

address injustices of the War on Drugs, such as its disproportionate impact on communities of color, both in Princeton and throughout the country. “The recommendations just released by CTF are only the beginning, and future recommendations will hopefully delve deeper into how Princeton can advance racial justice through cannabis legalization,” wrote Udi Ofer, a member of CTF in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Ofer is the Director of the American Civil Liberty Union’s Justice Division and a lecturer in the School of Public and International Affairs. “This is a racial justice issue at its core,” he added. The CTF plans to be inten-

tional about who it grants licenses to. Specifically, it plans to look for local owners, those from the Black and Latinx community, women, disabled veterans, and those who were found guilty for cannabis-related offenses. Many of these groups also fall under Priority Application status through the state of New Jersey. The CTF also hopes to remove the stigma around a product that is already legalized in New Jersey and provide safe access to cannabis for adults over 21. Another goal of the CTF is to allow on-site consumption at dispensaries. The goal of on-site consumption is to create a safe space for those who are a part of the University, in

subsidized housing, or parents who don’t want to ingest in front of their children. Additionally, the CTF hopes to ensure dispensaries are accessible to all and available by either walking or public transportation. It also would like to see dispensaries open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, so that a variety of residents have a chance to purchase it, no matter when they work. Still, the CTF is cautious about potential negative impacts of allowing marijuana retail in Princeton. “It is really important that the community is aware of the dangers of the use of cannabis so that people are making fully informed decisions,” See CANNABIS page 7


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rence, but it does happen from time to time,” wrote Chief Elections Manager Brian Li ’24 in an email to the ‘Prince.’ “In this case, there will be no election, and the candidates win by default.” Curbelo hopes to apply her previous experience as Student Government president at Miami Dade College, Padrón Campus. “There has been very little representation of transfer [students in] USG, and I hope to change that,” wrote Curbelo in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Kanodia notes in his platform that he plans to prioritize improving access to healthcare facilities, as well as amplify student voices on issues like free speech, the Honor Code, and mental health. Three students vie for the role of 2024 senator: Sean Bradley ’24, Mariam Latif ’24, and Prince Takano ’24. Bradley and Latif both currently serve as 2024 senators. “My three main policy focuses are sustainability, mental health, and housing inequity,” wrote Bradley in an email to the ‘Prince.’ He also noted his hopes to push the University towards fossil fuel divestment and address disparities in access to air conditioning on campus. Latif also focuses on housing in her platform, citing a desire to improve room draw as a primary concern. She aims to address the specific needs of the sophomore class as well given their unique experience, having begun their time at Princeton during the pandemic. Takano, the newcomer to the 2024 senate scene, wrote in his candidate statement that he hopes to improve student services and allocate more funding for student activities.

With the largest senator candidate pool by far, first-year students will pick from seven aspiring senators: Braiden Aaronson ’25, Ned Dockery ’25, Brenden Garza ’25, Kalu Obasi ’25, Walker Penfield ’25, Oscar Serra ’25, and Laura Vergara ’25. Aaronson, who currently serves on the USG Sustainability Committee, hopes to continue efforts to reduce waste and energy consumption and “increase transparency surrounding dissociation and divestment.” He also noted a desire to improve scheduling systems for McCosh Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS). Dockery intends to focus on student health by implementing resources for students who are unable to attend class. He also noted academics-related goals in his campaign platform, including adding new concentrations and developing plans for a mixed concentrations program. In an email to the ‘Prince,’ Garza cited his leadership skills learned from six years in the United States Air Force. Focuses of his campaign include expanding therapy and other health resources and pressuring the University to divest from fossil fuels to set “more ambitious net-zero emissions goals.” Obasi, who cites his leadership experience as an Eagle Scout, aims to maintain community-building activities while keeping COVID-19 cases low, as well as prioritize issues such as student mental health and transparency between USG and the student body. Penfield, who brings experience from student organizations including Pride Alliance and Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform (SPEAR), wrote in an email to the ‘Prince’ that he hopes to “become a bridge

between student organizers and USG.” Specific goals in his platform entail implementing “more flexible academic norms — like Zooming into class if you’re sick.” Serra’s platform notes the importance of student voices, with a specific spotlight on issues like recognizing and investing in firstgeneration low-income students, divesting from fossil fuels, and working towards great racial inclusivity. Addressing the Class of 2025 in her candidate platform, Vergara wrote, “My priorities are to make YOUR voices be heard.” USG treasurer Adam Hoffman ’23, who is concentrating in politics, is the sole candidate for treasurer having served on the Academics Committee for the past two years. His platform prioritizes transparency regarding USG financials and including student input on important financial issues. USG Academics Committee chair Austin Davis ’23 is the current Academics Committee chair, running unopposed for re-election this winter. He hopes to extend his previous work with designing COVID-19 recommendations and creating models for mixed concentrations and minors for more interdisciplinary study. His platform also consists of introducing more guidelines for academics during periods of illness, mandatory midterm grades, and a summer session. USG Sustainability Committee chair Audrey Zhang ’25 is running

unopposed for Sustainability Committee chair. She aims to introduce various events such as an Eco-Festival or an Eco-Clash of the Colleges to inform and encourage the Princeton community regarding sustainability initiatives. “I would also like to find ways to reduce waste around campus and increase respect for our environment. Reducing food waste and single-use plastics at Princeton will be a good area in which to start,” she wrote to the ‘Prince.’ Referenda In addition to voting on Senate representatives, undergraduates will also have the opportunity to vote on a referendum regarding grading policy. The measure, put forward by Davis in his current role as Academics Committee chair, would mandate that professors input midterm grades for all course levels. Currently, only 100- and 200-level courses require midterm grade input. This measure would disincentivize professors from using the “no grade” designation at the mid-term mark and create a TigerHub function for professors to leave written comments. USG does not have the power to directly implement these changes, so if the referendum were to pass, the Senate would send a resolution to the University urging the administration to enforce them. While a mental health-related referendum was proposed for the winter ballot and initially appeared on the election directory website when it was sent to students on Sunday, Nov. 28, it did not garner the required amount of signatures (10 percent of the undergraduate student body) in the allotted time. According to Li, the proposal was originally listed on the site only because it was created

prior to the deadline for student signatures, and it was subsequently removed. “The referendum was to encourage faculty to share mental health resources and contact information on their syllabi for support systems on campus, such as Counseling and Psychological Services, the Princeton Peer Nightline, SHARE, and the Office of Disability,” wrote Preeti Chemiti ’23, the referendum sponsor, in an email to the ‘Prince.’ Some student criticism on Instagram suggested that a note in course syllabi would fail to adequately address mental health issues. In her email, Chemiti acknowledged the need for “more drastic and structural mental health reform,” but she maintained that “sweeping mental health reform at the administrative level is a process that unfortunately takes time … This referendum is merely a snapshot of the mental health advocacy work that has been conducted by students like myself, and it symbolizes a step in the right direction towards getting administrators to listen to students’ needs.” She questioned: “If Princeton’s administration does not see support for something as ‘small’ as a syllabi blurb, how can we expect consequential mental health reform to be passed?” Annie Rupertus is a first-year and a News and Print Design contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at arupertus@princeton.edu or @annierupertus on Instagram and Twitter. Erin Lee is a contributing writer for News and Sports at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at erinlee@princeton. edu.

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Congress to pass legislation that would provide permanent protection and a path to citizenship for these individuals. “Legislative action is the only way to ensure the long-term protection that DREAMers deserve and require; enacting it would be just, humane, and beneficial to the national interest,” Eisgruber and Smith wrote. This news comes after the University’s recent successful Supreme Court case to preserve DACA. The case, filed jointly by the University, Microsoft, and Maria Perales Sanchez ’18, argued that DACA’s termination

violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act. In the lawsuit, the University, Microsoft, and Sanchez asked: “for a declaration that the DACA program is lawful and constitutional, and for an injunction that both stops the administration from terminating DACA and prevents the government from using the information provided by Dreamers against them or for purposes of immigration enforcement.” It also comes after Eisgruber, as well as over 400 university presidents, CEOs, and civic leaders, including Harvard President Lawrence Bacow and Former Bank of America CEO and

THE MINI CROSSWORD By Joah Macosko Contributing Constructor

MINI #1

Chairman Hugh McColl, signed a letter from the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration that urged the Senate to pass bipartisan legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers following Texas’ Court ruling to end DACA. “For the past decade, Princeton and Microsoft have relied on the legal protections provided by the 2012 Napolitano Memorandum, as well as the work authorization for DREAMers that deferred action makes possible,” the cover letter to the filing said. In 2017, Eisgruber sent a letter to Former President Trump, urging him to not repeal DACA, but rather, preserve it and defend the policy from any potential court

challenges. In 2019, Eisgruber and other presidents of New Jersey’s fouryear colleges and universities sent a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation expressing concern to Congress about immigration delays, the challenges their institutions face in attracting and retaining international faculty, students, and staff, and its effects on DREAMers. The University also remains committed to supporting DACA students. The University’s admission and financial aid policies are the same for DACA students as they are for all other students applying to the University, meeting full financial needs. “At Princeton, DACA recipi-

ents have been among our most accomplished and respected students,” Eisgruber said in the cover letter in the Nov. 29 filing. “They conduct research, earn academic honors, serve in leadership roles on campus, and otherwise help enhance our learning environment. The benefits bestowed by DACA allow our students to participate in all aspects of the university experience, including study abroad, internships, and university-related travel,” he continued. Lia Opperman is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at liaopperman@princeton.edu or @liamariaaaa on Instagram.

