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Monday May 14, 2018 vol. CXLII no. 61

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U. community gathers in support of Xiyue Wang GS By Albert Jiang Contributors

On Friday evening, over a hundred University faculty, staff, and students, as well as community members, congregated on the North Lawn of Frist Campus Center in solidarity and support of imprisoned graduate student Xiyue Wang. The Iranian government imprisoned Wang, a fifthyear doctorate candidate in the history department, in August 2016 on two counts of espionage and sentenced him to 10 years of prison mid-last year. A Chineseborn U.S. citizen, Wang was in Iran to conduct scholarly research on the administrative and cultural history of the Qajar dynasty. The Iranian judiciary accused him of using his cover as a researcher to gather secret intelligence and infiltrate Iran’s national archive. Since then, the University has retained counsel for Wang and worked closely with authorities and his family to try to secure his release. The University, however, did not release a public statement until after his conviction and sentence were announced in July 2017. Despite an appeal, the court upheld the sentence, and Wang has remained in Evin Prison since. His family and the University have maintained his innocence. Several colleagues, class-

mates, and representatives of the larger Princeton community spoke at the rally on Friday. Jane Manners GS, one of Wang’s classmates, delivered opening remarks before introducing Dean Sarah-Jane Leslie ’07 to the podium. “We are grateful that tonight’s gathering has brought together not only Wang’s friends and colleagues who know him well, but also so many others who are moved by his unjust and unjustifiable captivity,” Leslie said. Leslie thanked students, faculty, staff, and members of the town of Princeton for standing together in solidarity. She also thanked representatives from the state and federal government and expressed appreciation for the messages of support shared via social media. “The charges against him — espionage — are completely false,” Leslie said. “A team of University officials and others have been working day-by-day on his behalf and we continue to work day-by-day to secure his release and support his family. The work will not cease until he is home.” Despite the challenges, Leslie remains optimistic. “We persevere in hopeful and faithful anticipation of the day that he will rejoin us here at Princeton and be reunited with his family,” See WANG page 3


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On May 7, a naked man exposed himself to a female student while she was running on the towpath between Harrison Street and Washington Road.

Police continues investigation into May 7 lewdness incident By Benjamin Ball Staff Writer

The Princeton Police Department will continue to investigate an incident of lewdness that occurred near campus at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 7, according to Princeton Police Department Chief Nicholas Sutter. On May 7, a naked man exposed himself to a female student while she was running on the towpath, between Harrison Street and Washington Road. Although he was unwilling to discuss specific investigative techniques, Sutter said that the Princeton Police Department is talking to people and questioning people in the area. Sutter

said the Police Department is open to receiving any information members of the public may have. “We’re definitely looking for the public’s assistance in providing any information to us,” Sutter said. “We’ll be interviewing people in the area and trying to ascertain the person’s identity through witnesses.” The identity of the perpetrator is still unknown. The report described the suspect as an adult white male, 20 to 30 years of age, 5’8’’ to 5’9’’, skinny build, approximately 150 to 160 pounds, with short blond hair. In recent years, there have been two similar lewd incidents in areas surrounding campus.

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USG discusses budget surplus

By Rose Gilbert

Undergraduate Student Government held U-Council Chair elections and gave endof-year updates during its final weekly meeting of the semester on Sunday. First, Elizabeth Haile ’19 and Olivia Ott ’20 confirmed the reappointments of Honor Committee members Alan Wong ’21, Michael Wang ’21, Apria Pinkett ’20, Dina Kuttab ’21, Scott Aravena ’21, Wesley Johnson ’19, and Elise Wong ’19. Afterward, Jonah Hyman ’20 presided over the U-Council Chair elections for candidates Ben Press ’20, Yousef Elzalabany ’20, and Rachel Hazan ’21. Press and Elzalabany were elected. Hazan is a staff copy editor for the Daily Princetonian. Next, Treasurer Alison Shim ’19 reported that the total money spent by USG, as of May 12, was $367,790.47, and the total spendable balance, as of May 12, was $113,252.81. Shim estimated that after the end-of-year activities such as Dean’s Date — which alone costs USG $7,000 to $10,000 — the total spendable balance will be approximately $80,000 to $90,000. This surplus is still significantly higher than the previous three years’ surpluses, which were approximately $40,000 to $50,000.

Last Wednesday, the University announced that it admitted 13 transfer students for fall 2018 entry, almost a year after the University reinstated the transfer admissions program that was phased out during the 1990s. Now, transfer students will be admitted on a regular basis. The number of transfer students admitted each year will vary based on the number of available beds on campus.

Acting University spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss said the Board of Trustees authorized the reinstatement of the transfer program in January 2016 after adopting a strategic planning framework. This framework suggested a transfer program could help the University attract students from a wider variety of backgrounds. The frameworks states that “experience at other universities shows that transfer programs can provide a vehicle to attract See TRANSFER page 4


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McCarter Theatre receives USG officers discuss spring Dean’s Date budget $30K grant from NEA By Linh Nguyen Staff Writer

Some students will inevitably wait until the last second to complete Dean’s Date assignments. After they submit at 5 p.m., they can always look forward to the customary Undergraduate Student Government celebrations, held immediately after the Dean’s Date deadline. But the budget for this semester’s celebrations is $50,000 less than last semester. Traditionally, Dean’s Date is

In Opinion

the University deadline for most written assignments and signals the end of the semester’s reading period. This semester, it falls on Tuesday, May 15. The spring 2018 Dean’s Date celebrations will take place at the same time and location they traditionally have: the courtyard of McCosh Hall at 5 p.m. The celebrations normally include food trucks, music, and gear giveaways. According to USG Treasurer Alison Shim ’19, the USG budget See BUDGET page 4

Senior columnist Sinan Ozbay questions the motives of USG members pushing for Honor Code leadership reform, and senior columnist Liam O’Connor argues that Princeton students should reach their own stances in the debate about the world’s creation. PAGE 6


U. accepts 13 transfer students for fall 2018

Senior Writer

Following tradition, this spring’s celebrations will be in McCosh courtyard.

