The Daily Princetonian: February 2, 2023

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Eisgruber defends diversity, excellence, and free speech in eighth State of the University letter

President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 released his eighth annual State of the University letter on Jan. 18. In the letter, he addresses recent public discourse surrounding the conflict in Israel and Palestine, distinguishing the University from peer institutions. He also emphasizes freedom of speech, commitment to diversity, and pursuit of academic excellence.

“The campus climate at Princeton has been healthier than at many of our peers,” Eisgruber wrote. “That is a credit to faculty, students, and staff who have searched for ways to communicate civ-

illy about sensitive issues, to support one another, and to comply fully with Princeton’s policies that facilitate free speech in ways consistent with the functioning of the University.”

Campus responses to conflict in Israel and Palestine

When the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated in October, students and faculty across college campuses in the U.S. organized protests, invited speakers, and in some instances responded violently. Eisgruber acknowledged two such incidents — referencing when a Cornell student threatened to kill Jewish students, and another in which three Palestinian students from Brown, Haverford, and Trinity were shot and

wounded as they headed to a Thanksgiving dinner, two of whom were wearing keffiyehs.

He also commented on the Dec. 5 congressional hearing with the presidents of Harvard, MIT, and Penn regarding antisemitism on their campuses.

Eisgruber stated that with these testimonies, the presidents of these peer institutions “walked into a trap,” and that the “damage has been significant not only for them personally, but also for the reputations of their institutions and for colleges and universities more broadly.”

The presidents’ responses were met with controversy, with many calling for their resignation. Following their

Response to Eisgruber: Your erasure of Palestinian suffering is not “inclusive.”

The following is a guest contribution and reflects the author’s views alone.

It is the 113th day of the Gaza genocide. Israel has killed over 25,000 Palestinians, including 10,000 children. Over 60,000 Gazans are wounded. 1.9 million are displaced. Meanwhile, in President Eisgruber’s Annual “Letter to the Community,” there is no mention of the daily brutal violence that Israel inflicts on Palestinians — horrors that traumatize us all, especially Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims on campus. Israeli soldiers have heeded Netanyahu’s invocation of “Amalek,” the Biblical reference widely interpreted as a call for the extermination of Palestinian “men and women, children and infants.” They dance and sing that “there are no

uninvolved civilians.” They proudly post videos of themselves looting homes and abusing Palestinians who are “stripped naked or half-naked, blindfolded and handcuffed, and screaming in pain,” as reported by the Times of Israel.

Eisgruber’s letter reiterates disgust for Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, but ignores the following 113 days of Israel’s bombardment and siege of Gaza — crimes that have landed Israel in the International Court of Justice. It lauds the University’s commitment to “academic freedom” and “excellence,” while staying silent on Israel’s assault on education in Gaza, which some have called a “scholasticide.” Israel has killed hundreds of Palestinians sheltering in schools, including a reported massacre where Israeli forces shot women, children, and babies point-blank. Israel has killed 94 professors in targeted attacks and destroyed or at least se-

See RESPONSE page 11

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‘DEI is broken, and everyone knows it’: Differing interpretations of DEI complicate GSG elections

After heated exchanges by graduate students over Slack complicated the contested election for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer position, the election for the 2024–25 Graduate Student Government Executive Committee closed at midnight on Dec. 26.

The issue of how to interpret and implement DEI at institutions of higher learning was central to the election, mirroring nationwide discussions. A national spotlight on elite universities like Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania and their handling of campus speech about the war in Gaza has intensified conservative criticism of DEI efforts on campus from public figures like

Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager and Harvard donor who helped lead the effort that ousted former Harvard President Claudine Gay.

Receiving 289 votes, Caridad Estrada GS won the election, beating Teagan Mathur GS and Dr. Zachary Dulberg GS, who received 174 and 73 votes, respectively. The GSG election committee released provisional results via email on Dec. 27, with the final results set for ratification during their committee meeting on Feb. 6.

The DEI officer position is a newer addition to the GSG executive committee, with it being first filled two years ago by this year’s incoming president Amari Tankard GS. Including the DEI officer, only five positions were contested. The vice president position was also contested. Candidates anecdotally reported increased

voter participation from graduate students in light of the discussions concerning DEI.

Discourse leading up to the election

Beginning right after the Oct. 7 attack in Israel by Hamas, Dulberg and other graduate students shared information and back-and-forth debate regarding the attack in the “general” graduate student Slack channel. The Slack workspace, managed by GSG since March 2020, mainly serves as a platform to share events and resources. As the volume of interactions concerning the conflict in Gaza increased, GSG opened a new “current events” channel for students to discuss.

Screenshots from the public “current events” channel reviewed by the

‘Prince’ — which has since been archived — show Dulberg engaging in heated exchanges with other graduate students about the Oct. 7 attack in Israel and subsequent events. At various points, Dulberg sent a series of reprimanding comments to the chat including: “Could try reading a book though, if you’re interested. I know it’s not your forte,” and accusing a student of being one of “Hamas’s ‘useful idiots.’” He wrote to another, “if you place all causal weight on the actions of others (called ‘externalization’ in the psychopathology literature, another predictor of mental illness…),” and said of one student, “He is projecting [his] trauma onto the world.”

Regarding the statement on externalization, Dulberg wrote to the ‘Prince’ that he was “drawing on [his]

expertise in the treatment of mental illness to explain some of the psychological drivers of antisemitism” in the comment. He added that he deleted the final comment regarding a student’s trauma after he posted it in order to not “make points about antisemitism by relying on anyone’s personal history.”

“Faced with repeated instances of terror apologia and antisemitic blood libels directly after the worst massacre of my people since the Holocaust, I am frankly impressed that my comments were so measured, and merely sarcastic,” Dulberg wrote.

In an opinion piece published in the New York Post, Dulberg wrote that he compiled a list of comments from the Slack channel and sent them to “Princeton’s DEI Office” on

Friday February 2, 2024 vol. CXLVIII no. 1 Founded 1876 daily since 1892 online since 1998 www. dailyprincetonian .com { } Twitter: @princetonian Facebook: The Daily Princetonian YouTube: The Daily Princetonian Instagram: @dailyprincetonian The Daily Princetonian is introducing “This Week in History.” This section will highlight an article from the ‘Prince’ archives that brings shocking, exciting, or interesting topics from this week in history to light. This week’s article will address the intense conversations surrounding Bicker a century ago and how they compare to Bicker discourse today. 1924
In History
This Week
ANGEL KUO / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN Eisgruber’s State of the University letter addressed “Excellence, Inclusivity, and Free Speech.”
Ellen Li & Humza Gondal Guest Contributors
The DEI officer position is a newer addition to the GSG executive committee, with it being first filled two years ago by this year’s incoming president Amari Tankard GS.


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Oct. 18, asking them “to discipline Princeton students spreading hate.” In email communications with the ‘Prince,’ Dulberg clarified that he contacted the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity, which handles “questions or concerns involving issues of access, equity or campus climate.”

Dulberg later contacted the office and requested to meet regarding “the problem of antisemitism more broadly.” In the New York Post article, he expressed frustration that the office declined, stating that “campus community members are not entitled to personal meetings.”

“As a matter of fairness, staff from the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity does not meet with parties involved in disciplinary matters outside of the official process,” University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’

Hotchkiss added that “Students have access to many support resources and conversation partners, including administrators in the Office of Access, Diversity, and Inclusion at the Graduate School and the Student Affairs team at the Graduate School, as well as confidential resources.”

Discourse in the Slack continued into the GSG election season as the nomination period opened on Nov. 7. Dulberg said he was motivated to run by the “increase in antisemitism that [he] observed after Oct. 7, and also the lack of action taken when [he] was trying to report those incidents to the DEI office, as well as the Graduate Student Government.”

DEI officer-elect Estrada said that students sent her screenshots of Dulberg’s activity in the public Slack, inquiring about how she would respond to the situation during the campaigning period.

“A lot of people … came to me and said, ‘I haven’t voted in the whole time I’ve been here, but I’m going to vote this year, just because this individual

is running,’” Estrada said.

The GSG responded to Dulberg’s activity by temporarily suspending his Slack account in November. Dulberg wrote in his op-ed that GSG suspended his account for “stigmatization of mental health and religious affiliation.” In an email to the ‘Prince,’ the GSG confirmed that sanctions have been levied against multiple individuals for reported violations of community standards, although GSG declined to share the names of these individuals, per its policy.

According to the GSG, violations include: “harassment, use of slurs, and shaming or insulting another community member for their positions and/or affiliations.”

“Simply holding or expressing a belief or opinion cannot be sanctioned per the community standards, and no member of the Slack community was sanctioned for such content,” the GSG wrote.

Regarding the suspension, Estrada told the ‘Prince’ that, from her view, Dulberg “started feeling, as an individual, that he was being silenced. He felt like DEI, specifically, was failing him.”

Eventually, one graduate student requested and was granted a “no communication” order against Dulberg, according to his New York Post article. Later, a friend of Dulberg responded to a Slack message by that student. After Dulberg “liked” the response with a green check mark emoji, the Graduate School notified him on Nov. 29 that he was under investigation for violating the no communication order. The Graduate School placed Dulberg on academic probation on Dec. 13. Dulberg said that he appealed the decision.

GSG polls opened on Dec. 5, and soon after, one graduate student posted a screenshot to Slack of Dulberg’s response to conservative activist Christopher Rufo’s Dec. 7 post on X. In the post, Rufo listed the pronouns pertaining to various employees from the Princeton DEI office and added, “Imagine this department governing what you can think, say, and do.”

“Trying to fix it!” Dulberg replied to the post.

Dulberg later deleted the initial post and replied: “To clarify — I am trying to fix DEI. I don’t actually have a problem with people choosing to display their pronouns.” In response to the screenshot in Slack, Dulberg commented that his post was “not an endorsement of Chris Rufo or his bad takes on pronouns” and restated his aim to “fix DEI in general.”

Interpreting diversity, equity, and inclusion

Central to the DEI officer election was the candidates’ differing interpretations of DEI’s role at Princeton.

“We’re all fighting for the same thing, [that’s] really what you would think, if you’re all applying for the same position,” candidate Mathur told the ‘Prince’ following the election. “But if you have a different interpretation [of DEI], that leads to tension.” Mathur’s campaign focused on equity and resource accessibility regarding general exam success rates and advisor-advisee relationships in the Graduate School.

“You are so dependent on your advisor for support in many, many ways, Mathur said in an interview with the ‘Prince,’ noting that bias can affect treatment by advisors. “If there’s one thing in your advisor’s head that’s making them see you [as] less than… they might have this preconceived notion that you are not going to do well, and so they might already have set that person on a route of failure.”

On his interpretation of DEI, Dulberg wrote in his candidate statement that “DEI is broken, and everyone knows it.” He told the ‘Prince’ that the “principles [of] DEI really do separate people into identity groups. If you’re considered a member of a powerful or privileged identity group, rather than an oppressed one, then you just don’t get the same treatment.”

“What I’ve come to view is a kind of Orwellian doublespeak, where each of the terms mean the opposite,” Dulberg said. “Diversity actually means uniformity of thought. Equity actually means giving one-sided treat-

ment, depending on your group identity. And inclusion means exclusion of people who don’t fit the criteria. I just want to put those words back into proper definitions, so diversity of perspective and thought, equality of opportunity for everybody, and real inclusion.”

Dulberg’s position on DEI represents what DEI officer-elect Estrada considers a “huge misunderstanding of what DEI is.”

“That’s really where I came up with what the goals of this position should be, from the types of conversations that arose from this individual,” she said. “If I wasn’t running against him, I very much think that the way I would have approached this position was going to be very traditionally what you would think has been done already in DEI. I really got to see what people were thinking and maybe were too afraid to say.”

Estrada, a first-year graduate student, founded Princeton’s Caribbean Graduate Student Association (CGSA), planned a race and climate change Wintersession event, and has previously worked with the Graduate School’s Access, Diversity and Inclusion (ADI) Office to plan events.

Estrada does not think DEI is “broken,” but recognizes room for improvement in fostering inclusion and educating students on the concepts of DEI central to her campaign.

“[People] don’t know that DEI is there with many resources to help everyone,” she said. “But then when they see certain events happening in certain programs or communities for certain groups of people, they inherently feel already excluded.”

In his candidate statement, Dulberg wrote that divisions between identity groups on campus are “skyrocketing.” In response, Estrada told the ‘Prince’ that such relationships are being “enriched,” referring to the international nature of graduate student relationships and her intentions to unite students across different racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds through the CGSA.

Recognizing the isolated nature of graduate student departments and

cohort groups, Estrada said she plans to expand on current graduate student events such as the weekly happy hour to foster “diverse thinking” and “cultural competence” among students.

“That’s something that doesn’t seem so big, but I’m more concerned about something that can be consistent and that can continue even outside of me,” she said. “Hopefully, in the next year or so, we can do a better job of highlighting that everybody is invited, making it a very open invitation for people to feel comfortable.”

Another major challenge facing graduate students is receiving centralized funding and support for DEI-related initiatives and events, Estrada said. Earlier this year, she sought funding to send graduate students to a conference for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Estrada consulted an administrator in the ADI department, who told her to contact the undergraduate department that houses NSBE.

Estrada told the ‘Prince’ that the program’s adviser only offered funding for undergraduate attendees. Ultimately, Estrada could only fund NSBE graduate students through her own department, Civil and Environmental Engineering, leaving out other engineering students who might have been interested.

“From talking with other grad students, in my short time here, this was echoed — that there is this central lack of disseminating opportunities when it has to do with DEI,” she said.

As far as takeaways from the election, Estrada said, “I think this was a positive experience, and that we saw a lot of student groups and students at Princeton as a whole come together because most students believe that DEI shouldn’t be torn down.”

“That’s the message that I’m personally going to take from this moving forward. I think the majority consensus is that people believe in this, and they want it to continue.”

Elisabeth Stewart is a staff News writer for the ‘Prince.’

Eisgruber: “Universities must protect even offensive speech, but that does not mean we must remain silent in the face of it.”


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testimonies, both Liz Magill and Claudine Gay, presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard respectively, have since resigned.

The conflict and congressional testimony have caused the general public to raise questions regarding the line between protecting free speech and punishing those who instigate harassment at higher institutions.

Eisgruber has recently emphasized his commitment to free speech in his commencement address to the Class of 2023 and in his statement on the congressional hearings in Dec.

“Universities must protect even offensive speech, but that does not mean we must remain silent in the face of it,” Eisgruber wrote in the letter. “The mere fact that speech is offensive is never grounds for discipline at Princeton; the speech must fall under one of the enumerated exceptions to our free expression policy, such as those permitting the University to restrict threats or harassment.”

While defending free speech, Eisgruber argued that “advising students to avoid offensive speech … is very dif-

ferent from suppressing or punishing that speech.” He cited an example of Dean Amaney Jamal advising students against using “provocative slogans” like “from the river to the sea.”

“We must model and teach constructive forms of dialogue if we are to enable our students to build and inhabit a society more inclusive than the one that exists today,” he noted.

Emphasis on excellence, diversity

Colleges and universities have come under attack not only for their handling of antisemitism, but also for the belief that higher education is placing a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion rather than scholarly excellence.

Eisgruber called on those in peer institutions to “transcend” their differences when colleges are “wrongly and sometimes dishonestly attacked.”

He referenced a video opinion piece in which CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria alleged, “American universities have been neglecting a core focus on excellence in order to pursue a variety of agendas — many of them clustered around diversity and inclusion.”

Eisgruber challenged this quote, asserting that scholarly excellence and inclusivity can coexist in a university.

“The excellence of America’s leading research universities, including Princeton, depends not only on attracting talented people from all backgrounds but also on ensuring that they can thrive on our campuses,” he wrote. “We know that people face differing barriers to success, and we try to support groups and individuals in ways that meet their needs and allow their talents to develop.”

He also argued that new admissions standards have allowed the university to simultaneously increase diversity and academic success on campus. The University had not always granted admission to women, black students, and Asian students, and admitted limited numbers of public high school students.

Eisgruber praised the elimination of barriers today, including the “trailblazing improvements to both undergraduate financial aid and graduate scholarships” as a reason for Princeton’s graduating classes becoming increasingly diverse and knowledgeable.

He also credited that diversity to the establishment of programs on campus as part of the effort to promote diversity and academic excellence, specifically mentioning the Center for Jewish Life and Gender + Sexuality Resource Center for helping to create places on campus

where Jewish and LGTBQ+ students can feel included.

Along with all these improvements, Eisgruber shared data showing that students of the highest academic excellence (Academic 1’s) now make up 50 percent of the matriculated class compared to less than 20 percent in the 1980’s.

Questions around legacy admissions, Supreme Court ruling Eisgruber also touched on legacy admissions, a practice challenged on campus after the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina Supreme Court decisions this past summer. He stated that in the early 1900’s, Princeton was known as “a place where privileged young men loafed rather than studied.”

He said that for the University, “sons of Princetonians were overrepresented in the bottom quartile of the class and among those who flunked out.”

In contrast, he said that now, alumni children are “every bit as good” as other students admitted.

Notably, Eisgruber did not address the Supreme Court decisions regarding affirmative action decided this June.

Eisgruber also explained that the di-

versity of faculty hiring has increased, as has the quality and depth of some programs, including African American studies, bioengineering, and the creative and performing arts, among others.

At the end of his letter, he reinforced his belief in the progress that he believes Princeton has made over the past year and added a hopeful sentiment that the University will continue to improve.

“In short, the Princeton of today is better than that of yesterday, and the Princeton of tomorrow will be even better than the Princeton of today,” Eisgruber stated.

In a Jan. 18 email to the University Community, Eisgruber invited students, faculty, and other members of the University community to discuss his letter at a Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) meeting on Monday, Feb. 19 from 4:30–6 p.m. on the B-level of Frist Campus Center. He also noted an additional town hall for University staff on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 10–11 a.m. in Richardson Auditorium.

Rebecca Cunningham is a senior News writer for the ‘Prince.’

Justus Wilhoit is a senior News writer for the ‘Prince.’

page 2 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian

Michael D. Gordin appointed next Dean of the College

The University has appointed Michael D. Gordin, the Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, to serve as the University’s next Dean of the College beginning on July 1. His appointment follows a search committee led by University Provost Jennifer Rexford ’91. Gordin will replace current dean of the college Jill Dolan, who in September, announced plans to step down at the end of the 20232024 school year and take a twoyear sabbatical.

The Dean of the College is in charge of  the “undergraduate curriculum, residential college system, and other services and resources designed to promote the intellectual development of undergraduates” according to the announcement. They also oversee the admission and financial aid offices.

Gordin is a renowned historian of science and a longtime faculty member who has taken a public stance on the University’s fossil fuel divestment.

“Michael impressed the committee with his infectious curiosity and compelling vision for what a Princeton undergraduate education can and should be, both within and across disciplines,” Rexford, who is also the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor in Engineering, said in the announcement. “I so look forward to working with him as dean.”

After earning his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Harvard, Gordin joined Princeton’s history department in 2003. His research has focused on the history of science and relations between Europe, Russia, and the United States.

According to the history department website, Gordin is on leave for the 2023-2024 academic year. He most recently taught a seminar called HIS 398: The Einstein Era in the spring of 2022, which explored Einstein’s “core scientific and philosophical contributions” amid “broader historical issues” such as war, Zionism and Nazism, and the nuclear arms race, according to the course description.

In 2011, Gordin was named a

Cloister Inn to stay afloat through spring semester

Cloister Inn will remain open through the spring semester, despite previous concerns of a potential closure. The eating club’s leadership is pursuing a sophomore ‘takeover’ this spring to ensure its long-term survival.

In a letter mailed to Cloister alumni in mid-December, the eating club’s Graduate Board of Governors explained that the club raised over $100,000 in less than two weeks at the end of 2023 in an “unprecedented show of support.”

