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Monday April 16, 2018 vol. CXLII no. 43

{ www.dailyprincetonian.com } Stay engaged! Twitter: @princetonian Facebook: The Daily Princetonian YouTube: The Daily Princetonian Instagram: @dailyprincetonian STUDENT LIFE

Princeton students’ BlockX wins TigerLaunch By Benjamin Ball Staff Writer

A team of computer science majors and entrepreneurs from the University are the winners of the TigerLaunch competition, the nation’s largest student-run entrepreneurship competition. The team of Felix Madutsa ’18, Avthar Sewrathan ’18, and Richard Adjei ’18 are the founders of the company BlockX, whose primary product is Afari, a decentralized social network meant to protect users’ data and information and maintain privacy by using technology called blockchain. “At BlockX, we believe that users should be able to control their digital property in the same way they control their physical property,” said Madutsa. “Currently, Afari supports a microblogging functionality that can be used in the same way that you use Twitter.” The team said that their new social media platform could gain traction by appealing to free speech activists, and that it could eventually draw content creators. Drawing content creators, the team argued, would bring those creators’ followers to BlockX, allowing the platform to gain even more traction. During their pitch, the team referenced the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal as a primary example of why the world needs a decentralized platform for users, content creators, and others. “The world realized that social media as it stands is broken,” said Sewrathan. “This is because social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are centralized: they own our data, they store it in their servers, and they control who accesses it.” The BlockX team will be awarded $15,000 in prize mon-

BENJAMIN BALL :: PRINCETONIAN STAFF WRITER

Left to right: Richard Adjei ‘18, Felix Madutsa ‘18, Avthar Sewrathan ‘18.

ey and an opportunity to pitch to top venture capital firms. $10,000 will be awarded to the second place team and $5,000 to the third place team. Not only did the BlockX team win the formal competition, but they also won the Audience Choice Award, which was voted on by the larger community online. “We were also surprised by the amount of support we got from the community,” said Madutsa. “It was a very humbling experience.” Sewrathan echoed the sentiment, expressing gratitude to both his teammates’ hard work and all the hard work on the part of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club and the Keller Center, who helped sponsor and run the competition. “We are very surprised and

ON CAMPUS

very grateful that we could come first out of all those wonderful teams. Any one of those teams could’ve come in the top three,” said Sewrathan. “We’re grateful our hard work paid off.” Moving forward, BlockX will be working in Princeton’s E-Lab over the summer, and is also preparing for two further competitions later this year. The competition was hosted on-campus in the Frist Campus Center and Frick Chemistry Laboratory. On Saturday, April 14, BlockX and winning teams from the Seattle, New York, Chicago, and Paris semi-finals pitched ideas to a panel of judges, attempting to show their products’ worth and potential. “Being a founder and getting involved with early-stage startups is not really about an innate talent; it’s about really wanting to STUDENT LIFE

Assistant News Editor

COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

Caltech’s Kip Thorne, 2017 Nobel Laureate in Physics.

Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne discusses gravitational waves Contributor

Over a thousand people packed into Jadwin Hall on Thursday, April 12, filling five auditoriums, to attend the 43rd Donald R. Hamilton Lecture delivered by Kip Thorne, Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology. Thorne, who won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Barry Barish of Caltech and Rainer Weiss of

STUDENT LIFE

USG looks USG members expect Honor Code referendum at gap year implementation if passed stigma, By Ivy Truong

By Hector Afonso Cruz

do it and feeling comfortable doing it,” said Amit Mukherjee ’10, one of the judges of the competition and a partner with the venture capital firm NEA. “It’s about their willingness to take risks at the early stages of their career.” The judges were not only looking at each competitor’s product, but also the competitors themselves — seeing the time and energy they put into their work and if they had the capacity to push their product forward. “It’s all about the founder at the early stage: the founder’s ability to pivot, his tenacity, his grit, that’s what it’s all about,” said Doc Parghi, another judge and a partner at SRI Capital. “We’ve passed on deals where it was a very interesting technology, seemed to be a strong productmarket fit, but the founder was just not somebody we thought

had the will to succeed.” Parghi’s comments were reiterated by a fellow judge. “In early stage investing, in my perspective, it’s 95 percent the founder, 5 percent the product,” said Trip Jones, a general partner with August Capital. “If you have the right founder, I don’t even care what the product is; you can fund the company before the company exists.” The second place winner was the team behind Food Period, a company devoted to making food products that naturally assist with menstrual cycles, and the third place winner was Retinox Medical, whose team created a contact lens that helped reduce the chance of blindness caused by diabetes. Other competitors pitched products ranging in areas from orthodontics to virtual reality. The TigerLaunch event also featured a judges’ panel at the beginning of the day, as well as a keynote speech from Cindy Healy, director of business operations at Microsoft. During her speech, Healy reiterated the importance of risk-taking and innovation in business and in attaining success as a whole. “The real risk is doing nothing,” said Healy. Healy spoke about her many life experiences, including her work on the Mars Pathfinder mission with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, her career at Microsoft, and her success in winning the Circle of Excellence Award, Microsoft’s highest award, in 2016. She said that the keys to success were recognizing one’s potential, owning that potential, setting a new course, and envisioning success. “Envision success. Go there, see it, smell it, taste it,” said Healy. “I use this method over and over again.”

