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Monday February 19, 2018 vol. CXLII no. 11


Civil rights commission decides not to investigate PHS complaint By Audrey Spensley

Associate News Editor


Ponder was suspended due to a yearbook photo submission.

Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission has decided not to investigate a 2017 complaint that alleges a pattern of racial discrimination in Princeton’s public school system. The complaint, filed by former Princeton High School student Jamaica Ponder and her father, Rhinold Ponder, stemmed from a 2017 incident in which Ponder was suspended for submitting a picture to the yearbook in which two pieces of artwork, one containing the word n****r and the other depicting lynchings, were visible in the background. The issue received national media attention. An email sent by Commission Chairman Tommy Parker to Rhinold Ponder and Princeton Superintendent of Schools Stephen C. Cochrane on Feb.1 stated that the extensive media coverage surrounding the

complaint had “undermined” the commission’s ability to facilitate dialogue and resolve conflict, according to an article on He also worried that this media coverage could have a “chilling effect” on future complaints due to concerns about publicity. “Given that the confidentiality of the mediation process was compromised, I believe the commission made a fair and appropriate decision,” Cochrane said Saturday in a statement provided to Ponder’s yearbook picture featured a group of friends posing with various objects, such as balloons and a basketball. The picture was captioned “Life of the Party.” “It was supposed to be a photo you created encapsulating your high-school experience,” said Ponder, adding that she “doesn’t think the school will continue with the

photos” in the upcoming year. In the photo, a piece of artwork with the words “N****r Rich” is visible on the wall behind the group. The piece was created by Rhinold Ponder for an exhibit titled “The Rise and Fall of the N-Word.” “It’s been there so long no one paid attention to it,” Jamaica Ponder said, noting that two of the letters in the image are obstructed. “The only way for you to know what it said was for me to tell you,” she added. Although Ponder’s submission was originally approved by the yearbook staff, Ponder was called into the principal’s office two weeks before graduation and issued a one-day suspension, as was another student who had submitted an altered picture of the Nuremberg trials. “It has been brought to our attention that there are senior collages that included insenSee PHS page 2


Notterman talks socially conscious science with Princeton Citizen Scientists By Jackson Artis Staff Writer

“Your generation of scientists is more aware of the fact that you have to be aware.” This was the main takeaway from Abby Notterman’s talk entitled “Beyond the Bench: the Socially Responsible Scientist.” Notterman, who is a practicing lawyer and bioethicist, gave several talks on Thursday and Friday as part of a teach-in entitled “Rethink: Fostering an Inclusive Science Community.” The event, which was organized by the Princeton Citizen Scientists in collaboration with other student groups, was meant to foster conversations about how to create a more open and inclusive scientific community and how to encourage more socially aware scientists. Notterman’s presentation raised many key questions, not only about the responsi-

bilities of a scientist to promote moral and social good, but also to whom scientists should be held accountable. Throughout Notterman’s presentation and later discussion, it was clear that Notterman, as well as the graduate students in attendance, agreed that scientists are held accountable not only to their contemporaries but also to those outside of the scientific community and to those future generations that will potentially experience the effects of current research. During the discussion, Erin Flowers, a first year Ph.D student in the astrophysics department, remarked on the responsibilities she feels towards non-scientific communities. According to Flowers, one of the important things she needs to do as a woman of color in astrophysics is to “[think] about the people who


Graduate students attend talk by Layne Scherer, hosted by Princeton Citizen Scientists

See CITIZEN page 5



USG talks College Pulse Mueller ’66 indicts 13 Russians collaboration, retreat for US election interference

Staff Writer

The administration of newly elected Undergraduate Student Government president Rachel Yee ’19 began in earnest on Sunday, when USG discussed a potential collaboration with the polling platform College Pulse, an adjustment in voting procedures, and new position appointments during its weekly meeting. Cathy Wu ’21 and TJ Smith ’20 presented on a possible partnership between USG and College Pulse, a survey platform founded by Dartmouth students that incentivizes participation with a rewards program. Accord-

ing to Wu and Smith, College Pulse’s demographic breakdown would allow a better understanding of student responses to surveys on topics like the bicker process or professor Lawrence Rosen’s use of a racial slur in a lecture. “The incentive means that the response rate is infinitely higher than anything else,” said Smith. “It’s great because it’s a transparent and direct line of connection between the USG and your constituents.” However, the implications of USG support of the platform remained troublesome to some members of the Senate. For U-Coun-