A similar lewd incident involving a man occurred on the towpath in October 2015, and another lewd incident occurred next to a cemetery in West Windsor Fields in 2011. Sutter said that, although very few incidents have occurred on campus within his department’s jurisdiction, receiving the May 7 report was not unusual. “Unfortunately, they’re not uncommon. They’re too common,” Sutter said. “We do experience them from time to time; I don’t know for the University campus itself, but we get them occasionally within our jurisdiction.” The Daily Princetonian See LEWDNESS page 4

By Katie Tam Contributor

On Wednesday, May 9, the McCarter Theatre announced that it received a $30,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to support the McCarter LAB, a year-round creative incubator that supports artists through commissions, workshops, retreats, and more. More than $80 million was awarded in the form of

Today on Campus 3 p.m.: Medical Humanities Fair Chancellor Green Rotunda

1,071 grants by the NEA to programs in a wide range of categories across the country The McCarter grant was in the Art Works category, dedicated to funding projects that increase public engagement, promote lifelong learning, and strengthen communities through the arts. This is the second such grant that McCarter has received in the past 18 months dedicated to the LAB and play See MCCARTER page 5

By Isabel Ting Assistant News Editor

See USG page 4


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Cloudy chance of rain:

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Menendez: The US cannot tolerate this blatant, politically motivated violations of basic human rights and freedoms WANG

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she said. Turning to Wang’s wife, Hua Qu, Leslie addressed her directly. “You have shown unbelievable courage, loving devotion, and unf lagging determination in all of your efforts to free your husband,” she said. “You are an inspiration and example to us all, and I personally stand in awe.” To Qu, Leslie reaffirmed the University’s support of her husband. “We hope that the support and commitment displayed here will sustain you and remind you of the commitment that we all share to bring Wang home,” she said. A close friend of Wang, Dongxian Jiang GS, spoke next. Jiang highlighted the threat that populist movements and government censorship pose to academic freedom. He shared some of his memories with Wang and noted that he was impressed by Wang’s “erudition, enthusiasm, and keen intelligence.” “He’s one of us. A dedicated scholar, a loving husband, a caring father,” Jiang said. Wang has been allowed to make phone calls from prison, and Jiang said that they speak almost every other day, up to 50 minutes each time. “In prison, Xiyue keeps exchanging ideas with his friends in order to maintain his intellectual capacity and mental health,” he said. Jiang described how Wang teaches him a “free, undergraduate-level course, Iran 101” over the phone, while he returns the favor with his own course, “Introduction to Political Theory.” “The U.S. has been long

regarded and always regards itself as the torch of freedom and human rights. Eulogy is not for eulogy’s sake, but is a reminder of their ideals, duties, and obligations,” Jiang said. “We urge you to show Princetonian solidarity in order to safeguard academic freedom and prevent any other American student and researcher from suffering what Xiyue and his family have been enduring in the last 21 months.” Jiang concluded by imploring members of the University community, the president of the United States, and Congress to take all necessary actions for the immediate release of Wang. Sarah Carson GS, another close friend of Wang, echoed Jiang’s sentiments. She expressed the utter shock and disbelief Wang conveyed to her over the phone. “One of the thoughts that went through my mind was, ‘Could this have been me?’” she said. “I suspect that many of us have had that same thought.” Carson emphasized that Wang did not view Iran as an enemy but has always been fascinated by the region’s complex languages, culture, and history. Wang went through the proper channels, obtained all necessary government permissions, and worked through scholarly organizations and universities. According to Carson, everything he did was public and appropriate for his profession. “I urge and hope that the U.S. State Department, President Trump, members of Congress, and the citizens of the United States renew their efforts to get him home soon,” she said. Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert followed with a few remarks on her own before reading a statement from


New Jersey Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, who was not able to attend. “This is a horrible, unjust, unspeakable ordeal and it violates everything our community holds dear,” Lempert said. In a written statement, Zwicker stressed the need for people to conduct research and express their right to intellectual freedom “without political interference and without fear of governmental retribution.” “These are not Republican or Democratic-set principles,” Zwicker wrote. “They are not even solely American; these principles ref lect universal and humanistic ideals.” New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was represented by his deputy director of constituent services. “It is a heartbreaking outrage that your husband has been away from you and your son for this long,” Menendez wrote. “The United States cannot tolerate this blatant, politically motivated violations of basic human rights and freedoms. I will continue to press the State Department and White House to do more to negotiate Wang’s release.” Menendez highlighted examples of other Americans who were also unjustly detained in Iran and reaffirmed his commitment to the bill he co-sponsored that passed unanimously in the Senate, S.Res.245, calling on the government of Iran to immediately release unjustly obtained U.S. citizens and legal permanent resident aliens. Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey’s fourth district spoke next. As the senior member on the House

Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Subcommittee of Global Human Rights, Smith maintained that there was “absolutely nothing treasonous” in Wang’s case. Smith expressed his gratitude for the participants of the rally and offered Qu a congressional hearing to tell the story of her husband to raise even more awareness. “One thing we can’t do is lose hope,” Smith said. “When we make it a priority in our diplomacy, when we prudently and in Solomon-like fashion use sanctions that are most likely to achieve a positive outcome, we can see the release of prisoners who are unjustly incarcerated.” The evening concluded with a candlelight vigil and a direct letter of appeal from Qu to President Trump. She expressed optimism after seeing the three former hostages imprisoned in North Korea returning home. “Thank you for reminding the free world that Iran must stop its unjust imprisonment of foreigners including American citizens,” she said. “We hope that President Trump can achieve a similar breakthrough in my husband’s situation.” Qu maintained her husband’s innocence and described the immense difficulties she and her five-year-old son have been enduring. She asked that Trump meet with her to show his support and allow her to share her story. “He’s being used as a hostage and a pawn by Iranian hardliners in their negotiations with the United States,” Qu said. “But, Mr. President, without your help, I’m afraid nothing will happen. You are our skilled negotiator that brought North Korea to the bargaining table, [which]