MIT, spoke of his momentous discovery of gravitational waves, detected by the Laser Interferometry Gravitational wave observatory from a black hole merger 1.3 billion light years away. Thorne opened by narrating the events which led to this historic finding in 2015. “When multi-cell life was just forming on Earth 1.3 billion years ago, but in a galaxy far, far away, two black See THORNE page 2

The fifth referendum on the Honor Code this year proposes allowing members to evaluate Honor Committee leadership and potentially petition to replace the clerk or chair. It comes after three of four referenda on the Honor Code were stayed by the administration in December. This referendum gives HC members one opportunity in their entire HC career to express their grievances about the clerk or chair in a statement to the Undergraduate Student Government Senate. The member who submits the statement may have the opportunity to submit themself as a candidate to replace the clerk or chair. A committee would interview the chair or clerk under evaluation and the member submitting the evaluation before deciding who would serve as the clerk or chair. However, if the member does not declare a candidacy, then the HC leadership is completely unaffected. “There needs to be a way to hold members of the Honor Committee to a higher standard, and I say that with the utmost respect for the student-run Honor Committee,” said class president and HC

member Chris Umanzor ’19, who sponsored the referendum. Umanzor is a former staff writer for The Daily Princetonian. Currently, the chair is automatically succeeded by the clerk, who is appointed during that member’s sophomore year by a committee of junior and senior HC members and several USG representatives. Honor Committee Chair Liz Haile ’19 explained that this system allows the clerk to spend a year as a “chair-in-training” and learn about the position’s various administrative roles. “When the clerk steps into the chair role the spring of their junior year, he or she is better prepared to take on the responsibilities associated with the position,” she wrote in a statement. Haile declined to comment on the referendum specifically. Umanzor mentioned specific circumstances that arose in the past year that motivated him to sponsor the referendum, such as lack of expressed interest in the clerkship and “questionable actions undertaken by the leadership.” “Because it is essentially a funnel in which the clerk selected in See REFERENDUM page 3

admissions By Isabel Ting Assistant News Editor

In its weekly meeting on April 15, the Undergraduate Student Government discussed the the inclusion of questions surrounding criminal history on the undergraduate application, increasing student access to USG, and policies to decrease the negative stigma surrounding gap years and mental health. First, Parker Kushima ’19 from Princeton Health Advisors proposed a project called Princeton Connect, which will encourage student bonding through arts and crafts sessions. The project will culminate in the display of a final quilt, as well as a presentation where students can volunteer to share their stories. “There is the problem [that, on campus] you are not able to reach out to people that you wouldn’t normally meet,” Kushima said. Next, Matthew Ramirez ’19, Nivida Thomas ’20, Hyojin Lee ’20, Andy Zheng ’20, and Wendy Ho ’21 were approved as new members of the USG Diversity and Equity Committee. See USG page 2

In Opinion

Senior columnist Connor Pfeiffer implores students to vote against the proposed referendum on the Honor Committee, and guest contributor Jenny Ma offers an insight into her experience as a Chinese-American. PAGE 4

Today on Campus 4:30 p.m.: “How Democracies Die” — The Donald S. Bernstein ’75 Lecture with Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. Robertson Hall, Arthur Lewis Auditorium

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Monday April 16, 2018

USG debates questions on applicants’ criminal histories USG

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USG also approved the $2,000 budget request for the 25th Annual Black Women’s Appreciation Dinner held by the Order of Black Male Excellence, as well as the request for $5,950 for the Movies Committee outdoor movie screening on May 8. However, more controversy arose when the Community and Campus Affairs asked for a budget of $10,000, in comparison to $1,500 the previous year, for the Day of Action. At the University, the Day of Action event is a campus-wide day of town hall sessions and focused teach-ins that are devoted to engagement with political, economic, environmental, and social challenges. The event was inspired by a similar call to action at MIT on March 4, 1969, which asked for scientists to reflect on the creation of destructive technologies. Previously, the CCA depended on local town organizations for funding, but it now hopes USG will help institutionalize the day as an annual tradition. The Day of Action will be held during a weekend in October, instead of March 6, in order to capitalize on civic engagement before the midterm election. In addition, the Admissions Opportunity Campaign asked for USG to advocate for the University to eliminate questions about criminal histories in their undergraduate application. “Asking about criminal history is a proxy [for] asking about race and socioeconomic access,” said Michaela Daniel ’21, a representative from the campaign. According to the campaign, since those who have criminal records are primarily poor people of color, questions about criminal history enable discrimination and undermine efforts for applicants