“Thanks to our alumni, we’re halfway through our fundraising goal of $250K and are on pace to finish through the end of the school year,” the Board wrote in a statement to The Daily Princetonian.

encouraging prospective members to consider staging a ‘takeover,’ recruiting large groups of students to join the eating club during 2024’s Street Week, to bring the club to full capacity and revitalize it through new undergraduate leadership.

As an incentive, the incoming Cloister class will be rewarded with a $50,000 discretionary fund, termed a ‘Membership Fund,’ if a successful takeover of 50 or more undergraduates is achieved. The fund would finance new members’ wish list of improvements and changes to Cloister’s amenities and services.

In a statement to the ‘Prince,’ Cloister Board President Jose Pincay-Delgado ’77 suggested ideas including “upgrading our movie room [and] hot tub, planning fun off-campus trips, [and] booking live bands.”

ing teams. The Board also added that the Membership Fund attracted more alumni support, including those “who specifically wanted to donate to help bolster the Membership Fund.”

Beyond the Membership Fund, alumni donations are also being used to ensure the quality of service at Cloister. The alumni letter stated that club leadership prioritizes offering a “fantastic sophomore member experience” to new members, regardless of how many members are in the club. With low current membership, Cloister must reach into their reserve funds to provide this experience, especially since the “financial benefit of a large class of sophomores will not be felt until Fall 2024 when they become full members.”

Guggenheim Fellow and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. In both roles, he explored the “common language of science.”

Recently, Gordin served as a co-chair for the Princeton steering committee to renew Princeton’s accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for the first time since 2014. Among other strategic planning initiative goals, the committee evaluated the progress on increasing the student body by 500. In the past, Gordin directed the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, the Fung Global Fellows Program, and the Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. He also served in 2012-13 on the Committee on Discipline, the body which enforces academic integrity rules for all academic work done outside of class.

Gordin was among the 160 faculty and staff members who called on the University in April 2022 to fully divest from fossil fuels. Princeton announced a partial dissociation plan in September of that year.

In the announcement, Gordin said he will focus on finding solutions to challenges facing students such as “mental health and the aftereffects of the COVID lockdowns on learning” while maintaining the “focused, individualized learning that emphasizes original research and creativity” unique to Princeton education.

“As one of the world’s leading historians of science, Michael Gordin combines scholarly distinction, a deep commitment to undergraduate teaching, and an appreciation for liberal arts education that transcends disciplinary boundaries and reaches every field at this University,” President Christopher Eisgruber said in the announcement. “He is just the right person to lead the undergraduate college at Princeton, and I look forward to working with him to make an outstanding educational program even better.”

Elisabeth Stewart is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

The alumni letter emphasized that while the eating club will have enough funds to operate for the spring semester, the long-term future of Cloister remains uncertain.

“[O]ur work is not finished. The urgency we communicated was very real, and while we are now optimistic, we aren’t getting complacent,” the letter reads.

Cloister is currently one of the smallest clubs on the Street with 44 members, according to an internal email sent to Cloister members. Membership rates at the eating club have been decreasing since the pandemic.

To increase membership, Cloister leadership is

According to the Board’s statement to the ‘Prince,’ Cloister leadership has already received a number of proposals from groups of undergraduates interested in a club takeover, detailing their ideas for how the extra funds would be used.

The alumni letter shared a similar sentiment, adding that “interest is gathering among sports teams and interest groups – both those that have a legacy of Cloister membership as well as new ones.”

Historically, Cloister has been home to athletes involved in water sports. Currently, one-third of Cloister is part of the swimming and diving, water polo, or row-

During its closure during the COVID-19 pandemic and the following years of low membership, Cloister had used 90 percent of its reserve funds, according to a previous letter sent to alumni. According to Form 990 tax filings for the fiscal year ending June 2022, Cloister reported a net loss of almost $270,000 in 2022.

In their most recent letter, the board added that they need to rebuild their reserve funds in addition to funding the Membership Fund and club services for the “club to be sustainable for the short and long term.”

Sofia Arora is a staff News writer for the ‘Prince.’

page 3 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian
CANDACE DO / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN Multiple proposals are under consideration for a ‘sophomore takeover’ of Cloister Inn. MORE ONLINE scan to read more !

Labyrinth employees officially unionize after signing of recognition agreement

Employees of Labyrinth Books on Nassau Street, the store’s owners, and the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) signed a voluntary recognition agreement on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 10, officially marking the unionization of Labyrinth workers.

This concludes a brief unionization process that employees first announced to the public on Dec. 21, 2023. Labyrinth employees will collectively bargaining their contract, the next step in the process, while Labyrinth participates coursebook season for Princeton students at the start of the Spring semester.

The day before, Labyrinth owners Dorothea von Moltke, Cliff Simms, and Peter Simms announced that they would recognize the union voluntarily, which halted a election process among employees that would have otherwise occurred if they did not recognize the union. In an interview with the Daily Princetonian, Rebecca Ziemann, who works at the store, said the recognition announcement “came out of nowhere, and [she] was pleasantly surprised.”

The recognition was not official until the following day as

the two parties needed to confirm the details of the agreement in a legally binding manner. In an interview with the ‘Prince,’ RWDSU representative Maria DiPasquale described it as being “a pretty typical back and forth procedure.”

As is typical in this stage of union negotiations, the next step for Labyrinth workers will be collective bargaining. According to a 2022 Bloomberg Law analysis, the average time for a union to negotiate its first contract is 465 days. Nonetheless, employees are optimistic that they will soon reach the bargaining table. Ziemann said she does not think that unionization efforts will interfere with workers’ effectiveness in their jobs.

“We want workers to come to the bargaining table fairly quickly,” Ziemann said. “Coursebook season runs from the end of January through mid-February, which is a large chunk of time. In my planning, we would run [the collective bargaining process] concurrently with coursebook season.”

Before they can begin bargaining, employees must first establish a bargaining committee consisting of a select few workers and representatives from the RWDSU. Ziemann stressed that such a committee must be rep -

resentative of the many departments and interests within Labyrinth. In an interview earlier this month, Ziemann said that she works in the receiving department, which prepares books for sale.

Most of the demands of the employees remain the same as those outlined in the initial unionization announcement, although they have yet to be finalized. Ziemann noted the importance of “higher wages, wages that are

more in line with increased responsibility, regular pay raises,” and the granting of additional paid time off.

Regarding non-economic demands, she stressed “more transparency, being treated with more dignity and respect, and overall just having a voice in the decisions that are made at the store.”

As the union moves towards the collective bargaining process, Ziemann emphasized, “we definitely want to have more of


those conversations with our co-workers to actually get a real concrete list of what we’re gonna fight for.”

For now, DiPasquale said that workers are “focused on getting to the bargaining table and negotiating a wonderful first contract that will be a foundation for them to continue to build off.”

Christopher Bao is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

Colonial launches early sign-in ahead of anticipated largest Street Week ever

Ahead of Street Week, Colonial Club announced a new tactic on Tuesday to recruit sophomores: early sign-in, which allows students to begin having meals at the club from the beginning of the semester. This comes as sign-in clubs anticipate increased demand from the Class of 2026, the University’s largest graduating class ever.

The early sign-in period, which closes on Feb. 2, runs through the first few days of Street Week, the week-long eating club recruitment period. This includes Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the designated days when only the five sign-in clubs may hold events. This is separate from Bicker, which runs from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6. All students hoping to join an eating club must rank at least two sign-in clubs during Street Week.

Beyond additional meals, Colonial has offered a discount for students who join in groups of six and opportunities for sophomore officer positions.

The move by Colonial comes as Cloister Inn, another sign-in club, continues to face an uncertain long-term future amid financial difficulties. While Cloister will stay open through the spring semester, the club’s leadership is seeking an influx of at least 50 sophomores, commonly referred to as a “takeover,” to revitalize the club.

Recent successful takeovers include that in 2019 of Charter Club, which is now one of the most popular sign-in clubs and is planning a clubhouse expansion.

While Colonial has not publicly stated that it is seeking a takeover, early sign-in has been a tactic to bolster club membership in the past.

As part of a successful revival in 1995 and 1996, Cloister moved its sign-in period to before Bicker and the sign-in period for other nonselective clubs. This prompted backlash

from other club presidents and the Interclub Council (ICC), who removed Cloister from the interclub meal exchange for nearly six months.

ICC President Mia Beams ’24 did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Colonial has not said that the early sign-in period will replace the standard sign-in period, which this year runs from Feb. 6 to Feb. 8. Colonial Club President Alexis Wu ’25 did not address clarifying questions about whether the club would be open during the regular sign-in period. Therefore, sophomores may still have the opportunity to join the club after participating in recruitment events at other clubs.

Colonial’s membership has fallen in recent years. In 2022, 71 seniors graduated as members of Colonial, a fall from 97 in 2019. In the 2000s, Colonial’s graduating class averaged about 100 members. In 2023, Colonial gave out spots to 70 students, though it is unknown how many of these students chose to join the club.

This year, sophomore membership at Colonial is among the most generous on the Street. Colonial’s “5+5” plan gives sophomores five lunches or dinners every week in addition to breakfast every weekday. At just $12.31 per lunch/dinner, Colonial offers the lowest per meal price of eating clubs, with Cloister and Cannon Dial Elm close behind at just under $20 per lunch/dinner. In addition to meals, at all of the clubs, sophomore dues include full social benefits, access to club amenities, and other club expenses.

Registration for Street Week opens on Sunday, Jan. 28 at noon. Students can sign up on the ICC website.

Miriam Waldvogel is an associate News editor for the ‘Prince.’

page 4 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian
ANNIE RUPERTUS / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN Labyrinth employees are officially unionized as of Jan. 10.

Graduate Student Government VP election highlights fight for graduate student parity

Graduate Student Government (GSG) executive committee elections came to a close on Dec. 26. The election had five contested positions, including vice president, communications director, and diversity, equity, and inclusion officer.

Incumbent Vice President Christopher Catalano GS won the tight race for VP.

Following the election, The Daily Princetonian spoke to the VP candidates about the campaign points most important to graduate students, namely, equity with the undergraduate population and improved housing and health care security.

With 275 votes, Catalano edged out opponent Jan Ertl GS, who received 240 — a difference of just 35 votes. In September, former VP Alexandra Bodrova GS stepped down from her position due to unforeseen personal circumstances.

The GSG Assembly — the equivalent of the Undergraduate Student Government Senate — held a special election and elected Catalano to serve in her place.

Ertl previously served as the GSG treasurer. Drawing on his experience leading a funding initiative to revitalize graduate student clubs after the pandemic, Ertl told the ‘Prince’ that his VP campaign focused on the day-to-day details of graduate student life. These included regenerating projects that he said “fell under the GSG radar” such as the Buddy Program.

First established in 2021, the program paired first-year graduate students with an upper-year mentor to combat “loneliness, isolation, and disconnectedness in the wake of COVID-19.”

Ertl’s platform also emphasized community-building events, and pushing for transparency by updating outdated GSG legislative documents.

Meanwhile, building on his work as VP in the previous months, Catalano’s campaign focused on achieving parity and equal recognition for graduate students through bigger picture reform in

health care, housing, and support for international students. His campaign mirrors previous calls for graduate student recognition, including those from Princeton Graduate Students United (PGSU).

In admissions materials, one of Princeton’s major selling points is its unique focus on undergraduate education. However, Princeton’s 3,212 graduate students represent over one-third of the entire student population.

“In reality, this is an undergraduate plus graduate school institution. In culture, though, I totally agree that it’s much more undergraduate focused,” Catalano told ‘the Prince.’

Catalano emphasized graduate students’ value as a point in need of recognition: “If we were to stop teaching classes, Princeton’s US News ranking would plummet … If we stopped doing the research in the labs, what would happen?”

Guaranteed cost-of-living raises and housing

Before coming to Princeton, Catalano was a master’s student at New York University where the graduate employees union underwent a contract negotiation. After witnessing those negotiations, Catalano came to recognize a need for guaranteed housing and stipend increases for graduate employees — issues that the Princeton’s graduate and postdoctoral scholar unions have petitioned for in the past year.

Catalano explained to the ‘Prince’ that the University does not have guaranteed pay increases which leads to problems when housing prices increase at a rate greater than stipends.

“There’s no security for Princeton [graduate] students.”

The University guarantees on-campus housing to all first-year graduate students, and in practice, Catalano told the ‘Prince’ that many graduate students renew their housing contracts through their third year. On-campus housing options include the Graduate College, University-owned apartments on Dick-

inson Street, and this year, Walker Hall. Completion of the Meadows Apartments is expected for this spring.

Graduate students have reported difficulties in securing on-campus housing, and, according to Catalano, those who turn to off-campus housing have to contend with high costs of living or longer commutes.

“One of the things that I think is a pretty glaring issue with housing is that they built New College West a year or two ago, to increase the undergraduate student population, so they were more concerned with increasing the undergraduate student population than already guaranteeing housing for the graduate [students] they had,” Catalano said.

Two extra meals program

Both Catalano and Ertl highlighted a disparity between undergraduates and graduates in terms of food security, pointing to the Two Extra Meals Program as an example. Currently, Campus dining grants two meals in residential dining halls per week to all undergraduate juniors and seniors regardless of whether they have a University meal plan.

In an interview with the ‘Prince,’ Catalano referenced last spring’s dining pilot which considered increasing this number to five free meals a week for juniors and seniors, among other dining changes.

“We’re not even asking for five free meals a week,” Catalano said. “Princeton was looking at increasing the free meals a week to five for the undergrads before even giving us the two that the undergrads already have. With every decision that Princeton makes, we come second.”

For Catalano, the two free meals would support graduate students with unpredictable schedules or who work long hours, referencing his own experience in a biology lab.

“How nice would it be to be able to just walk over to the dining hall and get a free meal twice a week? We know Princeton can afford it. We know they already do it

for the undergrads. And, it would really help alleviate food insecurity for grad students,” he said.

Improved dental, vision, and mental health care

While undergraduates can choose to opt in to the Student Health Plan (SHP) or continue using private insurance, graduate students are automatically enrolled in the SHP upon paying tuition. Catalano’s campaign called for free vision and dental insurance on the SHP.

“Something I learned in my last term on GSG was that Princeton actually manages the whole health care plan,” he noted. “Aetna is the healthcare insurer, but Princeton is actually the one who’s providing all the finances for that and sets all of the copays and all of the rates.”

According to the University Health Services website, fees for the optional dental and vision health insurance plans vary from year to year. The 2023–24 annual 12-month cost for the vision plan is $58 per student, and $78 for the dental plan.

Additionally, Catalano cited mental health care as a major concern for graduate students and said he hopes for sustained collaboration between GSG’s Mental Health Initiative and the USG Mental Health Committee.

“All grad students have to take this course [in] responsible conduct of research, and in one of the classes we read this study about the experiences of graduate students,“ he recounted. “What they found in this study was that mental health is the number one issue that graduate students face … If we know that mental health is such a crisis, such an important issue, then Princeton can do more to help alleviate those concerns.”

Catalano said that he and other graduate students enjoy mental health care events and gatherings on campus, but what he thinks is going to make the most “tangible difference” in mental health care is “better health care coverage — not these events, but actual coverage.”

Catalano specifically mentioned the $20 per visit copay within the University’s Exclusive Mental Health Provider Network.

“We’re all people, we need health care, we need housing, we want stability and security. I think that’s what it comes down to … These are basic fundamental human needs, not just graduate student needs.”

Elisabeth Stewart is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

Wintersession popularity soars with graduate students, free meals offered to participants

Wintersession has become increasingly popular with graduate students. For a myriad of reasons, ranging from partnerships with Graduate Student Government (GSG) to opportunities for community building to free dining hall meals, graduate student registration for Wintersession is up by over 30 percent.

As of Jan. 10, 1,359 graduate students had registered for at least one Wintersession event, an increase from 1,032 registrations at this point in the month last year. This year, the registration total represents 42 percent of enrolled graduate students, and is projected to increase to 1,600, according to numbers provided to The Daily Princetonian by the Office of Campus Engagement (OCE).

“Wintersession is the time of the year I feel the most connected to campus and the community,” Emily Miller GS, a graduate student in the Department of Population Studies aiming for a joint degree in social policy, wrote in a statement to the ‘Prince.’ Miller has served as a staff writer for the Prospect.

The increase over the last few years has been dramatic. In 2021, only 316 graduate students signed up for Wintersession; in 2022, the number was 808. Last year, there were 1,375 graduate registrants by the end of the two-

week Wintersession period.

According to Judy Jarvis, Executive Director of the OCE, the rise in graduate registration is aided by OCE’s partnership with GSG leaders and Graduate School administrators. This year, the office also addressed graduate students’ concerns that they would be pressured to lead undergraduate-only sessions or not be allowed to join an offering as a participant.

“As graduate students saw that they had the freedom to choose whether they wanted to lead offerings or attend offerings or both, they became increasingly enthusiastic about participating,” Jarvis wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’

Driving this increased popularity, perhaps, is that if any student signs up for a Wintersession program, they receive a free meal plan for the twoweek period.

“One of my favorite aspects [of Wintersession] is the free meal plan, [which] mean[s] that it is easy to take a break and socialize with my department … [and] friends from disciplines from philosophy to chemistry,” Miller wrote. “Wintersession structurally lets these intercohort and interdisciplinary conversations happen because everyone has to eat,” she added.

Whereas all juniors and seniors are entitled to two free meals in residential college dining halls each week regardless of their meal plan, graduate students only receive six free meals per

semester, which apply only to Graduate College. This disparity between undergraduates and graduate students was a key issue in the recent election for vice president of the GSG.

Han Xu GS, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science, wrote in a message to the ‘Prince’ that “it [is] very helpful to get free meal[s] just by attending a one-hour event,” especially for students who are not on a regular meal plan and typically cook for themselves.

Among graduate students, the most popular offerings included “Laser Tag,” “Introduction to Machine Learning,” and “Unleash Your Inner Artist: Flower Arranging,” according to OCE Associate Director Ohemaa Boahemaa.

Jarvis wrote that “on average, graduate students have signed up for five offerings each, for a total of 7,162 workshop, event and/or trip sign-ups.”

Moreover, 1,595 undergraduates have signed up for one or more offerings, making Wintersession an experience that “undergraduate and graduate students do in close to equal proportion on campus,” according to Jarvis.

“It’s really exciting to me that the Wintersession we have built makes clear … that it is for both [undergraduate and graduate student] groups equally, and that there is lots for both groups to enjoy, learn, and benefit from,” Jarvis added.

For many students, Wintersession

provides an opportunity to connect with other students, explore interests, and engage in new activities such as mental health journaling, hot printing, winter hiking, and live-action fantasy battle-gaming. Now in its fourth year, Wintersession is more popular overall than ever before, with additional spots added later on to meet increased demand.

“Most graduate students are around because we live here, which means that we benefit from all this extra programming and the spirit of Wintersession bringing the different groups of Princeton together,” Miller said.

Jianzhu Yao GS, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, wrote in a message to the ‘Prince’ that Wintersession provides graduate students with opportunities learn everyday life skills, interact with cross-cultural and interdisciplinary topics, and “make friends from different departments that share the same hobbies.”

Given that Wintersession occurs during winter break, “students also have plenty of opportunities to get in touch with things they don’t have time for during the busy semester,” he added.

Kirstin Bode GS, a graduate student in the chemistry department, noted that Wintersession is “a unique way to connect with the faculty, staff, and other graduate students,” allowing for community building outside of the

academic year.

As Wintersession meals promote social interaction and bonding, graduate students have also taken up the possibility of leading workshop sessions.

Bode is running a session called “Tie Dye Tote Bags,” a workshop centered around tie-dying, one of their hobbies.

“It’s important to have events that bring a little joy to people’s lives,” they wrote. “I’m hoping that [the participants] get a chance to relax and make something that they’ll be able to use in their everyday life.”