READ SATIRE ONLINE

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LinkedIn junior ‘grateful and humbled’ to announce they will be making ridiculous sums of money next summer 1 4 6 7 8 1 2 3 4

ACROSS Like many crops edited with CRISPR Fancy symbol of approval Upright, as a box Pinkish iPhone color that was (sadly) discontinued Female sheep DOWN “My true love gave to me: six ____ a-laying...” Hairy feature of lions and horses Pale yellow on Wake Forest University logos Rare Minecraft block that can be smelted into ingots

5❄

See page 8 for more

Emma Moriarty, Guest Contributor

Construction in your building to start in one hour Ben Kim and Anlon Zhu, Contributors

Marlboro to fund Healthy Lung Initiative at Center for Health and Wellbeing Hannah To and Angel Kuo, Contributors


Friday December 3, 2021

The Daily Princetonian

page 7

The town will have a 2 percent tax revenue from all cannabis retail sales, can choose to allocate all or part of the revenue to social justice causes CANNABIS Continued from page 4

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Vaclavik said. “So in addition to focusing on racial equity and social justice concepts, we want to focus on those educational concepts as well as educating the community that will in particular help to reduce the abuse.” New state laws legalizing adult recreational cannabis use also allow the delivery of cannabis, though the CTF is not presently focusing on that option. “There will be cannabis available in town via delivery even if a dispensary is not located in town,” said Kristin Appelget, Director of Community and Regional Affairs at the University and CTF member, in an email to the

‘Prince.’ Princeton will collect two percent tax revenue from all cannabis retail sales. The town can choose whether or not to allocate all or part of the revenue to social justice causes. The CTF has also noted that it is not interested in opening dispensaries for the tax revenue. During the public comments section, there were many arguments both for and against dispensaries coming to town, and concerns over the makeup of the CTF itself. Multiple people were concerned about the lack of Asian representation on the CTF. “[There is] a lack of Asian American I think, particularly Chinese American, representation on the Task Force,” Neidergang said in an interview with the ‘Prince.’

“Maybe we can use this [concern] to open up lines of communication, so that there are community advocates and members of the community that we’ll be sure to reach out to in the future,” she continued. Another concern voiced by a number of residents at the meeting was safety, echoing push back to marijuana legalization expressed at previous CTF meetings. “I moved to this town because this is a district that is safe. Now I have to rethink right? Do I need to sell my house [and move] back to my old town?” one concerned citizen said. CTF members previously responded to this pushback by citing Princeton voters’ overwhelming support for marijuana legalization.

Other citizens, seeing marijuana as already present in town, took a different approach to the discussion. “I think the case is that we do have marijuana in Princeton already. And the question is, are we going to try to regulate it? And how are we going to deal with the fact that people will be using it in the future?” another citizen said. As for the impacts this proposal has on the University, CTF members think there will be few to none. “I don’t think there will be much of an impact, except that the University should really start considering updating their policies regarding marijuana since it’s now legalized within the state recreational use,” said Valeria Torres-Olivares ’22, who serves as

a representative of Not in Our Town on the CTF. The University has previously said that it will not change marijuana regulations because it is required to abide by federal law since it receives federal funding, and marijuana has not been legalized at the federal level. Princeton Town Council’s next meeting will be Monday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. over Zoom. The CTF’s next meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m. over Zoom. Lia Opperman is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at liaopperman@princeton. edu or @liamariaaaa on Instagram. Charlie Roth is a news contributor for the “Prince.” He can be reached at charlieroth@princeton.edu or @imcharlieroth on Twitter or Instagram.


The Daily Princetonian

page 8

Friday December 3, 2021

‘Make My Wish Come True’ By Sebastian Hayden and Rishi Dange Staff Constructors

1 6 10 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 23 25 26 27 29 34 37 38 39 41 42 44

ACROSS

46 Recipient of a “G’day” Apt location for this clue 47 High-end toy store ___ Schwarz Hit, like one’s toe 48 Large number of atoms, Where Mark Watney for short gets stranded in a bestseller 49 Component of COVID-19 vaccine technology Bug-trapping resin 51 Horse owner’s equipment Morrison who wrote for connecting reins “The Bluest Eye” 54 Important event on Extremely careful or Santa’s calendar precise 59 Shoot balls, colloquially Place for a brightlycolored ball 60 Atmosphere Portions of a 61 Extra circumference 65 Fuzzy red resident of a TV Deets Street Like a certain kind of 66 Beatles classic “Back in buffet the ___” Third-largest Italian city 67 Stripe’s partner and birthplace of pizza 68 Charges Wed. preceder 69 Give off an odor NYC museum, with 70 Last part of a Mariah “The” Carey holiday song title Satellite-based locator, starting with the first for short parts of 20-, 34-, 44-, and 54-across Poker call that’s not a call DOWN “Nevermind, you can do 1 Blue this without me” 2 “Ew, I didn’t need to Like some car windows know so much detail!” Dark-colored grape used 3 Crunch targets in wine-making 4 TL;DR Beachgoer’s goal, 5 Brutish foe in the first maybe “Harry Potter” movie Grps. 6 Refuses to budge One-time H.S. 7 Running animal en housekeeping class España Sign on a rental property

MINI #2

8 In one piece 9 Gravy’s partner 10 ___ St. (common substitute for 1st St.) 11 Actress Hathaway 12 ATP’s Nadal, informally 13 Vegas machine 21 Subject of a certain “land” in Carlsbad, CA 22 Like the view from a blimp 23 “After this makeover, get ready to see an entirely ___” 24 Ready to fight 26 Russian nickname for Mikhail 28 Gandalf’s stick 30 “As I Lay Dying” father 31 “___, Mario!” 32 Detector 33 Ford flop from the ‘50s

35 36 40 43 45 50 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 62 63 64

Scottish “no”s Not ours Transportation for pairs? Inverse of “BoJack”? Spot for a fork? Make laugh, say Indian yogurt-based drink that’s often mangoflavored Things copy editors look for Iron ___ Bobby Flay One of many in swiss cheese Where every 45-Down leads? N.Y.S.E. debuts Behind, in Britain American gymnast Raisman Stream of agua Princeton URL ender

The Minis MINI #3

By Joah Macosko Contributing Constructor

BONUS: Read the top word of all three minis to reveal a secret message!

ACROSS

1 Thing stored at Fort Knox 5 American Express product that offers $120 in UberEats credit 6 Social customs 7 Broadcasts on TV 8 Opposite of SSW

DOWN

1 Doubloon or Galleon 2 Thing to hold onto in a ballet class 3 Greek counterpart of Mars

ACROSS

1 With 9-Across, what “my true love gave to me” on the fifth day of Christmas ... or a hint to the five circled boxes in this week’s minis

Scan to check your answers and try more of our puzzles online.

4 Get off ___-free 6 Completely destroy, as a car 8 “Home ___”: second-highest-grossing Christmas film ever, behind “The Grinch” 9 See 1-Across

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4 Lines on a GPS: Abbr.

1 Sticker on a perfect spelling test, maybe

5 ____ Sachs

2 Reason for a romaine recall 3 Off 5 Mixable orange drink often used for NASA missions 7 “___ Misérables”

Illustrations by Ariana Di Landro Staff Designer


Opinion

Friday December 3, 2021

page 9

{ www.dailyprincetonian.com } vol. cxlv

editor-in-chief Emma Treadway ’22 business manager Louis Aaron ’23

BOARD OF TRUSTEES president Thomas E. Weber ’89 vice president Craig Bloom ’88 second vice president David Baumgarten ’06 secretary Chanakya A. Sethi ’07 treasurer Douglas Widmann ’90 assistant treasurer Kavita Saini ’09

trustees Francesca Barber Kathleen Crown Gabriel Debenedetti ’12 Stephen Fuzesi ’00 Zachary A. Goldfarb ’05 Michael Grabell ’03 John G. Horan ’74 Rick Klein ’98 James T. MacGregor ’66 Abigail Williams ’14 Tyler Woulfe ’07 trustees ex officio Emma Treadway ’22 Louis Aaron ’23

145TH MANAGING BOARD managing editors Harsimran Makkad ’22 AG McGee ’22 Kenny Peng ’22 Zachary Shevin ’22 content strategist Omar Farah ’23 Sections listed in alphabetical order. head cartoon editors Sydney Peng ’22 Akaneh Wang ’24 associate cartoon editoris Inci Karaaslan ’24 Ambri Ma ’24 head copy editors Celia Buchband ’22 Isabel Rodrigues ’23 associate copy editors Catie Parker ’23 Cecilia Zubler ’23 digital news design editor Anika Maskara ’23 associate digital news design editor Brian Tieu ’23 graphics editor Ashley Chung ’23 instagram design editor Helen So ’22 print design editor Abby Nishiwaki ’23 newsletter editor Rooya Rahin ’23 head features editor Alex Gjaja ’23 Rachel Sturley ’23 associate features editors Annabelle Duval ’23 Ellen Li ’22 Tanvi Nibhanupudi ’23 multimedia liason Mark Dodici ’22 head photo editor Candace Do ’24 head podcast editor Isabel Rodrigues ’23

associate podcast editors Jack Anderson ’23 Francesca Block ’22 Hope Perry ’24 head video editor Mindy Burton ’23 associate video editors Daniel Drake ’24 Marko Petrovic ’24 head news editors Evelyn Doskoch ’23 Caitlin Limestahl ’23 associate news editors Bharvi Chavre ’23 Naomi Hess ’22 Marissa Michaels ’22 head opinion editor Shannon Chaffers ’22 associate opinion editors Won-Jae Chang ’24 Kristal Grant ’24 Mollika Singh ’24 head prospect editors Cameron Lee ’22 Auhjanae McGee ’23 associate prospect editors José Pablo Fernández García ’23 Aster Zhang ’24 head puzzles editors Gabriel Robare ’24 Owen Travis ’24 head satire editor Claire Silberman ’23 head sports editor Emily Philippides ’22 Tom Salotti ’22 associate sports editors Ben Burns ’23 Sreesha Ghosh ’23

145TH BUSINESS BOARD chief technology officer Pranav Avva ’24 assistant business manager Benjamin Cai ’24 business directors Gloria Wang ’24 Shirley Ren ’24 Samantha Lee ’24 David Akpokiere ’24 lead software engineers Joanna Tang ’24 Roma Bhattacharjee ’25 business-tech liaisons Anika Agarwal ’25 Juliana Li ’24

project manager Ananya Parashar ’24 software engineers Dwaipayan Saha ’24 Giao Vu Dinh ’24 Eugenie Choi ’24 Daniel Hu ’25 Kohei Sanno ’25 business associates Jonathan Lee ’24 Caroline Zhao ’25 John Cardwell ’25 Jack Curtin ’25 Diya Dalia ’24 Emma Limor ’25 Justin Ong ’24 Xabier Sardina ’24 Jasmine Zhang ’24

Princeton needs to rethink its ban on social gatherings: An open letter to Dean Dolan and VP Calhoun David Piegaro

Guest Contributor

The following is a guest contribution and reflects the author’s views alone. An unedited version of this letter was sent to Dean Dolan and Vice President Calhoun on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 6:25 p.m.