to compete equally. Furthermore, representatives from the campaign explained, the university’s graduate school application does not ask about criminal history, nor does the transfer application for the undergraduate system. Although the presentation by Admissions Opportunity Campaign was not on USG agenda until the day of the meeting, it generated the most discussion. In order to increase senator accessibility, Kade McCorvy ’20 proposed, first, the establishment of an email address and listserv for sitting USG senators to increase direct communication between senators and constituents and, second, weekly Sunday coffee chats between USG and the student body. Lastly, Josh Gardner ’20 from the Mental Health Initiative requested USG’s assistance in finding students who have taken gap years due to mental health reasons and are willing to share their stories in order to decrease the negative stigma surrounding Counseling and Psychological Services, mental health, and gap years. Gardner also encouraged increased publicity of the new policy that gap semesters, instead of gap years, are now allowed for students whose majors are more flexible. Other administrative items that were discussed included the confirmation of Andrew Li ’19 and former USG Vice President Daniel Qian ’19 as the new Student Groups Recognition Committee co-chairs, as well as the recognition that the consequences of a more condensed exam period, as a result of the calendar reform, ought to be examined in more detail. The spring election commences tomorrow, April 16 and officers will be elected by Friday, April 20. USG will meet with the Dean of College Jill Dolan to discuss the new dining plan this Thursday.

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holes crashed together, creating a giant burst of gravitational waves, that traveled out … into the great reaches of intergalactic space,” he said. These gravitational waves reached the outer edges of the Milky Way 50,000 years ago, during the age of the Neanderthals. “On 14 September 2015, they reached the Earth. Touching down first on the Antarctic Peninsula, they traveled up through the Earth, unscathed by all the matter of the Earth, and emerged in Livingston, La., at one of two LIGO detectors,” Thorne continued. Gravitational waves such as the ones detected in 2015 are actually incredibly difficult to pick up, mostly because of their minute effect on spacetime. When cosmic monstrosities like black hole collisions and neutron star collisions occur, the gravitational interactions with the environment around them are so violent that they bend spacetime. These ripples in spacetime travel enormous distances to be detected by LIGO, so much so that the ripples in space that we observe are minuscule compared to the ripples surrounding the collision. LIGO uses an intricate system called an interferometer, or a laser beam splitter reflected by 40-kilogram mirrors to find these tiny undulations in reality. Thorne elaborated on the size of those undulations. “Begin with the thickness of a human hair, divide by 100 and you get the wavelength of the light that is used to measure the [gravitational waves]. Divide by 10,000 and you get the diameter of an atom,” said Thorne. “Divide by 100,000 and you get the diameter of a nucleus of the atom. Divide by another factor of 1,000 and you get the factor of the mirror motion.” Earlier that day, Thorne and Weiss paid homage to the late Robert Dicke, a former physics professor whose work on gravity was an integral precursor to Thorne’s and Weiss’s work on gravitational waves. Both attended

the dedication of a plaque outside Frist Campus Center, called the Palmer Physical Laboratory during Dicke’s tenure, where in the 1960s and ’70s Dicke and fellow physics professor John Archibald Wheeler proposed the existence of gravitational singularities, coining the term “black holes.” Dicke passed away in 1997. “Thorne’s passion was infectious, and despite his scientific stature being quite towering at the present, he still presented himself as very approachable,” said Andrew Wu ’20, an astrophysics concentrator. Wu asked Thorne a question about the way gravitational waves affect time. “Despite having had some exposure to the concepts of relativity before, his answer still astounded me: gravitational waves appear to change the flow of time only by affecting space, and therefore, how light travels through it, which is how we observe their effect on time,” Wu said. “He specifically said he found the first few years of undergrad very challenging,” said Elliot Davies ’20, also an astrophysics concentrator. “Meeting him gave me hope that I could follow in his footsteps; it inspired me to work hard even when I’m struggling at Princeton.” The possibilities for further study of gravitational waves, according to Thorne, are endless. “By the mid-part of this century I think the biggest effort is to explore the first second of the universe with gravitational waves,” Thorne said. Thorne explained that when the universe was a trillionth of a second old, the forces described Maxwell’s equations began applying to the universe. Force separation occurred inside bubbles that produced bursts of gravitational waves. These waves should be detected by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, a system of three satellites in space designed to detect gravitational waves from the primordial universe. “It was two years ago that LIGO discovered gravitational waves with colliding black holes,” said Thorne. “I invite you to speculate on the next 400 years with combined electromagnetic and gravitational waves.”