In Opinion

See USG page 3

The presidents of Princeton’s sign-in Eating Clubs write a letter to all sophomores, and columnist Bhaamati Borkhetaria explains a less serious outlook on life. OPEN TO PAGE 6 FOR A CROSSWORD

By Alexandra Spensely Associate News Editor

Robert Mueller ’66, special counsel overseeing the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, announced on Friday that 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities have been criminally charged for illegally assisting President Trump in the election. In the 37-page indictment that he filed regarding the case, Mueller laid out a comprehensive summary of the ways the Russian government had attempted to encourage Trump’s election, especially through social media channels such as Twitter. According to the indictment, a Russian organization known as the Internet Research Agency ac-

tively engaged in what it called “information warfare” against the United States. Although the Internet Research Agency is a private company, it has been linked to the Kremlin since it first came to the attention of the United States in the summer of 2015. The Russians were responsible for organizing pro-Trump events, including rallies, and promoting advertisements for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, according to Mueller. They were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Mueller’s indictmåent also alleges that the Russians created an Instagram account on which they pretended to be “Woke Blacks” in an attempt to suppress elec-

Today on Campus 4:30 p.m.: The Mouse that Roared:The Impact of Candidate Name Order on Election Outcomes Robertson Hall/ Bowl 016

tion turnout among black voters, posting messages which encouraged voters to abstain from voting rather than choose Clinton as “the lesser of two devils.” According to The Guardian, Mueller is conducting a criminal inquiry into potential collusion with the Russians by members of Trump’s campaign. Two of Trump’s campaign advisers have already been charged with federal crimes related to the investigation, and two others have pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI. In response, the White House issued a statement refusing to acknowledge any Russian interference, stating that the Mueller’s investigation showed “NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia.”


By Jacob Gerrish





Scattered showers. chance of rain:50 percent

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The Daily Princetonian

Monday February 19, 2018

Ponder criticized school administration’s approach PHS

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sitive, racist, jarring, provocative content that should not have been printed,” the school’s staff said in a statement published on Facebook. “Perpetuating racism or injustice of any kind is never okay.” “We want our school’s yearbook to reflect our necessary community efforts toward social justice for all marginalized groups, including race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, and religion,” the statement added, noting that the school would make efforts to improve the “copy editing” process for the yearbook. However, Ponder alleged in her complaint to the Civil Rights Commission that there were problems in the way the school handled her case. According to Ponder, no written rules in the school’s code of conduct align with her infraction although state regulations mandate that the rationale for a suspension be provided for in writing. “The school was also supposed to notify my parents and provide written explanation, which never happened,” Ponder said. Protocol published by the State of New Jersey Department of Education requires “oral or written notification to the student’s parents of the student’s removal from his or her educational program prior to the end of the school day on which the school administrator decides to suspend the student.” “I was told that intent was irrelevant. It didn’t matter that it was an oversight,” wrote Ponder on her web-

site, Multi Mag. “No, we [the school administration] don’t care if you’re black — I mean we do, but not in this case.” The issue came in the wake of other concerns about racial discrimination in the school system, which Ponder had publicized through her blog. In 2016, Ponder posted pictures of Princeton High School students competing in a drinking game called “Jews vs. Nazis.” In March 2017, she obtained a Snapchat post of a white student using a racial slur in reference to the black students she was with on a school bus. Ponder also released a screenshot of text messages in which a white student apologizes to a black student for falsely informing his mother that the black student had sold him marijuana-laced brownies. The white student stated another friend had encouraged him to do so. “He [my friend] said they [my parents] wouldn’t ask any questions Bc ur black,” the original student wrote. According to Ponder, the students involved in these incidents were not punished by the administration. Now a student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Ponder weighed in on anthropology professor Lawrence Rosen’s use of the N-word in the now-cancelled course ANT 212: Cultural Freedoms — Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography. “He decided that despite not being an African-American, his lecture was important enough to justify his use of the word, and he had the audacity to argue with students who tried to correct him,” Ponder said.