D

ear Dean Dolan and Vice President Calhoun,

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was joyful and relaxing. I recently read your email regarding an adjustment of campus COVID-19 protocols. I’m grateful for the concern that the University shows for the well-being of its community members and very pleased that we were able to enjoy a safe and nearly normal fall semester. Still, out of the many prudent and sensible mitigation measures being pursued, one newly implemented restriction is a costly, blunt, and seemingly illogical solution that will exact a very real cost in student morale and mental health. The recent rise in cases is not a welcome development. Sadly, it is an expected one given the seasonality of the virus and the vaccine’s waning protection against infection. Thankfully, the student body is 99 percent vaccinated, and while protection against infection diminishes with time, two doses still provide a nearly impervious shield against severe disease and death. This is especially the case for younger people. While the protection against severe disease seems to wane slightly for older people, I am very confident that those more at-risk faculty and staff have received a third dose, which restores their protection against infection to nearly 100 percent. What’s more, young children, who were previously denied the jab, have had access to it since the end of October. So carrying the virus home to them and causing harm is even less likely than it was. More data is almost always a good thing and more frequent testing will provide students and staff with the knowledge necessary to protect others. Increasing our testing to twice a week will allow infected individuals to be more rapidly identified and quarantined. The measure that puzzles me is the ban on student gatherings consisting of more than 20 people. In particular, I feel sorry for all those students who had been looking forward to attending their eating club’s formal. According to Interclub Council (ICC) Vice President Savannah Hampton, formals

have “been scheduled for the coming weekend for the entire semester ... We had come up with some policies to try and make it as safe as possible, including requiring two tests this week for all members; however, that all just got thrown out the window,” she told the ‘Prince’ on Saturday. Dining halls will continue to be open. In these spaces, large numbers of students will talk, laugh, cough, eat, and breathe unmasked. This is unavoidable as eating while masked is not possible. Classes will remain in-person, and even given masking, increased ventilation, and air filtration, this will pose a risk of spread. Masks are valuable and effective public health tools, but they are far from perfect. Cloth masks, which are shockingly provided by many residential colleges, seem to be nearly worthless, according to a well-run randomized controlled trial performed in Bangladesh. The fact of the matter is that we cannot drive the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 down to near-zero unless we return to online education. I am not advocating that. I think the risks posed by COVID-19 now that we are all vaccinated are orders of magnitude less grave than they were prior to vaccination, and I believe that the inperson Princeton experience is invaluable. If the risks currently posed by COVID-19 are truly grave, then the University should not allow formals or other social gatherings of more than 20 students to occur, but then the University should also neither allow in-person dining nor in-person class. We know that thanks to the University’s vaccine mandate and testing protocol the risk level is acceptable. At this point, switching to online instruction and closing dining halls would be met with the righteous indignation of students and parents. So too, this restriction on social gathering should be met with the same. A mitigation step that I believe would be incredibly valuable is the mandate of third doses for all faculty, students, and staff. The protection afforded by third doses is far greater than the protection afforded by masks or the marginal protection that accrues by preventing some gatherings while continuing to allow other high-risk situations like eating in dining halls. Your communication encouraged boosters but there is currently no mandate from the University. I do not understand why not. I hope that the University mandates and provides booster shots as soon as possible. It is also currently difficult to schedule a third dose appointment, but I am hopeful

that the University’s resources and influence will allow it to quickly procure and administer a quantity sufficient to restore near perfect protection to the entire community. This protection will not be perfect. COVID-19 will likely become endemic and we will have to learn to live with it. I’m optimistic that between vaccines, antivirals, monoclonal antibodies, and a robust testing strategy we will be able to tolerate it as we tolerate other diseases that circulate and exact a toll but do not require us to radically change how we live. After multiple unusual semesters where formals and other important events were impossible, many students looked forward to a normal semester with formals and parties and other events that enrich their college experience. In regard to formals, the sudden loss of this fun and important tradition, right before it was to be enjoyed, is sure to upset many students. It will engender feelings of despair and a fear of a return to the darkest days of our pre-vaccine existence. These vaccines aren’t perfect, and boosters are vital, but they are remarkable innovations that should allow us to enjoy a normal experience here. Testing further guarantees our safety. Please rethink this ban on gatherings. We could employ rapid tests at the doors to events like formals to further safeguard the community. Also please consider a booster mandate, they will restore incredibly high levels of protection and arrest any spikes in cases that might come soon. We have suffered through this pandemic for nearly two years. The University has employed the amazing innovations of saliva testing and highly effective vaccines in a way that protects the community and facilitates a wonderful in person experience. We shouldn’t let an uptick in cases distract us from the fact that we are well-protected, and we should not restrict students’ activities in ways that would make, at most, a marginal impact on student health but a significant impact on their well-being. Very Respectfully, David Piegaro ‘25 P.S. A note on omicron. We know very little about this variant but there is some reason to worry. If it becomes apparent that it is able to evade vaccine induced immunity and is very transmissible, then severe mitigation measures will be appropriate. We have not yet seen solid evidence that our worst fears will be realized, but we must remain vigilant.

THIS PRINT ISSUE WAS DESIGNED BY Jessica Cui ’24 Annie Rupertus ’25 Ariana Di Landro ’25 Juliana Wojtenko ’23 Esha Mittal ’23

Dimitar Chakarov ’24 Noreen Hosny ’25 Mark Dodici ’22 Thanya Begum ’23 Abby Nishiwaki ’23

AND COPIED BY Isabel Rodrigues ’23

Done reading your ‘Prince’? Recycle!

MARCIA BROWN / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Friday December 3, 2021

Opinion

page 10

{ www.dailyprincetonian.com }

I have COVID-19. To keep cases down, Princeton needs to mandate boosters. Zachariah Sippy

Editorial Board Chair

I

n recent months, I developed a weekly ritual. As the clock struck midnight, and Sunday turned to Monday, I would complete and scan my COVID-19 test. On my way to class in the morning, I would toss my biohazard baggie into the testing dropbox and go about my day. After my seminar, I would check the TigerSafe app and do a little jump for joy: another week with no COVID-19 detected. Last week was no different. By 5 p.m., I had tested negative on Monday night and proceeded to enjoy the rest of the evening with friends. On Tuesday, however, I woke to upsetting news: several of my close contacts had tested positive for COVID-19. I started developing symptoms later that afternoon and tested positive myself on Wednesday. I’m not alone. Dozens of Princeton affiliates have tested positive in the last week, causing the University to revise its policies, require more testing, and strengthen the mask mandate. On the whole, I feel fine.

I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell. But I’ve avoided any more serious symptoms, likely thanks to the vaccines I received earlier this year. So far, every case detected by Princeton (including my own) has had nothing to do with the omicron variant. Staff at University Health Services (UHS) told me it’s more likely that my case could be attributed to the waning strength of my antibody response, as it has been more than six months since my last vaccination. Breakthrough cases are

supposed to be rare, but given last week’s outbreak, it’s clear that more should be expected in the coming weeks, as vaccines’ effects wear down. The good news for us is that the FDA has recently expanded vaccine booster eligibility. In order to ensure the health and safety of our community, it’s time for the University to mandate booster vaccination and make them more accessible. Presently, the Moderna clinic at Jadwin Gym is offered only once a week dur-

ing a three-hour window on Thursday afternoons. And the BioNTech-Pfizer clinic has been nearly equally inaccessible to members of the student body. After the FDA announcement, I planned to get a booster shot. But between my class schedule and a general end-of-term laziness, I reasoned that the schlep to Jadwin could wait a couple of weeks (a decision I now regret). Each year during Flu Fest the University vaccinates thousands of community

HARSIMRAN MAKKAD / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

members in the basement of Frist Campus Center, requiring no appointments and generally demanding little to no wait time. UHS works hard to ensure that there are as few barriers as possible to vaccination. A similar scheme is needed for COVID-19 boosters. Why have they been relegated to such a far corner of campus? And why have boosters been offered only during short windows that largely conflict with classes? There are no guarantees, given the nature of the pandemic. Perhaps even if I had received a booster vaccination, I still would have COVID-19. But we can be certain that expanding access and mandating boosters will, on the whole, ensure that the campus community is less likely to have and spread COVID-19. New studies have shown that not only do boosters restore antibody responses to levels comparable to that after initial vaccination, they also exceed this original count. As case counts rise, the University should move quickly to require booster vaccinations and host a series of more accessible clinics before winter break. Zachariah Sippy is chair of the ‘Prince’ editorial board. He is a junior from Lexington, Ky. and can be reached at zsippy@ princeton.edu.

We must shift the way we test understanding Mohan Setty-Charity

L

Columnist

ast year, many professors faced a difficult decision: How would they make sure students were given a fair chance when taking exams remotely? For a politics course I took in the fall semester, the professor normally used an exam that centered around short questions related to readings throughout the semester. The virtual format meant that fears of cheating were heightened, however, so she instead asked us to answer a few long response questions, for which we could look at our notes. The presence of a time limit meant students who had not done the readings would struggle. Thus, it forced students to engage with the readings as a whole, rather than simply memorizing facts or summaries. My professor’s decision to change the exam format was not a unique one. While in theory, the existence of the Honor Code would have ensured professors that they could trust us to take virtual exams without cheating, even as we had easier access to offlimits resources, this was not necessarily the case. Thus, some, like my Politics professor, turned away from traditional means of examination that prohibited outside materials and tested recall of material from specific readings or lectures in the course. Instead, they shifted to open note tests with more challenging or nuanced questions. This decision had another positive effect: It allowed students to engage more constructively with the material because rather than cramming and memo-

rizing, we were required to comprehend and synthesize. Going forward, when possible, professors of exam-based courses should change their classes to focus on assessing critical thinking, as was the result of exams administered virtually. The first way to do this is by changing the format of final examinations. Grades, tests, and assessments are conducted very differently across courses, and there are some classes where it is logical for professors to test the ability of students to recall information from lectures or readings based on the assumption that everything should be clear to students given the material they have been taught. This does make sense in some fields; some companies and firms will judge applicants based on their ability to take tests and draw on knowledge off of the top of their heads. In many fields, however, these types of assessments do not make as much sense. Applicants will be judged on their ability to do critical thinking and formulate a succinct response, with all relevant material available to them as they work. This more closely mirrors open-note tests or essay responses, which suggests that for some professors to better judge students’ understanding of the material or prepare them for future assessments, they should change their testing practices. Another change professors must make is shifting away from summative assessments and toward formative assessments. Formative assessments, like problem sets and discussion responses, are generally better for monitoring student learning and en-