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The Daily Princetonian

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Fifth referendum would allow for more transparency, accountability REFERENDUM Continued from page 1

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the sophomore spring ultimately becomes the chair without any form of evaluation, it’s important to allow other students who are constitutionally eligible to submit their candidacy for the position,” Umanzor said. Though he spoke with several Honor System Review Committee members when making the referendum, Umanzor wanted to make a referendum separate from the HSRC and its charge. Honor Committee chair emeritus and HSRC co-chair Carolyn Liziewski ’18 deferred comment to Haile. Umanzor noted the student body’s frustration after the administration remanded three referenda regarding the Honor Code in the winter. However, because of his conversations with Univer-

sity administrators, Umanzor believes that the administration will not remand the fifth referendum because it is more procedural in nature. The fourth referendum passed in December, he explained, was similarly implemented because it was a procedural change that did not require faculty review. “If the referendum were to pass, it would not require faculty review,” he emphasized. Kade McCorvy ’20 opposed the ambiguous wording in parts of the referendum when USG discussed the referendum during a weekly meeting. Although he approves of the content, he explained that the wording could be more accurate. “What I think the referendum actually accomplishes wasn’t actually conveyed through the wording,” he said. McCorvy said the referendum implies that the independent committee would have more access to information and data within the

Honor Committee than it actually does. Because the student body and the USG Senate are not privy to Honor Committee proceedings, McCorvy explained, the independent committee would mostly be making their decisions off of “he/ she said” interviews, not statistics or metrics. “The problem here is that the people who would be making the decision would be making it on non-substantive claims,” McCorvy explained. HSRC member Soraya Morales Nuñez ’18 supports the increased accountability that this referendum would advance. “I believe it will encourage the student body to engage with Honor Committee practices in addition to the Honor Constitution, which was the focus of the fall semester’s referenda,” Morales Nuñez said. Spring elections will be held April 16–18.

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Opinion

Monday April 16, 2018

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The wrong way to increase Honor Committee accountability Connor Pfeiffer

Senior Columnist

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his week, the USG election ballot includes yet another referendum to amend the Honor Constitution. Unlike the referenda from the fall, however, this proposal does not touch on the committee’s penalties or procedures. Instead, it focuses on the leadership of the committee itself. The referendum, if adopted, would create a procedure for a member of the Honor Committee to challenge the incumbent chair or clerk for their position. Regardless of your views on the Honor Committee and the fall referenda, this proposal should concern every student. It will create turmoil and uncertainty, not accountability, harming the interests of students who interact with the committee. All disciplinary bodies at the University should be held accountable, including the Honor Committee, but the model proposed by the referendum is deeply flawed. I strongly urge students to vote no. The proposed evaluation process includes several steps. A member of the Honor Committee can initiate the process by submitting a statement to the USG president and chair outlining their grievances against the chair or clerk. If they move forward to the next step, a committee of current and former members of the Honor Committee and USG elected officials would evaluate both the member issuing the challenge and the incum-

bent chair or clerk. With a two-thirds majority, this committee can replace the chair or clerk with the challenger. This accountability measure is flawed because of the Honor Committee’s strict confidentiality rules. For the protection of students who interact with the committee, all of its work is completely confidential. USG members, who would make up twothirds of the evaluation committee, are not privy to the actions of the chair, clerk, or other members of the Honor Committee during cases and investigations, making it difficult to fairly assess the conduct and job performance of the incumbent chair or clerk. In fact, it is unclear what factors the evaluation process could even consider when judging the incumbent and challenger. The amendment does not specify what would constitute proper grounds for an evaluation, and there is no burden of proof for the evaluation committee to use in its interviews or final vote. These interviews have the potential to devolve into character attacks and focus on useless generalities that cannot be backed up with specific evidence because of confidentiality restrictions. This attempt to bring more “accountability” to the committee leadership, in reality, would subject the chair and clerk to a questionable and incomplete evaluation process. Additionally, the threat of a challenge creates perverse incentives within the committee. A concern about an unfair and potentially public challenge could cause a chair or clerk to make different judgement calls because of pressure from individual members of

the Honor Committee, even if they believe that another course is more prudent. This would undermine the entire point of having a leader with the authority to make difficult decisions. The fact that the challenger replaces the chair or clerk in question is also problematic. Instead of a neutral process meant to address potential issues on the Honor Committee, this referendum creates an avenue for ambitious members of the committee to topple the leadership for personal gain. It also allows former applicants for the clerk position who were not selected as sophomores to question that decision through accusations of misconduct against their colleague as a way to replace them. While the referendum explanation claims that this procedure would only occur in “rare cases,” its existence alone is concerning and does not increase accountability. Further, accountability checks already exist for these positions. Under the current system, the chair and clerk go through several stages of appointment with accountability to USG before assuming their position. Each committee member’s original appointment (excepting class presidents) required approval by a joint Honor CommitteeUSG committee and confirmation by the USG Senate. The clerk is appointed by a subcommittee composed of seniors on the Honor Committee, the outgoing clerk, and the USG President. The clerk becomes chair after serving under their predecessor. Additionally, like any other member of the Honor Committee the chair or clerk can be removed by a vote of 12 of the other 14 members