other presidents and conventional diplomats have failed [to do]. Sir, I hope that you will carry on this good work to bring this innocent American scholar home.” Qu concluded by thanking the crowd for its solidarity, as well as the organizers and volunteers for the event. She expressed her hopeful optimism that she would see her husband again this summer. Marina Finley ’19, who attended the event, expressed the importance of support for Wang. “For this particular rally, there are a lot of posters up around the campus, but I became interested in the hostage situation because I study Chinese, and I think, among the Chinese community, it was a very important issue,” Finley said. She emphasized the need for widespread interest in Wang’s case. “I think this is a human rights issue that everyone should be interested in,” Finley said. “Particularly, Princeton students and the intellectual community have a real stake in it because it calls into question a lot of the things that we supposedly believe in and hold dear, like academic integrity and freedom.” She also expressed doubts with regards to the likelihood of Wang being released, especially as President Trump had pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal earlier last week. “My reaction at first was shock, horror, sadness, and as this has continued to evolve it seems not a lot of progress has been made,” she said, adding that she doesn’t see the deal’s falling through as a positive development for Wang’s situation. The rally took place on Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m. on Frist North Lawn.


On Friday evening, over a hundred U. faculty, staff, students, and community members congregated on the north lawn of Frist Campus Center in support of Xiyue Wang GS.

Oop s, sorly, Dos theeS butherr u?

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Monday May 14, 2018

Dean’s Date budget decreases significantly, from $43,275 in fall semester to $7,000 this spring BUDGET

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for spring 2018 Dean’s Date celebrations is $7,000. This budget is significantly less than last semester’s $57,000 that was passed for the fall 2017 Dean’s Date celebrations. In December 2017, The Daily Princetonian reported on the dramatic $42,000 increase from the $15,000 fall 2016 semester budget to the fall 2017 semester for Dean’s Date. The budget in fall 2017 was unprecedentedly large because USG paid for pop DJ Gryffin to perform in Dillon Gymnasium from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. The budget increase was proposed by former Social Committee Chair Lavinia Liang ’18. According to the petition funding breakdown, $3,000 of the total budget in the proposal

was funded by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students’ Alcohol Initiative Committee, which provides additional funding to organizations and initiatives “that positively contribute to the quality of undergraduate social life at the University and provide alternatives to alcohol consumption.” Former class senator Soraya Morales Nuñez ’18 originally abstained from voting on Lang’s budget proposal because there was no precedent of having concerts on Dean’s Date, and she didn’t know whether DJ Gryffin would prove to be a success. But Nuñez ended up praising the outcome of the fall Dean’s Date celebrations after the fact. “I think it’s a step in the right direction to brainstorm more ideas about how to provide nonalcohol-oriented alternatives to students,” Morales Nuñez said.

However, there will not be a concert for this semester’s Dean’s Date celebration. This year, the USG Dean’s Date budget is back down to $7,000 because USG is not paying for a concert. Social Chair Liam Glass ’19 also told the ‘Prince’ that spring Dean’s Date celebration typically have less funding. He said this is because USG has more time to prepare for the fall celebrations over the summer. Glass also said that because the position of Social Committee Chair begins in the spring and goes through the fall semester, the spring semester has less funding. He also said he himself began his work with the Social Committee well into the start of the spring semester, because he was appointed rather than elected. “The fall semester is typically more full with Social Committee

events whereas the spring term is focused primarily on Lawnparties,” Glass wrote in an email response. “As the increase in Projects Board funding for this spring also indicates, the spring is full of more student group events so it makes sense that Social Committee does more in the fall.” Glass also pointed out that Lawnparties was a huge expenditure for USG this year. “We requested additional funds for Lawnparties to get Vince Staples and invest more in production, which I’m very confident was the right decision given how big his show was on Sunday,” Glass said. According to the published USG minutes and packet, the Social Committee had a total budget of $117,000 for the spring Lawnparties that took place on Sunday, May 6. By comparison, Lawnparties had a budget of $52,000 in

fall 2017 and a budget of $73,000 in spring 2017. The headliners for those Lawnparties were Tinashe and Jeremih, respectively. In the final USG Senate meeting of the year, Shim confirmed that the budget for spring Dean’s Date celebrations is set at $7,000. According to published USG budgets, the spring 2017 Dean’s Date budget was also $7,000, whereas the spring 2016 and spring 2015 Dean’s Date budgets were both $4,000. Director of Communications Tori Gorton ’21 explained that although patterns may arise when comparing Dean’s Date and Lawnparties budgets, they are not necessarily dependent on one other. “The budget for the Dean’s Date celebrations is completely separate from and independent of the Lawnparties budget,” Gorton said.

Of 13 transfer students admitted, 8 come from military backgrounds TRANSFER Continued from page 1


students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, such as qualified military veterans and students from low-income backgrounds, including some who might begin their careers at community colleges.” Of the 13 transfer students admitted for fall 2018, eight come from military backgrounds. Hotchkiss said that military veterans were encouraged to apply and that the University received many “excellent candidates” in this year’s applicant pool. Because of privacy concerns, Hotchkiss would not release the names of the 13 admitted transfer students. CLAIRE THORNTON :: HEAD NEWS EDITOR Tyler Eddy ’21 was admitted The transfer admissions program has been reinstated as a student last spring, a year for the first itme since the 1990s. before the University reinstated

the transfer program. Eddy, who served as a corporal in the U.S. Marines and as an airframe helicopter mechanic, attended a community college in Indiana for two years before being admitted to the University as a firstyear student. “There was definitely an adjustment period,” he explained, adding that he was “pretty shocked and impressed” by the academic rigor of first-year courses. The transfer students admitted this spring come from a variety of academic backgrounds and will enter as first-years, sophomores, or juniors based on an evaluation of their transfer credits by University faculty and college deans. Despite having to take more challenging courses, Eddy said that his military background and having already moved out of

his parents’ home gave him “a leg up” once he got to campus. “I definitely don’t have trouble waking up on time for class,” he said. Eddy, who is married and has a two-year-old daughter, said that being a non-traditional student impacted his college experience outside of the classroom as well. “There are a lot of study breaks at, like, nine at night, but I’m usually putting my daughter to bed by then or hitting the hay myself,” he said. Eddy said that he was glad to see that the University was becoming more focused on admitting non-traditional students. “I’m really excited about more military personnel getting accepted and about the transfer program in general,” he said. “I’m excited that Princeton is diversifying their student body population.”

