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Wednesday march 14, 2018 vol. CXLII no. 27


Open-air preacher protests witches, emos, drunks, Obama, homosexuals By Benjamin Ball

Staff News Writer


Public Safety officers confront protesters for upsetting students.

Jesse Morrell, as part of the group Open Air Outreach. Open Air Outreach has a YouTube channel of over 13,500 subscribers, including one video in which he claims that a 40-day fast can cure cancer. Morrell claims to have been a part of the organization for 15 years, having traveled to many universities across the country. He claimed this was his first visit to Princeton. “I’m not here to win a popularity contest. I’m not


running for president,” said Morrell. “I’m here to tell you the truth of God.” Sergeant Sean Ryder and other Public Safety officers approached the protesters shortly before 1 p.m. and warned them that a number of students were upset by the language being used. Ryder explicitly warned the protesters not to upset people, and cautioned them against “any behavior that might have been interpreted as harassing.” Morrell responded, “I can’t

control their feelings,” and cited his First Amendment right to continue using offensive speech, handing Ryder a letter from the group’s lawyer. As Public Safety started to leave the scene, Morrell went back to referring to passersby as “college snowflakes” and “whores.” “This grown man is looking at them, saying, ‘you’re a whore, you’re a feminist,’ and comparing them to used cars, and I thought to myself, what is this accom-



Municipal bus service alters schedules, angering residents By Ivy Truong Assistant News Editor

A change to the schedule of the FreeB bus, a free shuttle bus that is open to the Princeton community, has drawn fierce opposition from some town residents. FreeB was launched in 2008 with the support of the University. It makes multiple stops at various locations in town, including Princeton Station, Palmer Square, and Princeton Shopping Center. FreeB originally had two different shuttles, one designated as a commuter bus and the other a neighborhood bus. The revised schedule, in effect, combines both buses’ schedules and routes. The new schedule went into effect on Jan. 2, but talks about changing the schedule have gone on since July. Opponents of the new schedule argue that it only benefits those who had previously ridden the neighborhood bus. “[The Council] tell us they increased services but since for us [commuter bus passengers] it has decreased, we aren’t sure where it has increased,” visiting postdoctoral research scholar Fernanda Sofio Woolcott said. Compared to the previous neighborhood schedule, the new schedule expands service hours. The neighborhood bus had previously began its day at

9:40 a.m., but now the overall service day begins at 6 a.m., according to Jenny Crumiller, council liaison for the Public Transit Advisory Committee. Similarly, the neighborhood bus had usually ended its service with a last stop at 4:30 p.m. Now the service ends approximately at 8:15 p.m., Crumiller said. For those who had ridden the commuter bus, however, morning trips to the Dinky station were reduced from six loops to three. Evening trips to the Dinky station were also reduced from seven to two. “The new schedule really doesn’t allow us to use the bus as much as we would like to,” one town resident, Isabelle Chu, said. Chu explained that when she leaves New York and arrives at the Dinky Station at 6 p.m., she and the other passengers have to wait at least 12 minutes before the FreeB leaves. In that time, no new passengers board the bus. In the morning, she can’t go to New York as early as she wanted to, as the trips to the rail station that serviced commuters before 6 a.m. were cancelled. Another town resident, Li Chen, stopped taking the FreeB about two months after the new schedule was in effect. She said that the FreeB commute service is decent in the See BUS page 5

See PROTEST page 2

Students fundraise to counter protesters By Benjamin Ball Staff News Writer


Darren Aronofsky, a well-known filmmaker, spoke on Monday about his show “One Strange Rock.”

Darren Aronofsky discusses new show By Emily Spalding Senior News Writer

Taking a step back from perfection-obsessed ballerinas, unorthodox allegories about nature, and brutal boxing sequences, filmmaker, writer, and director Darren Aronofsky is pivoting his focus to the mystery of Earth in his new ten-episode series “One Strange Rock”. University students and community members were given a private screening of the series’ first episode, followed by a talkback

with Aronofsky on Tuesday night in Richardson Auditorium. “Everything — from women’s rights to poverty to health care — is all tied into the environment,” Aronofsky said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian. “We’re at a critical moment in history,” he said. “We’re witnessing something that’s extremely dangerous, and to sort of be quiet about it is a really hard thing for me to do,” Aronofsky explained. See ARONOFSKY page 2

In Opinion

Today on Campus

In his inaugural ‘Prince’ column, Gabe Lipkowitz encourages us to appreciate the aesthetic significance of an overlooked library, while former Head Opinion Editor Nick Wu urges substantive action on gun control. PAGE 6

12:00 p.m.: Nora Benedict presents “‘Armar páginas, corregir pruebas’: Borges as Author, Editor, and Publisher.” 216 Burr Hall

In response to the recent protest undertaken by members of the Open Air Outreach and the subsequent counter-protest on the part of students, Kevin McElwee ’18 has established the PUFightsHate fundraiser through Venmo. “We were sitting around being angry about it and we were [trying] to think of ways it could be productive,” said McElwee. “It’s mostly been a word of mouth thing; it’s my Venmo and I made the f lyer, but for the most part I’ve just asked people to share it and to donate.” McElwee is a staff writer for The Daily Princetonian. All of the funds collected by PUFightsHate will go to the Malala Foundation and the Trevor Project. Within the first hour, the fundraiser received over $450, and most recent estimates have it currently over $800, McElwee said. “It’s definitely been a team effort,” said McElwee. “We just thought See FUNDRAISER page 3