Miller, a second-time Wintersession facilitator, was inspired by a previous “Around the World in 80 Beers” session to lead “Intro to Wines,” which consists of three two-hour sessions and focuses on wines across the Americas, Europe, Oceania, and Africa. She noted that the workshop’s design was influenced by her experience in precepts. As participants are required to be 21 and older, about 60 percent of her class is graduate students.

“Last year, it was about 45 percent graduate students,” she wrote. ”I think word has spread about Wintersession in the past couple of years … people were talking about Wintersession [last] fall semester and there was already some excitement.”

Louisa Gheorghita is a staff News writer and head Photo editor for the ‘Prince.’

page 5 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian ON

After the first snow of the winter, we took a look at the history of the first snow in Princeton.

With the first snow of the winter arriving across much of the Northeast, including Princeton, we took a look at the history of the first snowfall each year in Princeton.

Weather in the town of Princeton is monitored by several weather stations in Princeton and the surrounding area. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) measures weather on Princeton’s campus via stations in town, including one near the Institute for Advanced Study, as well as stations in nearby West Windsor and Franklin Township. Weather data provided before 2008 is inconsistant.

Until 1999, the first snow also brought with it the Nude Olympics, a campus tradition where sophomores congregated in Holder Courtyard to participate in naked athletic events. The tradition was eventually banned due to a combination of spectators bringing cameras to the event and participants drinking to excess, both of which posed a threat to student safety. While the Nude Olympics no longer exists, the first snow still provides the opportunity for students to engage in winter activities.

The first snow of the season is defined here as the first snowfall after the fall solstice,

which fell on Sept. 21 in 2023, and the first day where the snowfall metric reported by NOAA was above zero inches.

The date of first snowfall has generally come later and later on into the winter as time progresses. In the past three years, the first snowfall has come after Jan. 1, whereas in the 2011–2012 winter, the first snow came late in October. Since 2008, the first snow has typically come sometime in December.

According to Weather Underground, the earliest first measurable snow — meaning the first day where it snowed more than 0.1 inches — was on Oct. 10, 1979 for Philadelphia, and Oct. 15, 1876 for New York City. As of October 2023, the 30-year average of the first snowfall in Princeton was in December.

NOAA tracks two measurements of snow yield: snowfall and snow depth. According to the National Weather Service, “Snowfall (newly fallen snow) ... is taken as soon as snow has stopped falling if possible and no more than 4 times a day.” On the other hand, snow depth is measured as the “total depth of snow on the ground,” and is “typically measured at 7 a.m.”

Overall, the first snow of the season typically yields little snowfall and snow depth: in the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 seasons, the snow did not stick at all, yielding no snow depth. This year, the snow also failed to stick.

The 2010–2011 season had the heaviest first snow, with a snow depth of 13.5 inches.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts higher than average precipitation and an overall

“frosty, flakey, and slushy” this winter.

Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko is a head Data editor for the ‘Prince.’

11,920 registrations, 521 events, and 14 days. We broke down Wintersession 2024.

From trips to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. to an introduction to Mah Jongg and morning yoga sessions, Wintersession 2024 includes extensive offerings and opportunities to learn beyond the classroom.

Wintersession will be held between Jan. 15 and Jan. 28, 2024, offering 521 events open to all undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff. This two-week period of events funded by the Office of Campus Engagement began as a week-long Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Initiative during intersession break, the period between January finals and the start of the following semester (before the academic calendar moved finals to before winter break in the 2020-21 academic year). Registration for Wintersession 2024 opened Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. and spots quickly filled up, especially for events taking participants off-campus.

The 521 events include 78 offerings with multiple parts across a series of days and 75 with multiple sections meeting at the same time. Each course is housed within a broad category and a narrower theme. All registered participant information pulled by The Daily Princetonian is updated as of Dec. 22.

The ‘Prince’ was unable to access registration data (including registered participants or if there are remaining spots) for several offerings. These offerings include City Treks, which fall under a new Wintersession trip policy.

Unless a cancellation is accompanied by a doctor’s note, “Given the limited number of trips available, the long waitlists for trips, and the significant investment of resources to make trips possible, trip registrants who are no-shows and did not cancel their registration with at least 72 hours in advance of their trip will be charged $50 via their student account.”

Due to this policy, participants wishing to register for many trips must fill out a form agreeing to these terms before receiving an update on their status.

Unlike Wintersession 2023 where, excluding trips, “Fitness and Strength” courses were the most widely offered with 34 courses, only 21 courses are offered in this category in 2024. This year, 34 “101” courses are offered compared to 27 last year. Like in 2023, “How-to” courses account for the most courses offered, with 111 in 2024 and 84 in 2023 — around 30 percent of each year’s total offerings.

Hypnotist Chris Jones is leading the fifth most popular event, with 162 registered attendees so far. Over 600 seats remain in Richardson Auditorium for Jones’ audience interactive performance on Jan. 27 at 8:00 P.M.

“If you’re looking for a CAREER and not just a job you should check out my event,” Jones wrote in an email to the ‘Prince’. “Yes, you might see your friends on stage and maybe you’ll be on stage. But you should hopefully feel inspired.”

While attendees will see Jones “float a person out of a chair using just our fingertips,” they may learn more than hypnosis.

“Work should be fun, too, I believe…,” Jones wrote. “Life is too short not to be inspired. My inspiration comes from doing what I love. And when you love your work EVERYTHING can inspire you.”

Jones has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and other television shows and has a Bosworth score of 1.65, meaning he is searched on Google 1.65 times as much as President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 over the past 14 years.

The second most popular event, with 261 registered attendees, is an interview with actor and woodworker Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson in “Parks and Recreation.” Offerman’s interview by Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students, Mell Thompson, serves as Wintersession’s fourth annual “Beyond the Resume” keynote event. Offerman has a Bosworth score of 63.43.

Previous “Beyond the Resume” speakers have included Emmy Award winning actress Michaela Coel in 2023 and 11 time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix in 2023. With the most courses offered, the “How-to” category also has the most registered participants and the most courses with a waiting list. The “Other” category consists of off-campus trips and offerings by the Office of Campus Engagement (OCE) and has the highest percent of offerings with a waiting list, with 83.6 percent of offerings. As of Dec. 22, only three of the 60 trips have available spots and all seven OCE-led offerings have available spots.

All “City Trek” trips to New York City are listed under the “Academic and Professional Growth” theme and do not have visible numbers of registered participants or spots left or if there is a waiting list due to the new trip policy. To register for these offerings, students must fill out a Google form and upload a copy of their resume before ranking which trips they wish to attend.

This year, the final day of Wintersession has only two events, 0.38 percent of all 2024 events,

the lowest of any day of Wintersession 2023 or 2024. The final Wintersession 2024 event, titled “Eating Clubs x Wintersession Food Festival,” has 360 registered participants, the most of any Wintersession event. The event offers “a chance to interact with members and experience ‘The Street’ outside of nights out” alongside food trucks and Wintersession gear. With over 2100 spots remaining and ten

sporting events with unlimited availability, students may continue signing up for events through the end of Wintersession, access their free meals in the dining halls, and learn new skills and attend events which may align with academic interests — or be completely new.

Andrew Bosworth is head Data editor for the ‘Prince.’

page 6 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian

Despite campus scooter ban, there are still ways to score a personal injury lawsuit

Personal injury lawyer Jackie Chiles remembers a time not too long ago when personal injury lawyers ruled Mercer County.

“Kids would speed down Elm Drive like they had Princess Diana in the backseat,” Chiles said in his Nassau Street office.

That all changed due to shifting rules about vehicles on campus, with the university’s most recent policy prohibiting Personal Electric Vehicles, such as scooters and hoverboards, from most of Princeton’s campus. While Nassau Hall contends that these policies have made campus safer, the policy is opposed by the many Princeton students who hope to get rich from a scooter crash-related lawsuit.

“It’s all so unfair. As an English major, I had my whole 401(k) riding on that lawsuit,” Richard Papen ’26 said. “If not for the cars hitting 50 mph on Washington Road, I would have to switch to economics.”

According to a 2022 survey of graduating seniors, 15 percent intend to study law, 22 percent intend to work in business, and 54 percent intend to use

their “structured settlement money to support [their] rap career.”

As a result of the scooter ban, some entrepreneurial students like Penny Farther ’26 have shifted their focus toward cyclists.

On days where there is ice on the ground, Farther recommends walking around campus while carrying a

large vat of scalding-hot water. When you sense a cyclist approaching, she said to turn up the music on your headphones and start walking in a serpentine motion.

“When combined with some earthtone clothing, you are just one skin graft away from an out-of-court settlement,” she said.

“Once you get injured, make sure to take down all photos of your family on vacation in St. Barth’s or Ibiza. You want the jury to sympathize with your plight,” she added.

Sam McComb is an associate Humor editor. His personal attorney is Marty Bach of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen.

Charter hosts tattoo Street Week event for selective sign-in points

As waves of sophomores visit eating clubs during this year’s Street Week, one club is testing sophomores’ dedication. This past Sunday, Charter Club hosted a body art event where sophomores could get permanent tattoos with either the Charter insignia or a heart with the club’s name as a way for sophomores to earn points for the selective signin process. Placement options were limited to a tramp stamp, the shin, or an inner lip tattoo. More points were awarded for the lip tattoo, due to the increased pain involved.

“We knew this year would have to be different. We couldn’t just have cutesy little events — prospective members need to show some serious commitment to the club if they want to get in,” Charter President Greg Marmalard ’25 said.

Although a professional tattoo artist was hired, the line was so long that the members of Charter with the most drawing experience started inking up the sophomores as well. The Daily PrintsAnything spoke to one of the Charter artists about the event, who shared that his P in VIS202 prepared him well to step in.

“I have a maroon, horseshoe tattoo on my ass,” lamented Charlotte Charlington ’26, who limped away.

“I can’t wait to tell my mom and dad,” said Charlie Charleston ’26, who was conceived in Charter’s first-floor bathroom during the ‘CEOs and Office Hoes’ party of ’03.

Some sophomores misunderstood the purpose of the event. “I didn’t know it had to be a Charter-

themed tattoo, but, by the time I got to the front of the line, I couldn’t back out. I just have to join Charter now,” said Chase Chapman ’26.

“We’re still gonna have to hose most of these hoes [laughs],” explained the Charter president when asked to comment. “In the future,

we’ll have to think about more serious commitments to weed out sophomores. Maybe we’ll just make it more expensive.”

Caroline Rasmussen is a member of the Class of 2026. She may, or may not, want to sign-in to Charter.

page 7 Hum
LOUISA GHEORGHITA / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN Electric scooters outside East Pyne Hall.
CANDACE DO / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN Charter Club, one of the 11 eating clubs on Prospect Ave.

“B ug O ut ”


1 Impassive

6 Windows precursor

11 TikTok goth aesthetic

15 Judgment error

16 So-called "Horse capital of the world"

17 Stir emotionally

18 Drama film starring Laurence Fishburne as a spelling contest coach (2006)

21 Booze brochure

22 Striking, as colors

23 Birth control option, for short

24 Forehead mark for some Hindu women

25 Comedy film featuring Michael Keaton as a mischievous ghost (1988)

30 Cry of fanfare

34 McKellen of "The Hobbit"

35 Leak preventer

36 Trouble, in Yiddish

38 Exams for future D.A.s

40 Green chip dip, colloquially

42 English class assignment

43 Fruit often confused with rambutan

45 Silver ___

47 Air Force ___

48 Satisfy

49 Action film starring Seth Rogan as a publisher turned crime-fighter, with "The" (2011)

52 Like animals in a zoo

54 "___ you serious?!"

55 Deg. with classes like geometric topology

58 Kenyans, e.g.

63 Old horror genre ... or a hint to 18-, 25-, and


65 Wriggly fish

66 Buddha's birthplace

67 Like over half of Earth's population

68 Chip's cartoon counterpart

69 Show off a new dress, say

70 Stadium reservations


1 BBQ side dish

2 Red rolled tortilla chip

3 Exposed

4 Response to "Look over there!"

5 Plant cell wall compound

6 Mineral hardness scale

7 "Doo-be-shoo-bop-ooh," e.g.

8 Actor Aykroyd

9 Famous London theater

10 Imitation wool

11 Retiree title

12 Bubble tea

13 Pizzeria must-have

14 Chuck, to a Gen Z-er

19 Support person

20 Lazy text to someone turning a year older

24 Oaf

25 Monthly menaces, maybe

26 G.P.A. booster

27 Make into law

28 Bouncing dance

29 Like many landlines nowadays

31 Bad lighting?

32 Sawyer of ABC

33 Up to now

37 Spanish misses

39 What chatterboxes need to cut to

41 Deceive

44 Easter excitement

46 Catherine of 25-Across

50 Changed, as electoral districts

51 Disqualify, as a juror

53 Suitable

55 Hosted an event, informally

56 Length x width, for a rectangle

57 Lie revealer

58 At a distance

59 Cut down, as a tree

60 Opera highlight

61 "Awesome!"

62 What many scammers are after: Abbr.

64 Prefix with dermis

page 8 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian
Scan to check your answers and try more of our puzzles online!

The USG must help to unburden low-income international students

Low-income international students at Princeton have a very different experience than domestic students. Although many international students have voiced financial concerns, none were spotlighted by Undergraduate Student Government (USG) candidates in our most recent election. As we reflect on winning candidates’ platforms, we have to bring the international student experience into the conversation.

In the 2022-2023 academic year, international students like me made up 23 percent of total enrollment at Princeton, and 12 percent of the undergraduate population (amounting to almost 700 undergraduate students). We face uniquely severe problems like having to take out loans to cover taxes on our financial aid, strictly limited working hours, expensive flights, and a high relative cost of living in the United States. We deserve better from the University, and better representation in USG. Being an international student is expensive, and low-income internationals bear the brunt of it. Although some international students are wealthy, many are not — Princeton educates many low-income international students. As a BrazilianBritish student admitted on a full financial aid package, I’m more than familiar with this experience. I, and a considerable number of other students, were admitted to Princeton through a college application program for low-income U.K.-based students hoping to study in the United States.

Low-income students admitted

with financial aid packages across higher education institutions in the United States pay scholarship tax on any grant aid above tuition, most of which is at a rate of 14 percent.

Many low-income international students at Princeton, as discussed by Gil Joseph ’25 and Mutemwa Masheke ’23 in their February op-ed, cannot pay this tax outright and instead have to take out subsidized loans from the University. As such, some low-income international students on full financial aid graduate with thousands of dollars of institutional loans because of this tax. These loans may be layered on top of other loans that many low-income students (international or otherwise) oftentimes have to take on, like educational technology loans.

Even the newly added $2,000-persemester personal allowance, designed to help low-income students, is not enough to fully cover international scholarship tax. Because it’s money granted above tuition, international students are now taxed on it, as well. Consequently, the Class of 2027 and beyond will incur significantly more debt compared to their predecessors. International students in the Class of 2027 who will benefit from Princeton’s expanded financial aid program and the new personal allowance will pay the 14 percent tax on over $24,000 per year (a full financial aid package not including tuition) across eight semesters. International students on full financial aid in the Class of 2027 who take out institutional loans to pay off this tax will graduate with over $13,000 in debt to Princeton.

In addition, most low-income international students are prevented from working as much as they would need to in order to pay off these loans

by their visa conditions. 95 percent of Princeton’s international students are on an F-1 visa, which limits them to working up to 20 hours a week while school is in session (and 40 hours during school breaks), at oncampus employment only, limiting employment options and the ability to make money.

I will be graduating from Princeton with nearly $20,000 of debt from educational technology and tax payment loans. This is cripplingly high. I think about it constantly. Even if I worked the maximum 20 hours every week across the four jobs I currently hold, I would not make enough money before graduating to pay off my student loans. The interest burden is also steep — although Princeton’s subsidized loans for students only begin incurring interest nine months after graduation, students are expected to pay these loans off within 10 years of leaving fulltime education and beginning employment. These subsidized loans have a 5 percent fixed interest rate. In my case, if I were to pay off my loans monthly, at a rate of $225 per month, it would take me just less than 10 years to repay, and I would pay just over $5,000 in interest, amounting to about $25,000 total in loan payments.

Students hoping to graduate debtfree encounter the added burden of saving money from employment to pay off their tax bill. Much like normal tuition bills, international students’ scholarship tax is charged directly to their student account, and must be paid off before a student is able to enroll in classes. Students who would rather pay for tax out of pocket than take out institutional loans must then save money from employment to pay off tax charges

before the beginning of class enrollment for the next semester.

Considering other necessary expenses, this becomes an almost impossible feat. How are students who regularly pay over $1,500 to fly home, who hold multiple jobs, and who may be unable to rely on familial financial support due to currency exchange rates or economic hardship be expected to perform well academically, never mind socially, without any institutional support? Many students find that they must pay out-of-pocket to support their travel home, even with Princeton’s travel allowance. Some low-income students, like Masheke, may never travel home in their entire time at Princeton. For these students specifically, USG should advocate for an increased travel allowance, on top of a relieved burden of scholarship tax payments, to increase the likelihood that they may travel home more regularly.

Although USG cannot change the legal requirements of F-1 status international students, there is a lot of advocacy that USG can spearhead to improve low-income students’ Princeton experience. If Princeton is unable to commit to covering scholarship tax payments under financial aid, we should petition for reducing the stress of having to make tax bill payments immediately. For example, USG could advocate for an exception to scholarship tax payments for international students, such that an outstanding tax balance for students on full financial aid would not place a hold on their student account, allowing these students to enroll in classes as normal. This would give students a longer time frame to budget and pay off their balance.

USG should also advocate for Jo-

seph and Masheke’s suggestion for Princeton to cover the international scholarship tax, like Yale does. By working alongside our low-income international community, USG can devise a proposal to present to the Board of Trustees detailing expectations for scholarship tax payments to be covered, the feasibility of this scenario considering Princeton’s endowment, and the incredibly positive impact that this would have on low-income international students.

International students make up a considerable proportion of the student body; it’s time for USG to work with international students, especially low-income internationals, to improve our Princeton experience. As expressed in their constitution, the USG represents the interests of the undergraduate student body to the Board of Trustees — the ultimate governing body at Princeton — and leads discussions about issues affecting undergraduates.

They must represent us and our concerns before the Financial Aid Office, and they must advocate for the University to pay for international students’ scholarship tax as part of the offered financial aid package. Our newly elected USG Senate must work with the international student community to build and present a platform for the institution that upholds international students’ needs and demands change and specifically addresses the needs of low-income international students.

Asa Santos is a senior columnist from London, England, studying Medical Anthropology, minoring in Global Health & Health Policy, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Korean Language & Cultures.

Media obsession with Claudine Gay distracts from Gaza

Former Harvard president Claudine Gay, who stepped down on Jan. 2 amid criticisms of her response to antisemitism on Harvard’s campus and her subsequent plagiarism allegations, is all over U.S. media. Gay’s resignation remained the top story on the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal websites in the following days. This media firestorm demonstrates how in the midst of the conflict in Israel and Palestine, mainstream U.S. news organizations are blatantly more interested in amplifying Ivy League scandals than reporting on the realities of violence in Gaza, where the death toll recently surpassed 22,000 — mostly consisting of women and children. This disproportionate focus on Ivy League turmoil is a sensationalist distraction. We shouldn’t let it divert our attention from the much more substantive problem of the brutal war in Gaza, and the surge in antisemitism and Islamophobia the war has provoked in the United States.

Gay’s alleged plagiarism isn’t anywhere as disastrous as it was made out to be. While academic negligence certainly creates bad optics for Har-

vard, the Harvard Corporation found nothing more than “inadequate citation” in its review of Gay’s work, which she immediately strove to correct. Additionally, one of the scholars who Gay was accused of plagiarizing stated that her error “isn’t even close to an example of academic plagiarism.”

Although Gay resigned amid these weaponized allegations of plagiarism, the push was really motivated by her controversial Congressional testimony about Harvard’s approach to antisemitism on campus. Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist who helped lead the effort to oust Gay, admitted that the plagiarism story was a pretext to justify his movement to the center-left: He posted on X that he intended to “smuggle [the plagiarism story] into the media apparatus of the Left, legitimizing the narrative to center-left actors who have the power to topple her.”