Sutter: Unfortunately, lewdness incidents are not uncommon LEWDNESS Continued from page 1


reached out to students who regularly run on the towpath to get their reaction to the incident. All students expressed surprised at the news. Some said they treated the news the same as other campus alerts. Others said the May 7 incident made them very upset. “Just imagining it was very strange to me,” said Ben Angarone ’21. “I could never imagine myself in that guy’s spot, thinking, yes, I’ll do that.” Katharine Schassler ’21 was first told of the incident by a friend warning her to be careful before going out on the towpath. “I was in disbelief at first that this is something that could happen right down campus,” Schassler said. “I was just upset, thinking, ‘really?’ We can’t just go for a run?” Despite their initial reactions, students said they would not let this incident interfere with

their running habits in any way and would continue to exercise the same caution they always do. “I’m not gonna let this incident stop my routine of running on the towpath,” Angarone said. “I wouldn’t let it disturb me to the point of changing my routine.” Angarone and Schassler both emphasized that people they know are generally smart about where and how they run, always making sure they have their phones and that people are aware of their general location. Sutter said that should any students experience any similar incidents, they should notify either the Department of Public Safety or the Princeton Police Department. “The most important piece is that people don’t ignore it and call us, either as it’s happening or after it happens,” Sutter said. The student reported the incident at 11:05 a.m. to the Princeton Police Department on May 9, prompting an email alert released by the Department of Public Safety that same day.

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McCarter grant will be USG members to serve 1-year terms important for local and unless dismissed by co-chairs USG regional communities Continued from page 1

MCCARTER Continued from page 1


development. Tom Miller, Director of Public Relations at the McCarter Theatre, said the grant will be important in maintaining and expanding the LAB’s offerings. “It is extremely important, not only for the health of American theater, but for the local and regional communities served by McCarter, that we continue to cultivate and develop new voices through our various development programs,” Miller wrote in a email statement. “This grant will go a long way to bolster our existing efforts and allow us the freedom to expand the scope of our programs both here in Princeton and in the greater Mercer county area and beyond.” A key feature of the McCarter LAB program are LAB Spotlight plays, which are small-scale workshop productions staged in the Roger S. Berlind Theater that provide crucial feedback for playwrights in an intimate setting. Many of the plays have responded to current political and social issues, such as the 2017 Princeton and Slavery Plays. The program has empowered up-and-coming artists to write original plays, many of which go on to be professionally produced. Artistic director of diSiac Dance Company Elena Anamos ’19 expressed hope that grants of this type would expand opportunities for student groups as well, as diSiac performs a fall show at McCarter, “If that allows them to give more funding to stu-

dent groups to perform at McCarter Theater Center, it makes such a huge difference to our shows. The lighting, the backstage facilities, everything is much better quality. You can tell the difference,” Anamos said. “It would be great if dance companies could perform there more frequently or have more opportunities.” Simon Morrison, Professor of Music and Slavic Languages and Literatures, was also excited about the grant announcement and hoped that it would lead to an expansion of McCarter’s facilities in the future. “A grant like that, which encourages development of new talent and theatrical methods, is all for the greater good,” Morrison said. Morrison is interested in working with members of the McCarter board and the wider community on new developments, such as a stage with space for a pit orchestra, or other renovations and modern upgrades. “We have an institution right on our campus that the University doesn’t make much use of,” he said. “The University has tremendous talent, tremendous faculty, and a growth of interest in the performing arts.” But, the University does not have the type of performing space necessary to put on ballets or operas, Morrison said. Even the new Lewis Center for the Arts performing arts center does not have an orchestra pit, for example. “There’s no shortage of talent,” Morrison said. “But there seems to be a shortage of stage space.”


“I can’t confirm a precise reason [the surplus] is projected to be larger this year, when the large line items in the budget haven’t changed from my observation,” said Shim, “but I’m contacting the Director of Finance at ODUS to see if she has any more insight.” She added that it is possible that, since the budget has been growing marginally every year, the marginal increases have accumulated visibly this year. The surplus will “roll over to next fall,” but details regarding allocation have not yet been confirmed, according to Shim. However, USG President Rachel Yee ’19 explained that the remaining balance will most likely go toward office renovations. Addressing concerns

from some members, Yee said that USG will not reduce its budget, which is built upon student dues, unless administration reduces those dues. After Shim’s treasury update, Diego Negrón-Reichard ’18, project leader of the Financial Reform Team, presented final updates for both the Financial Reform Team and USG overall. The Financial Reform Team aims to strengthen student rights through studentled institutions. Updates included a 29 percent increase in USG funding for Projects Board and the new proposal for the Projects Board Charter. Eliot Chen ’20 and Nicholas Fernandez ’18 summarized the key charter revisions, which included revising the 12-member requirement to a 12-member maximum and refining of the duties of general members. The most contentious update a proposed revision to

term lengths, which revised terms from renewable oneyear terms to terms for the duration of members’ enrollment at the University, unless dismissed by the co-chairs. Members of USG expressed discomfort with making terms longer, and the section was amended to state that members will be able to serve one-year terms unless dismissed by co-chairs. After concluding the updates, Negrón-Reichard added that USG needs to continue to increase inclusivity on campus and build its relationship with administration. Yee closed the meeting with praises and goodbyes for the senior members, Fernandez, Negrón-Reichard, Pooja Patel ’18, and Miranda Rosen ’18. Shim described Fernandez as the “one member that tried to bond us the most.” “This has definitely been an emotional semester,” Yee said.


USG Board of 2018 meets weekly in Guyot 10.