of the committee “for neglect of duty.” Finally, any student found responsible for violating the Honor Code can appeal the committee’s decision to the Dean of the College, providing yet another check on the work of the chair and clerk. Campus conversation on the Honor Committee during the fall referenda campaign raised some valid concerns about accountability and the committee’s work. This amendment, however, is not a responsible accountability mechanism for the reasons outlined here. The potential for an outside committee to impose new leadership on the Honor Committee raises significant concerns about the effectiveness of the new chair or clerk, who were not chosen by their peers but, instead, by an evaluation committee mostly composed of USG officials. It is also notable that this proposal focuses on just the chair and clerk, not other members of the Honor Committee. Misconduct and neglect of duty by a rank-and-file member of the committee can be just as harmful as problems at the top during investigations and hearings, yet there are few mechanisms for a chair or clerk to hold members accountable besides removal, which requires near unanimity from the rest of the committee. This amendment to the Honor Constitution will not make the Honor Committee more accountable, and the student body should reject it when voting this week. Connor Pfeiffer is a senior in the history department from San Antonio, Texas. He can be reached at connorp@princeton. edu.

The subtle uneasiness of being Chinese-American Jenny Ma

Guest Contributor

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’ve been reluctant to write this — or anything pinning my issues onto my race. Anything impassioned about racism, to be honest. While I am appreciative of my heritage, I’ve always felt that I’m not defined solely by my ethnicity and, more than just being apathetic, I have found it unrelatable — I’ve been fortunate to never have felt openly discriminated against because of my skin. Yet, I want to write — I am uneasy. I’ve had a hard time embracing the concept of racism, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve recognized that there are hierarchies in every aspect of life. Including race. And despite living in the USA, in 2018, in a place and age full of attempts to be inclusive, the hierarchy still exists. It must, when so many different peoples are clamoring for their voices to be heard. And racism in my limited experience has been less so in the form of, “I will enslave you, you people of color,” but more in terms of opportunity and respect. So even though I don’t think people are explicitly racist towards me in the conventional way, I’ve come to see that my ethnicity isn’t an advantage in what I want to achieve in my life. As someone raised in a typical Chinese-immigrantpursuing-a-better-life family, I’ve grown up with the mentality that if you work hard enough, you will gain

respect. I have been instilled with values of obedience and hard work, of toughing it out, of not making a fuss, and gritting your teeth despite everything. Pursuing academics, not politics. Dedicating your life to your kids, doing things you don’t like because it’s necessary for a good future. That’s how I was raised, and I can see the effects of this mentality on my entire race, in life and in the fight minorities have for respect. We go about it in a rather Booker-T-Washingtonish approach — not causing much of a political fuss, not as outspoken compared to other minorities. I guess it’s worked, since Asian Americans are seen as this “model minority,” economically vibrant, known for work ethic. Yet, I’ve come to find that this temperament of obedience, passiveness, of peoplepleasing, may come with some semblance of respect, but not fully. And throughout my privileged life, at this prestigious university and outside of it, the humiliation is so subtle I can’t quite place a finger on it. Does it come from the inherent differences in people? I have lingering feelings of being completely taken for granted, of being slightly inferior — but these feelings aren’t strong enough for me to label what they are; instead, they float away into subconsciousness and I am left feeling perpetually uneasy. My friends don’t see me for my race and I am well aware of this. They poke fun at stereotypes I embody because, after

all, they are generalizations for a reason, and I am never one to stifle a good laugh. But with people I don’t know, the immediate judgement of what I am on the outside writes me off as more passive, more hardworking, less conventionally “cool.” It always frustrates me when I’m at first seen for my yellow skin and small eyes and initial quiet temperament because I have to prove myself in ways I feel others don’t just to show I’m more than just “Chinese.” It got to a point where I felt invisible — not because I wasn’t seen, but because people simply refused to see me outside of their imagination of who they thought I was. But I also recognize that it isn’t anyone’s fault, really, that it’s just the way things are. That once they get to know me and I get to know them it’ll be different — I just have to work harder to show them that I am more than a typical hardworking, academically-driven Asian girl, to have them see me for me. But it does get tiring, proving yourself over and over again, crippled by years of disrespect so subtle that it can’t help but whittle away at your self-esteem. And oftentimes I don’t have the luxury of constant exposure to change their minds, so I am automatically seen as what I believe to be less than I am. I went through a phase where I denounced anything “too Asian.” I watched with quiet resentment as friendgroups formed and people stuck with their own race, here and at home. They’d say

it’s because of shared backgrounds, but I knew it’s also because oftentimes you just cannot beat a collective opinion, and it’s easier to stick with people who look similar so you don’t need to fight for respect. And maybe in this way, discrimination against Asian Americans is muted yet pervasive. I promised myself I would never do this, never have only Chinese friends. I would keep my heritage and keep my childhood and all the lessons I’ve learned from the Three Kingdoms and Monkey King, but I would prove to people and myself that I was more than that. A private battle against the way things are. However, as I sit here, staring at the only book I bought from home (Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” of course), I am overwhelmed with a sudden appreciation for my culture and how it has influenced my development. I am beginning to understand what it means to be connected through race — these similarities and struggles we all experience independently are something precious that people of different backgrounds simply wouldn’t understand. It’s complex, something I haven’t explored deeply enough yet. But I know that feeling ridiculed and disrespected is a universally shared experience that all types of people have felt on different scales. With differences, it’s inevitable — and, just as I am judged based on my appearance, I too am responsible for disrespecting and writing people off based on theirs. So regarding this