Gay’s alleged plagiarism was not the driving force behind the campaign for her resignation — the Congressional hearings were.

The mainstream media is just as guilty of this subterfuge. Since the story first emerged, the New York Times has published over 15 articles about Gay’s alleged plagiarism. This controversy originated with Gay’s response to a question from Republican

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik that was itself pivoting from those directly affected in Israel and Gaza. When the media converts the narrative into one about plagiarism, divorcing the story from the humanitarian crisis in Gaza altogether, it directs public attention away from atrocities in the Middle East and towards a relatively trivial, much more digestible story relevant only to the upper echelons of society.

Beyond Gay’s plagiarism, the media has seized the opportunity to opine on the Ivy League as a cultural institution. Since Dec. 1, Fox News has used the words “Ivy League,” “Harvard,” or “Penn” more times than “Gaza.” Talking about the Ivy League might increase engagement from Fox News’s primarily right-wing viewer base, which is already disinclined to trust higher education, but this reflects a clear distortion of journalistic priorities. The missteps of a couple of elite university administrators do not merit more consideration than death, destruction, and displacement in the Gaza strip.

While the media exhibits a concrete preference for coverage of the Ivy League over coverage of Gaza, politicians from both parties endeavor to distract from the realities of life in Gaza. Stefanik clearly wants the Ivy League to be the story: She

called Gay’s resignation “just the beginning of what will be the greatest scandal of any college or university in history.” The Biden administration is also engaging in a concerted effort to deflect, internally expressing reluctance to support an extended ceasefire because it could increase journalists’ access to Gaza and “turn public opinion on Israel.” There are bipartisan political benefits to turning attention away from Gaza and towards the Ivy League.

But on a global scale, the Ivy League isn’t that important. Collectively, these eight universities only educate about 138,000 predominantly wealthy students. That’s not to dismiss the momentous intellectual contributions of these institutions, nor to say that campus free speech and discrimination are inconsequential issues. But while the media fixates on elite schools and Claudine Gay, nearly 2 million Gazans have been forced to flee their homes, and half of Gaza’s population is at risk of starvation. The careers of just a few with money and power is outweighing the lives of millions without either in what we consider worthy of discussion and attention.

Don’t fall into the trap. The coverage discrepancy is dangerous — the crisis in Gaza demands attention from privileged Americans and with

it, donations and pressure on our government to adequately address the situation. We have the power to reduce suffering, but influential U.S. actors are currently more concerned with exaggerated Ivy League transgressions than Gazans’ lives.

Princeton’s current absence from the line of fire, and the media’s outsize estimation of our significance gives our community a unique opportunity to challenge this cultural preoccupation with status and power. We can help reframe the narrative, to encourage more concentration on Gaza and less on the happenings of our campus and other U.S. college campuses.

The next time one of your parents’ friends asks about protests on campus or why Princeton hasn’t been on any front pages, take the chance to shift the conversation to conditions in Gaza or the prejudices that the conflict exposes. As Ivy League students in a moment of cultural obsession with the Ivy League, we’re endowed with undeserved power. We have an obligation to use it to amplify the voices of the powerless.

Frances Brogan is an assistant Opinion Editor and prospective Politics major. She can be reached at frances.brogan@

www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Opinion page 9

The academic world can’t let Harvard abstain from the pursuit of truth

In Claudine Gay’s resignation letter from her role as president of Harvard University, published in the New York Times on January 2, she expresses hope that the Harvard community remembers her short term as one characterized by “not allowing rancor and vituperation to undermine the vital process of education.” But in her op-ed, published a day later, she claims that her resignation was the result of the work of “demagogues” to “undermine the ideals animating Harvard since its founding: excellence, openness, independence, truth.” Though Gay paints her removal from office as a tactic to stop such a campaign from gaining further traction, her refusal to admit any guilt and the Harvard Corporation’s failure to note any particular reason for the resignation suggests that her presidency should be defined by a clear abandonment of the tenets to which she and Harvard claim to have committed.

By permitting external actors the capacity to affect the internal affairs of the University, the governing bodies of Harvard revealed their lack of commitment to any ideal — moral or academic. If a university cannot stand behind the truth, how can we expect it to teach any of its students to do so and uphold the core value of all academic inquiry? Harvard’s failure is stunning, and it holds a crucial lesson for peer institutions — Princeton included. As universities continue to abandon their commitment to engaging in critical research and thought to determine truth — the core purpose and justification for a university — Princeton must act, both internally and publicly, in defense of this goal, and hire accordingly.

No one at Harvard has justified a rationale for Gay’s resignation. This reveals a difficult truth: Harvard holds no position about the veracity of any recent issues pertaining to Gay, but they are prepared to take action anyway. Since early October, Gay has made grave errors in her treatment of the Jewish students at Harvard, but these choices don’t seem to be reasons for her resignation. Neither she nor the Harvard Corporation seem to have thought that the harmful effects of her late and ambiguous response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 indicated a lacking ability

to lead the campus, nor did they believe that her refusal to commit to ensuring the safety of Jewish students at Harvard in the face of chants for the genocide of their people at a Congressional hearing constituted an intractable problem for her presidency. The Harvard Corporation supported her after the latter took place, and Gay spoke and acted with the intent to stick around.

Since then, no further communication has indicated a reversal in this policy or a regret of these actions. Despite a partial acknowledgment of this poor showing for the Jewish community — actions which directly went against a core value of her presidency, to engage in “resistance” in Harvard’s “long history of exclusion,” a commitment which should and must include Jews — Gay denies that her actions make her unfit to be Harvard’s president. Indeed, she hardly admits any wrongdoing. Instead of owning up to her failure to uphold her own standards of inclusion during her congressional testimony, she says that she “fell into a well-laid trap.”

This is language unbecoming of such an experienced scholar, as it both admits her inability to sufficiently communicate her ideas and goals to the outside world, and indicates a lack of respect for the operations of the American government, especially in its dealings with issues as abhorrent as antisemitism.

Even now, Gay does not see her mistakes as anything but minor, and the Corporation makes no attempt to change this narrative. So what, then, made resignation appropriate? The New York Times reports that it was ultimately the allegations of plagiarism committed by Gay that caused the Corporation to encourage her departure. Yet the fact that Gay has retained her tenure suggests that no one at Harvard takes seriously the proposal that she should be considered as anything but a stellar scholar. This leaves us with only one conclusion: Gay doesn’t think she has done much that is objectively wrong, and the Harvard Corporation agrees.

The problem is not Gay, in their minds, but the outside attention upon her — what else are we to make of the only reason she gives for her resignation in her letter to campus? In her own words, she is leaving so that Harvard “can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.” In other words,

it’s this: online actors like Bill Ackman and Christopher Rufo have made Harvard look bad, and we can’t handle that. While she and the Corporation have agreed that these characterizations are inaccurate, apparently the truth isn’t worth the fight.

The Harvard Corporation had two good options: either Gay was unfit to be president, or she was being bullied and lied about. After intense interrogation and critical thought, they should have picked the truth and stood behind it. After all, isn’t that what they expect their students and faculty to do — to pursue truth? Yet they buckled in the face of the difficulty of that task, and picked the worst option: taking action without committing to a justification. This is worrying for the academic community, and the mission of education at large. Bret Stephens wrote last week that “Harvard also sets the tone for the rest of American higher [education] — and for public attitudes toward it.” The debacle at Harvard screams to anyone listening that what many know as the beacon of enlightening academic inquiry cannot uphold its core purpose of struggling to find out what is true in the world, and thus lacks one altogether. Princeton should be worried about this trend. Public trust in higher education has continued to fall in 2023. Presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to tax “large private university endowments” like Princ -

eton’s. And why shouldn’t he? Absent a commitment to some value, universities like Princeton and Harvard simply accumulate huge amounts of wealth to service an elite few. When so many are failing to commit to the very reason higher education exists in the first place, Princeton must be exemplary in its scholarship, in the campus culture it encourages, and in the individuals it hires both to fulfill its mission, and loudly and boldly justify its existence so others may do the same.

Princeton is entering a time of change. Dean of the College Jill Dolan announced her departure at the beginning of last semester, following turnover in a number of “high-profile” roles as well as the departure of many administrators. As the University fills Dolan’s position, and others throughout the administration, it must keep the lesson of Harvard and Gay in mind. To protect the excellent scholarship on campus, it must elevate individuals who will fight for the truth when it is challenged, and protect the right of students of all backgrounds and commitments to do the same. Employees of the University at every administrative and faculty level, as well as those individuals who rule Princeton on the Board of Trustees, must be prepared to uphold and defend our core educational mission.

Although Gay once called Princeton “cold, traditional, and austere” and noted that she transferred from

the school after her first year because “everybody at Princeton was already middle-aged,” perhaps we can use these qualities to our advantage. Princeton must maintain its sober commitment to the most valuable traditions of the academic pursuit: the “truth-seeking enterprise.”

In her inaugural address, Gay encouraged the Harvard community to be courageous in their commitment to truthful inquiry, whatever obstacles might come their way. “Debate and the inclusion of diverse viewpoints and experiences,” she said, “are not always easy to live with. They can be a recipe for discomfort, fired in the heat of social media and partisan rancor. And discomfort can weaken our resolve and make us vulnerable to a rhetoric of control and containment that has no place in the academy. That is when we must summon the courage to be Harvard. To love truth enough to endure the challenge of truth-seeking and truth-telling.” Ultimately, I suppose Gay could not find that courage and commitment within herself. But the folks at Princeton, and around the rest of the academic world, must strive to do better.

Abigail Rabieh is a junior in the history department from Cambridge, Mass. Very grateful that she left her hometown for college, she is the Public Editor at the ‘Prince’ and can be reached via email at arabieh@ or on X at @ AbigailRabieh.

page 10 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Opinion
JEAN SHIN / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN The exterior of Morrison Hall in the evening.
The letter fails to name “Palestinians” and “Arabs” as communities that are part of the University community, instead featuring them as mere causes for activism, and therefore fails to acknowledge their tremendous ongoing suffering.

Continued from page 1

verely damaged every university in Gaza. The Israeli military occupied AlIsraa University for 70 days, looting over 3,000 rare artifacts and using it as a detention center for civilian interrogation. Finally, they demolished it with land mines.

In his letter, Eisgruber’s fails to make a direct mention of the Gaza genocide. As a Muslim student and a Palestine solidarity activist, we find this offensive and deeply hurtful to our communities. While Eisgruber claims to value diversity, equity, and inclusion, his letter is an erasure of Palestinian life, and an erasure of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian students from the University community.

Eisgruber’s letter frames Jewish students as the central victims on campus, with several paragraphs dedicated to how the University opposes anti-semitism. Though Eisgruber mentions the three Palestinian students that were shot in Burlington, Vermont while wearing kufiya — a symbol of Palestinian identity — he only makes one other vague, token reference to “anti-Arab and Islamophobic hatred.” His only mention of the pro-Palestinian student experience on Princeton’s campus is as follows:

“Jewish students have reported feeling unsafe. Pro-Palestinian students and faculty have been doxxed for expressing views deemed to be antisemitic.”

The letter fails to name “Palestinians” and “Arabs” as communities that are part of the University community, instead featuring them as mere causes for activism, and therefore fails to acknowledge their tremendous ongoing suffering. Furthermore, Eisgruber counterposes the trauma of Jewish and pro-Palestinian students, as if to imply that these groups are opposed to one another. Even as he laments doxxing, his framing of its cause — supposedly antisemitic sentiment — validates the claim that pro-Palestine activism harms Jewish students.

We remind you that last fall, at Princeton, there were no incidents of pro-Palestinian student protestors assaulting Jewish students; rather, it was a pro-Israel University employee who assaulted a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist at a rally for ceasefire in Palmer Square. Last September, it was a proIsrael organization that sent Jumbotron trucks to harass the Alliance of Jewish Progressives for defending a professor’s right to teach materials critical of Israel.

Secondly, pro-Palestinian activists are not doxxed, harassed, and assaulted because our “views [are] deemed to be antisemitic.” We are under at-

tack for opposing Israel’s US-backed genocide. Zionists dox us in attempts to silence any and all advocacy for Palestinian life — putting us at risk of persistent vitriolic harassment, dismissal from our workplaces, and bodily harm. They have attacked protestors and use language that suggests they should be subject to rape and gun violence.

At Princeton, the Publisher of the Princeton Tory, the Canary Mission, and a writer for the National Review have all broadcasted the names, faces, and/or contact information of pro-Palestinian students to expose us publicly to abuse, amounting to doxxing. The inboxes of doxxed students have been flooded with threatening, racist, Islamophobic messages and slurs; for example, “antisemitic pig,” “antisemite Jihadist Nazi,” “Nazi motherf*cker,” “evil scum,” and “I will personally have you deported.”

In a political and social climate reminiscent of the months after 9/11, Eisgruber’s letter is downplaying the anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and Islamophobic violence spreading in this country and abroad.

Last fall, in addition to the three Palestinian students who were shot in Vermont, an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University was injured in a hit-and-run by a driver who allegedly shouted “fuck you and your people.”

On Jan. 19, at Columbia University, pro-Palestine protesters were attacked with a spray that several students identified as “Skunk,” a foul-smelling, illegal chemical weapon that many have asserted the Israeli military invented to collectively punish Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank. Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) said that eight of them were hospitalized and many sought emergency medical treatment. The victims identified their attackers as fellow students and Israeli veterans. Over a week later, no arrests have been made, and according to SJP’s Instagram the suspects continue to be seen on campus, although Columbia claims to have banned them.

While Eisgruber advises that proPalestinian students avoid “provocative” slogans like “from the river to the sea,” let us remember who the University promotes as its “experts.” On Oct. 9, 2023, the University sponsored a recorded lecture by Professor and ex-US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer. Only two days after Oct. 7, he implicated Iran — at the time, even the Israeli military said that there was no concrete evidence of Iran’s involvement — and flouted a wider war as an outcome: “Will we see a wider war? Can Iran escape retribution for engineering this if that in fact has been the case?”

Kurtzer then echoed Israeli justifications for targeting Palestinian hospitals. But in the same breath, he denied that Israel has ever destroyed a hospital, despite the mountains of evidence that Israel has targeted hospitals and medical infrastructure during earlier military sieges on Gaza in 2008-9, 2012, 2014, and 2021. Since Oct. 7, Israeli forces have destroyed or incapacitated more than half of Gaza’s 36 hospitals through bombs, shelling, and ground raids.

Any invocation of “excellence” and “inclusivity” is ethically void as long as this University’s administration remains complicit and silent on Israel’s scholasticide, occupation, and genocide of the Palestinian people. For the University to truly live up to those values, we demand that Eisgruber release a statement to clearly acknowledge the suffering of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and pro-Palestinians on campus and abroad — just as he issued a clear statement regarding the war in Ukraine — and to denounce Israel’s horrific military campaign. We await this basic recognition of our humanity.

Ellen Li is a senior in Comparative Literature and in the Princeton Students for Justice in Palestine. Humza Gondal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies.

A little bit of grade inflation never hurt anyone
Vincent Jiang Contributing Columnist

Ever since our much-hated grade deflation policy was lifted in 2014, Princetonians’ GPAs have been steadily trending upwards. According to the Office of the Dean of the College, the average GPA for the 2022–2023 academic year was 3.56 out of 4.00, an increase from the 2018–2019 average of 3.46. In 2005, when grade deflation policies were first implemented, the average GPA was around 3.30. A recent article in The New York Times noted the same phenomenon of grade inflation at Harvard and Yale, and quoted students, alumni, and professors lamenting that a good grade today is “worth less” than ever before.

This narrative unfairly stigmatizes grade inflation, ignoring its broader context and changes in factors that influence grades. Grade inflation is not an inherently bad thing. Just as modern economists say that low, stable, and predictable price inflation is good for an economy, a low and consistent rate of grade inflation can be healthy for a university, and in fact should be expected given increasing competitiveness in admissions at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Our GPA’s pandemic spike of 0.10 over the past five years may be more than the long-term inflation rate, but it doesn’t need to be counteracted with more deflation. Princeton shouldn’t view grade inflation as a problem to be solved, but rather as a phenomenon to be managed.

The underlying assumption of ar-

guments against grade inflation is that GPAs should ideally remain stagnant in the long term. If professors maintain the same grading standards year after year, and each class of students is more or less equally qualified, GPA distributions would indeed remain constant. But the composition and characteristics of each class year have changed significantly between 2005 and now. It’s no secret that college admissions have gotten drastically more competitive in the same time span. The class of 2005 had a 11.7% acceptance rate; the class of 2025 had a 4.0% acceptance rate. Even after the recent expansions of the student body, which saw a slight uptick in the admissions rate (back up to 4.5%), it is still almost twice as hard to get into Princeton today than it was at the turn of the century, and the same is true for all other Ivy League schools.

Subjected to such intense selective pressures, the average Ivy Leaguer has almost certainly taken more AP and IB courses, been forced to develop better time management skills to juggle evercrazier extracurricular schedules, and been trained to reflexively obsess more about their grades and test scores than ever before. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that the average Ivy Leaguer is also objectively performing better than ever before in college. After making it through the most ruthlessly Darwinian college admissions process in history, each successive class of Princetonians might really have evolved to be better than their predecessors.

In my anecdotal experience, many alumni freely admit that they would have a tougher time getting in today than they did “back in the day.” That

makes the general reluctance to admit the logical corollary — that today’s students continue their habits of excellence after matriculation — all the more puzzling. And if students are getting better, even marginally, a little bit of grade inflation is only to be expected. The only way to maintain equilibrium in that case would be to make grading standards stricter than they were in the past, which we tried already, to disastrous effect, during the years of grade deflation.

Let’s remember what we learned from that failed experiment — Princeton doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but within an ecosystem of employers, graduate schools, and peer institutions. The same New York Times article that complained about grade inflation at Harvard and Yale also observed that “G.P.A.s have been increasing at colleges nationwide by about 0.1 per decade since the early 1980s.” Even with Princeton’s pandemic-era uptick in grades to a 3.56 average, we still lag behind Harvard (3.80) and Yale (3.70), whose students we compete against in fellowship applications, graduate school admissions, and job searches.

In 2014, Princeton denied that its grade deflation policy had tangible impacts on postgraduate competitiveness, but empirical studies have shown otherwise: even after being provided with candidates’ GPAs in the context of their school’s average GPA, admissions staff and employers still prefer applicants with higher GPAs because of cognitive biases. Imposing grade deflation or grade stagnation when other schools continue to inflate is unilateral disarmament.

One caveat with the analogy be-

tween price inflation and grade inflation is that prices can rise infinitely but grades are capped on a 4.0 scale. The nightmare scenario is that after a couple of decades, extrapolating that 0.10 per decade growth rate, the average Princetonian will eventually have a perfect 4.0 GPA. I find that prospect unlikely. The competitive pressure of admissions will presumably plateau at some point, as it already has in the last couple of years with the expansion of the student body, and the shrinking U.S. population pyramid ensures that the total number of 17- and 18-year olds applying will shrink. Accordingly, I anticipate that the grade inflation rate will naturally shrink. The more likely outcome is something closer to what The Crimson has described as “grade compression,” where the bell curve gets “tighter and taller” as grades get “pushed against the 4.0 ceiling.”

One potential mitigating solution is to bring back the A+ as a 4.3, which was official school policy prior to 2000–2001 and is still how the Law School Admissions Council calculates GPAs today. Another potential way to differentiate students is to put more emphasis on departmental honors, which are explicitly curved relative to the rest of the class. But if the Princetonians of tomorrow are so incredible that they can earn 4.0 GPAs on the same rubric we’re graded on, then they deserve them, fair and square. Professors, especially those who have been teaching for a long time, should certainly not relax their standards — but there’s no reason to mandate raising them either. In short, policies designed to correct for grade inflation cause more harm than good. A modest amount of grade

inflation should be expected given the broader trends of a hypercompetitive admissions system that has cultivated a more academically qualified student body. It may make each individual good grade less significant, but this is an acceptable tradeoff against the alternative of deflation. Of course, if grade inflation rates suddenly spike beyond what is reasonably expected, that might require adjustments, especially on a department-level basis. Classics, for instance, might want to take a hard look in the mirror after its average course GPA jumped 0.20 points in one year, as The Daily Princetonian reported in 2020.