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Monday February 19, 2018

USG discussed new appointments and voting procedures USG

Continued from page 1


cillors Pooja Patel ’18 and Miranda Rosen ’18, collaboration with College Pulse raised potential concerns related to student privacy and bullying. “A lot of the questions are multiple choice, so it’s not like people can post harmful things,” Wu responded. “EveMondayn for the short-response ones, if people post something harmful, they’ll take it down.” USG will further address the possibility of collaboration with College Pulse at its meeting next week. U-Councilor Ben Press ’20 introduced Senate Resolution X-2018, which would allow the president to place items that do not necessitate extensive deliberation onto a consent agenda. The Senate would then enact the consent agenda unanimously, provided no objections arise. The Senate voted to adopt the resolution. Yee and vice president Nate Lambert ’20 also requested funding for the USG retreat and transition training at the Chauncey Center in Princeton, N.J., on Friday, Feb. 24. “It is pretty important to create a good USG culture so that we can work seamlessly together,” Yee said. “We thought this would be a good way to really start the year with a stronger mission,” Lambert added.

The Daily Princetonian

Moreover, Yee asserted that the retreat would grant an opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of past administrations and ensure that USG was not “doomed” to repeat previous mistakes. The Senate also decided to pass the Financial Report Resolution submitted by the Financial Reform Team. The resolution allocates a recurring annual funding increase of $10,000 to the USG Student Group Projects Board during the spring semester. The funding increase will become permanent contingent upon the successful amendment of the Projects Board Charter. “One of the biggest foci of this initial funding would be to support groups specifically in the area of diversity,” former Projects Board co-chair Nick Fernandez ’18 said. The Senate voted to confirm the following members: Eliot Chen ’20 and Isabella Bosetti ’18 as Projects Board co-chairs; Casey Kemper ’20 and Joshua Gardner ’20 as Mental Health Initiative co-chairs; Jonah Hyman ’20 as Parliamentarian; Tori Gorton ’21 as Director of Communications; Emily McLean ’20 as Historian; Caleb Visser ’20 as Campus and Community Affairs Chair; Liam Glass ’19 as Social Committee Chair; Chitra Parikh ’21 as Executive Secretary; Dora Zhao ’21 as Alumni Affairs Chair. The next USG meeting will take place on Feb. 25 at 4:30 p.m.


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The Daily Princetonian

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Notterman argues scientists are responsible for promoting moral and social good, held accountable by public

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are going to come after you.” After the day’s events, Flowers sat down with the ‘Prince’ to speak further on social awareness and science.

Flowers said that being one of few women of color in her field prompted her to attend the event. Flowers added that she felt encouraged not only by the many people of color who attended but also by many white and non-LGBTQ+ individuals in attendance.

For future progress, Flowers, along with other graduate students and presenters, agreed that there needs to be institutional support to ensure that conversations, workshops, and events such as “Rethink” become more common.


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Monday February 19, 2018


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Lunar Garden Annie zou ’20

vol. cxlii

.................................................. editor-in-chief

Marcia Brown ’19 business manager

Ryan Gizzie ’19

BOARD OF TRUSTEES president Thomas E. Weber ’89 vice president Craig Bloom ’88 secretary Betsy L. Minkin ’77 treasurer Douglas J. Widmann ’90 Kathleen Crown William R. Elfers ’71 Stephen Fuzesi ’00 Zachary A. Goldfarb ’05 John Horan ’74 Joshua Katz Kathleen Kiely ’77 Rick Klein ’98 James T. MacGregor ’66 Alexia Quadrani Marcelo Rochabrun ’15 Richard W. Thaler, Jr. ’73 Lisa Belkin ‘82 Francesca Barber trustees emeriti Gregory L. Diskant ’70 Jerry Raymond ’73 Michael E. Seger ’71 Annalyn Swan ’73