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God and man at Princeton Liam O’Connor

Senior Columnist


wo metal stegosaurus silhouettes guard the side of a lonely road in northern Kentucky. They straddle a driveway to the Creation Museum. It’s an institution dedicated to the teachings that — according to literal interpretations of the Bible’s Book of Genesis — God created the world in six 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. The museum is a $27-million attraction in Appalachia that draws 300,000 tourists annually. Inside, visitors learn that humans once walked alongside dinosaurs, Darwinian macroevolution doesn’t occur, and a global flood quickly carved the Grand Canyon. It’s a historical account completely foreign to anyone who was educated in a public school. The Creation Museum and its teachings seem distant to Princetonians walking on a campus with multiple Nobel Prize-winning scientists. But it’s not. For over the past 130 years, Princeton’s faculty and alumni have been leaders in the debate over creation. Although students don’t contemplate the origins of the universe often, they should explore the arguments pertaining to them. Secularists should engage with creationists in debates, because one’s position on these issues has significant practical implications. Currently, Young Earth Creationism is most prominent in Christianity. David Keddie ’04, a minister for the Princeton Christian Fellowship, told me in an interview, “That God created the world is very central to the message of the Bible. The mechanisms by which he created the world is secondary or more open to debate.” A recent Gallup poll showed that 38 percent of Americans believe that God created humans within the last 10,000 years. “I think where you’re coming from — whether you’re a scientist or theologian — determines how you see creation,” Keddie said. In 1859, Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” in which he argued that natural selection caused populations to evolve in branching patterns from common ancestors. Fifteen years later, Charles Hodge, the president of Princeton Theological Seminary, attacked evolution in his book “What is Darwinism?” “The denial of design in nature is virtually the denial of God. Mr. Darwin’s theory does deny all design in nature, therefore, his theory is virtually atheistical,” he argued. Across the street, Princeton University’s former president James McCosh disagreed with Hodge. “There are clear indications, in the geological ages, of a progression from the inanimate up to the animate,” and one can “trace all things up to God,” he said in one lecture. Simply put, he believed that evolution was compatible with divine creation. In 1908, President Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879, invited Edwin Grant Conklin to join Princeton’s faculty. He chaired the biology department and conducted pioneering embryological research. During his career, he gave over 1000 lectures across the country in support of Darwin. By the mid-20th century, Young Earth Creationism was losing popularity in the United States. Christians were abandoning literal interpretations of Genesis. But that all changed in 1961 when John Whitcomb ’46 co-authored “The Genesis Flood” — a book arguing that

geologic evidence proved the veracity of Noah’s global flood approximately 4,000 years ago. It reinvigorated the Young Earth Creationist movement. Substantiating Noah’s flood was critical because it would prove the Genesis account. “It is important to accept the entirety of what the Creator says about origin of the universe, the condition of man’s soul, the existence of sin and His solution for the sin problem,” Whitcomb wrote in an email. I asked Blair Schoene, a geochronologist in the geosciences department, if there is geologic evidence of a global flood that occurred circa 4,000 years ago. He replied, “No, not that I know of.” John Baumgardner GS ’70, a retired computational physicist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, sees proof of Noah’s flood in the sedimentary rock record. He is renowned for his computer simulations demonstrating that catastrophic plate tectonics was a central aspect of the biblical flood event. “Geologists simply are not trained to see major cataclysms in the Earth’s history — such events are outside their paradigm,” he said in a phone interview. Geologists date geological samples by measuring the concentrations of parent and daughter isotopes if those materials are demonstrated to be closed systems since their formation. Schoene said that the oldest rocks on Earth are 4 billion years old, and the oldest meteorites date back 4.57 billion years. “One of the best supports for an old Earth,” he said, “is that in carefully thoughtout experiments, you get the same ages if you date things with different radionuclides that decay from different processes.” While at Los Alamos, Baumgardner was part of a research team that claimed to identify multiple independent lines of radioisotope evidence that the Earth is young. He said that one of those lines involved the fact that zircon crystals in granite often retain a large fraction of the helium produced by the radioactive decay of the uranium that they contain. Yet his team found that the measured rate at which this helium leaks from these crystals implies an age only a tiny fraction of what conventional methods indicate. Schoene reviewed one of Baumgardner’s geochronology papers. He thought that its conclusions seemed indirect at best and should be redone given all the controversy surrounding its results. “In science there are always outlier studies that get answers different from other studies,” he noted. Schoene said that there is overwhelming evidence from thousands of other studies illustrating that Earth is vastly older than interpreted in Baumgardner’s paper. “If that paper is correct, the result should be reproducible using a modern understanding of physics and chemistry of Earth materials,” he added. Davis Young ’62, a Christian and retired geology professor at Calvin College, does not accept Young Earth creationists’ geologic interpretations. “In every case, their conclusions were not well argued,” he said of them in a phone interview. Young said he is is afraid that young people will grow up in churches that teach Young Earth Creationism, later see the convincing evidence for evolution or an old Earth in college, and then lose faith when their church’s core teachings are proven false. “I think that’s regrettable,” he said. “Problems arise when people misinterpret the scientific record or the Bible.” Dennis Olson, the Charles