gagement. But because they are not worth as much, students do not have as much incentive to put in full effort. In contrast, summative assessments are typically higher stakes: midterm and final exams that, as I explained before, typically assess students’ ability to recall information from lectures and readings from memory. Because these midterms and final exams can often be worth the plurality, or even the majority, of a course grade, students will spend far more time trying to prepare for these exams if they are trying to secure a good grade in the class. Because of the emphasis put on getting good grades, cramming is often seen as the best strategy for classes that do not monitor participation throughout the course. Unsurprisingly, cramming does not typically lead to retention and takes a physical and mental toll on the test-taker. This

also means students could struggle in future courses because even though they may have taken prerequisites, they find themselves ill-prepared as they did not truly synthesize or comprehend the material. These harmful practices brought on by the emphasis of summative assessments demonstrate why professors and course administrators need to shift the emphasis to assessing our comprehension throughout the course, rather than simply relying on one test to assess performance. This could mean putting more weight on problem sets or requiring greater participation in other ways throughout the course. Shifting weight away from midterms and finals would encourage students to try to fully understand what is going on throughout the course. Even if professors choose to keep exams heavily weighted or under restrictive time constraints, changing these to open-

note tests will still reward those who have been participating throughout and allow for questions that examine concept comprehension rather than the ability to regurgitate material. Beyond learning, this would benefit students in other ways as well — midterms and finals periods would be less stressful and hopefully encourage students to set good study habits and schedules throughout the semester. These changes would not demand revolutionary change to the course structure: it would merely encourage learning and interacting with the entirety of the course, rather than briefly memorizing large portions of the course material, only to be forgotten once the exam ends. Mohan Setty-Charity is a sophomore from Amherst, Mass. He can be reached at ms99@princeton.edu.

SYDNEY PENG / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Friday December 3, 2021

Opinion

page 11

{ www.dailyprincetonian.com }

Reactions: The Honor Committee Gauntlet

Last week, the ‘Prince’ news section released a detailed article tracing eight students who faced accusations of violating the Honor Code. Big questions were raised. Does the Honor Code disproportionately impact first generation and low-income students? Are the punishments too draconian? Is the process itself too intense? Were measures taken during the pandemic appropriate? We asked ‘Prince’ columnists and community members for their Reactions to these new revelations about the Honor Committee.

The Honor Committee’s punishments don’t fit the crime Abigail Rabieh

I

Guest Contributor

was shocked to learn that students found guilty of an Honor Code violation “can expect to be suspended from the University for one, two, or three years.” This severe form of punishment — described by Professor Fernández-Kelly in the recent ‘Prince’ article as akin to banishment — strikes me as a massive, useless overreaction. Why do we punish people? One answer, unquestionably, is to deter others from committing the same crime. Another answer is that sometimes we aim to remedy the harm done. But perhaps the most important reason is to rehabilitate the offender. Punishment should not be only about taking punitive measures; justice is also about helping people who have made a mistake. If it’s true that students who violate the honor code are often regarded as “cry[ing] for help” and not acting with malice, as Counseling and Psychological Services Director Calvin Chin noted, what does anyone gain from expelling a student from campus for a

year or more? There are no victims in these offenses, save the offenders themselves. I fail to see how this punishment fits the crime, and students who have been subject to this punishment seem to agree. The way I see it, the fear of getting a zero in a class would be more than enough to deter most Princtonians from violating the honor code. That punishment feels fair. Removing students from campus only increases their anxiety surrounding grades and assignments upon their return, the very feelings that lead them to violate the honor code in the first place. We must look for a better way to help those who feel desperate enough to violate academic integrity and make this whole process helpful instead of terrifying. There’s no reason for it to be this way. Abigail Rabieh is a firstyear from Cambridge, MA. She can be reached at ar5732@princeton.edu.

Should students or Princeton be on trial? Braden Flax

Senior Columnist

W

hen we were all separated into isolated areas for virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, compassion, and understanding were all the rage. We were described, and described each other, as exceptional for being able to get anything done at all. In other words, surviving and being vaguely alright were rhetorically treated as going above and beyond. And those of us who decided to use this as an opportunity to actually improve ourselves, that was downright incredible. Yet now, through this investigation, we find out that those who failed to be exceptional were mistreated, bullied, abused, and introduced to paralyzing stigma. Why should we be proud of this? Is Princeton? After this investigation, does the administration really think professors are going to keep reporting students even when they technically should by the letter of the law? I hope not. We, the students, tried to go through channels

approved by the University, but were disregarded. We should keep this in mind when we consider if students are in charge of our own discipline, or if an administration that pretends to delegate power is actually just trying to pass off the responsibility while keeping the authority. My final appeal is this. When contemplating whom to call when you are struggling and really need a trusted friend, is academic integrity of the narrow Princeton sort ever what you consider first, if at all? Are momentary lapses of judgment, most of which do no concrete harm, really the metrics we want to use to assess the character of the people around us? Trustworthiness of the academic variety is not correlated to trustworthiness in more deeply consequential matters. I challenge you to find any correlation between cheating on a test, and unwillingness to actually go out of your way for another human being when it really counts. I’ll wait. Braden Flax is a senior from Merrick, N.Y. He can be reached at bf lax@princeton. edu.

LAZARENA LAZAROVA / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

Seats in McCosh 50, one of the largest lecture halls at the University.

We’re committed to doing better Matthew Wilson

Guest Contributor

T

he Daily Princetonian’s recent feature profiling students accused of Honor Code violations was disturbing and disheartening to read. As an Honor committee member myself, I’m deeply saddened by reports that students have faced academic, personal, and mental health struggles as a result of their experiences with the Honor Committee. It’s entirely possible that, as the students interviewed in the piece suggest, the Honor System puts first-generation, low-income (FLI) students at a disadvantage in the disciplinary process. While a finding of responsibility for an alleged Honor Code viola-

tion would never be influenced by factors such as income level, personal background, or athlete status, I would wholeheartedly support measures to rectify unfairness or inconsistencies in penalty implementation ― particularly when it comes to financial aid extensions for suspended students required to repeat a semester. The Honor Committee exists so that students have the opportunity to have alleged Honor Code violations adjudicated by their peers, rather than having their culpability summarily decided by professors or administrators. An entirely studentrun Honor System guarantees that the student perspective is centered during investigations and hearings ― so that the ac-

cused have their cases heard by individuals who understand the everyday stresses and hardships that accompany being a student at Princeton, since they experience those same struggles themselves. Every case that comes before us is extremely difficult. We’re committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that the Honor Committee treats all accused students, regardless of background, with the same sense of equality, dignity, justice, and compassion. Matthew Wilson is a sophomore from Ashburn, Virginia and a member of the Honor Committee. He can be reached at mxwilson@ princeton.edu.

Do we need an Honor Committee? Rohit Narayanan

T

Columnist

he most disheartening revelation of the recent exposé was that the Honor Committee process takes students who were passionate about academics and replaces that passion with a dull fear of punishment. I’ve heard students say that fear of being Honor Coded was a major reason they never took a math or CS class. I can’t think of anything more antithetical to Princeton’s mission. But it’s the inevitable result of a process based not on values but fear. Legitimate questions must be asked on whether we should even have an Honor Committee with such a mandate. A substantial proportion of the cases that come before the Honor Committee and Committee on Discipline are for minor academic violations — some of which aren’t even bad. Of the 38 cases the Honor Committee heard between 2015 and 2019, 17 of them were for writing overtime or using course notes, a calculator or a cheat sheet

during an exam (probably many due to honest mistakes). The Committee on Discipline suggests many of the cases it hears are for the use of outside sources without proper acknowledgement -- improper collaboration or miscitation, typically. Making citation errors on essays? Teach students, don’t punish them. Collaborating on problem sets? Collaboration is an important life skill, and professors shouldn’t write questions that can be defeated merely by asking classmates or searching Google. Writing 30 seconds over time on exams? Students should have time to finish their thoughts (time crunch exams aren’t useful anyway). If a student brings an improper resource to an exam, should it be confiscated or should we have a hearing about it after the fact? For cases during the pandemic, it strains credulity to suggest we should care how people were taking tests while the world was shut down. Are any of these violations worth the stress of a hear-

ing, let alone suspension? Things we worry about more are rare and pretty easy to fix. If we’re worried about cheating on inclass exams, why are they unproctored? And do we really think students are copying whole papers off the Internet? Wouldn’t that be relatively easy to find out? To top it off, the Honor Committee is largely ineffective. A ‘Prince’ survey in 2009 found that only 4 out of 85 students who’d witnessed cheating actually reported it. It’s no wonder the entire concept of the investigation seems to be asking students: “Isn’t this coincidence just a bit too suspicious?” We just tend to assume that cheating is a real dragon to be slain. Nothing about the Honor Committee’s current operation suggests that its value outweighs its harm. Rohit Narayanan is a sophomore electrical and computer engineering major from McLean, VA. He can be reached at rohitan@princeton.edu.