Personality Survey:

1) During lecture you are... a) asking the professor questions. b) doodling all over your notes. c) correcting grammar mistakes. d) watching videos on e) calculating the opportunity cost of sitting in lecture. 2) Your favorite hidden pasttime is... a) getting the scoop on your roommate’s relationships. b) stalking people’s Facebook pictures. c) finding dangling modifiers in your readings. d) managing your blog. e) lurking outside 48 University Place. 3) The first thing that you noticed was... a) the word “survey.” b) the logo set in the background. c) the extra “t” in “pasttime.” d) the o’s and i’s that look like binary code from far away. e) the fact that this is a super-cool ad for The Daily Princetonian. If you answered mostly “a,” you are a reporter in the making! If you answered mostly “b,” you are a design connoisseur, with unlimited photography talents! If you answered mostly “c,” you are anal enough to be a copy editor! If you answered mostly “d,” you are a multimedia and web designing whiz! And if you answered mostly “e,” you are obsessed with the ‘Prince’ and should come join the Editorial Board and Business staff! Contact!

managing editors Isabel Hsu ’19 Claire Lee ’19 head news editors Claire Thornton ’19 Jeff Zymeri ’20 associate news editors Allie Spensley ’20 Audrey Spensley ’20 Ariel Chen ‘20 associate news and film editor Sarah Warman Hirschfield ’20 head opinion editor Emily Erdos ’19 associate opinion editors Samuel Parsons ’19 Jon Ort ’21 head sports editors David Xin ’19 Chris Murphy ’20 associate sports editors Miranda Hasty ’19 Jack Graham ’20 head street editor Jianing Zhao ’20 associate street editors Danielle Hoffman ’20 Lyric Perot ’20 digital operations managerSarah Bowen ’20 associate chief copy editors Marina Latif ’19 Arthur Mateos ’19 head design editor Rachel Brill ’19 cartoons editor Tashi Treadway ’19 head photo editor Risa Gelles-Watnick ’21

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Why I’ve stopped taking life too seriously Bhaamati Borkhetaria Columnist


t one point in time, I wanted to be scientist. I was eight and I really, truly knew what I wanted from life. But to my recollection, that was the last time I was truly sure about anything. At the age of twelve, I had to decide between playing the clarinet or choosing a new instrument to play, and that was a decision I didn’t take lightly. I’m still not sure I made the right decision. But then came the other decisions: which college to attend, which friends to make, what to do for fun. As the years have gone on, the correlation plot, with number of decisions on the x-axis and amount of uncertainty on the yaxis, has become a rising exponential function. As a first-year student at Princeton, I knew what I wanted to be; that is, I wanted to be fully secure in my uncertainty. After

all, I’d earned it by getting into Princeton. And in the bargain, I’d bought a year of guiltless uncertainty. Undecided. Proudly proclaimed. But then freshman year abruptly ended. Now there was an interest to be paid on the year of guiltless uncertainty. What should I major in? What do I want to be in life? What do I want the people in my life to look like? What do I want to do for the rest of my life until I die? Also, does my life end when I leave Princeton? (Refer back to paragraph 3 for an accurate depiction of my mental state.) Uncertainty just isn’t acceptable when you’re a high-performing person (like essentially any Princeton student). Because then, you’re not “making the most” of the “best four years of your life.” When we leave Princeton, the outside world will require us to maintain maximum performance, right? If we don’t perform,

we’ll all get left behind — stuck in, god forbid, nonMorgan Stanley or nonMcKinsey jobs. So now I’m ready to dig into freshman year me. What were you thinking? Why’d you take classes in the most random departments? Why did you think it was okay to be uncertain? The graph in paragraph 3 needs another dimension: existential dread. Visualize it as merely a straight line rising as a derivative out of my uncertainty. Then came a year off “to find myself” during which I traveled around the world living in different cities. I started with Chengdu, China, and made my way across the continent to Iasi, Romania, ending finally with London; no decisions to make other than: what will be my next meal? What hostel should I live in? What country should I jet off to next? Hence, during my time away, it was alright to be uncertain. The stakes of finding food and shelter