A small group of Christian protesters amassed outside of the Wilson School across Washington Road early Tuesday afternoon. The protest consisted of a few men holding signs that read “Jesus or Hellfire,” “Gamers are Murderers,” “Feminists are Whores,” and “Women Belong in the Kitchen.” The men voiced their ideas at various passersby, declaring that they were “failing at life” and “being a disappointment to God.” One of the protestors also held up a sign with a warning addressed to a long list of different groups or individuals, including but not limited to “Muslims,” “Homos,” “Cow Worshipers,” “Sissies,” and “The Pope,” warning them, “Obey Jesus or Hellfire.” “They targeted every minority group you could’ve imagined. They targeted women, they targeted Muslims, they targeted gays, they targeted basically anyone who didn’t match this toxic masculine rhetoric,” said Mason Cox ’20. “This was an exercise in hate speech.” Cox is a former columnist for the ‘Prince.’ The most vocal of the protesters identified himself as

plishing?” said Cox. “It’s childish.” As Morrell continued to speak, he was confronted directly by Carly Millenson ’18, who reprimanded him for his inflammatory rhetoric. Morrell responded by asking her to “control your emotions, woman” and “this is Princeton — let’s have an intellectual discussion,” soon after calling her “wicked,” “a devil,” and “worse than the Nazis.” “The Nazis are saints compared to what you are,” Morrell said to Millenson. “You could probably get a job at CNN.” In an interview, Millenson later explained that she confronted Morrell because she would have felt complicit if she had just stood by. “I got annoyed with them,” said Millenson. “It’s what they were saying about LGBT people that really upset me, because some people close to me are not straight. I felt like stuff that was just about things that could target me I could ignore, but I would feel bad not standing up [for others].” Morrell focused on the LGBTQ+ community and politics when Millenson confronted him, claiming that “homosexuality is a hate crime,” and called for onlookers to repent, “especially you Hillary voters.”





Cloudy. chance of rain:

20 percent

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Wednesday march 14, 2018

Morrell: I’m not here to win a popularity contest PROTEST Continued from page 1


Morrell’s preaching eventually amassed a substantial counter-protest led by students. “I was really happy to see that there was a lot of student counter protesters out there; I think that’s important,” said Cox. “I think the way students responded was eloquent, and was thoughtout, and was not childish. It was something I would expect of Princeton students.” At around 1:30 p.m., Anna Macknick ’21 arrived as a counterprotestor with a sign reading “Spread love not hate.” At least a dozen other students joined the counterprotest arguing against the Open Air Outreach’s rhetoric. In response to Morrell’s

activity on campus, Kevin McElwee ’18 set up a fundraiser called PUFightsHate, all the proceeds from which will go to the Malala Foundation and the Trevor Project, organizations that advocate for women’s education and LGBTQ+ suicide prevention respectively. Within the first hour it raised over $450. McElwee added that the fundraiser would continue through today. McElwee is a contributing news writer for The Daily Princetonian. “This is a good way to stand up to sexist morons while avoiding engaging with them,” wrote Faridah Laffan ’18 about the fundraiser in an email. The protesters left campus around 4 p.m. For video coverage of the protest, visit


Open-air preachers warn U. community about the dangers of sinning.

Aronofsky: Everything is tied to the environment ARONOFSKY Continued from page 1


Aronofsky’s style is seldom associated with being quiet about anything. His films, including “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), “Black Swan” (2010), and, most recently, “Mother!” (2017), are characterized by their ability to evoke visceral reactions from audiences through graphic depictions of human violence and evil. But Aronofsky’s approach is a bit different in his collaboration with National Geographic and British production company Nutopia. Instead of looking at the destruction of the environment and the deadly implications of climate change, “One Strange Rock” highlights the beauty and wonders of the natural world, hoping to remind viewers that our planet is worth protecting and preserving. Differing from other series of this genre, like BBC One’s “Planet Earth,“ the stories in “One Strange Rock” are told through the lenses of astronauts who have witnessed Earth from a rather different vantage point than most citizens. “We realized maybe it’s not about the people down here, but it’s those few people who actually left and looked down on us and saw it,” Aronofsky said. “What’s interesting about ‘One Strange Rock’ is that it doesn’t talk about climate change at all ... There’s a good chance we don’t even mention it

once,” Aronofsky noted. “What it does that is so beautiful is that it shows how perfect the instrument to create life, how difficult, how odd, how miraculous it was that life actually happened on the planet, and by doing that, it just shows the beauty of our home,” Aronofsky said. Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox and chairman-CEO of Fox Networks Group, echoed Aronofsky’s sentiment, and talked about how the film is both educational and aesthetically pleasing. “I love this show so much because it entertains me and it educates me, and it sort of sneaks the education in,” Rice said with a laugh. “I’m sitting there and I’m watching and loving it and soaking it all in, and then I realize that I understand how oxygen is created on Earth now, and I didn’t know that in a way that I did 40 minutes ago.” The talkback following the screening was moderated by David S. Wilcove, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and public affairs. After a brief discussion of his career, Aronofsky took questions from the audience. “One Strange Rock” premieres Monday, March 26 at 10 p.m. on National Geographic. The event, hosted by The Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, took place on Monday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium.