The goal of the University as a whole should not be to keep grades stagnant. Grade inflation is not inherently a problem that requires an overengineered solution of quotas and curves, but a development to be monitored. As newly appointed Dean of the College Michael D. Gordin prepares to assume his office, Princeton would do well to keep this philosophy in mind. Let’s hope that the University won’t seek to reverse our GPA distribution trends and instead appreciate that low, stable, and predictable grade inflation makes for a healthy and fair academic economy.

Vincent Jiang is a junior concentrating in the School of Public and International Affairs who spent way too much time refreshing the TigerHub grade portal this winter break. A contributing Opinion Columnist at the Prince, he can be reached via email at, on Instagram at @vincent.vjiang, or on Twitter at @vincent_vjiang.

www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Opinion page 11

In a quest to achieve historical consciousness in my first history class at Princeton, I frequently grappled with the question of historical erasure: What becomes of an instance of joy, suffering, or loss that goes unrecorded? What becomes of a life without its memory? I sit today with a deepened appreciation for the importance and power of bearing witness — an act that has been critically misunderstood and deeply underemployed by many at Princeton post-Oct. 7. Members of the Princeton community must partake more actively in this necessary practice.

On that day, more than 1,200 Israelis were killed and over 200 were kidnapped by the militant group Hamas. I try to imagine what it would feel like to have my mother murdered or my father kidnapped. While my imagination is limited for much of what I do not witness in the flesh, I can watch the interviews of returned hostages recalling their haunting experience and the names and images of the kidnapped children and their families. Through the intentional act of bearing witness, numbers in statistics become faces, and real testimonies transform words into living,

On the privilege of bearing witness

breathing people.

In the months that followed, over 26,000 Gazans have been killed in retaliatory attacks by Israeli forces throughout occupied Gaza. I try to imagine what it would feel like to have my home crushed down on itself in my sleep, inhaling concrete as a cruel realization settles that nobody will hear, record, or remember this suffering. With dozens of journalists being killed, threatened, and denied entry for reporting in Gaza’s occupied territory, the ‘bearing witness’ of Gaza has been a volatile experience. My understanding of this violence has been reliant on social media apps like Instagram, such as through following the sporadic Instagram posts from journalists actively evading bombing.

For citizens across the world, social media has been an integral tool of organization, of activism, and, most importantly, of bearing witness. In a conflict where the documentation of suffering is deliberately controlled and critically dangerous, the act of viewing bears — and should bear — a more solemn significance.

Yet social media’s relevance and impact on this conflict has been misunderstood, including by a piece from my colleague at The Daily Princetonian. Admittedly, social media can serve as a channel for dangerous propagandizing

and virtue signaling. However, to say that posting against illegal occupation immediately constitutes privileged and hollow irresponsibility is not only wrong, but weaponizes the symbolic power of bearing witness against itself. You don’t need to do everything in power to alleviate an issue in order to witness or post about it. Does that posting diagnose them of privileged cowardice without action? Or can it also be an indicator of a willingness to acknowledge, advocate for, and bear witness to suffering? And when those at the forefront of the conflict are begging for their voices to be heard, is acknowledging and sharing that suffering not a due moral obligation?

When we see our lives here as so distinctly removed from conflict, we allow ourselves the convenient excuse of helplessness. There is nothing substantial we can accomplish, we tell ourselves, because some of us have the privilege of being away from direct violence.

This excuse minimizes both the symbolic and practical value that bearing witness holds: by believing that privilege automatically deems the witness irresponsible, we fail to see value in ‘witnessing’ itself. When we refuse to believe in the importance of the witness, we consequently become less inclined to take substantive physi-

cal action or activism. However, we have just as much of a responsibility to combat the notion that ‘witnessing is futile’ as we do to acknowledge the privilege of living free from aerial bombing. This is especially true when it comes to Israel and Palestine: “The issue of Palestine and Israel is often spoken of as being too complicated for outsiders to understand,” says professor and psychologist Hala Alyan. “This can be a clever form of silencing and erasure: the exceptional mystification of the history of the region, even when there is a sea of voices — historians, activists, journalists, Palestinian and Israeli alike — who are explaining exactly how it can be known.” Such a way of thinking allows individuals to reduce the repercussions of a conflict felt beyond its borders: what does it matter if elitist Ivy League students are allegedly sprayed with chemical agents at protests, racially targeted, or doxxed, while there are people whose bodies are being disintegrated by sprays of gunfire? What matters of our social media posts, protests, speakins, or boycotts, when everything we do here is done in a hubris of privilege and ignorance of true suffering? Of course, to say that America’s matters of sociopolitical struggles following the conflict are equivalent to matters of mass killing would be blatantly

wrong — but reducing it to an experience of privileged nothingness would not be any more helpful.

That’s not to say privileged activism can still materialize responsible change. In December, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned of a pandemic of dehumanization unfolding as the conflict progressed. Dehumanization is a tyranny that colonizes the mind — a tyranny that has most recently materialized with the current flood of anti-Palestinian and antisemitic hate — and this tyranny is perpetuated by our grave inability and fear of participating in activism from our ivory tower. This inability exhausts us of our empathy and makes us believe that our inability to witness incomprehensible pain is our natural reaction to it. But we must mobilize against this exhaustion. Bearing witness is a humanizing act — it functions as a spark to more remote, responsible ways of recognizing suffering. Our fear of privilege shouldn’t preclude us from this innate human ability.

Siyeon Lee is a first-year from Seoul, South Korea intending to major in History. She can be reached at, or @siyeonish on Instagram.

DEI: What bureaucrats and the right get wrong

To the political right, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is the beginning of the end.

The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board warns of DEI officers who “enforce ideological conformity.”

Abigail Anthony ’23 claimed that DEI initiatives “divide, exclude, and ostracize students of all political affiliation.” The freedom of speech, some people argue, will be obliterated by DEI-obsessed bureaucrats.

But no one seems to be satisfied. While the right shames DEI for rejecting intolerance and correcting historic systems of oppression with perceived threats to free speech, many on the left, too, have turned against DEI. Some are dissatisfied by its supposed abandonment of meritocracy and others by its lack of earnest commitment to diversity and justice. In both cases, the very institutions that are responsible for DEI, like Princeton, are to blame. Rather than rejecting the right’s continued ridiculing of their initiatives or responding to progressives’ calls for a more revolutionary and effective DEI, Princeton has done neither.

Politicians and lawmakers on the right continue to lambast and legally stifle DEI across the country, and this firestorm hasn’t spared the Orange Bubble: just weeks ago, members of our Office of Diversity & Inclusion were harassed online, and former staff and current students at Princeton have taken issue with de rigueur DEI practices.

Yet, despite this fear mongering, DEI persists. Following a summer of civil unrest and racial activism, DEI job opportunities skyrocketed in 2020 and have only slightly decreased in the last year. Whether because of public scrutiny, selfreckoning, or a mixture of the two, institutions — especially universities — embraced these practices as a solution for prejudice. At Princeton, we’re seeing annual DEI reports, action plans, the creation of offices, and the hiring of DEI personnel. President Eisgruber ’83 (a stark defender of free speech) has expressed his intention to edify the University in DEI and demand “scholarly and practical attention” be paid towards racial justice.

In his recent column “DEI Is Not the Monster Here” for Time Magazine, Professor of African American Studies Eddie Glaude GS ’97 writes, “we often think we are treating diversity as a cherished value, but we are really trying to manage it. We end up checking boxes, more concerned about compliance, and less interested in the value itself.”

What Professor Glaude goes on to explain is at the very heart of what liberal college campuses get wrong about DEI: to warn off right-wing subterfuge unjustly vilifying DEI, these programs shouldn’t become less rigorous, they should become more so — stepping into promoting the actual values of diversity, equity, and inclusion rather than insincere political tests.

Some of the right’s criticisms make a fair point. Take, for example, DEI statements in faculty hiring applications, which have been receiving criticism for serving as

“Red Scare-era loyalty oaths” or employment threatening ideological litmus tests. Right-wing dog-whistling aside, these concerns are not wholly unfounded. Even professors who oppose DEI have been forced to parrot praise and dedication to social justice through these hiring statements. While Princeton does not require these kinds of faculty hiring statements, individual departments and programs do have the ability to require similar “impact statements.” But what do these statements actually do? They make DEI into the very ideological badge its opponents claim it is. Practices like these provide no real benefit, rather unintentionally undermining legitimate DEI practices. Princeton’s hiring process (and any of its policies) should not and doesn’t have to be morally hollow. The University — as it has long done for academic integrity, free expression, and health and safety — has the right and obligation to designate, dignify, and defend the most important of values and virtues. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are no exception to this. Reducing these principles to a supplemental material required for faculty hiring is not only lazy and disingenuous, it is extremely dangerous.

Hollow DEI can do harm, as it establishes a cover for conservatives to paint all DEI under. Following the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard Supreme Court decision, the right has moved to call all DEI programs “illegal,” despite that not being true. Not even Princeton’s motto is spared from ridicule: the right has rewritten Dei Sub Numine Viget “(Under God’s

Power She Flourishes”) as “Under Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion She Flourishes.”

DEI has also been indicted by conservative think tanks, bloggers, and news outlets with greater and far more insidious charges: promoting antisemitism, destroying the family unit, and ruining higher education entirely. These accusations unfairly target DEI employees and student activists and should be ardently rejected by institutions that supposedly believe in DEI, like Princeton. But they haven’t been.

Rather than unabashedly exalt diversity and ensure its deep integration into the fabric of the University, Princeton — like other universities — has responded with tenuous solutions like affirmative action (which is now gone, with no concrete replacement in sight) and the occasionally powerful, but failed, programs like the Amplifying Voices Distinguished Lecture Series (which has yielded only one speaker since its inception two

years ago). There is so much potential and already-realized good to come out of Princeton’s DEI. But when Princeton fails to esteem or execute this meaningful work and instead cowers in the face of critics who package intolerance as anti-DEI “truth,” it does a disservice to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the communities it is supposed to protect. If the right has made DEI out to be the “monster,” as Glaude says, that many Americans are so scared of, it’s time for the people in charge of DEI at Princeton to shine a brighter light under the bed to reveal that there is no monster there, just a more honest and unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Christofer Robles is the Community Opionion editor. He served as Chair of the Daily Princetonian’s DEIB committee during the 147th Board of the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at cdrobles@

page 12 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Opinion

vol. cxlviii


Eden Teshome '25


business manager

Aidan Phillips ’25


Thomas E. Weber ’89

vice president

David Baumgarten ’06


Chanakya A. Sethi ’07

treasurer Douglas Widmann ’90

assistant treasurer

Kavita Saini ’09


Francesca Barber

Craig Bloom ’88

Kathleen Crown

Suzanne Dance ’96

Gabriel Debenedetti ’12

Stephen Fuzesi ’00

Zachary A. Goldfarb ’05

Michael Grabell ’03

Danielle Ivory ’05

Rick Klein ’98

James T. MacGregor ’66

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Abigail Williams ’14

Tyler Woulfe ’07

trustees ex officio

Eden Teshome ’25

Aidan Phillips ’25


upper management

Ryan Konarska ’25

Naisha Sylvestre ’25

director of outreach

Lia Opperman ’25

Tess Weinreich ’25

Lucia Wetherill ’25

creative director

Mary Ma ’26

strategic initiative directors


Christopher Bao ’27


Charlie Roth ’25

Financial Stipend

Elaine Huang ’25

Public Editor

Abigail Rabieh ’25

Sections listed in alphabetical order.

head archives editor

Raphaela Gold ’26

Kaylee Kasper ’26

Associate Archives editor

Elizabeth Clarke ’27

head audience editor

Paige Walworth ’26

associate audience editors

Zach Lee ’26

Amparo Sanchez ’27

head copy editors

Nathan Beck ’25

Bryan Zhang ’26

associate head copy editors

Lindsay Padaguan ’26

Elizabeth Polubinski ’25

head data editors

Andrew Bosworth ’26

Suthi Navaratnam-Tomayko ’26

head features editors

Sejal Goud ’25

Molly Taylor ’25

associate features editor

Raphaela Gold ’26

head graphics editors

Luiza Chevres ’26

Noreen Hosny ’25

head humor editors

Spencer Bauman ’25

Sophia Varughese ’26

associate humor editors

Sam McComb ’25

Mya Koffie ’27

head news editors

Bridget O’Neill ’26

Annie Rupertus ’25

associate news editors

Julian Hartman-Sigall ’26

Olivia Sanchez ’26

Miriam Waldvogel ’26 (Investigations)

head newsletter editor

Kia Ghods ’27



Jordan Manela ’26

associate newsletter editors

Victoria Davies ’27

Sunney Gao ’27

head opinion editor

Eleanor Clemans-Cope ’26

community opinion editor

Christofer Robles ’25

associate opinion editors

Thomas Buckley ’26

Wynne Conger ’27

head photo editors

Louisa Gheorghita ’26

Jean Shin ’26

associate photo editor

Calvin Grover ’27

head podcast editor

Vitus Larrieu ’26

associate podcast editors

Senna Aldoubosh ’25

Theo Wells-Spackman ’25

head print design editors

Avi Chesler ’25

Malia Gaviola ’26

head prospect editor

Isabella Dail ’26

associate prospect editors

Russell Fan ’26

Regina Roberts ’26

head puzzles editors

Sabrina Effron ’26

Joah Macosko ’25

associate puzzles editors

Wade Bednar ’26

Lindsay McBride ’27

head sports editors

Cole Keller ’26

Diego Uribe ’26

associate sports editors

Tate Hutchins ’27

Hayk Yengibaryan ’26

head web design and development editors

Yacoub Kahkajian ’26

Vasila Mirshamsova ’26

Robert Mohan ’26

Kok Wei Pua ’25

My Ky Tran ’26

project managers

Jason Ding ’25

Kaustuv Mukherjee ’26


chief technology officer

Roma Bhattacharjee ’25

lead software engineer

Sanh Nguyen ’26

software engineers

Anika Agarwal ’25

Carter Costic ’26

Jessica Dong ’25

Vishva Ilavelan ’27



Austin Li ’26

Allen Liu ’27

Isabel Liu ’26

Joyce Liu ’27

Hang Pham ’26

Aidan Phillips ’25

Joe Rupertus ’26

Caitlin Wang ’26

Shannon Yeow ’26 (UI/UX)

Brett Zeligson ’24

Serving our readers and ourselves: introducing the public editor

During my tenure as the head Opinion editor at The Daily Princetonian, I received countless emails from alumni thoughtfully interacting with our content, supported writers as their arguments were warped in the national media, and was told my work was “boringly moderate.” The readership of the ‘Prince’ often has a lot to say. For a responsible journalist, this is thrilling — having your work read and contemplated is often a testament to a job well done. Yet the alternative can be just as true: the reporter is not always right, and audiences’ responses are crucial to identifying these failures. Truth-telling is a tricky business, and simply holding membership in the ‘Prince’ does not prove any inherent ability to conduct it. In recognition of this problem, the ‘Prince’ is changing to become more accountable and more accessible to the public it serves, in order to serve it better. This begins with establishing a public editor, a role in which I will be serving this upcoming year.

A public editor, known elsewhere as a news ombudsman or readers’ advocate, is an individual operating independently from the newsroom who holds a paper accountable to the highest level of journalistic standards. This work can take a number of forms: conducting reviews of internal processes within the newspaper, publishing critiques of bad coverage that has gone unnoticed and defenses of good journalism that may be maligned, and both privately and publicly responding to readers who find themselves dissatisfied with the machinations of the paper. The public editor is a liaison between a newsroom and its audience, serving as the ethicist for the former and a trustbuilder in the latter.

However, the public editor seems to be woefully out of fashion. The New York Times established the role in their newsroom in 2003, following a scandal over a reporter who falsified numerous sources and committed consistent plagiarism. But the Times eliminated their public editor in 2017, claiming that growing social media use as a forum for public criticism made the position outdated. According to the Organization of News Ombudsmen & Standards Editors, the number of American papers with a public editor (or

similar position) has steadily declined since reaching its peak of about 35 in the 1980s. PBS, NPR, and the Toronto Star are the most prominent North American news organizations supporting the role, and they find few companions. Many — indeed, most — serious, prolific, and inspiring news organizations operate without one.

But the contemporary state of media, both locally and nationally, should not be looked upon as an ideal. Amid mass layoffs, declining readership, and plummeting trust, few seem to know what benefits legacy news organizations can offer. As reported in the Washington Post this fall, many individuals who get their news from the internet do so through “independent online producers of news programming.” These producers often prefer partisanship to impartiality, make false conclusions based on shoddy and hasty research, and have no interest in conducting “original reporting,” according to the Post. Institutions, possessing the resources to conduct probing journalism and ethical standards to back it up, have become passé. Much of this is, or at least looks like, the newsroom’s own fault. With increased emphasis on including analysis alongside ‘pure’ fact since the turn of the century and apparently a decreasing ability to teach young readers how to distinguish opinion from news, institutions have failed to convince contemporary audiences both that they can be trusted to tell legitimate stories, and that this trust cannot be given to every person making news-like content. The Post reports, rightly, that many individuals view newsrooms as being in bed with those in power, rather than outsiders undertaking fair and diligent judgment.

This is one area in which a public editor can help. They hold papers accountable, acting as a judge to remedy concerns from external audiences, as well as bring a discerning eye to all coverage undertaken by the paper itself. With insider access to the newsroom and a high-level understanding of editorial decisionmaking, public editors have a clearer understanding of how to judge a paper than the average reader. All this is in the effort of building trust among the diverse communities a paper serves: allowing readers to know they are not simply subject to the whims and decisions of an uber-powerful establishment. A common critique of

the Times, for example, is its liberal bent: the public editor was known for critiquing the way in which the paper disproportionately covered liberal politicians and may have used its power to meddle in democratic processes.

Unlike the Post or the Times, the ‘Prince’ can make no claim to being the last defense against democracy. Yet as the paper of record for Princeton — an institution with vast wealth and power — the ‘Prince’ has critical obligations. Coverage deals with campus affairs of the highest importance, from the lives of students accused of cheating and plagiarism to the inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ students on campus. This reporting can have serious consequences — such as unearthing misconduct that eventually led to the dismissal of a professor. Thus, it is imperative that its writers, journalists, and creators undertake their mission seriously, in good judgment, and under appropriate guidance. This is what the public editor is here to ensure. As Jake Lefkovitz, former public editor at the Johns Hopkins News-Letter, wrote in 2020, “no authority is beyond challenge and [sic] usually no secret is innocent.” He extends that principle to his paper, and I will do so to mine.

Campus newspapers, like any other news organizations, are committed — and, by their very existence, obligated — to accurately, fairly, and rigorously cover the institutions with which they interact. The existence of these publications is important enough that striving for improvement is worthwhile. The creation of this role indicates that the decisionmakers at the ‘Prince’ are committing to a process of self-improvement for the sake of making coverage of Princeton, its communities, and its individuals more trustworthy and thus more impactful. And if those promises fail to be kept? Well, then you’ll read about it right here.

Abigail Rabieh is a junior in the history department from Cambridge, Mass. She is the Public Editor at the ‘Prince,’ and writes to address issues of journalistic quality and ethics.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the paper’s coverage and standards, or would like to see her cover a particular issue, please contact

www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024
page 13
ANGEL KUO / THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN As time progresses, the newsroom of The Daily Princetonian has become livelier with more staff in the space and art on the walls.
assistant business manager Jessica Funk ’26 business directors
Gullett ’25
He ’26
Iyer ’26
Chesler ’25
Gaviola ’26 Vivi Lu ’26 AND COPIED BY Bryan Zhang ’26

‘Just for the sake of doing it’: Princeton seniors reflect on unique summers funded by Dale Award

“If you had $6,000 and you [had] three months with no rules, what would you do?” This is the challenge that Aaron Ventresca ’24 has for the Class of 2026.

