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Wednesday March 3, 2021 vol. CXLV no. 11

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Senior student-athletes speak out on the Ivy League’s most recent decisions By Emily Philippides and Sreesha Ghosh

Head Sports Editor and Associate Sports Editor

On Feb. 11, the Ivy League Council of Presidents announced that current senior student-athletes would be given an extra year of competitive eligibility if they enroll in a graduate program at their current university for the 2021–22 academic year. Exactly one week later on Feb. 18, the same Council came out with yet another decision — that the Ivy League would not see athletic competition for the remainder of the spring. The Daily Princetonian reached out to over 190 senior student-athletes for commentary on these two decisions. Those included in this article are 10 senior student-athletes across seven varsity sports. Most of the respondents have requested for their comments to be published anonymously. On the temporary eligibility waiver Prior to the Feb. 11 announcement, Ivy League eligibility rules did not permit graduate students to participate in athletics. In other words, student-athletes could not use their four years of athletic eligibility in the Ivy League after their undergraduate education. This differs from NCAA eligibility rules, which allow Division I graduate students the opportunity to participate in athletics as long as they have eligibility remaining and are within five-years of initial under-

graduate enrollment. In the fall of 2020, due to the pandemic, the NCAA approved a blanket waiver, granting all fall and winter sport athletes an additional year of eligibility as well as an additional year to complete it. Some athletes responded positively to the Feb. 11 decision. “I think this is a great opportunity to make up for the lost time spent competing for Princeton,” a senior on the men’s heavyweight crew team said. “For many of us, this was the end of the road for our athletic careers and now, this is an opportunity for us to finish competing for ourselves and with our teammates. It provides closure for our careers as opposed to the abrupt end that it initially looked like it would be.” A senior on the men’s track and field team agreed that the decision presents a “wonderful opportunity” to consider “various opportunities the Princeton experience has to offer”. “I think having this extra year will grant us some security knowing we can broaden our knowledge and further explore our interests and connections within the Princeton setting,” he said. But others were less enthusiastic, with most of the frustration and criticism centering around the timing of the decision. Because application deadlines for all graduate programs at Princeton University have passed, the opportunity for graduate-level eligibility only extends to student-ath-


letes in the class of 2021 who have already applied to one of the Graduate School’s 40 departments. Shortly after the Feb. 11 announcement, Grace Brightbill, a current senior on the women’s field hockey team, wrote an email to the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) Office of Graduate Admissions. In her email, which was signed by nine other student-athletes in four different departments, Brightbill requested that the department consider extending the deadlines for the Master in Public Affairs (MPA application) and Master in Public Policy (MPP) applications. “Most of us have applied to other prestigious MPP/MPA programs across the country


where we can continue our academic and athletic careers — unfortunately, the Ivy League decision was made well after the application deadline, so we could not know at the time that the opportunity existed to stay at Princeton. In order to ensure equity to potential applicants, we request that admissions be reopened to all Princeton seniors.” She received a reply the same day. “While we are sympathetic, we have one deadline each year, December 1, and are unable to accommodate this request,” the email read. “We had an extraordinary interest in our community this year and are very far into our admissions process.” Eli Krahn, a senior on the

men’s track and field team, was not surprised by the Ivy League’s recent announcements. “While it is a nice gesture, it is too late to really help anyone,” Krahn said in reference to graduate eligibility. “This would have been a very welcome decision if it had been announced in the fall, but it will help only a very small number of people now.” Marissa Webb, a senior on the women’s water polo team, said the decision “could have seriously changed the game, but now it’s just going to help a few athletes who were planning on attending Princeton for graduate school, and had no intention of participating in athletics.” See SPORTS for more


“Never even stepped foot in the club” to full-fledged member: the 2021 bicker experience By Nhuquynh Nguyen Features Contributor

When Princeton students arrived on campus in January for yet another virtual semester, the doors of Prospect Avenue had been shuttered for 10 months. Nevertheless, the clubs moved forward with their tradition of Bicker, this time in a completely virtual format. Sophomores tried to put their best selves forward through a computer screen; upperclassmen, many relying on only two weeks of inperson experience, attempted to explain what the club was like; and Bicker committees

worked through the trials and tribulations of online Bicker. The Daily Princetonian sat down with Bicker chairs, members of eating clubs, and sophomore bickerees to discuss the drawbacks and surprising benefits of a Bicker experience like no other. Let the preparations begin The process began well before Street Week in January. Current President and former Bicker Chair of Tower Club, Savannah Hampton ’22, began working with Tower’s Bicker Committee in early November.


“It was just a logistical headache to coordinate,” Hampton said. “We wanted to ensure that everyone, regardless of their affiliation or time zone, could bicker Tower and have the same chances as everyone else,” she added. This would mean putting in the extra hours before January not only to get Bicker organized but also to give potential members a sense of the club’s community. “We tried to include as much information as we could on what Tower and our members represented,” Hampton stated. According to Ethan Thai ’21, a senior member of Tower and former member of the club’s Bicker Committee, Tower had a dozen pre-Bicker events, more than the club would have in a typical year. “Many of the sophomore … bickerees had never even set foot inside of the club,” Thai explained. Each club created its own solutions to this universal challenge. An anonymous Cannon Dial Elm Club Bicker Committee member said they “filmed the inside of the club and sent out a lot of emails about Cannon and Bicker to each of the [residential] college’s listservs to make sure that all of the sophomores were covered and See FEATURES for more

In Opinion

Columnist Brittani Telfair investigates Disney’s lack of Black stories, including the studio’s latest movie, Soul.


Former SPIA Dean Cecilia Rouse.

Former SPIA Dean Cecilia Rouse confirmed as CEA Chair By Katherine Dailey

Assistant News Editor

Cecilia Rouse, former Dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), was confirmed as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) by the United States Senate at approximately 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 2 by a vote of 95–4. She is the first African American to lead the CEA in its 75-year history. Rouse was announced as President Joe Biden’s nominee for the position in November, and hearings were held for her confirmation on Jan. 28. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs unanimously

voted (24–0) to move Rouse’s nomination to the full Senate following the hearings. The Senate invoked cloture early Tuesday afternoon on Rouse’s confirmation, thus ending the debate with a vote of 94–5 with one Senator, Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), abstaining. Prior to the confirmation vote, Sen. Sherrod Brown (DOhio) delivered a speech to the Senate urging them to vote for Rouse’s confirmation. “Dr. Rouse is exactly who we need at the helm. She will help direct our nation’s economic policy to put Americans back to work at better jobs with higher wages,” he stated. See NEWS for more

Guest Contributor Joe Ort argues that stripping Cruz of the James Madison Award is an ineffectual way of holding him to account for his actions on Jan. 6.

Profile for The Daily Princetonian

The Daily Princetonian Front Page: March 3, 2021  

The Daily Princetonian Front Page: March 3, 2021