Wednesday march 14, 2018

The Daily Princetonian

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McElwee: We thought this would be a productive thing to come out of something that was definitely not a fun experience FUNDRAISER Continued from page 1


this would be a productive thing to come out of something that was definitely not a fun experience for a lot of people.” The fundraiser was in response to the actions on the part of members of Open Air Outreach, who told passersby that they were “disappointment[s] to God” and “going to hell,” among other dispar-

aging comments. “After engaging with the guys for a bit, my anger switched to sadness — nothing I said to them and nothing I asked (no matter how politely put) was going to make a difference to them, and all I was doing was wasting my breath,” wrote Faridah Laffan ’18 in an email to the ‘Prince.’ “It’s satisfying to feel like your fury isn’t going nowhere, and that you can turn it into something concrete.”

Devin Kilpatrick ’19 said there was intense activity about the fundraiser on Facebook. “The fundraiser is another example of how students at Princeton step up when they see something they don’t like, and try to combat it,” said Kilpatrick. “It’s midterms week and a lot of people tend to put their heads down, but even during midterms when people were really busy, no one was going to tolerate that.”

Anna Macknick ’21 emphasized how impressed she was that, in the face of what was seen by so many as an overwhelmingly negative experience, it turned into something productive and helpful. Macknick was also part of the counter-protest against the Open Air Outreach, holding a sign that read “Spread love not hate.” One of the first counter-protestors at the site, Macknick said that she thought the counter-

protest lasted several hours. The counter-protest included over a dozen students, all arguing with Open Air Outreach’s rhetoric on the sidewalk. “It’s really great that we can make a positive impact after such a night of hateful events,” Macknick said. The Venmo link is @ PUFightsHate. McElwee said that the fundraiser would close March 14 at midnight.

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Wednesday march 14, 2018

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Chu: The new schedule doesn’t allow us to use the bus as much as we’d like

The Daily Princetonian


The revised schedule went into effect on January 2.


Continued from page 1


morning, but horrible in the evening. Like Chu, Chen complained about having to wait around 10 minutes for the bus that departs from the Dinky Station in the evenings. Crumiller noted that the times chosen for bus stops at the Dinky Station were the ones that historically had the highest ridership. “We had that service in the morning, and we thought it was a good idea when we started it,” continued Crumiller. “We wanted it to work, but it turns out very few people wanted that service.” According to Crumiller, the new schedule and route were “based on ridership data in an attempt to increase ridership.” Crumiller noted that ridership for the commuter bus has gradually declined in the past year, while more and more riders were traveling via the neighborhood bus. In ridership data obtained by the ‘Prince,’ 2017 saw an average of 690 riders who had used the commuter bus every month. This was a sharp decrease from 2016, which saw an average of 893 users who had ridden the commuter bus per month. Total passengers had decreased from 10,720 to 8,275 riders from 2016 to 2017. In comparison, the number of passengers who ride the neighborhood bus has been consistently increasing in the past few years, approaching 25,000 total passengers. “The numbers were really pointing to have the neighborhood route, to extend that, because that’s where the demand was,” Crumiller explained in an interview with the ‘Prince.’ In a follow-up email to the ‘Prince,’ Crumiller wrote that the bus has now begun “serving the stops in the vicinity of Redding Circle and Princeton Community Housing earlier in the morning” to allow passengers to go to Princeton Shopping Center and downtown. However, the main issue for opponents of the new schedule is the lack of communication that occured between the Council and passengers re-

garding the schedule changes. Woolcott alleges that the decision was made without passenger or driver input. Chu said that she and other passengers were, more or less, kept in the dark about the changes as they were being made. Chu only first heard about the new schedule from the bus driver, and when she and other frustrated passengers voiced their concerns at a town council meeting, she claims that their opinions weren’t taken into account. Woolcott echoed a similar sentiment, claiming that neither passengers nor drivers were consulted when making this decision to change the schedule. Crumiller noted in an interview with the ‘Prince’ that the decision was made based on “compelling” and “reliable” ridership data as well as surveys and additional passenger feedback. Chu did note that there was a survey that was distributed regarding potential changes to the schedule. But she said that it wasn’t a fair poll, because from her perspective, the bus service was not terribly wellknown in the first place. “Sure, they can say that there are only six passengers,” said Chu, “but more people would take [the bus] if they knew about it.” Chu said that the lack of knowledge about the FreeB is unfortunate because the bus is free and has great potential to be more efficient. In response to the issue of supposed poor communication, Crumiller said that the town had posted the new schedule in the bus for a month and distributed flyers to passengers. The driver also made announcements, and decisions regarding the new schedule were posted on social media and sent in press releases to various news outlets. Woolcott emphasized that, although she does not wholeheartedly support the revised schedule, she is open to improvements to the FreeB bus. “I’m a big fan of public transportation. It promotes diversity, includes everyone,” continued Woolcott. “The idea is that it gets improved but not that it gets jeopardized or decreased in any way.”