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fight to gain respect and opportunities for minorities — I don’t quite know what I think about it, I don’t know what I am capable of changing, I don’t know what my stance is, I don’t even know what I feel I’m entitled to call for. I just wanted to write. But there is a quote from The Invisible Man, one of my favorite books, that resonates with me on a low frequency — that can perhaps resonate for others: “I feel the need to reaffirm all of it, the whole unhappy territory and all the things loved and unloveable in it, for it is all part of me.” Jenny Ma is a freshman from Cupertino, California. She can be reached at jennyma@princeton.edu.


Monday April 16, 2018

Opinion

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Born, again

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love when new courses come out, and I hate choosing between courses, sentiments which I think are shared among my fellow undergraduates. Despite the inordinate amount of time I pour into course schedules every semester, it was only this semester that I realized something odd. Go into ReCal, the studentdeveloped scheduling app, start adding courses in: soon you’ll realize that you’ve ended up with a few conflicts. And most of them will be at 1:30 p.m. According to data I collected from the Registrar’s website, there are 1205 classes offered at Princeton this coming semester. While some of these classes are different sections of the same class or graduate classes, this

is still a significant number. There are approximately nine offered class times for scheduling purposes. If classes were assigned randomly among all nine time slots, you might expect that you end up with about 133 or so classes per scheduling period (11 percent of all classes). But anyone who has actually looked at class selection here at Princeton knows that’s not the case. 33 percent of all classes at Princeton are at 1:30 p.m. 17 percent are offered at 11 a.m., about 12 percent each at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., 9.5 percent at 9 a.m., six percent at 3 p.m., four percent at 7:30 p.m., with somewhere between one and two percent at all other times. I should note that I cannot account for precepts in my data, but I do not think this is a problem, since precepts are usually offered at many different times, allowing people generally to be able to find a precept for a given class. Having such an abnormal amount of classes at one period causes some serious prob-

lems. While I don’t mean to suggest we should suddenly all take classes at 8:30 a.m. (I’d actually suggest we have no classes earlier than 9:00 a.m.), I do want to critically examine our current course scheduling process. In the aggregate, the massive spike at 1:30 p.m. can cause some genuine problems. To illustrate, I’ve created some archetypical schedules that are completely impossible. Perhaps a burgeoning economics major with an interest in political theory and business wants to take ECO 302: Econometrics, EGR 200: Creativity, Innovation, and Design, PHI 306: Nietzsche, and POL 303: Modern Political Theory. This schedule is not possible — all four classes are at 1:30 p.m., and all classes conflict

in some way. This is merely an illustrative example — I leave it to the reader to play with ReCal to see how many personally disappointing course conflicts they can achieve. Perhaps even worse is intra-departmental scheduling

issues. Many departments are relatively small and only offer relatively few classes. Take Near Eastern Studies (NES). NES offers 19 listed and cross-listed undergraduate courses for next semester. I put all 19 in a ReCal schedule, and this is what I got:

mally the problem isn’t that two courses conflict, it’s more that you can’t take more than four or five (or six/seven if you hate yourself). There are plenty of courses that exist that you can reasonably never get totally locked out of a selection that you desire or,

can reasonably expect that some classes will always be taught, but will they always be taught by the right professor, at the right time? Despite everything, you’ll still miss opportunities. At least one part of a solution might be a revision of

As of writing, the Philosophy department has four classes at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is out of a mere 11 nonintroduction undergraduate classes. Economics offers 16 electives. Of these, there are three conflicts on Mondays

at the very least, one that you can live with. In researching this topic, I actually found that the Registrar and most departments do a reasonable job with how they put courses into the calendar, and given different requirements for class sizes and professors, I’m not sure I should really suggest that we can do better. Of course, this analysis doesn’t even begin to attempt to deal with precept scheduling. Although I do suggest there may be good reasons for how classes are currently scheduled, it is not unreasonable to suggest that a more even distribution of class times would help both students and departments. For students, it would prevent the selection of even a single class from ruling out 16.5 percent of all other options. For departments, a better awareness of when everyone else is scheduling their classes may increase the accessibility of less visible classes. If I am an economics major who has to take a class at 1:30 p.m., and that class conflicts with a bunch of more esoteric (but