Friday December 3, 2021

Opinion

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Looking at the effectiveness of Writing Seminar policies Gisele Bisch

Contributing Columnist

A

s a first-year student, one of the trends at Princeton you quickly pick up on is the widespread distaste for writing seminars, an integral part of one’s academic journey here. While there are a handful of students who have enjoyed their writing seminars, there are undoubtedly a significant number of people who have not had such positive experiences. Common complaints I’ve heard are that some students did not feel very compatible with their professor’s teaching style or that they did not find the course’s subject matter as engaging as they anticipated. For any other course, these challenges would warrant a student to drop or switch out of their current class to enroll in one that may be better suited for them; however, students are unable to do this for their writing seminar. Currently, the Writing Program states that “under ordinary circumstances, students may not drop the writing seminar at any time during the term,” and only under “unusual” circumstances should they “speak with their residential college Dean or Director of Studies, as well as the Director of the Writing Program” for a possible exception. As a result of this strict policy, such issues are never resolved but rather endured. This inability to switch writing seminars just allows these challenges — and thus the large

negative outlook on writing seminars — to fester further. If the University wants more students to enjoy the writing seminar requirement, they should implement some sort of add/drop policy, or at least be more flexible in the writing seminar enrollment process and policies overall. Doing so would increase the likelihood that students find a seminar they truly resonate with, therefore contributing to a more positive outlook about writing seminars. Most importantly, it would allow students to get the most out of their writing seminar, empowering them to obtain writing skills that will be significant to their academic careers. I corresponded with Dr. Amanda Irwin Wilkins, Director of the Princeton Writing Program, over email to further understand the reasoning behind the current policy. Wilkins explained that “there are several reasons” why there is no add/drop period currently, “including the swift pace of the seminar curriculum.” With drafts of the first essay due within the first two weeks of the semester, Wilkins noted that “students need to be settled in their courses to hit the ground running.” Yet, students who are desperately unhappy may not need the entire two-week shopping period to decide whether or not they’d like to remain in their writing seminar. With each writing seminar meeting two times a week for an hour and twenty minutes, it would be possible for a student to decide they’d like to drop their writing seminar

within their first or second session, giving them time to catch up with their peers in their new class. To make this process quicker, writing seminars could also encourage students to look over course readings before their first session, giving them a glimpse into what sort of readings they’ll expect for the rest of the semester. This could be another factor that would allow them to immediately decide if they are satisfied with their class. Another step to address the time-sensitivity issue would be to give students a maximum number of times they can add or drop a seminar, or create a shopping period shorter than the shopping period time frame for other classes. Wilkins also touched upon “the importance of seminar community,” explaining that draft workshops and peer feedback “work better when there is a steady cohort in the class.” I agree that “community” is important for class productivity. But if students are unhappy in their writing seminars, they likely will not be in the best shape to productively contribute during draft workshops and peer feedback sessions. Wilkins further highlighted the fact that “students do have the opportunity to rank their top eight choices from the list of Writing Seminar offerings,” and typically 97 percent of students are placed in one of their top three. While this may be true, it’s important to note that not all courses are exactly as they present on paper. Thus, students are still essentially enrolling in seminars

with minimal information about what the course will be like. Additionally, with the lack of course evaluations, students are left with the information they can grasp from other students who have taken writing seminars, which is often not enough to make a proper decision about what seminars they would like to enroll in. Without any real evaluations, students utilize a number of measures to scope out writing seminars. Josephine Klein ’25, who is on the varsity squash team, told me she asked older teammates “if they had any suggestions of good writing seminars or writing seminars to stay away from.” “I remember trying to look up writing seminars on the class review site but was disappointed when it seemed as though past students were unable to leave anonymous feedback on their writing seminar,” Klein added. “Hearing anonymous student perspectives would have been nice when signing up for my writing seminar, and I do wish that information was available.” Wilkins also highlighted how “the Writing Seminars must accommodate every first-year student, and collectively they run near 99 percent capacity each semester.” Thus, the Writing Program uses “the razorthin margin of flexibility that is left to address serious unforeseen scheduling conflicts for students who have exhausted other options.” Indeed, the rigid capacity is a substantial factor that would impact whether or not an add/drop policy

could be properly utilized by students. If the limited open space in writing seminar courses are prioritized for students who have outstanding scheduling conflicts, as Wilkins mentions, then offering more writing seminar courses overall could allow students who are deeply unhappy with their writing seminar to switch into one that is still open. Although this may be a sizable and time-consuming task — as it would require a process of finding staff, generating productive curriculum specific to a course’s subject matter, and so on — I think it is necessary for the long run if Princeton wants students to foster a meaningful connection with writing. All in all, the prominent negativity surrounding writing seminars is a problem — one that considerably impacts first-year students and a student’s relationship with writing. While there are many things to consider, creating an add/drop policy or making writing seminars more flexible should not be impossible. If students are at least allowed to find a seminar they are truly engaged in rather than enduring challenges that will hinder their performance and learning, perhaps then there will be a more beneficial and positive relationship to writing seminars on campus. Gisele Bisch is a first-year from the North Shore of Oʻahu (Hawai‘i) who plans to concentrate in anthropology. She can be reached at gb8528@ princeton.edu.

POANING WU / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

Photos from the April 1995 protests to establish Asian American Studies and Latino Studies programs.


Friday December 3, 2021

The Daily Princetonian

Cartoon

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Bonfire

By Paige Min, Staff Cartoonist

Advice Cookie

By Fizzah Arshad, Contributing Cartoonist

Exterminator

By Elizabeth Medina, Staff Cartoonist


Friday December 3, 2021

Features

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The Robeson House: A community rallies around restoration, memory, and history By Ellen Battaglia Staff Writer

Before it was officially denoted the Paul Robeson House, the property at the corner of Witherspoon and Green Street was everything from a grocery store to a private residence to a rooming house. Notably, it was the home where Paul Robeson, famed athlete, artist, performer, and activist, was born. While the House’s purpose has evolved over the past two centuries, each new version has stood as a source of refuge, amity, and culture for Princeton’s African American community. Today, the House is undergoing a new change as members of the very area it serves rally together to preserve its history and mission. Shirley Satterfield, local historian of Princeton’s African American community and Board Member of the Paul Robeson House, told of its origins in a segregated Princeton. “The house was owned by Isaac Stockton, and

until Reverend Robeson was “forced to leave the church and move to a smaller house in the neighborhood.” Eventually, the family moved away from the Princeton area to Somerville. Colbert explained that it was there in Somerville and later at Rutgers that Robeson “became a student” — the first occupation of many in a long and diverse career. His time at Rutgers saw successes both academic and athletic. According to the Paul Robeson Centennial Committee at Rutgers University, before graduating as the Class of 1919 valedictorian, Robeson was twice named to the All-American Football Team. After college, Robeson took many detours before his entry into the entertainment industry. “He was a lawyer first,” Satterfield noted, “and because of the prejudice of his secretary he decided, ‘I’m not going to be a lawyer’, and that’s when he went into singing and acting and became an ac-

ELLEN BATTAGLIA / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

The main floor of The Paul Robeson House. Wilkes plans to designate this floor for public use: “It will be a community meeting room and there will be two offices for rent to non-profit groups.”

before it was a house, it was a grocery store,” she said. “But it could’ve been a house and grocery store because in some of the homes there were barber shops, there were beauty parlors, there were stores, because [African American residents of Princeton] were not allowed to shop on Nassau Street.” One such small business owner, Anthony Simmons, later purchased the House from Stockton. Satterfield explained that, following his death in 1868, Simmons left the property to Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church to be used to house the Church’s Minister. Almost 20 years later, in 1887, this position would be filled by a new pastor in town: Reverend William Drew Robeson. In 1898, the House served a new function as the site of Paul Robeson’s birth to Reverend Robeson and his wife, Maria Bustill Robeson. According to Ben Colbert, Board President of the Paul Robeson House, Paul Robeson and his family lived in the House

tivist.” “Paul is not as familiar to most of our contemporaries because he was very active in the 30s and 40s,” said Colbert. It was during these years that his theatrical career flourished, marked by famous performances like his rendition of “Ol’ Man River” in “Showboat” and his starring role in “Othello” in London. In later years, Robeson transitioned from the role of international performer to that of international activist. Following a visit to the Soviet Union in 1934, he praised the Soviet Constitution for effectively prohibiting racial discrimination, famously stating, “Here … for the first time in my life … I walk in full human dignity.” At home in the United States, Robeson advocated for civil rights and labor rights, working with President Truman to push for anti-lynching legislation. Ultimately, Robeson’s progressive activism forced him out of the theatrical spotlight, as suspicions of Com-

COURTESY OF WWW.THEPAULROBESONHOUSEOFPRINCETON.ORG

A sketch of the planned exterior of The Paul Robeson House.

munist sympathies intensified the scrutiny he received from both the public and the government. Most important to the Paul Robeson House Board, Colbert emphasized, is “the commitment [Robeson] made to equity and equal rights especially for the poor and underserved people all over.” As Robeson’s career blossomed and evolved, his birth home too underwent changes. After the Robeson family moved out of the home to Somerville in 1901, it became a rooming house and served this function for the rest of the 20th century. “In its early years when the first African American students were admitted to the [Princeton Theological Seminary], for instance, they had no place to stay and they had no place to eat,” Colbert said. “So the rooming house served that capacity for many years.” According to Colbert, even after the first Black students were admitted to the University, the students would still sometimes opt to reside in the House, known then as the “Taylor House,” rather than on campus. The informal name of the “Taylor House” comes from Ms. Gladyss Taylor, the final owner of the property before its reacquisition by the Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in 2005. Satterfield reflected on how the Church acted on the opportunity to save what she called a “noted establishment.” “We deliberated as to how to do that because [Ms. Taylor] was bombarded by realtors in Princeton to sell the house,” recalled Satterfield. “So we were trying to figure out how we would approach her. Two of us who were on the committee at that time, Bernadine Hines and myself, were the two who grew up in Princeton. We were asked to talk to Ms. Taylor about the importance of leaving that house to the Church, and that’s what we did. It was successful and she willed the house to our Church.” Thus marked the beginning of the effort to save and preserve the Paul Robeson House, using

the space to commemorate the prolific figure for whom it is named. According to Satterfield, the initiative has only grown with time. “We started with a small committee, and it grew larger as we saw the importance of having people on the committee who knew about the strategy of renovating the house. So we were looking for an architect.” Kevin Wilkes ’83, local architect and founder of Princeton Design Guild, was who they chose. Wilkes described how he first learned of the Robeson House after moving to an apartment in the neighborhood in the early 2000s. “I knew some of the people from my community who were involved in it,” he said. “So I went up to one of them and said, ‘If you need any help with the architecture, I’d be happy to help,’ and he said, ‘Yes.’” It soon became clear to Wilkes that restoring the 3290 square-foot property would prove challenging; the infrastructure reflected the residence’s decades of varied life and activity. “[The house] had been — it’s not fair to say neglected — but problems had just been covered over for 60 or 70 years. So anytime something needed replacing, they just put a new layer of flooring, or some new wallpaper, or some new paint, and covered it all up because they didn’t have the resources,” Wilkes said. Additionally, Wilkes found that the effort involved restoration not only of the physical property, but also of the mission of the Paul Robeson House. “The Church knew they had a gem,” Wilkes said. “They just didn’t know what to do with it.” Wilkes explained that community members assembled “a group of a lot of Church members and a handful of outsiders like [himself]” to determine the future of the property and oversee the project. According to Wilkes, “They decided that the building would have a social mission, a community mission, and a Robeson component. But it would not be a museum for Paul Robeson.” Today, this group has grown into

an independent Board of Directors and Advisory Committee that works in partnership with the Witherspoon Presbyterian Church. Wilkes recalled how, with these objectives established, he then had to “redesign the building” to fulfill the vision. He summed up his plan as follows: “a little bit of preservation, a little bit of residential, a little bit of community, and a little bit of museum.” “The basement level will have a gallery with its own separate entrance,” said Wilkes. “The gallery will tell the history of whatever exhibit happens to be installed at the time.” He imagines that these exhibits will cover the “cultural history” of Paul Robeson, the Robeson family, and the neighborhood surrounding the House. Wilkes plans to designate the main floor for public use: “It will be a community meeting room and there will be two offices for rent to non-profit groups. The Church will target groups that work in the community.” “The floor above will be residential — but it won’t be apartments,” he added. “[The Church] identified a need for short-term emergency residential use. It will be three bedrooms with their own bathrooms and a shared kitchen.” Without a code-approved way to make the attic accessible, Wilkes plans to leave the upper level “as a memory of what it was.” Progress on these restorations, Wilkes explained, is completely dependent on fundraising. “We’re building as we raise money,” he said. “If all the money were in the bank, I could finish it in 12 months.” Realistically, Wilkes anticipates it will take a “couple years” to achieve full restoration of the Paul Robeson House. “We are an independent board,” Colbert said of the fundraising efforts. “All of the contributions we have so far have been primarily through philanthropic organizations and the [Witherspoon] Presbyterian Church.” This “pay-as-you-go” approach, he noted, has seen successes. “We have been fortunate enough to re-