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Lewis Thomas laboratory: icon of architectural postmodernism Gabe Lipkowitz Columnist


mong Princeton undergraduates today, there exists a somewhat paradoxical consensus regarding what constitutes “good” architecture. On the one hand, we revere the very old — or perhaps more accurately, what seems to be very old. As prospective students, we are enthralled by the historic gravitas of Collegiate Gothic structures like Blair Arch. As incoming freshmen, we hope to live surrounded by gargoyles and stone tracery in Holder Hall. And as graduating seniors, we look forward to culminating our Princeton experience beneath the pointed arches and rib vaults of the University Chapel. At the same time, we are easily seduced by the new and highly innovative. The Icahn Laboratory (2004) catches our attention with its undulating curtain glass wall. The Lewis Library (2008) impresses us with its unusual form and eccentric coloring. Most recently, the Lewis Arts Complex (2017) has won acclaim for its elegant outdoor plaza and spacious underground forum. Together, these two general categories of buildings constitute what I would call the architectural extremes of our campus. There is much to admire about them, of course, as much of the student body already does. But what about the ones in between? In a series of articles,

I hope to draw attention to a few buildings on our campus that do not fall easily into one of the two architectural extremes. Possessing neither the timelessness of Collegiate Gothic nor the novelty of contemporary architecture, they occupy a perhaps awkward, or in the eyes of many students even undesired, position on campus. Nonetheless I will argue that many such buildings are architectural treasures and deserve our equal appreciation. First, let’s consider the Lewis Thomas Laboratory (LTL), built in 1986. Home to the Department of Molecular Biology, LTL occupies a central position within the natural sciences section of campus. Within our broader campus landscape, it is situated at a key interface between residential colleges to the west and academic buildings to the south and east. As such, it is one of the most frequently encountered buildings on campus, f lanking Goheen Walk, which hundreds of students traverse every weekday from their dorms and dining halls to their classes across Washington Road. LTL is not architecturally ostentatious. It is constructed from ordinary materials, brick and cast stone, and its facade is almost completely f lat. Nonetheless, LTL is fascinating for a subtler, more historically-informed reason. Designed by the highly celebrated American architects Robert Venturi ’47 and Denise Scott Brown, it is a living tribute to an architectural revolution: Postmodernism. “Less is a bore,” Venturi famously asserted in 1966,

deliberately overturning architectural Modernists’ scorn for decorative surface qualities. Looking carefully, we can see this vision manifested in an essential element of LTL’s design: its unique external brickwork. LTL’s facade is decorated with grey, dark red, and pink bricks organized into concentric circles. While seemingly simple, such abstract patterns can produce interesting associations to the passerby. A natural scientist, for instance, may see in them the form of a cellular microorganism, with the central dark brick representing the nucleus and outer rings of the cell membrane. The art historian, by contrast, may find that the patterns resemble woven designs of Native American tribes. Along with the pale-yellow glow of the wood framing the building’s interior, this creative facade imparts LTL with personality and humor that typical, white plaster-clad laboratories often lack. LTL embodies yet another Postmodernist tenet: incorporation of a site’s architectural tradition. The Biology Department’s previous home was Guyot Hall, to the north of LTL. Venturi and Scott Brown’s building parallels its predecessor in overall layout, possessing the same strikingly rectangular plan and north-south orientation. Like Guyot, furthermore, its facade displays an array of evenly spaced windows. Perhaps somewhat playfully, LTL’s colored brickwork exaggerates the intricate surface ornamentation of Guyot’s Tudor Gothic style. Together, these gestures firmly relate the molecular biology department’s new and old homes, an impressive

postmodernist architectural feat. Perhaps most curious of all, however, is how the pathways surrounding LTL ref lect Postmodernism’s characteristic focus on contemporary American ways of life. By the 1980s, when LTL was built, freeways had gradually become a ubiquitous feature of the American landscape. Like an automobile driver on such a highway, a pedestrian approaching LTL from either east or west is faced with a choice: either continue straight ahead past the building or, like taking an exit off a highway, gradually veer off on a side walkway to efficiently arrive at LTL’s entrance. Other pathways intersect and diverge all around the building’s entrance. Similar to the overpasses and underpasses of a highway, these allow multiple streams of traffic, in this case pedestrian, to cross paths and quickly arrive at a destination. While it may not awe us with its novelty, or remind us of a medieval castle, LTL’s status as a living manifestation of the Postmodernist vision should impress us nonetheless. Importantly, Venturi and Scott Brown designed many University buildings besides LTL, including the Schultz Laboratory, Wu Hall, the south-facing extension to Frist Campus Center, and Bendheim Hall. By looking more closely at each of them, we can begin to appreciate the impact architectural Postmodernism has had on our campus. Gabriel Lipkowitz is a junior concentrator in molecular biology. He can be reached at

Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough Nicholas Wu

opinion editor emeritus


n December 2014, one of my high school classmates, Paige Stalker, was killed in a hail of gunfire on the east side of Detroit. Police reports suggest that this was a case of mistaken identity in a dispute between drug gangs. But the circumstances of the shooting are irrelevant to the outcome of the case. About 30 shots were fired in the course of the altercation. Three other teenagers riding in the car with Paige were injured. Paige was 16 years old. The murder remains unsolved — the murderers remain uncaught, more than three years later — but we know what the weapon was: an assault rifle. Yet, I almost didn’t write this column. What good could another column about gun reform do? It seems like we go through the same process every time a mass shooting happens in this country: a period of

grieving, followed by a lot of sound and fury, resulting in nothing. It’s as if a certain numbness has set in. Activists march, but don’t feel heard. Letters are sent but aren’t read by those in power. Bills calling for controls on firearms are referred into the oblivion of congressional committees, never to see the light of day. The White House, for its part, started an entirely misdirected campaign directed at violence in video games — something with no proven link to gun violence. But this time is different. We sit at a political juncture, with the voices and actions of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and countless other gun control activists finally reaching salience in our national political discourse. We’ve gotten to a point at which simple offerings of “thoughts and prayers” after a tragedy are mocked in the public sphere — they’ve become a meme instead of an acceptable form of condolences after a national tragedy. And this shows a massive paradigm shift in the way our political discourse works. It’s time for

action. We must capitalize on this political moment. Thoughts and prayers from our elected officials aren’t enough — there needs to be a political price to pay for ignoring the voices of the public, and it’s up to us to make sure that we hold those in power accountable by campaigning and voting in the midterm elections this November and keeping up the pressure on elected officials until then. Public opinion polling demonstrates widespread support for gun reform. According to polling by Politico and Morning Consult, public support for stricter gun control has hit a recent high. More than two-thirds of those surveyed agreeing that stricter gun controls are needed — and much of that new support actually comes from Republicans in the survey sample. More specific proposals also receive widespread approval — about seventy percent of voters support banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, for example. Our national discourse might make it seem like there’s a broad consensus behind gun control, but

intransigence in Congress and in state legislatures across the country prevents action from being taken. There’s legislation in Congress now that could help to keep dangerous firearms out of the public sphere. H.R. 5087 would reinstate the federal assault weapons ban. S. 1945 would limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. Yet other legislators call for allowing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to actually study gun violence — something that is inexplicably banned for political reasons. All of these actions would not solve the problem of gun violence on their own, but they are a responsible step in the right direction. So, what can you do to keep our policymakers accountable? Make sure that your voices are as loud as possible. Go and march in rallies like the March for Our Lives or the Princeton Rally for Gun Reform. Join in phone-banking and letter-writing with your friends to keep the pressure up on state and federal legislators. Register to vote — gun reform needs to be an issue in the midterm elections. We owe it to Paige and

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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

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the more than 100,000 other Americans killed by gun violence since 2014 — an average of 96 deaths a day — to eliminate the scourge of deadly gun violence across our country. If legislators don’t listen to our calls for common-sense gun reform, then let’s elect different ones in November. Nicholas Wu is a senior in the Wilson School from Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich. He can be reached at nmwu@princeton. edu.


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Born, again Turn out for what? Ryan Born

Senior Columnist


any of you, judging from reports and Facebook, will turn out for the Princeton Advocates for Justice “We Call BS” gun control rally today — I personally cannot, since a 12 p.m. rally neatly conf licts with my entire midterm schedule. I’m going to make the assumption that this rally is essentially PAJ’s event. Now, I am aware that other organizations — for example, Students for Prison Education and Reform, College Democrats, Woodrow Wilson Action Committee, and Alumni of Color — have co-sponsored this rally, but I am not discussing these other organizations because I have nothing but respect for them; moreover, PAJ is generally a coordinating entity between various groups, so it makes sense to place them as heading this. In contrast to other groups, PAJ and its methods deserve serious scrutiny. I once asked PAJ’s leader, Nicholas Wu ’18, what exactly PAJ does. “Advocates,” he told me. But for what do they advocate, and using what methods?

Nicholas Wu is Head Opinion Editor Emeritus for The Daily Princetonian. PAJ’s website declares that it is “an intersectional student coalition advocating for the protection and advancement of basic human rights.” PAJ has been most visible on campus during large-scale events and rallies, especially last year’s “Day of Action,” last fall’s advocacy for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and now the “We Call BS” gun control rally. PAJ’s program, insofar as I can tell, is split between these events and encouraging Princetonians to call — or otherwise contact — their

congressional representatives. According to an email I have received from a few different listservs, the purpose of the “BS” rally is to join with Parkland students, activists of color, and gun control advocates for “common sense” gun reform, which is defined by PAJ as “universal background checks, banning assault rif les, and keeping guns out of the hands of people with a history of violence.” The email also encourages students to receive scripts from the PAJ’s Frist table in order to contact congressional representatives. At first blush, given that you agree with the basic scope of PAJ’s platform, you probably don’t see what criticisms I could provide. I felt the same way initially. But on ref lection, I hope I will show you that PAJ — and by extension, its leadership — suffers from a practical limit of effectiveness, an aff liction of aimlessness, and a passivity of purpose. To begin, PAJ’s first f law is an inability to reach the right people and so have the maximum possible effect. Set aside the fact that Princeton’s student body is already fairly liberal — a point to address later. Consider rather the collective lack of political clout of the undergraduate body as a whole. What do I mean by this? Say all 5,232 University undergraduates call their respective congresspeople. Certainly this will have an impact, right? But, of course, that’s not how congressional representation works: 5,232 student activists will be divided among 50 states and who knows how many congressional house districts. The total impact is diffuse instead of being concentrated, the exact opposite of an effective advocacy pro-