seminar hours. I think seminars are great and Princeton cannot offer enough seminars over lectures, but I also wonder why we have no three-hour seminars in the morning and very few later than 1:30 p.m. If it is difficult to schedule three hour classes, why don’t we break up three-hour seminars into two 80 minute chunks? Anyone who has been in a seminar knows that many seminars are structured around a 5-10 minute break in the middle anyway. By breaking seminars into more digestible sessions, spreading out their schedules, and limiting the length of lectures, even more conflicts could be avoided. As always, I am far more skeptical of the necessity for 80 minute lectures, given that an 80 minute lecture twice a week is an hour more in the worst possible form of education. Lectures of more than 50 minutes should be as a rule avoided, both to avoid extra lecture time and to prevent even more course conflicts: an 80 minute lecture takes up effectively two class slots, doubling conflicts. In the end, we all have eight semesters at Princeton — some of us have even fewer with studying abroad. We’re all told to maximize our time here, and no one will argue that the classes you choose are going impact that time. Part of what you choose is the options you’re presented with, and course times are a big part of how we schedule our lives. Who knows how many people have left Princeton without experiencing that one life-changing class, that one class that made it all worth it, because Introduction to Spanish is at 1:30 p.m., and so is everything else.

at 11 a.m. and another five at 1:30 p.m. I don’t want to blow this particular problem out of proportion. Part of Princeton’s abundance of riches is its amazing selection of varied classes over a variety of fields and interests. Nor-

interesting) classes, I simply cannot take those classes, and may never get to experience that subject. This seems directly contradictory to the goal of a liberal arts education (like the one Princeton purports to support). Classes are also often ephemeral. You

To PDF or not to PDF Ellie Shapiro ’21 ..................................................

Ryan Born is a philosophy concentrator from Washington Township, MI. He can be reached at rcborn@princeton. edu. This is a recurring weekly column on politics and pedagogy at Princeton and abroad.


Sports

Monday April 16, 2018

page 6

{ www.dailyprincetonian.com } MEN’S VOLLEYBALL

Men’s volleyball clinches playoff berth with historic away win over Penn State By David Xin

Head Sports Editor

The men’s volleyball team clinched a playoff berth in EIVA tournament after a historic win over Penn State on Friday, April 13. After starting off what appeared to be a disappointing season, the Tigers managed to string a series of victories when it mattered most to bring themselves into the postseason conversation. With its win over the traditional EIVA powerhouses, Princeton has made sure that its thrilling season will continue. While the victory over

Penn State secured a playoff position for the Orange and Black, it is also notable for another reason. Friday night’s win marked the first time in 32 years that the Princeton squad had managed to defeat the Lions in their home field. It also marks the first time the Tigers have held a two-game win streak over Penn State since the 1998 season, when Princeton won the EIVA title. The decisive sweep of Penn State showed the strength of a Princeton side, which dominated the game in terms of kills, hitting percentage, and assists.

Sophomore middle blocker George Huhmann recorded yet another remarkable performance. Huhmann notched 19 kills, three blocks, and three digs in the Princeton win adding another noteworthy performance to his already-impressive resume. The win also featured a number of strong performances from other Tigers showing the depth of the Princeton team. Sophomore outside hitters Greg Luck and Parker Dixon grabbed eight and seven kills respectively. First-year setter Joe Kelly paced the offense with 31 kills while junior libero

Corry Short had one of his best performances of the season with 12 digs. The Princeton win, combined with George Mason’s victory over Harvard, seals the EIVA standings. The Crimson and Penn State will meet in the opening semifinal. The Tigers will follow, playing the Patriots. The stage seems set for an exciting postseason as 6 of the 11 matchups between the four schools went to the final set. In their last matchup, Princeton managed to push George Mason to the edge forcing a decisive fifth set. The Tigers will need to carry the

momentum from their historic win into the postseason as they look for a crucial win in the EIVA semifinals. Last year, the Tigers lost to Penn State in the semifinal as the Lions proved too much for a young Princeton team. However, after several impressive displays this season including several historic wins such as the victory over Stanford, the Tigers seem poised to make their mark in the EIVA. Fans of Princeton volleyball will not want to miss the Tigers as they play the Patriots this Thursday, April 19.

WEEKEND REVIEW

Weekend review: In critical sports weekend, athletes break records

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Freshman midfielder Kyla Sears leads the team this season with 39 goals and 14 assists.