As a past recipient of the Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, Ventresca used the time between his sophomore and junior years to throw himself into the craft of writing and composing an original musical, while others in his cohort used the opportunity to execute their own creative proposals — including Indonesian artmaking in a self-converted mobile art studio, a deep dive into Chinese dance, and a reconnection with the spiritual roots of yoga.

The Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award is an application-based award accompanied by a $6,000 stipend to support rising juniors pursuing projects that promote “personal growth, foster independence, creativity and leadership skills, and broaden or deepen some area of special interest.” The award is open to all majors and requires that a project take at least eight weeks of the summer to complete.

Endowed by Martin A. Dale ’53, Dale sought to recreate the generous opportunities afforded to him in his undergraduate years by the Cane Scholarship for graduates of New Jersey public schools. In 1992, he established the summer award program, which has funded worthy project proposals every year since. Later, in 1997, he also supported the creation of the postgraduate Martin A. Dale Fellowship, which is usually awarded annually to one member of the senior class.

Associate Dean for Academic Advising Cecily Swanson coordinates the central management of the award, collaborating with residential college assistant deans to support students in crafting proposals. Dean Swanson shared insights about the application process and what the selection committees look for in candidates.

“Exciting proposals capture the student’s enthusiasm for their project and use details to illustrate why the project will catalyze self-discovery and personal growth,” Swanson explained in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “Proposals stand out when they make a case for why the project exceeds the bounds of other formalized opportunities.”

“Applications are reviewed by each college, [and] finalists are invited to interview (with an interview committee selected by the college, including the assistant dean for studies, the college’s dean, and other invited interviewers, often the faculty member in residence),” Swanson added. Following the completion of interviews, the assistant deans and Swanson discuss to determine award winners.

With the Jan. 26 deadline fast approaching, the ‘Prince’ spoke with four recipients of the award, who are now seniors, and asked them to reflect on their Dale project proposals, their 2022 summers, and their advice for future applicants.


Oscar Wu Platt ’24 spent his Dale summer on a cross-country road trip in the “Batikmobile” — a mobile art studio converted from his parents’ Honda Pilot that doubled as a camper

van, complete with a bed and kitchen.

The inspiration for his project proposal came from the Indonesian art technique, batik, which he learned during his Bridge Year in 2018. Hoping to explore the technique further, he proposed a summer of cloth dyeing on the road.

“The Dale Award was always on my radar, since freshman year, just based on how unique of an opportunity it is,” Platt recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘how can I use this opportunity to make my dreams come true?’”

“I took the Dale award as a chance to combine many different parts of my identity and interests,” Platt continued. “I consider myself to be a tinkerer, and I enjoy art. I like making things and taking things apart.”

After setting his sights on a summer of art and van life, Platt set to work on making his proposal a reality. He spent the first 10 days of summer converting the van before beginning his solo cross-country road trip.

Driving from his home in New York to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, Platt stopped briefly in Omaha, Neb., Denver, Colo. and Salt Lake City, Utah, to visit friends and family. He also spent two weeks in Glacier National Park before settling in the Pacific Northwest for the majority of his summer excursion.

“I met a lot of people,” Platt recounted. “The car was a big conversation starter.”

In Washington, he shared a campsite with a retired couple. The three traded stories and passed time together.

“They became a cool, unexpected part of my experience in the end,” Platt said.

After spending a summer doing batik in the back of his parents’ tricked-out van, Platt came away with a new appreciation for the art form he was introduced to only years prior. In the hopes of continuing his artistic endeavors at Princeton, he set up a small batik station in the studio area of 185 Nassau Street, which houses the Program in Visual Arts.

“My sophomore summer gave me the confidence and proof that I can live by myself,” Platt said. “I could’ve done it for another summer easily.”

Exploration of the Multiethnic Forms of Chinese Dance

Julia Chang ’24 took an entirely different approach with her summer stipend.

Growing up as a dancer, Chang was always fascinated with learning different styles, especially as they intersected with her Chinese culture.

Upon receiving the award, Chang spent eight weeks in Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., where she worked with the New York Chinese Cultural Center to learn different Chinese ethnic dance variations. Throughout the summer, she practiced a variety of Chinese dance styles, picking up tips from professional instructors and observing her cultural dances in real time.

“There are two different types — one is the folk dance, which is more ethnic, and the other is classical,” Chang said. She focused her summer exploration on the ethnic styles that she had little exposure to in the past.

“I wanted to make it a big deal to really respect these cultures and see their historical, geographical influences,” Chang said. “I always had

a feeling that I wasn’t learning the full scope of these different styles, but it was only when I actually arrived at the newer Chinese Cultural Center and the Museum of Chinese in America that I was like, ‘Oh, I’m missing out on this whole wealth of knowledge.’”

Chang said that her summer project gave her “a chance to meet different instructors and teachers [she] otherwise would not have [had] the opportunity to.” Now, on campus, Chang has translated this experience to her leadership in the Triple 8 East Asian dance company, of which she was president her junior year.

As an ORFE major, Chang said she never expected to spend a summer learning dance as opposed to interning in finance. Receiving the Dale award changed her plans.

“This is a really pragmatic way of thinking about it — you can always get higher with your career. There is always more you can do,” Chang said. “There also needs to be time for you to grow as a person, and [the Dale Award summer] is really the time that you can.”

Yoga for Self-Actualization

Reina Coulibaly ’24 spent the summer after her sophomore year redefining yoga. Her project, “Yoga for Self-Actualization,” was created in an effort to improve her mind-body connection.

“Initially, my Dale project was going to be to go to a yoga teacher training institute. I was going to live there and essentially just focus on learning and teaching about mindfulness, having to do with bodily awareness,” Coulibaly shared.

Instead, she embarked on a journey of rediscovering the original definition of yoga, which in India takes the form of spiritual unity as opposed to the physical exercise that is commonly associated with the word in the West.

Set on experiencing mindfulness as both a spiritual and religious endeavor, she traveled to the Sonoma Ashram in California, where she lived for eight weeks. “I went there to explore the lived practice of yoga,”

Coulibaly said. While living in the Ashram, she spent her days participating in simple rituals. She remembered, “We would meditate for an hour in the morning and meditate for an hour in the evening, and I was responsible for helping maintain the garden.”

“It was challenging to me in that the lifestyle was so much slower and intentional relative to what I’m used to, especially as a student,” Coulibaly noted. “I had to confront my addiction to being busy that is very much enforced by the Princeton lifestyle.”

To document her Dale experience, Coulibaly created an audio mini-series that aired on WPRB, Princeton’s local radio station.

“My pieces that were produced during my time at the Ashram, I would say, are some of my most compelling features in my professional portfolio,” Coulibaly said. She intends to utilize them as she navigates the field of audio journalism upon graduation.

“My project was part of an effort that I had already been taking to incorporate more mindfulness in my life,” Coulibaly said. “The Dale was meant to be a way to actionably facilitate a project that I was already taking on for myself.”

Full Steam Ahead: A Musical Epic

Aaron Ventresca ’24 spent his summer touring various historical sites in Florida pertaining to the Florida East Coast Railway. The end goal of his research was to write a musical of his very own for his project, “Full Steam Ahead: A Musical Epic.”

“I actually applied really last minute,” he said. “I wasn’t even going to apply, and then I said, ‘You know, why not? I’ll submit this just to see what happens.’ And then I got it, and it was this really great experience.”

On campus, Ventresca is studying economics while earning minors in finance, Spanish, musical theatre, and theatre. Through the Dale Award, he was able to combine his interests in economics and music.

Drawing inspiration from the show “The Gilded Age,” Ventresca

created his own show set in the same period, one marked by rapid economic growth. His musical centered on Henry Flagler, the founder of the Florida East Coast Railway.

“My show specifically looks at race relations in Gilded Age Florida and the development of Florida as an economic powerhouse because of Henry Flagler,” Ventresca said.

“I’m always looking for ways to push myself as a composer, push myself as an artist, and the Dale gave me the chance to do that,” he said. “It gave me the funding and the opportunity to devote myself to writing for three months, to stake myself, and to be able to perform academic research without having to [spend money].”

“It was the first time I had done any kind of serious historical research for any of my pieces and the first time I had done any kind of independent travel, which was a growth experience. It was also the first time I wrote a song through a musical,” he continued.

Ventresca said he appreciated the challenge of finding new composition strategies. “The entire thing is sung, so that was challenging — finding ways to make this story cohesive, to make sense when you really can’t talk.”

Since his Dale Award endeavors in 2022, Ventresca has stayed actively involved in performances on campus. In December, “Gaucho: A New Musical,” which he co-wrote with his sister, was performed at the Lewis Center for the Arts.

After graduation, Ventresca hopes to work in the music and entertainment industry. “The Dale [Award] definitely was the beginning of what I hope to make my career,” he said.

“If you’re a sophomore reading this, it’s a very worthy experience,” Ventresca noted. “You have the rest of your life to do work and internships. I would advise you to take the Dale if you get it.”

Alyssa Lloyd is an assistant Features editor for the ‘Prince.’

page 14 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024
PHOTO COURTESY OF REINA COULIBALY ‘24 AND OSCAR WU PLATT ‘24. Students participate in their projects funded by Dale awards in 2022.

The Pace Center’s mixed legacy of service, throughout the years

At Princeton’s 250th anniversary celebration 27 years ago, Dorothy Bedford ’78 and economics professor Burton G. Malkiel GS ’64, devised a plan to construct a new center that would support the University’s commitment to service and community connections. Today, this hub is known as the John H. Pace Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement with a dedicated space and staff in Frist Campus Center.

“[The Pace Center] will show that community service is not simply a useful add-on, a discretionary extracurricular activity, but rather an essential part of a liberal education,” Malkiel stressed at the time.

Since its establishment, the Pace Center has expanded to provide students with various pathways for civic engagement, leadership, and career development. Through its evolution, its goal has remained the same: to cement the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.” Still, many students today remain critical of whether the Pace Center does enough to uphold the motto’s commitment.

Early beginnings

After a generous first gift from John H. Pace Jr. ’39 and various contributing gifts from John C. Bogle ’51, Carl Ferenbach ’64, and Peter Ochs ’65, among others, the Center was officially founded in 2001 and named after Pace Jr. and his wife Augusta.

Kiki Jamieson, who became director of the Pace Center four years after its establishment, explained that the Center’s “goal is to connect public service with the academic mission of the University, and we do so by facilitating learning, teaching and action in the public interest.”

“Service at Princeton has always been student-driven. Students started the Student Volunteers Council, Community House, and Community Action. And, over the years, the University has provided more support for service, recognizing that it is a valuable part of the Princeton student experience,” Kimberly de los Santos, the current executive director of the Pace Center, said in a statement to the ‘Prince.’

As a testament to this vision, the Center houses four student-led boards: Community House, the Student Volunteers Council (SVC), the Civic Leadership Council (CLC), and the Princeton Advocacy & Activism Student Board (PAAS Board). Additionally, the Center strengthened its ties to the University. In 2005, the Pace Center collaborated with the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) to organize “Princeton in the Nation’s Service” — a month-long program of service-based activities for students. It also created the Pace Council for Civic Values, a team of civic engagement student representatives that sought to enhance the University’s ties to leadership and community service. They did so by implementing creative service projects on health, education, and more, as well as by hosting speaker events and skill development workshops.

Two years after the USG collaboration, in 2007, the Pace Center joined forces with Community House, which continues to stand as a board

today. First established by Princeton undergraduates in 1969, Community House is an organization that aims to support underrepresented populations, both academically and emotionally, through student-led service projects and mentorship programs. This initiative catapulted the Center’s mission and paved the way for how service and partnerships are looked at today. Community House is currently housed in the third floor of the Carl A. Fields Center. That same year, SVC also joined the Pace Center.

Although the Pace Center demonstrated expansion throughout its early years, this trend was threatened in 2009. Within a context of economic recession, the Pace Center’s budget was cut by 83 percent. In response, the student body voted “yes” on a USG referendum to direct that year’s $60,000 fall social budget, which funds Lawnparties, toward the Pace Center.

Orientation and career programming

One of the larger aspects of the Pace Center’s footprint is Community Action (CA), which is primarily known in its capacity as an orientation program for incoming first-years.

Although CA was founded in 1987, de los Santos explained that “When [a unified University approach to] Orientation began in 2016, Community Action expanded to welcome hundreds and hundreds of first-year students.”

Last summer, Mira Eashwaran ’26 worked as one of five CA Fellows, an experience she called “both fun and rewarding.” In this role, she assisted with the coordination, programming, and scheduling of the program.

Eashwaran is a staff Features writer for the ‘Prince.’

Eashwaran described the kinds of service work students complete through Community Action, noting that it depends on the theme of service they engage with. “In the Sustainability theme, some groups engaged with presentations and learned from the work of experts in their fields, and some students worked on service projects with partners.”

Despite CA programming being planned around the goal of exposing students to service-related engagement, some students remain critical of its ability to do so meaningfully. In Fall of 2022, the ‘Prince’reported the discontent of some members of the Class of 2026 with CA

“The title of Community Action is just that — a title,” a student said in a speech obtained by the ‘Prince’ at the time. “We need to recognize that two hours of subpar community service is not sufficient to start legitimate change.”

CA leader Paul-Louis Biondi ’24 described a similar experience to the ‘Prince’ in 2022, saying “I think we were more of a burden than a help.”

Still, Eashwaran says she remains confident in CA. “I do think that students have made an impact through their community engagement, through learning and working with partners,” she noted. “Community Action also knows that there is only so much one can do in the span of four days, but we understand the importance of experiential learning, and how being exposed to important topics, learning from partners, and hearing from professors can motivate students to pursue further service


The Pace Center has also partnered with Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS) to bring opportunities for students to connect with nonprofits and alumni through a collection of summer internships. Founded by alumni from the Class of 1969 at their 25th Reunion, PICS officially became a University program with the Pace Center in 2019. Today, undergraduates can use funded PICS internships to explore public service careers amid the campus debate regarding the large percentage of Princeton students going into the private sector after graduating.

Drawing data from the 2023 Senior Survey, Davis Hobley ’27 stated in an Opinion piece for the ‘Prince’ that “nearly one in five Princeton graduates of last year’s undergraduate class will be or are pursuing a career in finance or consulting, sectors known for engaging in unethical market practices.”

“The social environment that is encouraged at Princeton is antithetical to its mission, prompting students to chase prestige and socioeconomic status,” Hobley stressed.

Socioeconomic concerns around nonprofit internships can be particularly salient for first-generation lowincome (FLI) students, wrote Ndeye Thioubou ’25 in an Opinion article for the ‘Prince.’ Although PICS provides students with a stipend that the Pace Center website states is “designed to cover essential living expenses,” funding is capped at $6,000 regardless of differences in cost of living across the country. In response, Thioubou suggested a partnership with the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity that would allow FLI students to secure additional funding.

Despite these criticisms, PICS internships remain popular among both students and partner organizations, with over 250 offerings available for the summer of 2024 through Princeton’s Global Programs System.

“Last year, more students than ever before were able to engage in paid

summer service internships,” noted de los Santos.

Davina Thompson ’25, a student in the School of Public and International Affairs, completed a PICS internship with the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program last summer. Thompson said she chose the nonprofit because she “liked the mission and values of the organization and it aligned well with her career plans.”

Much of Thompson’s work revolved around supporting a youth initiative that connects science and social justice. When asked what she learned from her experience completing her PICS internship she noted, “I learned grant writing, marketing, non-profit management, and event organization. I learned a lot of skills that I’m sure I will apply to future internships and jobs.”

In fact, Thompson has continued to work with the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program following the conclusion of her PICS experience, now as a program coordinator.

“I think service and civic engagement are extremely important. I think it’s one of the best ways we can contribute to the communities we are a part of. All students should make more of an effort to participate in service and I think PICS is a great way to be involved at Princeton,” Thompson remarked.

New initiatives and the path ahead Beyond facilitating service-based internships through programs such as PICS, the Pace Center strives for students to couple their professional experiences with service learning in the classroom.

“When the University adopted its strategic planning framework in 2016, it provided an opportunity to bring together students’ curricular and cocurricular service experiences, and Service Focus was created,” shared de los Santos. Service Focus brings together students who have completed an eligible service-based internship and who

have taken or intend to take a servicebased course — such as through the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) —for small group discussions throughout their sophomore year.

More recently in 2021, the Princeton Advocacy and Activism Student (PAAS) Board formed to oversee and foster approximately 20 active student groups surrounding advocacy and activism.

Alyssa Lloyd ’26, one of two PAAS co-chairs, described her experience. Lloyd herself has her hands in several advocacy initiatives on campus and beyond. “I do a lot of work with systems-impacted youth (i.e. foster care and juvenile justice system) as well as teen dating violence and domestic violence prevention,” she expressed.

Lloyd is an assistant Features editor for the ‘Prince.’

“It is a newer and developing board which means that I could play a role in shaping how it impacts campus, and I like a challenge,” Lloyd explained. “I have stayed because my team is amazing, the groups we help to support are driving social change, and my advocacy skills have only strengthened since the start of my term.”

In practice, she describes this board’s advocacy as inclusive and broad. “We host programming and hold end of semester check-in celebrations. We also host structured events and trainings related to advocacy work and what it entails, usually accompanied by food (i.e. how to run a successful protest, the history of activism on campus, etc.), and we support groups in their activism efforts,” Lloyd stated.

Over two decades after its establishment, the Pace Center looks to expand its impact on campus.

“Students are the absolute driving force of the Pace Center and I have been so inspired by students who connect with the world in a way that motivates them,” said de los Santos.

Elma Cesic is a Features contributor for the ‘Prince.’

} { Friday February 2, 2024
page 15
www. dailyprincetonian .com
John H. Pace, Jr. ’39 Center for Civic Engagement in Frist Campus Center.
Entryway to the office of the

Intro to wines around the world with a wine connoisseur

Over two hours in Robertson Hall on a snowy winter afternoon, 68 students learned about and sampled six European wines: Vinho Verde from Portugal, Gruner Veltliner in Austria, Gewurztraminer from Germany, Garnacha from Spain, Bordeaux blend from France, and Chianti from Italy.

The Jan. 19 Wintersession workshop, led by Emily Miller, a doctoral candidate in Population Studies and Social Policy, was the second out of a three-part “Intro to Wines” series on the Americas, Europe, Oceania, and Africa. Of the 75 event registrants, the majority of attendees were graduate students. Due to the presence of alcohol, the event was 21plus.

By focusing on European wine, Miller said that she hoped to “demystify its prestige” and encourage students to make their own decisions about their wine preferences.

“One way to demystify and equalize it is to not prime people [to judge a wine depending on] how expensive it is or how nice it is,” Miller said. “As a class, we literally taste the wine and decide for ourselves before we see anything else.”

Emily Miller is a senior writer for The Prospect at The Daily Princetonian.

Before drinking each wine, everyone smelled and observed the color and texture/tannins of the wines, which ranged from pale straw to deep copper for white wines, and pale salmon to deep tawny for red wines. The “leg” of the wine — the amount of time that droplets drip down the glass after swirling the wine — indicates the alcohol content: the slower the speed, the higher the alcohol content.

After drinking together, the class remarked on the mouthfeel, sweetness, acidity, and length (the beginning, middle, finish, and aftertaste) of the drink. Each student was equipped with an aroma and flavor wheel worksheet and another wine worksheet to write down their opinion under each wine. To avoid the influence of external factors, the price, tasting notes (fanciful names and labels describing the flavor of the wine), and the popularity of the wines were revealed after the tasting process.