T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, said he believes that ancient Israel’s story of creation in Genesis 1 doesn’t record a historical narrative. “Other cultures around Israel had similar creation stories,” he said in my interview with him. These other stories often followed a similar pattern. They usually started with a battle among the gods. The winning god took control of the universe, and a temple was built for the god and the god’s chosen human king. “The creation stories — they’re made to legitimize political claims to an empire,” Olson said. At the time that Genesis was written, the Babylonians had exiled the Israelites. Elements from other cultures’ creation stories were embedded in and adapted by the Bible’s version. Olson explained that, according to Genesis 1, the whole cosmos served as a physical temple to God, and the concluding establishment of the Sabbath on the seventh day of creation functioned as a kind of temple in time. Those beliefs allowed the Israelites to resist the Babylonian empire’s worldview. “It was a pretty bold claim by this little country Israel — which had been rolled over by larger empires — that their god was the one true god,” he said. But Young Earth Creationists believe that Genesis records the Earth’s early history. “The biblical account of creation is from the Creator Himself. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, said He created all things. There was no other observer there to provide any other account,” Whitcomb wrote. Ide Trotter GS ’60, a Christian and retired chemical engineer, has seen firsthand how creationism enters public debates. He appeared before the Texas State Board of Education in 2013 to criticize some proposed biology textbooks for their scientific inaccuracies. There were Young Earth Creationists on the Board and among the reviewers, though The New York Times wrongly insinuated that Trotter was one of them. “Evolution is a real thing,” Trotter said in a phone interview. “It’s just a question as to how far the mechanisms of evolution go.” In a textbook review several years earlier, Trotter said that the Young Earth Creationists on the Board tried to put disclaimers about evolution in the front of biology books. Trotter feared that such creationists “cripple our ability to retain and motivate bright and scientifically inclined young Christians.” Andrew Bocarsly, a professor in the chemistry department, has participated in several campus discussions about faith and science. “There is no evangelical position on creation,” he said in an interview with me. In other words, there isn’t a singular stance that evangelicals universally adopt on the origin of life and the universe, only a range of views. When asked how Christian scientists should interpret the story of creation in Genesis, he said, “That’s a 200-year-old debate. It hasn’t moved one inch since where it was back then.” Bocarsly said he doesn’t think that religion and science have to be in conflict with each other. But on the occasions that they do square off — such as in evolution versus creationism debates — he said, “When there is apparent conflict, it is our human interpretations that lead people to different conclusions.” These interpretations center on whether the Bible and science provide consistent records of creation. “Most students these days have no inkling that these are important

intellectual issues that they have to deal with,” Baumgardner said. On that point, he’s right. Students don’t spend enough time thinking about the origin of humans and the Universe. Our minds are constantly occupied by concerns about academics or careers. In the midst of our busy days, we forget to spend time pondering the existential questions that govern our outlook on life. Secular students may be quick to dismiss creationists. To them, the prospect of a young Earth seems as ridiculous as contending that the Earth is flat. Many secularists — including Richard Dawkins, a prominent atheist — say that scientists shouldn’t debate creationists because it gives them undeserved scientific legitimacy. Although I think that creationist science is doubtful at best, I won’t deny that the theological and philosophical arguments in this debate — about truth and its presence in Scripture — remain unresolved. I also can’t exclude the possibility that new evidence in the future could lead to radically different conclusions about creation than what is currently believed. Even if secular students don’t accept these reasons as appropriate grounds for treating creationists as equal intellectual opponents, they should at least consider the practical consequences of this debate. Other people’s morals depend upon how they perceive the state of the world, and there are always persuadable people in the middle. Someone with a religious young Earth view might see a planet that God created for humans to rule. On the other end of the spectrum, an old Earth atheist would see human existence as a grain of sand in the vast ocean of cosmological time. And there are many perspectives in between that don’t involve atheism or fundamentalism. These worldviews have innumerable impacts on morality, ethics, law, economics, politics, and medicine. Take environmentalism. Answers in Genesis — the ministry that runs the Creation Museum — maintains that in Genesis, God promised Noah that there would be a habitable climate after the Flood. Therefore, humans should prioritize helping people over taking measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. On the other hand, people with an old Earth view will know that the planet was flooded multiple times during warm periods in the past millions of years and realize that organisms are inextricably linked to their environment. They would conclude that they must preserve the planet for future generations. This is just one example of many showing how different metaphysical starting points lead to very different conclusions. A biblical starting point isn’t as valid as science on every issue, but scientists need to prove that to those who remain undecided. In the Creation Museum’s gift shop, a book about the fall of Christian colleges laments how Princeton, “was eroded by secularization.” While I don’t think that secularization has degraded this school, we should return to the days of Hodge and McCosh, when the origins of God and man were the biggest debates on campus. Perhaps then we can fulfill Princeton’s motto “Dei Sub Numine Viget” — Under the Protection of God She Flourishes. Liam O’Connor is a sophomore geosciences concentrator from Wyoming, Del. He can be reached at

vol. cxlii


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

142ND MANAGING BOARD managing editors Isabel Hsu ’19 Claire Lee ’19 head news editor Claire Thornton ’19 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 editors Danielle Hoffman ’20 Lyric Perot ’20 digital operations manager Sarah 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

NIGHT STAFF copy Douglas Corzine ’20 Paige Allen ’21 design Charlotte Adamo ’21

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Monday May 14, 2018

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Kangaroo court

Sinan Ozbay

Contributing Columnist


n this year’s first round of Honor Committee reforms, reform advocates advanced an interesting line of attack favoring a weaker Honor Committee. “Anyone so eager to punish their peers that they would join the Honor Committee,” the thought went, “must be as vicious as they are retributive. Therefore, we shouldn’t trust them with very much power at all.” If this suspicion is legitimate, it seems that we would do well to extend it to another group of students on campus: USG. Indeed, the student government was remarkably active in the last round of reform, with most members staunchly supporting it. Any way that you frame it however, USG’s support for reform was self-interested — either an attempt to improve its image or to expand its campus prerogatives. Claims of caring for the student body as reasons for supporting the reform are disingenuous or deluded. To begin, consider the obvious realities surround-

ing the Honor Committee. These give light to the utter absurdity of anyone pushing for reform of almost any stripe. The average student knows little to nothing about the goings-on of the Honor Committee. This is in practice result of apathy. Yet, even in principle, the well-maintained opacity of Honor Committee proceedings ensures that students will never have more than a very general sense of what goes on in hearings. It is therefore baff ling that anybody, much less those from USG who know better, could in good faith push for student referenda to change the contents of the rules. When students vote on change to the Honor Code, they aren’t privy to how many students are annually accused of cheating, taken to trial, or found guilty, just to name a handful of the most basic facts one would need to know to be informed. How could any student possibly make an informed decision on the matter of changing rules about which they have close to no information? Would they decide based on a metric of what seems