Friday December 3, 2021

Features

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COURTESY OF KEVIN WILKES ’83 COURTESY OF KEVIN WILKES ’83

A collection of worn socks that were found in The Paul Robeson House over the course of renovation.

ceive generous grants and all of those funds are being put directly into [the House], and the progress on the House is a reflection of that.” “We are probably about 35 percent done on the structure,” Wilkes said. “We started demolition four years ago, but we demolished it slowly and carefully to retain the artifacts that we found in the building.” Through demolition and construction, Wilkes

discovered relics of the building’s past in its very floors, walls, and ceilings. “We found incredible stuff. It wasn’t like we found diamond rings, but we found ordinary artifacts of working class Black men who were laborers — worn socks, trousers, tobacco tins, playing cards. We even found a shiv and bullets up in the attic.” One discovery, Wilkes recalled, came directly from the Robeson family.

“When we took down the ceiling, a little envelope fell to the floor. One of the volunteers from the Church saw it, grabbed it, and opened it up. It was a trolley pass made out to Paul Robeson’s older brother, ‘Bill’ Robeson, or William Drew Robeson Jr.” As Princeton was segregated, Wilkes elaborated, Bill Robeson took the trolley from Princeton to Trenton everyday in order to attend high school. This artifact even holds

A collection of paper artifacts found over the course of the restoration of The Paul Robeson House. Included in the collection are letters, newspaper clippings, and train schedules.

a direct connection to Paul Robeson himself. As Wilkes stated, “it’s dated the very month [Bill’s brother Paul] was born: April 1898.” The project of the Paul Robeson House is one that aims to preserve the legacy not just of Paul Robeson but also of all those who lived, shopped, and gathered at 110 Witherspoon Street. Satterfield hopes that when people visit Princeton in the future, they

will come by the Paul Robeson House. “I see it as a place of refuge, a place of learning, a place of pride, a place of understanding,” she reflected. “I see it as a place of the history of African Americans in not only Princeton, but in how Paul Robeson spread himself across the world.” Ellen Battaglia is a Staff Features writer for The Daily Princetonian. She can be reached at eb23@princeton. edu.


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The Daily Princetonian

Friday December 3, 2021


the PROSPECT. The Daily Princetonian

Friday December 3, 2021

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ARTS & CULTURE

Gaining 40 pounds and a sense of self Content Warning: This piece includes references to mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and disordered eating. I decided to run for student body president when I was a high school sophomore. As a deeply introverted student terrified of speaking in class or in social circles, I didn’t really believe I had a chance at winning. Implementing my ideas in student government would be great, but more importantly, I would have to give a speech to the whole student body, putting me and my ideas firmly in the “public” eye. I lost by a landslide, of course, but the experience taught me an important lesson: I can make my own voice, and I am not forever resigned to be the student whose heart races every time she’s required to speak in class. And I kept at it, plunging myself into experiences that petrified me. I applied to Princeton. I took giant leaps once I got to the University. As an associate opinion editor, I decided to run for editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian — because why not? It would force me to speak. As someone who felt small and unseen, I desperately needed to thrust myself into the limelight. And thrust me into the limelight it did. The ‘Prince’ is now an organization of over 400 people — over 400 passionate, brilliant, and fierce people. I was suddenly in charge of setting the tone and vision and then pioneering the organization from the COVID19-necessitated Zoom world to an in-person campus life. At the same time, I was dealing with issues of body image and confidence. Standing nearly six feet tall, I’ve always been cognizant of the space I take up — I’ve obsessed

over it. After years of working through an eating disorder, I had a subconscious fear that having a larger body would make me less attractive — and less effective as a leader. Yet, with the support of several exceedingly kind professors, Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) — a resource I would never have been able to afford without Princeton’s financial aid — and a network of close friends, I’ve proved myself wrong. I gained almost 40 pounds, and I’m proud of that. I’m often the biggest person in the room, but this hasn’t affected my ability to lead. If anything, embracing my own presence and size has made me a better leader, not to mention one who is able to think more clearly as a result of proper food and fuel. Still, the road to recovery, of mind and of body, is not linear. I’ve doubted myself, and I’ve been overwhelmed by days where I can’t cope with the sight of my own body. Yet, each failure has been a personal exercise, in leadership and in self-confidence. I learned how to better communicate internal decisions to my staff when the decision to abandon daily print was ill-received. I published pieces with errors, and had to figure out how to address such errors — and how to own up to them publicly. I published pieces that crossed a clear moral line, and it was my responsibility to try and mend the community. This job was the best thing I ever experienced. It also tore me apart, mentally and physically. In February, I experienced my first debilitating panic attack; by April, I was having suicidal thoughts. By July, I felt like a com-

plete failure of a leader; in October, I spent long nights crying on my office couch. Despite spending 40 hours of my week surrounded by hundreds of people, I felt incredibly isolated. I wanted to humanize myself and simply hang out with my peers, but I was also their boss. I felt stranded in this liminal space where I couldn’t quite fully be a fellow student and fully be the leader of the ‘Prince.’ It’s a dynamic I never entirely solved. And yet, I am proud of myself. I didn’t achieve everything I set out to do — no leader ever does — but I made my mark. And I carved a physical and mental space for myself. I learned how to enter a room of trustees and give my report unflinchingly. I spoke my opinion to editors and staffers with resolve. I held my own when speaking to key players at the University. I trusted my own convictions, and I also developed the humil-

By Emma Treadway Editor-In-Chief

ity to change them. I strode unabashedly into a room where I took up more space — and I embraced that fact. Throwing yourself into new and uncomfortable opportunities is crucial to personal growth. Speaking is hard; taking up space is hard. My year as editor-in-chief has taught me that I can, and that I should. The ‘Prince’ is an organization I’m deeply proud of, and it is full of editors and staffers who care about raising the stories of others. I worked hard to foster that culture, and I couldn’t have done it without pushing myself onstage. Now I have spoken, I have taken up space, and never will I regret doing so. Emma Treadway is soon-to-be editor-in-chief emerita of The Daily Princetonian. She can be reached at emmalt@princeton.edu or eic@dailyprincetonian.com, for the next few weeks.

HARSIMRAN MAKKAD / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

Astroworld: when do we hold artists accountable? Kerrie Liang | Contributing Writer

Nine dead. 25 hospitalized. And yet the show went on. On Friday, Nov. 5, over 50,000 people were packed in NRG Park for a good time at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival; what they got instead was a bloodbath. By 9:52 p.m., less than an hour into Scott’s performance, a Level One Mass Casualty Incident had been reported, and between approximately 10 p.m. and 11:40 p.m., 17 people had been transported to hospitals, at least six of whom were suffering from cardiac arrest. How does an event spiral this out of control? While one might be inclined to blame it on a lack of security or the unmanageable energy of the crowd, the casualties were not caused by the heat of the moment. The downfall did not begin at the dangerous crowd conditions four hours before Travis Scott’s set or at 9 a.m. either, when a tsunami of spectators barrelled through the main gate — those are just symptoms of a larger catalyst. In fact, the problem started far before the festival itself. Previously, Scott has pleaded guilty twice to misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct. In 2017, a fan was left paralyzed after he fell off a balcony which he described as “severely crowded.” It’s clear that Scott is no stranger to casualties — in fact, he instigates them. From inciting a riot at his 2017 Arkansas concert to encouraging a fan to jump from the second floor, Scott obviously has no regard for his fans’ safety. So when he goes on Instagram pitifully rubbing his forehead, mumbling his condolences between heavy sighs, how are we supposed to believe him? How can the man who says “all my real ragers jump the barricade right now” be the same person to claim he “could never [have imagined] anything like this just happening?” It’s almost as if when you incite violence, you get violence … shocking. Over the past week, numerous videos from the Astroworld concert have emerged, revealing the sheer terror permeating the raging crowd. Consequently, many Travis Scott fans and music lovers in general have been confronted with a very complex question: What behaviors should we hold artists accountable for? And why? While we can remember that these celebrities are humans — they can make mistakes — we must also realize that they are humans with significant influence. When an idol consistently encourages reckless behavior, what they’re saying to fans is, “Hey, this is okay.” Furthermore, many fans are young, impressionable teenagers who may actually think that jumping off of balconies into a crowd or storming a concert is “cool” or “edgy.” Some argue that it’s unfair to place this burden on celebrities and that they aren’t responsible for the lives of others. To those, I pose the question: Would it be okay if a parent was encouraging their child to act dangerously? Many of us would find it appalling if we saw a child dangling from a balcony and heard a parent say, “[They’re] gonna catch you. Don’t be scared!” It shouldn’t be any different when those words come from the mouth of a famous rapper — in fact, we should be outraged when anyone, famous or not, puts others’ lives at risk. Moreover, it shouldn’t matter if the fan is a child or an adult; when any artist shows no regard for their fans’ safety, we should really question whether they care about their fans at all. In his apology, Scott claims that “his fans mean the world to him,” but his actions say the exact opposite. In fact, his actions have been