Miller said she hoped attendees would come to their own conclusions: “I want them to think about, ‘Why do I like what I like?’ ‘Why do I not like what I [do not] like?’”

She explained that the quality of wines should not depend on price or geographical origin, contrary to the fact that European wines were generally more historic and expensive.

“Europe is very much considered the old world, which has a very distinct winemaking style and they’re known for specific things and tradition, while the new world, like the Americas, is known for innovation,” Miller said. “There’s more room for experimentation [in the Americas]. You can generally get a very good budget line for something much cheaper and that’s a great example of the style.”

“I tried the yellow tail, a very low-budget wine on Tuesday,” she added. “It’s a $5 bottle, but I really liked it.”

During her presentation, Miller included many anecdotes, most notably citing the Judgement of Paris, a 1976 wine competition in which French judges blindtasted French wines and Californian wines. According to Miller, when the Californian wine ended up ranking best, the local press stopped reporting on the event and the event was banned for the

next several years.

Through the workshop, Miller hoped to share her interest in wine with others. “It’s a worldwide beverage that has been around for tens of thousands of years,” Miller said. “I hope to make this world more accessible for everyone.”

Analysia Watley, a firstyear Economics graduate student who attended Miller’s workshop, said, “I do think that sometimes wine tasting is about trying to taste the fanciest types of wines. What I really appreciated was the range of price points that we covered, but [all of which were] very much within what graduate students would want to buy.”

Another attendee, Chris Bottomley, a first-year Philosophy graduate student from Australia, said the workshop encouraged him to explore new wines.

“One thing I got out of [the class] was wanting to try more American wines,” Bottomley said. “I knew nothing about it, so to learn about how some wine regulation [between countries] works was really cool.”

“I learned more about how to differentiate between

what’s going to be a goodpriced wine versus a not-sogood wine,” Erin Crust, a first-year Economics graduate student, agreed. “It was helpful just getting a better sense of what you like about what you drink.”

When asked about her extensive knowledge in wine tasting, Miller said she was inspired by an undergraduate class she took at Cornell University called Introduction to Wines. For three hours each week for a semester, she got to taste different wines in class while learning about them.

“Wine is one of those things where you can kind of get what you put into it,” Miller said. “There’s so much diversity and categories and styles that you can really kind of create your profile can continue to expand like I did.”

“[Introduction to Wines] is the most failed course at Cornell, though,” she added. “You sit for exams and you do have to know your stuff.”

Besides her undergraduate education in wines, Miller also grew up in Colorado wine country in an American Viticultural Area.

“[Wine countries] are regions that people have de -

cided are good areas to grow grapes, and they have a sense of terroir,” Miller said. “There’s something like 51 wineries in New Jersey which surprises people, and you can actually go to three or four of them within a 20-minute drive from [Princeton].”

While the wine connoisseur has tried many types of wines from different countries, there were some new wines she was looking forward to trying during her Wintersession workshops.

“I’m excited to try some new wines from Lebanon and South Africa.” Miller said, noting that she had nor previously sampled wine from Lebanon. “A lot of times the issue is that wine is produced in a lot of these places, but the distribution doesn’t make its way to the United States.”

Miller’s goal was for students to learn “the confidence to be able to articulate what [they] like” and develop “an appreciation for diversity and different options.”

Chloe Lau is a staff Features and The Prospect writer for the ‘Prince.’

page 16 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Features
Miller poses with $400 of wine before her Intro
Wines: Europe section.


How USG Movies secures early premieres

As the Jan. 7 Golden Globes kicked off the 2024 awards season, the movie “Saltburn” seemed to be on everyone’s mind. Entertainment Weekly called the film a “perverse, psychosexual thriller of the highest order,” featuring startling scenes of bathtubs, graves, and a celebratory dance number (if you know, you know). From its prominence on TikTok to its trending soundtrack featuring MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” and Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Murder On The Dancefloor,” “Saltburn”’s popularity has persisted long after its Nov. 17 limited release in theaters. USG Movies, the Undergraduate Student Government committee that selects and screens free movies for the student body, showed “Saltburn” eight days before its limited theater release. USG Movies Committee Chair Tyler Wilson ’26 wrote to the Daily Princetonian that the “USG Movies Committee was contacted by the PR agency that represented Saltburn in the greater Philadelphia area.” The agency thought that “Saltburn,”

a movie about young adults attending Oxford, would be fitting for college students and therefore reached out to Princeton for a screening.

“Saltburn” isn’t the only movie to which USG Movies has gained early access. Wilson said that the committee also had an early screening of the latest Studio Ghibli film, “The Boy and The Heron,” an anime title that just took the Best Motion Picture — Animated award at the Golden Globes. The same PR representative that pitched “Saltburn” had contacted the committee about “The Boy and the Heron.”

The committee also exclusively screened A24’s “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” which follows a Black woman’s life in Mississippi across several decades. The film uniquely cast four different actresses to portray the protagonist at four different ages in her life. Wilson told the ‘Prince’ that this screening didn’t come through the aforementioned PR representative, but rather the committee’s existing connections with A24 — a studio known for its original, genuine, and sometimes outlandish films.

For last semester’s advanced screenings, students could register to attend through MyPrincetonU. Tickets were available on a first come, first serve basis, but those who missed the chance to register could join a waitlist. When students showed up to the screening, they would present their registration tickets, and those on the waitlist were encouraged to show up in the case of no-shows. Normally, students can simply show up to a USG Movies screening and find a seat without any pre-registration.

The advanced screenings also featured heightened security. During the screening of “Saltburn” at the Princeton Garden Theatre, Kiran Masood ’26 observed there were security guards that “wandered around during the movie to make sure [they] weren’t on [their] phones,” and recalled that audience members were told security was there because it was an advanced screening.

With winter break wrapping up in the coming weeks, the USG Movies Committee hopes to continue offering advanced screenings in the

spring. Wilson told the ‘Prince’ that the committee is “already in contact with A24 about doing more screenings in the second semester,” and “hopeful” that they can continue to maintain the relationship that allowed them to screen “Saltburn” and “The Boy and The Heron” in advance. However, nothing is confirmed as of right now.

“I am passionate about the theater-going experience and the conversation it inspires,” Wilson said. “By hosting advanced screenings, USG is able to encourage students to engage with new, exciting films alongside their peers in their intended environment — the cinema.”

To stay updated on when the next advanced screening hits a campus screen, students can follow USG Movies on Instagram at @princetonusgmovie. Whether it is a shocking slow-burn like “Saltburn” or a moving drama like “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” stay tuned to see what is showcased next on the silver screen.

Connor Romberg is an assistant editor for The Prospect from Winneconne, Wisconsin.

Lewis Center for the Arts names Hodder Fellows for 2024–2025 academic year

On Dec. 19, 2023, the Lewis Center for the Arts (LCA) announced the five recipients of the Mary Mackall Gwinn Hodder Fellowship for the 2024–2025 academic year. Each year, the Hodder Fellowship grants an opportunity for artists and musical innovators to be supported by Princeton University in their creative endeavors. The fellows are typically comprised of visual or performance artists, authors, musicians, or other humanities intellectuals. Notable alumni include the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the poet Natalie Diaz, among many others.

This year, the five recipients of the fellowship are percussionist Britton-René Collins, sculpture installation artist Abigail DeVille, artist and performer Ayesha Jordan, poet and author Suji Kwock Kim, and choreographer and dancer Nami Yamamoto.

After being asked about the fellowship’s

meaning to her, Yamamoto wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian that “I am very humbled and honored to receive the fellowship. I would like to grow as an artist and extend my possibility as much as possible throughout this opportunity.”

The fellowship began in 1944 after esteemed professor and writer Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder left her estate to aspiring and rising creatives. Since then, it has enabled countless talented individuals to explore their creative outlets and allowed for unhindered time to complete and execute new research and work.

Hodder’s intent for the fellowship is unique as she believed in providing grants without rigid requirements from a specific academic department, giving winners the flexibility to pursue their own projects.

The Hodder Fellowship is distinct in its ability to garner a wide range of talent and scholarship that is the product of a diverse array of artistic endeavors. For example, Col-

lins will “conduct research and commission new works by underrepresented composers as part of her 10-month appointment, ‘Sphygmology — Cultural Exchange for Solo Percussion,’ at the Lewis Center for the Arts, which will culminate with her debut performance installation, ‘Sphygmology,’ centered on desegregating Western Classical Music spaces through utilizing percussion as a medium for celebrating Black identity,” according to her website biography. With her work, Collins will blend her passion for instrumental music with her desire to spark social change in arts communities.

Each fellow’s project is unique and inventive, and many are leveraging the opportunity to advance and execute existing projects. For instance, according to the press release from the LCA, DeVille plans to publish a book that focuses on community-based historiography and geographical site-based analyses. Jordan plans to continue to develop her project,

“Shasta Geaux Pop presents: Shasta Greaux Crops,” which aims to reflect and take inspiration from seasonal rhythms and support the process of “integrating eco-performance frameworks and interspecies collaborations.”

Fellow Suji Kwock Kim plans to complete her larger work entitled “Disorient.” The LCA also wrote that Yamamoto “… will gather historical information and collect personal stories especially about the Japanese occupation of Manchuria between 1931 and 1945 while practicing, improvising, and exploring movement in the studio.”

“I look forward to getting to know other artists as well,” Yamamoto added. “I am eager to make my world bigger and I will be asking a lot of questions and help throughout my time. I hope that this opportunity opens and leads into a beginning of new relationships to me.”

Christopher Nunez is a staff writer for The Prospect from Point Pleasant, N.J.

‘The Ultimate Self-Expression of Soundness’: a movie review of ‘The Color Purple’

Content Warning: The following article includes mention of sexual assault.

Accompanied by a simple banjo tune, characters Celie and Nettie sing together in the afternoon sun in the opening scene of the film, “The Color Purple.” The 2023 movie is a musical, borrowing its score from the Broadway adaptation of Alice Walker’s classic 1982 novel.

This sunlit opening scene is the only peaceful moment the sisters share. Then, the chorus swells, chaos erupts, and (to borrow a line from Walker) “before I know it, tears meet under my chin.”

I first read Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-winning novel “The Color Purple” in a high school literature class, and the story remains just as powerfully imprinted in my mind today. The novel follows Celie Harris, a young black girl living in the

early 20th century in rural Georgia. Throughout the novel, Celie’s direct narrative addresses her experiences frankly: she was raped by a man she believed to be her father, forcefully separated from her two children, and cut off from contact with her sister Nettie after marrying an unnamed abusive man originally called “Mister __” and later referred to as Albert.

The movie embodies the same direct, head-on approach to Celie’s trauma: in monochromatic frames, her newborn child is ripped from her helpless hands, thunder roars above a drenched Nettie as she is cast away into the night, lifeless eyes staring out as Mister __  hits, rapes, and orders her around. The music is hauntingly raw and dissolves into the dialogue. The musical choices highlight the women throughout Celie’s journey, embracing their femininity and independence: all the women in the movie sing, while the men do not, weaving feminine narratives together to form a resilient flame even in

the darkest moments.

One of the most prominent singers in the movie is Celie’s foil, Shug Avery, who waltzes in with unapologetic couture, poise, and a striking song titled after her name. Her vibrance ripples across the town, bleeds bright colors into Celie’s closet, and awakens her desire. Contrary to the novel, the movie did not lean deep into Celie and Shug’s intimate relationship, which I wish could have been more pronounced. Regardless, bejeweled outfits, vocals, and choreography merged in their climactic duet of “What About Love?” Finally, Celie emerges in scarlet head to toe, with the success of her tailor shop shining just as brightly as her pants.

The scenes encapsulate the integral moment of Celie breaking free from Mister __ during dinner in a tirade of outbursts. Celie’s stepdaughterin-law Sofia reacts in an uproar, swiftly followed by broken sobs. The power of these emotions persists through Sofia’s relationship with her

husband Harpo and her mishap with the mayor’s wife, battering her down with six years of prison. Still, she sings with her head up high, staring at my swollen eyes and scrunched-up tissue through the screen.

As an avid reader of “The Color Purple,” covering all the book’s niches in two hours was an impossible task. With the tight-packed plotline, the movie melds literature with the art forms of dance and song, the ultimate self-expression of soundness.

To my frustration, “The Color Purple” hasn’t reached the broader demographic. According to a New York Times article, the majority of its audience is 65 percent Black, and I am part of only 5 percent of Asian viewers. This is my plea for you to watch it, too — it is a piece for everyone to see.

Chloe Lau is a staff Features writer for the ‘Prince.’

page 17 Friday February 2, 2024 The Daily Princetonian

Men’s basketball suffers first Ivy League loss of the season to Cornell MEN’S BASKETBALL

In a matchup for first place in the Ivy League between two of the league’s best — both of whom are off to their best starts to a season since the 1960s — the men’s basketball team fell to the Cornell Big Red 83–68, spoiling what was a perfect Ivy League campaign.

Despite being without their second-leading scorer Isaiah Gray, the Big Red shot 57.6 percent from the field to the Tigers’ 32.2 percent, a season-low for Princeton.

Fans expected a high-scoring affair. Cornell (15–3 overall, 4–0 Ivy League) and Princeton (15–2, 3–1) have the first and third-highest points per game, respectively, among their Ivy League peers. Cornell kept this distinction, almost matching their season-long average points per game with the scoring touch on Saturday.

“Credit to Cornell, they played a great game. It will be important for us to learn and grow from this loss as there are many areas where we can improve,” associate head coach Brett MacConnell wrote in a statement to The Daily Princetonian.

Princeton started the scoring on the first possession by way of a contested layup from senior guard Matt

Allocco, who scored just five more points throughout the rest of the contest.

Standout sophomore guard Xaivian Lee hit his first shot of the game and gave Princeton an 8–6 lead. Unfortunately for the Tigers, this was Lee’s lone bucket in the opening half, as he connected on just one of his first four shot attempts.

The Cornell home crowd did all it could to throw off Lee, who is a likely frontrunner for Ivy League Player of the Year. Every time Lee touched the ball, boos from the crowd ensued.

After Cornell took its first lead of the game, first-year guard Dalen Davis hit the Tigers’ only three-pointer of the half to make it 13–11 Tigers with 12:14 remaining in the half.

Both sides were cold from beyond the arc to start the contest — they shot a combined 1–11 in the first nine minutes of the game. The highlight of the opening half for the Tigers came courtesy of junior forward Philip Byriel breaking away on the fast break and putting the Big Red on a poster. The slam was just Byriel’s second field goal of the season, and his teammates celebrated accordingly.

After a three from Cornell forward Keller Boothby gave the Big Red an 18–17 lead, an unsettled Mitch Henderson called timeout. Henderson was not happy with the

officials, claiming they had missed an offensive foul on the previous Cornell offensive possession.

From here, the Big Red ran away with it, and Newman Arena was rocking. Another three from forward AK Okereke put them up 23–17. Cornell’s leading scorer guard Chris Manon then connected a three, followed up by a fast break dunk.

A three from guard Nazir Williams at 3:19 stretched the Cornell lead to 14, 36–22.

Off of another timeout by Henderson, Princeton remained icecold, failing to connect on a field goal for the remainder of the half. The Big Red capped off an impressive first twenty minutes on a 6–2 run, taking a 43–24 lead to the locker room. The last five minutes of the half saw Cornell outscore the Tigers 15–3.

While the Big Red had an impressive shooting display, it was their defense that stood out. Princeton’s star sophomore duo of Lee and forward Caden Pierce combined for just four points in the first, and their halftime team total of 24 was a season-low.

The two lineups traded baskets for the first nine minutes of the second half, but neither side could manufacture any kind of scoring run. The Tigers then began to hit more threes, including two by junior guard Blake Peters and one by

senior forward Zach Martini, who was a bright spot for the Tigers in the loss.

Martini finished with nine points and paced the Tigers’ starters in field goal percentage. He also made a number of hustle plays to keep the Tigers in striking distance.

But the Tigers just couldn’t seem to get the stops needed to cut the lead substantially, and the score was 61–42 at the media timeout.

Missed opportunities continuously plagued the Tigers throughout the start of the second half. Routine layups were missed and free throws were not capitalized on. Multiple offensive rebounds did not lead to second-chance points, which is normally an area where the Tigers excel. With just over nine minutes left in the game, Lee was fouled on a deep three-point shot. He sank all three and brought the lead down to 18. A full-court press from the Tigers forced a Cornell timeout. The press then forced a five-second violation, even after the timeout, and Pierce drove on the next possession for a difficult layup.

Henderson’s decision to bring full-court pressure lit a fire in the Tigers. A key defensive stop led to Lee getting fouled and going to the free-throw line for a one-and-one, draining both. The Big Red’s fouls began to add up, as Princeton en-

tered the double bonus with more than eight minutes left.

The Tigers trailed by 14 with 7:16 left when Pierce drove to his right and got fouled as he hit the layup. Pierce scored one more point on his free throw to cut the deficit to 11. That deficit, however, did not get any smaller.

Even though Princeton managed to get to the charity stripe consistently in the second half, the difficulty in making field goals never dissipated. Cornell attacked the paint in the final minutes, finding easy shots around the baskets.

A Cornell layup with 2:51 left by Guy Ragland Jr. gave the Big Red an 80–60 lead and the contest was firmly over.

After a historically strong start to their season, the Tigers now sit in third place in the Ivy League. They’ll travel to New Haven on Saturday, Feb. 2, to face off with the secondplace Yale Bulldogs (13–6, 4–0), in what will be a very important matchup.

“Now it’s time to re-focus and bounce back with the road weekend upcoming,” MacConnell wrote to the ‘Prince.’

Hayk Yengibaryan is an associate Sports editor for the ‘Prince.’

Harrison Blank is an assistant Sports editor for the ‘Prince.’

Tigers’ star linebacker Ozzie Nicholas ’24 heading south to tackle ACC competition

After a legendary career on the gridiron for Princeton football, unanimous First Team All-Ivy League linebacker Ozzie Nicholas ’24 committed last week to play his final year of college eligibility at Duke University as a graduate transfer. Nicholas tallied 104 total tackles in the 2023 season, making him the first Tiger to break triple digit tackles since Jon Olofsson ’11 in 2010.

Nicholas fielded offers from other Power 5 schools including University of Houston and University of Central Florida before choosing the Blue Devils.

Hailing from Encinitas, California, Nicholas arrived at Princeton ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports in time for his first season to be canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Southern Californian appeared in seven games over the course of his sophomore season, in what was just a taste of things to come. During his breakout junior season in 2022, Nicholas became known to Tiger football fans for his ability to cover the field from sideline to sideline. He recorded 75 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and a sack while forcing three turnovers that year. He was recognized for his excellent season as a stout box-line-

backer with a Second Team All-Ivy honor.

Nicholas attributes his rapid growth over the years to the Princeton football community. “My teammates taught me how to work hard and keep others accountable. The strength staff played a huge part in my development physically with strength and speed,” Nicholas wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “I was lucky enough to play for a great staff, where the defense we ran was variable and complicated, forcing me to learn football better,” he added.

Nicholas entered the 2023 season set to captain the notoriously tough Tiger defense, and he exceeded expectations. The Princeton defense led the Ivy League in rushing yards allowed, points allowed, total yards allowed, turnovers, and passing efficiency. Nicholas’s campaign of 104 tackles, six and a half tackles for loss, and four and a half sacks included six games with double digit tackles. After terrorizing offenses all season long, he was named to the FCS AllAmerican Third Team.

This past season, the Tigers 21–14 win over Harvard was one of Nicholas’s best memories of his Princeton career. “We had struggled significantly at the start of the year and we had a lot of long practices and discussions trying to figure out how to turn things around,” wrote Nicholas of the team before they played

host to the Crimson. “It inspired me — to see my teammates, who were part of a team that was struggling, strap up and attack a team who had been dominating through their first five games. I was proud of what our team was able to execute that day in gaining some momentum for the season,” he added.