more compassionate? Blind good-faith? Abstract intuitions about justice? None of these metrics are even close to acceptable. Without knowledge of the size of the changes students stand to enact through Honor Code reform, or indeed a good sense of how the committee would react to changes, students may be voting directly against their interests, or worse, the interests of their peers. The votes can be cathartic, but nobody can justifiably claim that they are sure more good is done than harm by changing the rules, even in what seem to be the most obvious cases. For instance, what is presented as a reform to reduce standard penalties might compel the Committee to start hearing more cases and in turn, to punish more people than before. This is precisely the sort of thing we cannot know. The upshot of all this is very clear. Nobody, no less a member of student government, can push for reform in the name of helping students without being severely dishonest about their intentions. Nor can anyone

claim altruistic motives even if they’ve served on the committee itself. For all we know, they are assessing the additional information they have incorrectly. Unless a reform pushes for increased transparency about the goings-on of the Honor Committee, we ought to remain skeptical of advocates’ motives. When I see reform laptop stickers reminiscent of presidential campaigns and well-edited profile pictures that make Honor Code reform look more like a push to save Syrian children than an effort to change the mundane academic standards at a university, I can’t help but feel we’re being misled. In any case, the many members of USG — advocates for reform themselves — were evidently unashamed of their motives for reform. In a recent news article about the new reform, the president of USG herself, Rachel Yee ’19, said that the referendum will emphasize how important USG elections are, due to the role USG will have in arbitrating the evaluation committee that reviews the clerk or chair. As a decidedly twisted logic for reform, this

is the kind of admission I’d expect to be made only behind closed-doors. USG elections are not currently important, and this is mostly a function of how little power is vested in student government. The reform in question promised to include the USG in the power politics of the Honor Committee. This would, in turn, make USG elections important. Is the end-goal of reform to make USG important and relevant? Surely not. Yet, it is decidedly in the interests of USG for it to be just that. There is a great deal of opacity surrounding the Honor Committee. Perhaps this is by necessity, perhaps it is something we can change. But in the face of that opacity, the disingenuous proposals we’ve been given as reform options tell us very little about what would happen to students who are punished here, and much more about the motives of those who tout reform. Sinan Ozbay is a junior studying philosophy from Princeton, N.J. He can be reached at

Reflecting on the class government election Tiger Gao

Guest Columnist


lmost two weeks after I lost the election for freshman class president in a close final runoff where 40 votes could have swayed the outcome in my favor, I took some time reflecting on the reasons for my loss and the interesting phenomenon of Princeton elections. I understand some of you might take this article as me being a “sore loser” having a hard time to move on, but I want to sincerely express that that’s not where I’m coming from. My opponent Emma Parish is a nice, approachable person who has devoted so much time to USG in the past year. She has run a very effective campaign conveying her ideas, and I believe her win is well deserved. This article is by no means trying to delegitimize Emma’s campaign. I joined the race fully prepared to lose, only hoping to propose changes and bring awareness to the class government system. Having done a lot of reflection on this campaign, I realize that there are issues we can address as a community to help create better elections in the future. Inside the USG office space in Frist 204 where access is only granted to a few class officers, heated debates take place all the time regarding which food to order for the next study break … Seriously? We’re the class government of Princeton University with an annual budget of tens of thousands of dollars, and all we debate about is food? While study breaks and gear are in high demand, we need to look beyond our typical missions to address issues from

more fundamental levels, because let’s be real – bubble tea and quarter zips don’t bring a class together or create class unity. Some might argue that the only job of undergraduate class government is study breaks and gear. Because that’s how class gov has been run historically, that’s a valid opinion. There is a long-standing discussion in class government meetings that students can’t tell the difference between “USG” and “class gov.” Class gov is the five officers from each class whose jobs focus on their class alone, whereas the broader “USG” Senate involves in policy discussion like mental health programs and school-wide activity planning like Lawnparties. Class gov officers are always frustrated that they’re blamed for the Senate’s mistakes or asked about policyrelated questions — often responding with “that’s not our job!” But should it be our job? During my campaign, a few students reached out to me asking me how I would address the dire living conditions and deteriorating infrastructure in Campbell Hall. I realized at that moment that when students want to voice any opinion about the school, they go to their class officers — these are the USG people they elected and feel comfortable talking to, not the Senate subcommittee chairs that they barely know of. This is how Princeton students think and act, and to expect them to “direct their concerns to the correct people” is bureaucratic and irresponsible. Class gov is often the first and only contact students have. In this position, class gov officers should bravely take on more responsibility to help students,

not find excuses to maintain its limited role to curating study breaks and gear. A debate sprang up during this election on whether my ideas of working with eating clubs and opening up class gov for more student participation are “constitutional.” No part of the Class Government Constitution dictates that class gov is forbidden to build partnerships with other organizations. It only seems “unconstitutional” to propose new ideas because they break precedents. From this election, I saw the difficulty in bringing about any change in a system. Princeton teaches me to think out of the box and uphold a strong sense of social responsibility, but the class government system has also shown how much pushback one can face when trying to effect changes in a community. I understand that in every political election, rumor exists in one form or another, and I have no intention in criticizing such the objectivity of their existence. But I was still surprised by rumors’ far-reaching effects when some people told me that they wouldn’t vote for me simply because “Tiger’s responsible for our class quarter zip arriving two months late,” which is even admitted by my opponent as a false claim. Have these rumors possibly cost me some votes? Yes. But my opponents are also hurt by them. The damaging effect of rumors is that they exist on all sides of an election — they polarize candidates, distract voters from focusing on real issues, and make every candidate come out of the campaign limping. I told my close friends during the campaign that rumors are

hurting all candidates, and my friends indicated that there’s nothing I can do: “You can’t prevent people from spreading rumors about you or the others, Tiger. It’s politics.” Sure, rumors and dirty tricks might exist in real-world politics, but they don’t define what politics is, and in no case should we feel justified to spread rumors or condone the dissemination of disinformation simply because “it’s just what politics is.” The fact that political processes and systems have flaws only makes it more imperative for us, as Princeton students, to seek ways to create a sensible discourse, a noble road, and a solution for our society’s dilemma. Idealistic perhaps, but why not dream bold when at Princeton? After the election, I talked to ODUS about the possibility of setting up a third-party website in future elections where students can access and compare candidates’ platforms. Because there lacks a centralized system or voice of authority that can show students what each candidate actually proposes, students have a hard time finding out each candidate’s real ideas, and it becomes easier for rumors to dominate an election. My idea of a centralized website with candidate platforms might be a far stretch, but I have faith that someone in the future will come up with a solution to address the issue of rumor, which will surely benefit all candidates and create healthier elections. There are ideas we can bring to the table and meaningful discussions we can make people more aware of through this election. Instead, we often cast a vote based on some gossip news or emotional statement