KERRIE LIANG / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

A crowded concert venue (not Astroworld). contradicting this sentiment for years. Did his fans mean the world to him when he was dancing the robot while his fans were on the brink of death? Conversely, a responsible artist should also hold their fans accountable for their behavior. At this year’s Lawnparties, many found themselves engulfed in the dangerous mob of students that consumed the backyard of Quadrangle Club. This violent surge resulted in a plethora of physical and emotional damage — panic attacks, cuts and bruises, fainting, and more. Despite staff members urging students to move back from the stage, their efforts at crowd control were greatly ineffective. Noticing this issue, A$AP Ferg took matters into his own hands, pausing his set twice to ask students to “move all the way back.” Understandably, when your favorite artist is performing, it is natural to feel overly-excited. Likewise, artists thrive off of this energy from their fans. The issue isn’t about whether concert-goers are allowed to have fun; rather, it’s about how idols set a precedent for their fans. As lame as it seems for an artist to pause their show to reprimand fans, this dilemma ultimately boils down to one simple question: Would you rather be called a “buzzkill” or endanger the people who put your name on the map to begin with? It is almost comical that neither on his Instagram story nor in his Twitter post does Travis Scott ever say

the words “I’m sorry.” The closest we get is a mere “I’m devastated” and a commitment to work alongside the Houston Police Department to “get to the bottom of this.” Scott speaks as if it’s some shocking mystery as to why his festival was disastrous when the answer is clear as day. If he wants to “get to the bottom of this,” he doesn’t need the support of the police: he needs a mirror. At the end of the day, nine people died. It’s going to take a lot more than a black-and-white Instagram story to fix that. Travis Scott can claim to be as devastated as he is, but he also needs to acknowledge the significant role he played in this catastrophe. As for the avid defenders who claim that he deserves to learn from this lesson — who’s to guarantee that he will? Looking at Scott’s past, this is evidently a repeated pattern of behavior that has plagued his entire career. While I hope that he deeply reflects on his behavior, nothing will reverse the pain he has brought upon his fans and their loved ones. It should never take the death of nine innocent people for anyone to learn their lesson. Kerrie Liang is a contributing writer for The Prospect at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at kerrie.liang@princeton. edu, or on Instagram at @kerrie.liang.


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Working towards an inclusive ‘Prince’ and an accessible Princeton Naomi Hess | Associate News Editor

For 21 years, I have had to exist as a disabled woman in a society not built to accommodate me. I was born with muscular dystrophy, and I use an electric wheelchair to navigate the world. I’m not going to lie, having a disability can be difficult at times. I regularly encounter businesses in Princeton and elsewhere where I cannot enter in my wheelchair. I interact with people who think my life is lesser because I am disabled or that I am inspirational for simply being in public. I read countless stories about disabled lives being harmed in the healthcare and criminal justice systems. There are laws and policies in place that are supposed to ensure access and inclusion for people with disabilities, yet these laws can only go so far when there are still societal barriers that prevent people with disabilities from obtaining education, employment, and quality of living. My existence as someone different from the norm has shown me the importance of advocating for those in the margins of society and making sure that everybody’s story gets told. This commitment to telling people’s stories explains my passion for journalism. As a news writer and outgoing Associate News Editor, I am so proud of the steps The Daily Princetonian has taken to create a better culture for disabled students inside and outside the organization. The ‘Prince’ has been a driver of conversation on campus about major issues related to disability. In 2016, the Editorial Board called for an expansion of the American Sign Language program. Several op-eds last year continued this advocacy, and this past spring the University finally approved ASL as a way to fulfill the language requirement. The ‘Prince’ assisted in raising the visibility of this important issue. The ‘Prince’ regularly highlights problems the disability community faces at Princeton, like when the rise of electric scooter usage created access barriers and when many students with disabilities did not receive appropriate housing accommodations last spring. This coverage brings awareness to problems nondisabled people may

overlook. We also write about new initiatives meant to help disabled students, such as how I became the first person in a wheelchair to enter Nassau Hall without assistance when it became accessible this summer after 265 years and how the new TigerAccess program improves accessible transportation services. It is important to document both setbacks and improvements in the University’s accessibility. We’ve also made significant progress in accessibility and inclusivity within the ‘Prince’ itself. Last year, editor-in-chief emeritus Jon Ort ’21 pushed for an automatic door opener to be added to the accessible entrance of 48 University Place, which houses our wonderful newsroom. This feature makes it possible for me to enter the building without struggling, because no one should have to struggle to enter their figurative home on campus. Under the leadership of Emma Treadway ’22 and the 145th Managing Board, we formed the very first Accessibility Working Group, where a team of dedicated staffers has focused on web accessibility so that anyone and everyone can read our stories. In collaboration with John Jameson ’04 of the Office of Informational Technology, we identified key ways to improve our website. Our dedicated tech team has already started implementing changes, such as adding image descriptions to our photos. The copy section has also been working on updates to their style guide to promote inclusive language. These accessibility efforts will only be expanded in the future. Marie-Rose Sheinerman ’23, our newly elected editor-in-chief, plans to make a masthead-level position for an accessibility chair. She has also set several specific accessibility goals, from ensuring that every article has an audio readout to improving the accessibility of our social media platforms. I am so excited to see disability becoming more prioritized for the organization going forward. The welcoming environment I’ve encountered at the ‘Prince’ reflects the inclusive environment at Princeton as a whole. I feel fortunate that my experience as a disabled student at Princeton has been overwhelmingly positive. The Office of Disability Services has done a great job providing

the accommodations I require in order to succeed. I have a fantastic dorm room with adequate space for my wheelchair, plus air conditioning, grab bars in the bathroom, a remote to open the door, and other accessible features. If a class is supposed to be in an inaccessible room, it immediately gets changed to a space I can access. I’ve also made the most amazing friends here who do their best to make sure I’m always included physically and socially. From checking the accessibility of a restaurant before we go out for dinner to finding an accessible room for gatherings, my friends have learned the best ways to account for my needs. I truly appreciate how my peers, professors, and University staff are always willing to lend a helping hand. While I’ve enjoyed my time at Princeton, I recognize that there’s still so much work to be done to make the campus better. Many physical infrastructure barriers remain, like unnavigable sidewalks and inaccessible dorms. Professors could be better about understanding medical needs, student groups and eating clubs could do more to include disabled students, and housing accommodations could always be improved. Luckily, there are plenty of students pushing for these improvements. The USG Disability Task Force will continue advocating for the expansion of the disability studies curriculum and the addition of information about disability in firstyear orientation, among other initiatives. I’ll also keep working with the AccessAbility Center to increase the visibility of disability on campus, and with the Disability Collective student group to create a community for disabled students. On this International Day of People with Disabilities, I want to commend both the ‘Prince’ and Princeton for becoming better places for disabled students throughout my four years here. I look forward to seeing Princeton continue to improve access and inclusion, and I know the ‘Prince’ will be waiting to document these changes. Naomi Hess is an Associate News Editor who focuses on university policy and alumni affairs. She can be reached at nihess@princeton.edu or on Twitter at @NaomiHess17.

The bee’s knees: Spelling bees and pop culture Clara McWeeny | Contributing Writer At 14 years old, you are not the best at most things. You are in middle school; you are learning about algebra and ancient civilizations, puberty, and prose. Maybe you are trying out for the soccer team or band. Whatever you choose to pursue, the assumption is that you will be pretty average. For Dev Jaiswal ’23, though, (and the other 11 million students who compete in school sponsored spelling bees each year) 14 years old was pretty much the sweet spot: middle school, for the serious, marks the peak of their spelling abilities. And, for the particularly serious, their introduction to a national media environment that has made spelling bees a cultural phenomenon. This pinnacle, as well as the increased media attention, is primarily due to one overarching factor: the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Started in 1925, the bee first began when a newspaper out of Louisville, KY, consolidated various local spelling competitions until it was eventually taken over by the E.W. Scripps Company in 1941. Since its beginning, the bee has run every year except from 1943-1945 due to World War II and 2020 due to the pandemic. Its longevity, though, is juxtaposed by one of its startling hallmark features. The bee is only open to competitors who have not yet turned 15, completed their eighth grade year, or won the bee before. Essentially, Scripps is the Olympics of bees, and once spellers age out, they’re pretty much done with intense competitions. The Daily Princetonian sat down with Jaiswal, a former Scripps finalist, to hear a bit more about his experience in the bee. Jaiswal said he first became interested in the competition after his sister attended the Scripps bee in her eighth grade year. The enthusiasm wasn’t immediate. “I always saw her working really hard at spelling and thought, ‘I don’t really want to do this, it’s too hard,’” he said. However, accompanying his sister revealed there was some fun along with the difficulty of competing in the bee. “The national spelling bee is actually really fun because it’s not just a competition. You go for a week, and it’s three days of competition and three days of fun activities,” Jaiswal explained. The competition week, aptly dubbed “Bee Week,” encouraged Jaiswal to try out spelling bees for himself. He completed his first bee in 2011 as a fourth-grader and attended the national competition for the first time in 2012 as a fifthgrader, where he placed 51st. After not qualifying for the national bee for the next two years, he once again made it to D.C., the home of the bee, in 2015. Because he was in eighth grade, this would be Jaiswal’s last time competing. Jaiswal took full advantage of the opportunity. “I scored a perfect score on the written test. I was one of three. Then, I had the highest score going into the final.” It was in this final that Jaiswal ultimately struck out, although the disqualifying word proved to be perhaps more fruitful than any victory. The word in question? Iridocycli-