By Chris Murphy Head Sports Editor

Baseball @ Penn: L 2–1 (L 2–7, W 3–0, L 10–1) The baseball team dropped a home series against the Quakers this weekend, losing the rubber match Saturday afternoon after splitting the first two games of the series. Saturday morning proved to be the best game of the weekend for the Orange and Black, as senior pitcher Ben Gross recorded his first career complete game shutout, striking out seven batters and allowing nine hits in the 3–0 victory. Junior wide receiver Jesper Horsted had a nice weekend, registering four hits and an RBI in the series. Most of the Tigers, however, struggled to find sustained success against the Penn pitching staff. The lost series dropped Princeton to fourth in the Ivy League standings, falling behind Dartmouth who is 4–3–1. The Tigers hope for a quick turnaround in morale as they face Harvard in a critical three game series starting on Tuesday. Men’s Lacrosse @ Dartmouth: W 24–13 An offensive showcase ensued on Sherrerd Field as the Tigers defeated the Big Green

Tweet of the Day

in the highest scoring game in Princeton history. The 24 goals were the second most scored by the home team in school history, behind 28 goals scored in a game played more than 30 years ago. Leading the way for Princeton was sophomore attacker Michael Sowers who scored seven goals, and 10 points total; both were career highs, and he became the eighth player in University history to score 10 points in one game. He also tied a school record for assists in one season with 48 — and there are still two games to go. Senior attacker Riley Thompson and senior midfielder Austin Sims each reached 100 career points with seven points apiece, while sophomore attacker Phillip Robertson scored six goals in the game, giving him 13 in the last two games. Riding the offensive firepower, the Tigers have won three in a row and earned their first conference win of the season. Up next the Tigers take on Harvard next Saturday in Cambridge for their final road game of the season. Men’s Volleyball vs. Penn State: W 3–0, vs. St. Francis (PA): L 3–2 A rollercoaster of a regular season for the Tigers culmi-

“Spring” match number two in the books with a 4-2 win over Penn State! Two goals each for Marykate Neff and Julianna Tornetta. Tigers return to action next Saturday at 10am against Delaware here at Bedford Field.” Princeton FH (@ TigerFH), field hockey

nated in a playoff-clinching final weekend, ensuring Princeton will play at least one more series. The Orange and Black needed a victory in their final two matches of the season and wrapped it up on Friday with authority, sweeping matches against Penn State for their first ever win at State College. The win earned the Tigers a No. 4 seed in the playoffs and a date with top-seeded George Mason on Thursday. Princeton finished the regular season with a loss to St. Francis but kept a .356 kill percentage; sophomore middle blocker George Huhmann wrapped up the EIVA individual regular season leader in kill percentage with .365. Women’s Lacrosse @ Yale: W 18–4 The Tigers won their 11th straight game in the series against the Bulldogs with an 18–4 victory on Sherrerd Field. The 19th-ranked Tigers outshot the Bulldogs 44–14 and took an 8–1 lead into halftime. Eight different Tigers scored in the game, with freshman attacker Kyla Sears leading the way with four goals and an assist. The Tigers are now 3–1 in league play and are second in the Ivy League; they have the week off before tak-

ing on Cornell next weekend. Track @ Texas Invitational The men’s and women’s track teams both competed at the Texas Invitational this weekend in Austin, Texas. Highlighting the weekend was the men’s 4x100 relay team of junior Charlie Volker, freshman Austin Carbone, senior Carrington Akosa and sophomore Joseph McGrath; the team finished with a school record time of 40.05 in the event, the fifth best in Ivy League history and the fastest since 2014. The men’s team had scorers in nine of the eleven events and finished third overall. On the women’s side, senior Christina Walter ran a personal best 11.91 in the 100 meter, placing fifth overall in the event. The women finished fifth in the invitational despite bringing a much smaller squad to the meet. Next up for both teams is the Larry Ellis Invitational hosted by Princeton this Friday and Saturday. Women’s Tennis @ Yale: W 6–1 The women’s tennis team continues to impress, winning their fourth in a row on Saturday with a 6–1 victory over Yale in New Haven. Sophomore Clare McKee and senior Katrine Steffensen won their doubles match, as did the duo of senior Sara Goodwin and freshman Nathalie Rodilosso. In the singles, sophomore Gaby Pollner won her match to secure the clinching fourth point for the Tigers.

Princeton is in action against Brown on Sunday, where they hope to remain perfect in the Ivy League portion of their schedule. Next weekend is a showdown against fellow first place team Harvard at the Cordish Family Pavilion & Lenz Tennis Center on Saturday. Notable Individual Performances: Sophomore attacker Michael Sowers (Men’s Lacrosse) Sowers had a career day that few could best; with seven goals and three assists, he became just the eighth player in Princeton history with a 10-point afternoon. Sowers’ seven goals were also a career high, and he added to his impressive assist total with three more today. He now has 48 assists on the season and ties the school record for assists in a game; with two games to go he will almost certainly break the record. Freshman midfielder Kyla Sears (Women’s Lacrosse) One of the biggest reasons for the Tigers’ success this season has been the emergence of standout freshman midfielder Kyla Sears. She continued to add to her numbers with four goals and an assist. Sears leads the team in goals with 39 and assists with 14. She has also scored three game winning goals for the Tigers, giving them critical clutch performances. Her continued success will help carry the Tigers for the rest of the season.

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Women’s basketball will face the Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday.

Stat of the Day

24 goals The men’s lacrosse team scored 24 goals against Dartmouth on Saturday, the second-highest total in program history.

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April 16, 2018  
April 16, 2018  
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