we overheard at late meal. Why? Because there’s a sense of apathy deeply rooted in Princeton’s culture — that people don’t really care about student government elections or pretty much any extracurricular activity outside their circles. I felt nervous every day when I went around campaigning, because I know what I say to people isn’t really what they care about or want to spend time listening to. How do we get more people to pay attention about the work being done by class governments? I think it goes back to my previous claim that we need to diversify our ideas and expand on the issues we address. When class government is defined by study breaks and gear, it’s hard to get people to think that an election would have any impact on their lives. When we bring more changes to class government’s role at a fundamental level, I have faith that students will be less apathetic. All this being said, I want to congratulate Emma again and wish her and the other officers the best for the upcoming year. People have always considered USG elections as popularity contests, but I’m extremely glad to see popularity playing a diminishing role in this election and that so many voted based on the weight of ideas. Our class has yielded historic turnouts for this election, and as more students begin to pay attention to actual ideas, I have faith that changes in student government will happen soon — if not in my time, I’ve at least pushed the dialogue a bit further. Tiger Gao is a first-year from Beijing, China. He can be reached at

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Monday May 14, 2018

page 8


Women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA to Boston College, concluding spring season By David Xin Head Sports Editor

The women’s lacrosse team fell to No. 4 Boston College 16–10 to exit the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Tigers narrowly beat Syracuse in double overtime to clinch a spot in the second round. However, they were unable to overcome the early lead the Eagles built. Boston College jumped to an early lead in the first half.

It took a 5–1 advantage early in the match and extended its lead to five by halftime. Despite the setback, Princeton rallied in the second half. Jumping back to score three of the first four goals after the break, the Tigers tried to retake momentum. A strong Tiger defense held the Eagle’s leading scorer to just one goal. But Boston College rallied with a 4–1 run of their own to gain back their comfortable advantage. The

two teams traded shot for shot until the end. While the Tigers made a push in the final moments of the game, two potential Princeton goals were waved off, effectively ending the Princeton rally. Boston College went on to clinch the win 16–10. The Eagles will advance to the quarterfinals and face Stony Brook. Penn also fell out of NCAA contention after a 18–5 loss to the Seawolves. Last year, the Orange and Black de-

feated Cornell University in the NCAA tournament but fell to Penn State in a hard-fought match in the quarterfinals. Boston College led the Tigers in shots, 35–25. The Eagles won three more ground balls (17–14) and had a strong advantage in draws (17–11). While the loss is disappointing, there were some notable performances from the Tigers. Junior attack Elizabeth George and sophomore attack Tess D’Orsi led the Princeton

offense with both players recording hat tricks. Freshman goalie Sam Fish had eight saves, helping to keep Boston College’s top scorer to a relatively quiet game. The Princeton team has plenty to be proud of as it looks back on the season. The Tigers won their 14th Ivy League championship and their fourth Ivy League tournament title to earn the program’s 26th bid to the NCAA tournament.


The women’s lacrosse team fell to No. 4 Boston College 16–10 to exit the second round of the NCAA tournament. WOMEN’S TENNIS

Women’s tennis wraps up season with defeat at NCAA regionals By Jack Graham

Associate Sports Editor

In the opening match of the NCAA tournament in Lubbock, Texas, women’s tennis came within a point of knocking out No. 19 Illinois University, but fell just short to lose 4–3. Princeton was able to earn the

point for doubles, winning two out of three matches. Sophomore Clare McKee and senior Katrine Steffensen defeated Emilee Duong and Jaclyn Switkes, while senior Sara Goodwin and freshman Nathalie Rodilosso defeated Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz to secure the doubles point. In the singles division, Stef-

fensen was able to earn a crucial point against Illinois’s top player, No. 74-ranked Switkes. She won the first set 7–6 and dominated the second with a 6–0 win to seal the match. Also coming up victorious for Princeton was sophomore Gaby Pollner, who defeated Sasha Belaya in straight sets, 7–5 and 6–1.

Unfortunately, the Tigers were unable to earn the fourth and final point needed to advance to the next round of the tournament. Stephanie Schrage, McKee, and Rodilosso all lost in straight sets for Princeton, falling to Kawai, Rabinowitz, and Duong respectively. The closest match of the afternoon was


Women’s tennis came within a point of knocking out No. 19 Illinois University, but fell just short to lose 4–3.

Tweet of the Day

Stat of the Day

“Great effort by our Tigers in the #NCAAlax sec36 medals ond round against No. 4 seed Boston College. Great The men’s lightweight rowing team season Princeton!” earned 36 medals at the 2018 Eastern Princeton WLAX (@princetonwlax)

Sprints this past Sunday.

played between junior Nicole Kalhorn for Princeton and Daniela Novak for Illinois. Kalhorn won the first set 6–3 but was unable to close out her opponent, but Novak took the final two sets 6–3 and 6–4 to earn the win for herself and to seal the victory for Illinois. Illinois advanced to play Texas Tech in the finals of the Lubbock Regional but ultimately fell 4–2 on Saturday. Despite the defeat, Friday marked the culmination for a successful season for the team. They finished the season 19–4, good for the second most wins in program history. They also won the Ivy League title for the fourth time in five years, a remarkable accomplishment. Next year, the Tigers will undoubtedly look to maintain their status as the team to beat in the Ivy League. They will be faced with the daunting task of replacing their top singles player, Steffensen. However, they will be returning several key contributors from this year’s team, including Kalhorn, McKee, Schrage, and Rodilosso, the last two of whom were freshmen this year. Thus, if the team can build off this experience and continue to improve entering next season, it is easy to imagine it on the winning end of an NCAA regional match.

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May 14, 2018  
May 14, 2018