tis, or, according to Merriam-Webster — the official dictionary of spelling bee competitions — “inflammation of the iris and ciliary body.” Don’t ask for a language of origin. Jaiswal, who replaced the ‘y’ with an ‘i,’ shot to stardom in a matter of seconds after misspelling the word. Six seconds, to be exact. A video of Jaiswal repeating the word before attempting the spelling quickly went viral on Vine, a nowdefunct short-form video service that featured six-second clips. Since the debut of the video in 2015, the clip has accumulated millions of views on Youtube alone, making Jaiswal a bit of a campus celebrity. The video that went viral on Vine, though, was not the extent of the story. “Yeah, I’ve always sort of felt that there are two camps of people who have seen that video. Originally, it wasn’t the whole video that took off from there,” Jaiswal said. “It was just a shorter clip, which I’ve always been confused by. Because like personally, I don’t see what’s funny. I just said the word.” The longer video, which Jaiswal alluded to, showed his reaction after finding out he had been eliminated. Jaiswal graciously accepts defeat, thanking everyone for the opportunity with a wide smile on his face. “I was pretty happy when the longer video took off of me as well, because that was a special moment for me,” he said. The moment was made especially profound due to Jaiswal’s failure to qualify for the national bee during the previous two years. “I did not expect to get in 4th place. Because all I really wanted was to make it back to the bee because I had fun in 2010 when my sister was there and I had a lot of fun in 2012. I just wanted to go for fun, basically,” Jaiswal said. “Everything after I made it to D.C., like the perfect score, making it to the finals, being ranked number one before going to the finals, was all a surprise. I was happy even to be out.” Jaiswal described how as a result of sharing his story, he became a bit of a fan favorite among the viewers: “I guess people liked my personality when I was on stage. So, I ended up being termed the fan favorite by ESPN.” This type of media attention, though, is not unique to Jaiswal. CNN was one of the first media outlets to cover the bee, though it was picked up by ESPN in 1944, where it remained until 2021. Next year, the competition will move to the TV network of its namesake, E.W. Scripps. Paired with the news coverage of the spelling bee, the early 2000s saw an increase in media devoted solely to spelling bees. In 2002, “Spellbound,” a documentary which eventually earned an Academy Award nomination, followed seven competitors as they prepared for the national competition. The 2006 film “Akeelah and the Bee,” starring Keke Palmer, portrayed a young girl training and eventually competing in the bee. In the 2013 film “Bad Words,” Jason Bateman, a 40 year-old eighth-grade drop out, attempts to compete in the bee himself. Most recently, Netflix premiered “Spelling the Dream” in 2020, which showed four Indian-American students on their journey to the national bee. Spelling bees’ prevalence in pop culture, especially recently, is particularly notable. Other academic competitions, such as quiz bowls or geography bees, are rarely por-

trayed in the media. Or, at least, not at the same intensity. Jaiswal attributes this phenomenon to a few different factors. He described how, for geography bees, math bowls, and quiz bowls, “Not every school has the resources to put a team together. I’m from Mississippi. There was no math bowl or anything like that.” Conversely, for spelling bees, “We all have words. You don’t need any equipment to do it,” Jaiswal said. Not needing equipment doesn’t mean lots of resources don’t go into bee prep, however. Jaiswal, unlike many of his fellow competitors, did not have a coach to help him prepare for the bee. “Coaches are very expensive,” Jaiswal said. “That was never feasible.” His parents couldn’t coach him since “they are English language learners. They speak it very well, but it’s completely different from doing a spelling bee.” Instead, Jaiswal learned a lot of tips when he first competed in the bee in 2012; mainly, you just have to devote a lot of time to the practice. “It takes a lot of persistence, a lot of hours of studying. But I always thought it was fun, which also helps,” Jaiswal said. He would begin by studying the roots and patterns of words. Then, whenever he came across a word that he didn’t know in a definition, he would follow that word. “One word can lead you to 20 different words,” he said. “And those 20 different words can teach you maybe five or six different roots you haven’t learned before.” The accessibility of language, according to Jaiswal, also contributes to consumers’ infatuation with spelling bees. “People are fascinated with spelling bees because we all use language. We don’t all use math, for example, in a competition sense,” Jaiswal said. “You feel like there’s something you can learn or be challenged by in watching [a bee]. That challenge isn’t necessarily accessible to you if you don’t have some base level of knowledge, such as in a different discipline.” Perhaps, then, the media craze around bees is ultimately a selfish one — due to the accessibility of bees, and language as a whole, viewers can center themselves in the competition, playing alongside actual competitors in a way they couldn’t with math competitions or geography bees. Though, even this accessibility has its limits. The average viewer, at least, would certainly stumble upon a word like “iridocyclitis.” It even tripped Jaiswal up. But now, perhaps due to the 3.1 million hits on Youtube and the niche fame the word has afforded him, or maybe because you never forget your missed word, Jaiswal isn’t misspelling it anytime soon. For the final question of the interview, the ‘Prince’ asked him to spell the now infamous word. “I-R-I-D-O-C-Y-C-L-I-T-I-S,” he said, with a grin similar to the one that once graced his eighth grade face all those years ago. Clara McWeeny is a Contributing Writer for The Prospect at the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at claramcweeny@princeton.edu, or on social media @claramcweeny.


The Daily Princetonian

Friday December 3, 2021

page 19

TIGER TOWN TREATS: Hot Cocoa The Bent Spoon Flavor: The Bent Spoon hot cocoa is a quality semi-sweet chocolate bar in a cup. It is not flavored like chocolate — it is chocolate. Their whipped cream was not sweet at all, but that was a welcome, refreshing complement to the richness of the hot cocoa.

Price: $6

Texture: The Bent Spoon’s hot chocolate was super thick and phenomenally creamy. I heard a rumor that if you can’t finish it all (a very real possibility given how rich it is), you can stick it in the fridge for a delicious mousse the next day — and I have to say, I believe it.

Final Thoughts: I also gave the Bent Spoon’s homemade honey marshmallows a try. While they were a perfect soft and spongy texture, they were viscerally sweet with a strong flavor of honey. I wouldn’t recommend biting into them directly because the flavor can be a bit overwhelming, but if you let them melt into your drink, they give it a nice honey undertone. I will definitely be heading back to the Bent Spoon for hot cocoa again, so next time, I’ll give their normal homemade marshmallows a try as well.

Flavor: Milk & Cookies’ hot chocolate was not very chocolaty, but it wasn’t flavorless either. It was much more of a flavored steamed milk than a hot chocolate, but it was still very enjoyable. Texture Rating: Milk & Cookies’ hot chocolate was frothy and light without being watery. It was a wonderfully justfine texture.

Halo Pub Flavor: Halo Pub’s hot chocolate was not immediately super chocolaty. While it was sweet, it didn’t have that presence of cocoa that I was looking for. This surprised me given how amazing their chocolate-based ice creams are. It was more of a sweet

Price: $3.35

PJ’s Pancake House Flavor: While PJ’s hot chocolate was not aggressively chocolaty, I was not mad about the overall flavor as it was still very present and full. In fact, PJ’s hot cocoa seemed to have notes of citrus and other rich but light flavors that shone through the less intense chocolate taste. Texture: PJ’s hot chocolate was creamy and full of body. Topped with a sweet dollop of fresh whipped cream, PJ’s hot chocolate was perfectly decadent.

Price: $2.50

Price: $2.95 Small World Flavor: Small World’s hot chocolate was rich and packed with a powerful chocolate flavor. Their “hot cocoa” lives up to the name in two ways: first, it comes out absolutely scalding, and second, the taste of cocoa is actually present. This is much more than a whisper of Nesquik in steamed milk. Texture: Small World’s hot cocoa was creamy and thick. It had a certain body and fullness to it without being too heavy. Even the small cup left me feeling extremely satisfied.

Price: $3.95

steamed milk (which I can appreciate, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for). Halo Pub hot cocoa could be a good option for those looking for something warm and sweet but not overly rich.

Texture: Halo Pub’s hot chocolate had a bit of a thinner texture compared to what I normally look for in hot cocoa. It didn’t have that same body and creaminess as the other locations I tried. But again, if you are looking for something on the lighter side, swing by next time you are down on Hulfish.

Final Thoughts: Milk & Cookies’ hot cocoa is what you expect most of the time when you order a cup of hot chocolate. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it is a lovely partner to a decadent s’mores brownie or pumpkin cookie. Now that the holiday season has officially begun, be sure to give these treats a try, and leave a comment on this article with what you want to see reviewed next!

Senior Writer

Welcome back to Tiger Town Treats, a Prospect series where we compare delicious snacks ’n sips from local businesses so you know where to go to satisfy that one craving or reward yourself after that rough final! Our first installment featured boba spots. Since then, we’ve sampled ice cream, gluten-free desserts, pizza, and iced lattes. Now for some holiday magic: HOT CHOCOLATE. I sampled hot cocoa from six establishments in town: Small World Coffee, Halo Pub, The Bent Spoon, Starbucks, PJ’s Pancake House, and Milk & Cookies. I was shocked to find so many places serving this chocolaty treat. Every time I thought I had tried it all, I found more shops to explore! Now that winter is right around the corner, I recommend you all go out and get a steamy cup of cocoa to warm up. And let us know what hot cocoa locations we missed! You can also check out this TikTok, featuring videos of each location to get a feel for the vibe yourself!

Final Thoughts: In the future, if I am at Halo Pub I will be getting a scoop (or pint!) of their fantastic ice cream, but I may not order their standard hot cocoa again. However, I am just one cocoa enthusiast. What doesn’t do it for me may be just the ticket to satisfy your sweet tooth, so give it a try for yourself!

Milk and Cookies

By Sydney Eck

Final Thoughts: Small World offers a solid standard hot cocoa for chocolate lovers, but they also have a “Mexican Hot Chocolate,” packed with pepper and bite. Next time your friends are headed out for coffee, give these sweet and spicy options a try!

Final Thoughts: While it may feel strange to go to PJ’s just for the hot cocoa, if you happen to be digging into a stack of celebratory end-of-semester pancakes, I’d recommend ordering yourself a cup of cocoa as well.

Starbucks Flavor: Starbucks hot chocolate is a little more bitter than a lot of the other drinks I reviewed, but it still had a fair bit of chocolaty body to it. You know that it is supposed to be hot chocolate. Texture: Starbucks hit pretty close to a middle ground on hot cocoa thickness: not as thick as the Bent Spoon but it had quite a bit more substance than Halo Pub. Still, it wasn’t quite hearty enough for my hot cocoa tastes. The good news about Starbucks (as well as a number of other locations in Princeton) is that they offer a wide variety of milk and milk substitute options that you can play with to find a thickness, flavor, and quality that works for you! Final Thoughts: With all of the fantastic local businesses offering incredible hot cocoa in Princeton, I might not be getting Starbucks hot cocoa again for a while. However, it is nice to know that wherever there is a Starbucks, I will be able to find a pretty decent cup.

Price: $3.25


The Daily Princetonian

page 20

T his Week in Photos ‘Tis the season for holiday decor. See how Princeton is preparing.

Friday December 3, 2021

By Candace Do, Angel Kuo, and Zachary Shevin Head Photo Editor, Contributor, and Managing Editor

A festive reindeer, I mean Tiger, overlooks Palmer Square.

Gifts light up a University dorm room.

A Christmas Tree and Menorah sit in Tower Club. Decor rests on the facade of Thomas Sweets.

Students celebrate the fourth night of Hanukkah at the Center for Jewish Life.


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