gram. Even that is a best-case scenario that imagines an even distribution. The reality is much worse. Consider the large number of Princetonians who are not U.S citizens or who come from already liberal blue states. In contrast, there are relatively few Princetonians who live in important purple or red states. Let’s take the class of 2021’s statistics as representative, and focus on a few key purple states. Compare the 15 students who come from my home state, Michigan, or the 25 from Ohio, or the 57 from Pennsylvania to the 205 that come from blue New Jersey, the 137 from New York, and the 133 from California. Such a comparison demonstrates how many Princetonians are not from politically important areas. Here, state schools have a huge advantage over us, because a large state school like Rutgers, with a significant portion of in-state students — 83% of the class of 2021 — can make a huge difference both in absolute numbers (approximately 50,000 undergraduates) and in geographic concentration (New Jersey). What is more, PAJ suffers from a “big tent” program. In attempting to address many liberal concerns as they arise, PAJ lacks staying power on any one issue in a constant race to keep up with the big issue of the moment. As Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic notes in a recent article on gun control advocacy, progressives face a consistent problem that “just one thing can trend at once.” PAJ seems to have this problem in spades: instead of consistent emphasis on an issue until it has been won, PAJ does little more than raise awareness once the news cycle has caught wind

of a new development. In other words, PAJ does little more than react. Consider the “Day of Action” last year in response to Trump’s presidency. Or consider the DACA events earlier this year. Or consider gun control now. The rotating carousel of political hot topics may come when people are expecting them, but that’s part of the problem: how many politically conscious Princetonians are totally unaware of Parkland? Probably close to zero. What is the point, then, of raising awareness about an issue that people are already aware of? Furthermore, in constantly changing focus, PAJ has an aimlessness of program that is not faced by more consistent and specialized advocacy groups, such as Princeton Students for Reproductive Justice, SPEAR, or SpeakOut, to name a few. Moreover, such bombastic stunting as rallies or photo campaigns seems more inline with people aiming to advance their credentials as opposed to real justice. This speaks to PAJ’s third major problem: PAJ advocates for unambitious, ideologically safe gun control reforms. More important than ideological purity is the simple fact that PAJ’s goals are so moderate that I genuinely struggle to see the impact they could have at Princeton or abroad. Princetonians are, generally speaking, moderately liberal to very liberal. The conservatives we do have are generally center-right. So, why advocate moderate positions to a student body that, more or less, already subscribes to such positions? There is nothing courageous or especially inspiring about preaching to the choir. But perhaps even worse, PAJ’s moderate platform is simply ineffective. As I ar-

gued on Sunday, “common sense” gun reform is insufficient in addressing the problem of gun violence by any reasonable metric, and as I will argue after spring break, DACA, another policy promoted by PAJ, by itself ignores important issues of justice for other non-DACAaffected migrants. By having such moderate local aims — to “restrict assault rif les” — but ambitious global goals — to “advocate for justice” — PAJ puts too much on the table to effectively achieve just outcomes. By all means, PAJ serves a useful function in pumping up a crowd and giving moderate liberal and progressive goals an outlet on campus, something the University otherwise lacks. I believe there is significant utility in simply having people attend an event and forming a general group consciousness around political issues. There’s also something to be said for having a coordinating organization like PAJ to serve and culminate the interests of the various other justice and advocacy groups on campus. It’s certainly better than nothing. But enthusiasm and ideological unity on center-left issues only go so far in achieving justice. Justice demands more. In my first article for the ‘Prince,’ I wrote that we are the ones who must make the long arc of history bend towards justice. PAJ merely stands where the curve is already bent. Ryan Born is a philosophy concentrator from Washington Twp., Mich. He can be reached at This is part of a recurring weekly column on politics and pedagogy at Princeton and abroad.

Mental health reform starts with students Sam Aftel



n March 4, 2018, The Daily Princetonian published a heartbreaking anonymous column by a student diagnosed with schizophrenia. The student alleges that the University disregarded their psychological and academic needs. In a disturbing anecdote, the student claims, “Two Public Safety officers barged into my room, assaulted me, pinned me down to my bed, handcuffed me, and dragged me out to the ambulance waiting outside my dorm building.” The larger context of this alleged incident is not entirely clear. The column, while unverifiable, exhibits how the University is unequipped to meet the needs of students with severe psychiatric conditions. Beyond its institutional criticism, the piece further demonstrates how alone and hopeless students with mental illness feel on campus. This must change, and the change be-

gins with reforming student attitudes toward mental illness. In the last several months, the ‘Prince’ has published multiple articles about the intersection of mental illness and social experience at the University. The heartbreakingly urgent anonymous “Letter to the Editor: Too much to ask” asks students to be there for friends who are struggling with mental illness and encourages the University to make Counseling and Psychological Services’ Princeton Distress Awareness & Response program, which “teaches people how to respond to someone in distress,” a mandatory exercise. Similarly, guest contributor Carolyn Beard ’18, in an intimate piece, proposed the creation of a Mental Health Peers program, in which an organization of students would provide support for other students enduring mental and emotional health crises. I support the sentiments and proposals of both of these important pieces. But the increased peer-level care advocated by these pieces, as well as other potential initiatives for enhanced mental and emotional health care and awareness,