weren’t nearly so high as the stakes are at Princeton. During my trip, I met many people. Some in China, some in Romania. They all managed to be wonderful human beings without ever having been Princeton students. It was practically a miracle. I walked around Bucharest, Romania, with a Turkish lady who was an adamant feminist. I fell into a group of Brazilian travelers at Dracula castle who promised to host me in Rio. I went trekking up the Great Wall with people I had just met a couple of days before. Similarly, I learned a lot about run-of-the-mill, non-academic life lessons, like how not to crash a scooter bike into a fence in Malaysia and how to order vegetarian food at a Romanian restaurant. But really, nothing too profound; just that I could travel around the world and be alive and enjoy myself away from Princeton. So, no, my life would not end when I left Princeton.

Gr8 Administration Isabel Hsu ’19


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Ultimately, my travels have taught me that Princeton is a stepping stool. It is not the end-all minting machine that stamps us with a completely certain and immovable identity. It may or may not help us answer some of the questions we have, but by no means is it the end of the journey. On campus, existential dread can be a natural state, and I certainly struggle with it. But after being away for a year, I realized that maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to. Eventually, our Princeton experience will be done and over with. We can choose whether to spend it in existential dread or whether to just enjoy the rest of our time here and accept that we might always be uncertain even when we leave the orange bubble. Bhaamati Borkhetaria is a sophomore from Jersey City, N.J. She can be reached at

Monday February 19, 2018


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Women’s hoops dominates Ivy bottom feeders en route to tournament By Chris Murphy Head Sports Editor

Many times following an emotional victory, we hear of top teams falling victim to “trap games,” games against inferior opponents that may be overlooked. Princeton women’s basketball faced two potential trap games this weekend, but made sure to dominate those opponents, just like they dominated Penn last Tuesday. The Tigers — leaders of the Ivy League — took care of business this weekend with consecutive road victories at Cornell and Columbia, the league’s current seventh and eighth place teams. Now sitting at 9–1 in league play, Princeton is three games clear of the current fifth place team, the Dartmouth Big Green. With only four games to go in the season, this means that Princeton is almost at a lock to make their second consecutive Ivy League Tournament, barring an unexpected and dramatic collapse. Friday’s matchup against the Big Red pitted Princeton’s league-leading defense, surrendering an average of only 54.3 points per game, against Cornell’s offense, which averages 55.1 points per game and is the worst in the league by a large margin. Unsurprisingly, Cornell had a tough time scoring anything against the Tigers; it took them nearly the entirety of the first quarter before they made their first basket. Stephanie Umeh was the lone bright spot for Cornell on offense; she scored 12 points off of 6 for 7 shooting and added three steals in 18 minutes off the bench. Samantha Widmann, sixth on the Ivy League leader-


As the second annual Ivy League Tournament approaches, the women’s basketbal team extended their

board in field goal percentage, was held to make only 1 in 6 attempts on the night. The Tigers also held an opponent without a made three-pointer for the first time in nearly four years; Cornell became the first team since March 7, 2014 to not sink a long-ranged shot against the Tigers (humorously, the 2014 opponent was also Cornell). On the flipside, many Tigers found their shooting rhythm early and never let up. Junior forward Sydney Jordan tallied a career high 12 points on a perfect 6 for 6 evening from the floor; it’s her third game in the past two seasons in which she did not miss a single shot. Two other Tigers also scored in double figures; sophomore forward Bella

Alarie led all players with 18 points, while senior guard Tia Weledji added 11 points. The Tigers never trailed in this game and led by as much as 35 as time was winding down. On Saturday, the Tigers headed to the Big Apple to take on the Ivy League’s top scorer Camille Zimmerman and the rest of the Columbia squad. Leading the league in points per game, rebounds per game, and free throw percentage, the Tigers knew that Zimmerman had the potential to end their strong week on a sour note. Princeton focused on shutting down the Lions’ playmaker, holding her to only 3 for 18 shooting and nine rebounds, forcing the other players on Columbia to beat them.