Nicholas will now take his talents to Durham, North Carolina, where the Duke Blue Devils are coming off of an 8–5 season. The Blue Devil defense, ranked 16th nationally in points allowed last year, will certainly benefit from Nicholas’s arrival — they’ll get the strong run support, ferocious tackling, and cerebral leadership needed from a middle linebacker.

Nicholas sees Duke as a perfect fit. “Duke really came out of nowhere, as my recruiting was almost over when they invited me out to visit. I’m glad I went because I got an opportunity to talk with the incredible staff that [Head Coach] Manny Diaz was able to build,” Nicholas wrote. “I had a great impression of Coach Patke, their defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach, and what his plans were for me and the defensive scheme. I felt it was a place I could see myself dominate at the next level and help a team succeed, which is what I was looking for in this next step,” he continued.

Duke has been a popular desti-

nation for Tiger graduate athletes: Nicholas joins Jackson Emus ’24, a pitcher and first baseman for Princeton Baseball; Max Johns ’22, a guard on the Princeton Men’s basketball team; and Princeton Men’s Lacrosse star attacker, Michael Sowers ’20.

This Tiger-to-Blue Devil pipeline is reminiscent of the myth that Duke founder J.B. Duke offered his fortune to Princeton to rename the school, was rebuffed, and then built Duke

in Princeton’s famous Gothic style. While the architecture in Durham might make Nicholas feel more at home, he is nonetheless poised to make a sizable contribution at one of the highest levels of college football, and Tigers fans should be on the lookout for his upcoming season.

Harrison Blank is an assistant Sports editor for the ‘Prince.’

page 18 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Sports
PHOTO COURTESY OF @PRINCETONFTBL/X. Ozzie Nicholas captained the stout Tiger defense as a senior.

Demystifying athletic recruitment at Princeton

Comprising 18 percent of Princeton’s undergraduate student body, athletes play a significant role in Princeton’s campus culture, making athletic recruitment a significant part of Princeton’s offers of admission. Recruitment, however, is much less understood than traditional pathways to admissions.

In the wake of the overturning of affirmative action earlier this year, schools have been considering major changes to their admissions process. As these schools tackle these shifts, some have taken aim at Ivy League athletics as one such institution in need of reform.

Through conversations with athletes and a recruiting coach, The Daily Princetonian analyzed athletic recruitment and the competition for roster spots, highlighting the role of the school and team in attracting athletes, as well as the impact of changes to rules in recent years.

How athletes choose Princeton Student-athletes considering Princeton might have a variety of options while Princeton also has a number of student-athletes to assess, so the school and the athlete have to make their case to the other party simultaneously.

Men’s and women’s basketball Ivy League Rookies of the Year Caden Pierce and Madison St. Rose shared their recruitment stories with the ‘Prince.’ Pierce started every game for the Tigers while he was a firstyear in the 2022 season, the year the team headed to the NCAA March Madness Sweet Sixteen round for the first time since 1967. Similarly, St. Rose made 21 starts and helped the Tigers reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The recruitment timeline typically begins with first contact sometime after June 15 of the summer before the recruit’s junior year in high school, with a heightened focus during the spring and summer Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) season, according to men’s basketball associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Brett MacConnell.

Pierce, now a sophomore forward, was eligible to talk to coaches on June 15, 2021. According to Pierce, he wanted to put himself on the radar of the coaching staff early, so he sent material on his high school performance to Princeton coaches.

MacConnell closely followed Pierce and his club team as they won the Under Armour Association (UAA) national championship the summer before Pierce’s senior year. In the offseason, MacConnell’s responsibilities extend beyond the basketball court. He travels across the country to watch high school tournaments, practices, and AAU events, aiming to meet potential recruits and their families.

“That’s about as important as anything we do is getting the right guys in the program,” MacConnell told the ‘Prince.’

Pierce had a number of options as he entered his senior year of high school. Other schools recruiting him included Loyola University Maryland, the University of St. Thomas,

as well as other Ivy League schools. Pierce leaned towards Princeton and committed in October of his senior year.

“Obviously, you can’t beat the academics, and the basketball program was the best of any school I was looking at, so I was like, this is a pretty clear choice,” Pierce told the ‘Prince.’

St. Rose, now a sophomore guard, was also compelled by both Princeton’s academic traditions and its storied basketball program.

“It was the academics and athletics that Princeton provided … they have that winning mindset, and I love winning, so who wouldn’t want to join a winning team,” she told the ‘Prince.’

During her sophomore year of high school, St. Rose’s trainer introduced her to Princeton. As a fourstar recruit and ranked 46 in her class, St. Rose received interest from a number of schools, including the University of Michigan, her second choice.

St. Rose committed in October of her junior year, earlier than the other Tiger basketball recruits. St. Rose’s high school team, like the Princeton women’s basketball team, has an all-female coaching staff.

“I was really comfortable with that,” St. Rose said about the Tigers, led by Head Coach Carla Berube.

For St. Rose, she also felt as though Berube’s “get stops” motto and defensive focus reflected the brand of basketball that she played in high school.

“It felt like I had the same coach from high school to college,” St. Rose said.

Though she committed to Princeton early on, St. Rose still had to earn her place in the Class of 2026 through admissions. Once committed, the coaching staff advised St. Rose on her academics. “They really made sure that I was taking the right classes and enabling myself to get into the school,” St. Rose said.

Other recruits also commented on the athletic program’s support in getting admitted. Junior attack for men’s lacrosse Braedon Saris committed to Princeton during his first unofficial visit to campus in October of his junior year. After committing, Saris recalled that he and the rest of his recruiting class would meet regularly with the coaching staff over Zoom.

According to Saris, the coaches made sure that Saris and his future classmates were on the right track with their high school credits to be accepted into Princeton and that they were on top of their Princeton applications.

For recruited athletes at Ivy League schools, students are required to achieve a minimum score on the Academic Index (AI) — a measure combining GPA and standardized test scores — to be considered for academic admission. In addition to the AI score, coaches have the opportunity to provide the admissions office with supplemental materials, including written documentation of students’ athletic achievements and character.

Unlike some other schools, Princeton coaches rank their recruited athletes and write statements about their personal qualities, accord-

ing to an interview then-Dean of Admissions Janet Rapelye did with Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW) in 2012. Rankings differ by individual and by sport. As demonstrated by coaches’ investment in their recruits’ academics, academics are an important part of the recruiting process. For senior rower Kalena Blake, she sent regular updates to her coach.

Blake is a managing editor for the ‘Prince’.

“I communicated with coaches every time I had an update to provide,” Blake added. “For example, when I received my quarter grades, and SAT scores … I communicated that all via email and phone calls.”

The school pitches the athlete

For Princeton and other schools, the case they make to potential student-athletes is also an important part of the recruitment process.

For Blake, it was the confidence she gained throughout the recruitment process that pushed her to invest in rowing as she finished high school.

“It was March of my junior spring, and my dad and I went up to Cornell. The coach gave us a tour of the boathouse and sat down with us for about an hour,” Blake wrote to the ‘Prince.’

“My erg score [a standard measure of rowing potential] was not that fast at the time, and I remember being surprised that the coach was so interested in selling the school to me and [I was] thinking ‘Yeah, okay, maybe I can do this.’ It was that spring that my erg score got significantly faster and I picked up medals at big regattas, and I really attribute that in part to these coaches seeing potential in me,” Blake recalled.

According to Blake, her visit to Princeton in September of her senior year of high school sold her on the University.

“There were about 5 other rowers on my visit, two of whom row with me now and are two of my closest friends. I immediately connected with the other athletes on the team and fell in love with the school,” she wrote.

According to MacConnell, official visits play a pivotal role in getting to know potential recruits on a deeper level. MacConnell stresses that these visits go beyond showcasing athletic facilities and fancy buildings. Rather, they provide a genuine insight into the life of a Princeton student-athlete.

“Some programs, they want to send you to New York City; for us, we want it to feel like what a weekend when you’re in college is going to be like; we want you to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into,” MacConnell told the ‘Prince’.

“What you see is what you get: go to practice, play with the guys, hang out with them, go eat with them, go to a class. We’re not trying to trick anybody, we’re not trying to do things we wouldn’t do otherwise … we want kids that want all the things that Princeton’s about, and I think that’s the best way to do it,” he added.

Both the academic and athletic aspects of the Princeton curriculum were persuasive to Blake.

“I felt like everyone on the team

was high-achieving both in the classroom and at the boathouse,” she wrote. “I felt like Princeton had the most cohesive boathouse. I think looking back, all those initial judgments I made turned out to be correct.

Similarly to Blake, Pierce was pitched by Princeton coaches on the academic excellence of the university. However, the coaching staff also made sure to highlight the success of the program to Pierce.

“They do have a lot to pitch in terms of the basketball program as well,” Pierce said.

Until his official visit, Pierce said he was not aware of Princeton basketball’s storied history and the cultural renaissance enacted by the late coach Pete Carril, but he quickly learned the unique culture of Princeton basketball.

During a film review with the coaching staff, the coaches showed Pierce clips of his high school highlights alongside clips of similar Princeton players, demonstrating how they envisioned Pierce’s role on the team. According to Pierce, none of the other schools recruiting him did this.

“When they did that, I kind of realized, like, okay they have a goal for me, they have a plan for me, and they really take pride in player development.” he told the ‘Prince.’ “That’s one thing I learned with coach [Mitch] Henderson immediately … and it’s something I wanted to be a part of.”

MacConnell emphasizes the significance of evaluating not just basketball skills but the intangibles as well. As a result, pitching Princeton’s unique environment becomes a central part of the recruiting process.

“We talk a lot about what’s important to us, what makes our culture our culture, the unselfishness, the playing together, the being a hard worker, the grittiness, all of those things that are really important to us,” MacConnell told the ‘Prince.’

“So what that does is it ends up filtering out the wrong guys; if the things that we’re talking about that we think make our culture so special aren’t resonating with you, it’s a good way of filtering out the guys that aren’t a fit,” he added.

Changes to the process in recent years

According to an NCAA rule adopted in 2019, Division I college coaches are now prohibited from contacting potential recruits before the end of their sophomore year of high school. According to first-year forward Ani Kozak on the women’s ice hockey team, before the change, Princeton and other schools were recruiting athletes even younger.

The class that graduated high school in 2023 “was the first class [in which] the majority of athletes were affected by the change in recruitment rules,” Kozak wrote to the ‘Prince.’

“Most of my teammates and a couple of my classmates were recruited by/committed to Princeton while still in middle school,” she added. The ‘Prince’ did not independently verify the recruiting timeline on the women’s ice hockey team.

For Kozak, who grew up playing

competitive ice hockey, rules changes and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on recruiting, as contacting college coaches grew even more difficult.

“Recruitment became much more selective as a result of the fifth-year option and [as] some of the prime opportunities for exposure (tournaments, camps, etc.) were canceled,” Kozak wrote.

The “fifth-year option” grants an extra year of eligibility to athletes who had their collegiate seasons canceled because of the pandemic, providing them the opportunity to play out a full four-year college career.

With this option available, college teams — including Princeton — had fewer roster spots to offer new recruits. As a result, athletes in the high school classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 were competing for fewer D1 roster spots than they would have had just a couple of years prior.

Kozak credited part of her success with making it onto the team on her connection with women’s ice hockey head coach Cara Morey, who had coached Kozak’s club hockey team since she was 13 years old.

“I already had a pre-established relationship with [Morey],” Kozak wrote. “Once the recruitment process began, I attended events where Cara’s assistant coaches were recruiting, and based on my performance, Princeton’s recruitment became more serious.”

Recruiting officials have felt the impact of the pandemic as well. During the pandemic, MacConnell said he had to rely on Zooms and phone calls to get to know his recruits, since campus was closed to visitors. “Meeting in person and getting to know people in person is totally different,” said MacConnell about the return to in-person visits and their importance. “And we think [they are] way more thorough and just a better way to get a feel for everything,” he added.

While many aspects of Princeton’s athletic admissions match the process at other schools, one aspect that distinguishes Princeton athletics from other schools is how Princeton rarely accepts transfers from other schools. As a result, their athletes can build lifelong bonds with their class, growing and developing with them.

“Guys know that when they come here, they’re gonna stay, they’re gonna be developed, there’s not a transfer that’s gonna come take a spot on the depth chart that they didn’t see coming. What you see is what you get with our roster,” MacConnell said.

“You want to come in with a recruiting class, and those are your best friends for the next four years, and they’re your teammates who you share a special bond with. You’re not getting that at most of these schools anymore because guys are coming in and out so much, and I think it’s a really special thing about us,” he added.

Diego Uribe is an associate editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Hayk Yengibaryan is an associate editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

Friday February 2, 2024 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Sports page 19

At Princeton and beyond, hockey discusses neck guard mandates in wake of deadly accident in England

Professional ice hockey player Adam Johnson’s tragic death by a skate blade to the neck during an Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) game in England on Oct. 28 sent ripples through the sport’s community. Due to the nature of Johnson’s injury, those in the ice hockey community have begun to question the safety of the sport that they love, including members of Princeton’s own team.

Johnson was a former member of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins. He registered one goal and three assists across 13 career games with the Penguins. Prior to moving overseas to play for the Nottingham Panthers, he also played with the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, the WilkesBarre/Scranton Penguins. His recognizability within the sport contributed to the spike in safety concerns among the hockey community.

“The Adam Johnson stuff was kind of an eye-opener to where it’s like, okay, this is happening more and more often now. The last two times this has happened, both people have died,” senior forward for Princeton hockey, Joe Berg, explained to the Daily Princetonian. “Last year, there was a high school kid who also died from a neck cut.”

As a result of these two recent public facing accidents, preventing skate laceration injuries has become an increasingly important topic of discussion within hockey circles. These conversations often take the form of debates around proposed neck guard mandates.

“The day after the incident occurred, during our first practice, I addressed the team and mentioned to them that if they wanted to wear neck guards, I’d more than support


them,” head coach Ron Fogarty told the ‘Prince.’

As of early December, neck guards are only worn by one current Princeton Tiger: Joe Berg.

While different junior-level and youth hockey programs have moved to mandate neck guards in the last decade, most professional leagues and the college level have not — including the NCAA, which Princeton’s Hockey team plays in. As a result, adult neck guards have never been a manufacturing priority. After Johnson’s death, the demand for adult neck guards skyrocketed, and the market could not keep up, leaving a shortage of neck guards and high prices for those available. Berg, anticipating this, quickly bought neck guards in the days after Johnson’s tragic death.

“I ordered two neck guards, like immediately after this happened. And I went to order another one the other day and they’re completely sold out,” Berg continued. “I don’t think it’s a ‘I don’t want to wear one’ thing from our guys. It’s more so that they don’t want to pay the 150 bucks for the compression long sleeve shirt with the neck guard on it.”

Though few, some junior and professional leagues have begun instituting neck guard mandates. Two major junior hockey leagues that frequently produce Division I and professional talent — the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and the Western Hockey League (WHL) — have announced mandates that will go into effect when all teams obtain adequate supply. In addition, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) recently mandated the wearing of neck guards in all international competitions moving forward, including during the World Junior Ice Hockey Tournament, which began on Dec. 26. For USA Hockey,

the NHL, and the NCAA, discussions surrounding the mandating of neck guards are expected to pick up in the coming months.

Hesitation among players to wear neck guards may be due in part to the issue of in-game comfort. Hockey players, and athletes in general, are often creatures of habit, wanting to change little about their pregame and in-game routines, even down to the equipment that they wear.

“When you put your hockey equipment on at the beginning of the year, you’re trying to break the equipment in, and it takes a couple of practices to get used to it,” Fogarty mentioned to the ‘Prince.’ “I would assume that without knowledge [of the neck guard] that it would take a couple

of practices to become accustomed to it.”

Fogarty is nonetheless a supporter of neck guard mandates.

“I imagine that during the NCAA Coach’s Convention, at the completion of the season, it will be a topic of discussion. As far as the NCAA mandating the neck guards, I don’t know if they will. If they do, I would support it 100 percent,” Fogarty told the ‘Prince.’

For many players moving forward, the calculus around choosing to wear a neck guard is a lot simpler than before. As supply builds, it can be expected that more players, at Princeton and beyond, will begin wearing neck guards. Athletes like Joe Berg put it best: a small change

in routine and comfort is not worth the risk of losing your life playing a sport.

“Now it seems like if you wear one, you’re definitely going to prevent the possibility of dying ... I’m gonna make my fiancé feel a whole lot better if I’m wearing it on the ice. I’m gonna make my parents feel better if I’m wearing it on the ice,” Berg explained. “And so when it came down to it, it seemed like a no-brainer to wear one.”

Cole Keller is a head editor for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’

‘The most undignified, the most degrading’: Anonymous student condemns Bicker

Editor’s Note: While The Daily Princetonian is committed to acknowledging our newspaper’s full history, the views expressed in the 1924 piece do not reflect the values and standards of the ‘Prince’ today.

Exactly a century ago on January 30, 1924, a writer anonymously and virulently denounced Bicker in the “Campus Comment,” a since-discontinued section of The Daily Princetonian. He opened his piece, writing, “The first of January is past, mid-years are not very far away, and after them will come around again in all its pristine ugliness, the most amazing, the most uncalled-for, the most undignified, the most degrading, the most immoral Bicker Week.”

Since its inception in 1914, Bicker has continued to dominate campus conversation during the final week of January, and the ‘Prince’ has extensively covered the process through opinion pieces in its storied history. Since

then, as old clubs have closed and new ones have opened, the Bicker process has evolved. In the 1920s, protests to abolish Bicker broke out around campus. And, in 1967, Terrace became the first club to abandon Bicker in favor ofa sign-in policy. Other clubs followed suit.

Though Bicker used to take place in April, sophomores would begin thinking about the process at the start of spring semester. As seen in the “Campus Comment,” just 10 years after bicker began, Princetonians had already begun to form strong viewpoints on the practice.

During the “holy week” of Bicker, our anonymous author characterized sophomores as “not freemen, but slaves,” who are bound to serve their eating club “cults.” Building on his religious allegory, he asked, “Have we not all participated in the rites and mysteries and cults sacred to Bicker Week? Are we not all now members of cults and cliques and groups?” He went on to provocatively describe the dignity that Bickerees were

forced to sacrifice as they were forced to “bow down most humbly before the deity of Social Success and Snobbery; of Fratricide, Ill Will, and Disloyalty” in order to join a tyrannical eating club.

The student was convinced that the only way to repair Princeton’s Bicker culture was by abolishing the practice or reforming it entirely. He complained that the clubs had no substantial plans for improvement, and maintained, “When the reformation of Bicker Week, or even its abolition, becomes a topic well aired and ventilated; when the plans are given wide publicity, then and only then will anything result, and result in good.”

Today, we can recognize that comparing sophomores to enslaved people and characterizing mainstream religions as cults is problematic, to say the least. Yet the anti-bicker sentiment remains alive and well in Princeton. In 2021, an alumnus of Cannon Dial Elm called for the clubs to “Cancel Bicker.”

Since 1914, the University has made strides in their transparency regard-

ing bicker after years of op-ed articles and calls for change by students. Students have worked to make even simple information like the annual costs of eating clubs and eventually sophomore dues public to the student body, allowing students to make an informed decision about the financial commitment before opting to Bicker and join a club.

It is unclear what type of reform the anonymous 1924 author truly desired or whether he would have been satisfied with Bicker in 2024. Nevertheless, the reformation of Street Week has certainly become a topic “well-aired and ventilated,” especially as the largest Princeton class yet, the Class of ’26, prepares to enter what is expected to be a particularly competitive Bicker season.

Raphaela Gold is a head Archives editor and an associate Features editor at the ‘Prince.’

Kaylee Kasper is a head Archives editor at the ‘Prince.’

page 20 www. dailyprincetonian .com } { Friday February 2, 2024 Sports
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PHOTO COURTESY OF @PRINCETONMIH/X. Men’s ice hockey gathered on the ice at Hobey Baker Rink.
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