will only be realized if students exhibit greater empathy toward their peers who are enduring mental and emotional health issues. I have been fortunate to have found several people on campus who care about my well-being. Unfortunately, other Princetonians, especially students who struggle with mental illness, sometimes feel as though they are uncared for by their peers, who seem to only care about self-interested aims — like getting a pass to Ivy or that coveted summer internship. Worse, I have heard peers on campus trivialize, misrepresent, stereotype, and deride mental illness and psychotherapy. For example, the labeling of students with mental illness as “crazy,” “weak,” or “lazy” is a well-hidden, but real part of the student body’s social discourse. At a place like Princeton, consequently, where intellectual strength is tied to emotional “toughness,” students often write off mental illness as a character f law rather than acknowledge how mental illness is a serious medical condition — and, in some cases, a disability. Although many of us accept peers who are demographically differ-

ent from ourselves, we still seem unable to fully accept students with psychiatric conditions. Such disregard and condemnation of students with mental illness by other students perpetuates the suffering and loneliness of mentally ill Princetonians. Students are, at least to some extent, a product of the institution they belong to. Accordingly, the University must also be held accountable for the stigmatization of mental illness on campus — as well as for the inadequate mental health care that some students allegedly receive at McCosh Health Center. But a greater allocation of mental health resources and the expansion of access to existing resources by the University will only be successful if students stop stigmatizing mental illness. Students will feel more comfortable utilizing such resources if they believe their peers will not mark them as inferior for doing so. Accordingly, the University — specifically, the University’s student body — needs to undergo a cultural reformation. That is, we need to be more conscious of how we contextualize and frame mental

illness, as this will affect how students with mental illness are socially ranked. By continuing to dismiss the seriousness of mental illness and judging those with mental illness as inadequate, we perpetuate the systematic condemnation, exclusion, and alienation of students with psychological and emotional disorders. But we can alter this social script by demonstrating empathy toward those who are struggling with mental illness and rejecting false, destructive stereotypes of those with psychiatric conditions. Suffering from mental illness or other emotional crises in college — especially at a rigorous institution like Princeton — is hard enough. Mental illness, like other human illnesses, is a draining, frightening, and isolating experience. Hence, the last thing our mentally ill peers need is our judgement and derision, and the first thing they deserve is our unconditional love and support. Samuel Aftel is a sophomore from East Northport, N.Y. He can be reached at saftel@

The Daily Princetonian is published daily except Saturday and Sunday from September through May and three times a week during January and May by The Daily Princetonian Publishing Company, Inc., 48 University Place, Princeton, N.J. 08540. Mailing address: P.O. Box 469, Princeton, N.J. 08542. Subscription rates: Mailed in the United States $175.00 per year, $90.00 per semester. Office hours: Sunday through Friday, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Telephones: Business: 609-375-8553; News and Editorial: 609-258-3632. For tips, email Reproduction of any material in this newspaper without expressed permission of The Daily Princetonian Publishing Company, Inc., is strictly prohibited. Copyright 2014, The Daily Princetonian Publishing Company, Inc. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Daily Princetonian, P.O. Box 469, Princeton, N.J. 08542.

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What happened to commitment? Jessica Nyquist



he University website flaunts the vibrant extracurricular life available to students through student organizations. With more than 300 clubs, as well as the option to create your own with University support, the website proclaims that “whatever your interests are now, or whatever new ones you discover once on campus,” you will find a corresponding club on campus. But after the initial excitement and compulsive netID distribution at the club fair, club involvement is often not all that it’s advertised to be. Despite our over-involvement in high school, at Princeton our student organizations suffer from a lack of commitment.

On the one hand, many groups, especially auditionbased ones, preserve a culture of high expectations of attendance. Dance groups, a cappella groups, and other performers

require and expect members to be present and engaged. But many other groups, like interest groups or club sports, suffer from an inability to maintain commitment, especially from upperclassmen. When the excitement of the first year fades, club attitudes degrade from committed to optional. With members committed nominally but only willing to sacrifice minimal time, the club culture on campus provides little of what is promised. Students excited for and committed to organizations are left to flounder, as they cannot rely on their membership. Take two clubs I’ve been in. Spoon University is a national food blog with chapters at hundreds of universities. At other schools, these clubs host frequent events and produce a consistent and significant amount of content. I joined the Princeton chapter freshman year and was expected to write an article a month. I kept it up and enjoyed the experience, but since freshman year my most intimate and dedicated connection with the club has been leaving listserv emails unread.