For three quarters, the Lions remained competitive, showing a strong amount of fight for a team whose postseason hopes ended weeks ago. However, the Tigers pulled away late, taking a 15 point lead into the final quarter and making sure the Lions never got close. As a team, Columbia shot only 28.8 percent, nearly matching their season low. The Orange and Black, on the other hand, demonstrated a perfect example of team basketball; no one on Princeton scored more than eight points, yet as a team they shot over 55 percent. No matter who was on the floor, Princeton commanded the pace of play. They reminded everyone that while they certainly

have individuals capable of posting fantastic numbers, they also have the depth and ability to beat teams without a single player taking full control of a game. After a perfect 3–0 week for the Tigers, they get set for the final push of regular season play. The Tigers have four games remaining on the schedule, three of which are against teams currently in the hunt for Ivy League Tournament berths. Up next weekend is Princeton’s final road trip of the season, up to the far reaches of the Ivy League to take on Dartmouth and Harvard. If they earn a win in either of those two games, the Tigers will punch their ticket to Philadelphia for a chance to claim an NCAA Tournament berth.


Women’s swimming team places third in Ivy League Championships


The women’s swimming team broke the record books at the 2018 Ivy League Championships, finishing in third place. Pictured above is freshman Regan Barney.

By David Xin Head Sports Editor


he women’s swimming team defied expectations, posting 1,301 points in the Ivy League Championships. The team made a strong push under first-year head coach Bret

Tweet of the Day

Lundgaard, improving markedly from their 1,024 points from last season. Despite strong performances, the Tigers fell to both Harvard and Yale for another third-place finish. The Crimson took the top spot with 1,616 points. The Tigers started the meet with two impressive record-

breaking events in the 4x50 medley relay and 4x200 freestyle relay. The Princeton team of junior Izzy Reis, freshman Jenny Ma, senior Elsa Welshofer, and senior Maddie Veith set a program-record with a time of 1:39.29. The performance put Princeton in second behind Yale. However, the Tigers were not done rewriting the record book yet. The quartet of Reis, senior Claire McIlmail, junior Joanna Curry, and junior Monica McGrath blasted past the 10-year team record by four seconds with a time of 7:08.58. The Orange and Black closed the first day in third-place, only six points behind Harvard and Yale, who were tied for first. Princeton would continue to keep the pressure on the Crimson and the Bulldogs as the three teams started to pull away from the rest of the

Stat of the Day

competition. Harvard was the front runner with 545 points. Yale, the reigning Ivy-League Champions, was second with 503 points. The Tigers, still within striking distance, ended the second-day of competition with 472 points — nearly 200 points more than the next best team, Penn. The Princeton swimming and diving team continued their strong showing on the third day. Freshman Regan Barney showed the impressive depths of the Princeton squad by winning the 400 IM Ivy League title. Despite a deficit midway through the event, Barney came back with a strong 100-free to close out the race. Her time of 4:13.48 was the third-fastest time in Princeton history and marked the first time the Tigers have won the event since 2010. A series of strong showings from

“George Leftwich served as captain of the 199113 goals 1992 team, which went 22-6 and won the Ivy League. He currently serves on the board of Bright The women’s water polo team scored Star Schools - a charter management organization 13 goals to defeat Villanova at the Princeton FH (@ TigerFH), field hockey

Princeton Invitational.

the Tigers helped them keep pressure on Yale and Harvard. The Orange and Black ended the last day of competition on a high note. In the final event, the 4x100 free relay, the Tigers knocked off both reigningchampions Yale and top-seeded Harvard to claim their first Ivy League title in the event since 2015. The quartet of Reis, Mcilmail, senior Alisabeth Marsteller, and Veith gave Princeton a special conclusion to the 2018 Ivy League Championships. While the Tigers did not upset the two top contenders, Yale and Harvard, the team showed remarkable improvement from last season. Furthermore, the competition showed the depths and potential of the Princeton squad. The Tigers will surely be a team to watch in the coming years.

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February 19, 2018  
February 19, 2018