The Entrepreneurship Club is a robust and active organization on campus. After serving as a director for a year, a co-founder and I created a new team within the club. After a year of harassing my hand-picked team members to submit work, we decided to disband the team. These two groups required applications, but members, myself included, quickly lost motivation. On the opposite side of the spectrum, my roommate in BodyHype would never consider missing a rehearsal and would feel guilty skipping a meeting. She feels a strong sense of accountability to the group and purpose within it. But for students who are not admitted to these talent-based selective groups (I floundered at a BodyHype audition myself), there are few club options that promise a consistent and committed membership. It seems a campus group is either super selective or barely connected. When many of us applied to Princeton, we had to adjust the margins and subtly decrease font size in order to fit our myriad of extracurricular activities

on a one-page résumé. Not only did we show up, but we were the president of a club, the treasurer of another, and the founder of a third. We spread ourselves too thin, but we understood this obsessive involvement as expected. Granted, many high schoolers love what they do, but résumé-building is all too often the driving motivation. So, here we are in college, and this sort of résumé-building doesn’t hold the same appeal. For juniors and seniors, our early excitement of “I’m involved in a, b, c” becomes “I used to do a, b, c.” Many students sign up for and make premature commitments to student-led organizations only to realize that they’re not quite sure why they’re doing these groups. For many, there’s little motivation or incentive to attend meetings or events. In a place brimming over with ambitious and passionate young people, why can’t we commit our time to each other like we did without a second thought in high school? Why can’t we be accountable to other students the way we are to professors and our own academics?

Maybe we feel that with our intense academic schedules, it’s easy to justify skipping out on anything not explicitly required. Clubs must strike a balance between asking too much and losing members or asking too little and losing cohesion or capability. Clubs need not set unrealistic expectations or strict requirements, but students should be more conscious of the commitments we make to each other and honor them as expected, not optional, responsibilities. Before we choose to write our name and netID, we must consider why we are joining the organization. With the demanding schedule here, we must selectively apply ourselves where we are passionate rather than filling an unspoken, abstract quota of extracurriculars at the expense of our committed classmates. We should choose where we want to be and see ourselves expending time and energy, not where we think we should. Jessica Nyquist is a junior in computer science from Houston, Texas. She can be reached at

The emotional cost of gun violence Joe Redmond

guest contributor


ix months before I came to Princeton, a shooter walked into my high school with a shotgun and killed two of my classmates. I was in the cafeteria studying for finals when I heard shots thunder through the hallway. I hid and waited to die. Hours later when I escaped the school, I ran past a trail of blood with my hands up. I owe my life to the armed police officer stationed in my school who confronted the shooter. It could have been so much worse.

But it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Someone should have conducted an evaluation when the manic stu-

dent went to buy his shotgun and ammunition across town at a hunting store. Someone should have questioned him when he purchased hundreds of rounds of shotgun shells, the kind only good at close range. Someone should have followed up with the multiple tips and concerns that were reported to the school and police. I’m not sure which news story to share with you that would give the whole picture, but I’ll try. The real story I want to share with you is one not explicitly about gun control. I want to tell you about the human impact of gun violence. I grew up 20 minutes away from Columbine High School, where 15 were killed and 23 wounded, and 30 minutes from the Aurora the-

ater, where 12 people were killed and 70 wounded. A thousand students walked out of Columbine in 1999 with blood on their sneakers and trauma rifling through their brains. Hundreds walked out of the Aurora theater on the night of the “Dark Knight” premiere, a night-out-turned-nightmare they wouldn’t soon forget. These survivors escaped the scene with their lives, but they could never escape the impact. These tragedies change people. I count and remember every shooting I see in the news. Reading about them always takes a part of my soul out. Just a little bit. Every time. This gap in my soul has become a part of me, whether I like it or not. I can’t help but watch as trauma, guilt, and numbness wash

over a fresh batch of survivors. I see the same script played out every time it happens. People walking out with their hands on their heads surrounded by SWAT team members with huge rifles. Friends clasping each other and weeping onto the pavement. Students have their first day back to school, taking classes that would never be the same. I know something of what it’s like. And it’s an emotional chasm. I, like others, almost didn’t write this column. You see, my tragedy wasn’t just something I could experience and move on from. It has been the singular event that tainted my experience here at Princeton. My mind was invaded by the anxiety of an ambush during a COS 126 lecture. I broke out into

a cold sweat when my roommates popped bubble wrap or slammed a door. My classes felt pointless and my relationships felt distant. I watched myself from afar as I went through the motions of my first few years of Princeton. I didn’t experience a single day of it. Those are years I will never get back. And that’s just it. Gun violence takes lives. But it also takes some life away from the living. I’ve heard it said that our generation won’t stand for this kind of violence to continue once we are in power. Surely, our generation will do something. Please, my dear classmates and leaders of the future, let that be true. Joe Redmond is a senior chemical and biological engineer from Littleton, Colo. He can be reached

Wednesday march 14, 2018

Opinion { }

trash only daniel te ’21


secret word — solutions rachel brill ’19


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Wednesday march 14, 2018

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Women’s Basketball



Abby Meyers squares up for three against Penn. She led Princeton in scoring Sunday with 18 points.

The Ivy League champions pose.



Carlie Littlefield attacks the lane against Penn.

Head Coach Courtney Banghart cuts the net in celebration after Sunday’s championship game win.



Leslie Robinson gathers the ball in the high post in Saturday’s semifinal against Yale.

Tweet of the Day “Congrats to Max Veronneau, Ryan Kuffner, and Josh Teves on being named All-ECAC Hockey” princeton hockey (@PUHockey)

Stat of the Day

12 Seed earned by Women’s Basketball in the NCAA Tournament. They will face Maryland in Raleigh on Friday.

Carlie Littlefield defends the perimeter against Yale.

Follow us Check us out on Twitter @princesports for live news and reports, and on Instagram @princetoniansports for photos!

March 14, 2018  
March 14, 2018