The Daily Princetonian: November 2020

Page 1


community without campus

LETTER From the Editor

vol. cxliv BOARD OF TRUSTEES president


Thomas E. Weber ’89

Douglas Widmann ’90

vice president


Craig Bloom ’88

second vice president

David Baumgarten ’06


Chanakya A. Sethi ’07

Alexia Quadrani Marcelo Rochabrun ’15 Kavita Saini ’09 Abigail Williams ’14

Francesca Barber Kathleen Crown trustees ex officio Gabriel Debenedetti ’12 Jonathan Ort ’21 Stephen Fuzesi ’00 Louis Aaron ’23 Zachary A. Goldfarb ’05 Michael Grabell ’03 John G. Horan ’74 Rick Klein ’98 James T. MacGregor ’66

144TH MANAGING BOARD editor-in-chief Jonathan Ort ’21

managing editors

Sustaining (campus) community


Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Whether we reside in dorms or our childhood bedrooms, this work continues.

hen I attend class these days, I keep my laptop pointed towards the window, for fear that a dirty sock or my unmade bed might slip into view. I join a few minutes late, opening Zoom as I scarf down an 11 a.m. “breakfast” or clear my desk, which has been buried beneath an avalanche of sticky notes, books, and empty bowls since March. Such is college without campus. In a column printed here, David Palomino reminds us that we never even bid Princeton a proper farewell. “We left with little warning,” he writes. “Goodbyes were too rushed, too hard, and too scarce.” In two letters that accompanied this semester’s previous print issues, I wondered what makes virtual college meaningful and asked how we should navigate the nation’s crosshairs. This issue, I believe, gives rise to another question: Does sustaining community require that we share a common campus? The answer, the pieces collected here suggest, is a resounding no, even as nine homebound months reveal just how much we rely on — and will always need — our campus. In 1996, Toni Morrison delivered a stirring address, “The Place of the Idea; The Idea of the Place,” to mark Princeton’s 250th anniversary. She speculated what Princeton might become by 2246, five hundred years after its founding. “Will gates again be locked? Will the mission have stumbled because the constituency has changed? Will instruction be executed solely in solitude by the isolated handling of sophisticated new machines?” she asked. In less than a quarter-century, Morrison’s last prediction has come to pass. As we await Princeton’s spring-semester decision (which we may very well know by the time you receive this issue), we can be sure that “sophisticated new machines” will remain part, if not all, of our education. Yet, for everything COVID-19 has taken, student communities remain vital. Princeton’s gates are still unlocked: our mission, clear. In Features and The Prospect, you’ll discover that first-year students have forged friendships with peers they’ve never met in person. In Sports, you’ll hear how teammates have come together, though they may not face a single opponent this year. You’ll learn how bonds of friendship convinced running back Collin Eaddy ’22 and his teammates to embark on gap years.

Earlier this semester, dozens of students gave their all to register poll workers and elect candidates who inspired them. Student-athletes discussed politics with their teammates, holding one another accountable to vote. We share their experiences here. In The Prospect, we chronicle how student arts groups and guest performers have adapted online. The section includes reviews of Songline Slam Poetry’s Newbie Arch, whose participants pioneered “a new way to slam,” and students’ annual Halloween rendition of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” In News, you’ll read how Princeton Mutual Aid, a community network founded in the pandemic’s wake, convened town residents to tell stories and raise funds. In the face of social barriers, you’ll become familiar with the online platforms that first-year students have used to meet each other. But fostering community is not to be done uncritically. To the contrary, we’re responsible for the shape our community takes. In the same speech, Morrison suggested that social activism could protect Princeton from the threats she feared. Rather than locked gates, errant missions, and impersonal machines, she urged the University to “[r]evel in the fact that its taproot was fed by the waters of civil dissent, has been nurtured by sound learning and respect for heterogeneous discourses on the dominant philosophical views of the world.” That dissenting vein imbues this issue. In Opinion, Claudia Frykberg contends that Princeton has failed to support student-athletes, particularly women, “in a year when our program is celebrating a major half-century milestone” — coeducation. Brittani Telfair argues that “uncivil acts,” which degrade students of color, have no place in our community. Won-Jae Chang, who lives in South Korea, calls on the University to demonstrate support for international students, whose differences in time zone result in enormous challenges. Anticipating our eventual return to campus, Elijah Benson urges Nassau Hall to create more spaces that celebrate students of marginalized identities. Whether we reside in dorms or our childhood bedrooms, this work continues. Likewise, community endures, even when we’re far from Princeton. On the day we finally return to campus, let’s not forget that. Jonathan Ort is editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian. He can be reached at and on Twitter at @ort_jon.

Benjamin Ball ’21 Elizabeth Parker ’21 Ivy Truong ’21 Cy Watsky ’21

Sections listed in alphabetical order.

head cartoon editors

associate video editor

Sydney Peng ’22 Daniel Te ’21

Mindy Burton ’23

associate cartoon editors Wendy Ho ’21 Adam Wickham ’22

head news editor Zachary Shevin ’22

associate news editors Albert Jiang ’21 Naomi Hess ’22 Marissa Michaels’22 Linh Nguyen ’21

chief copy editors Lydia Choi ’21 Anna McGee ’22

associate chief copy editors Celia Buchband ’22 Sydney Peng ’22

head design editor Harsimran Makkad ’22

associate design editors Abby Nishiwaki ’23 Anika Maskara ’23

head editor, digital transition Kenny Peng ’22

associate editors, digital transition Khadijah Anwar ’22 Richard Ma ’22

head features editors Alex Gjaja ’23 Rachel Sturley ’23

head opinion editors Rachel Kennedy ’21 Madeleine Marr ’21

associate opinion editors Shannon Chaffers ’22 Emma Treadway ’22

head prospect editors Paige Allen ’21 Cammie Lee ’22 Auhjanae McGee ’23

associate prospect editors Jack Allen ‘21 Lillian Chen ‘21 Jose Pablo Fernandez Garcia ‘23 Sreesha Ghosh ’23

head sports editor Alissa Selover ’21

associate sports editors

head multimedia editor

Emily Philippides ’22

Mark Dodici ’22

144TH BUSINESS BOARD business manager Louis Aaron ’23

director, digital products chief technology officer Andy He ’23

Anthony Hein ’22

business associates

lead software engineers, system architects

Benjamin Cai ’24 Gloria Wang ’24 Nelson Rogers ’24 Trisha Boonpongmanee ’24

Areeq Hasan ’24 Darius Jankauskas ’24

The covers of this issue were designed by Harsimran Makkad ’22.

Designed by Ashley Chung / The Daily Princetonian


Eating clubs to hold virtual Bicker, Street Week in 2021 By Evelyn Doskoch, Assistant News Editor | November 4, 2020


ince April, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the University’s 11 eating clubs to shut their doors and operate on a solely virtual basis. The eating clubs, however, plan to welcome new sophomore and junior members this spring through a virtual Street Week and Bicker process. Street Week will take place online from Jan. 31 to Feb. 13, 2021, according to Interclub Council (ICC) president Karthik Ramesh ’21. “The ICC surveyed the sophomore class to gauge interest in joining clubs next semester,” Ramesh wrote to The Daily Princetonian. “The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we are very excited to welcome the Class of ’23 in the spring into our strong virtual communities.” Though Street Week and Bicker have always been in-person events, Ramesh confirmed that both processes will be virtual. “We’re respecting the University’s outlines on social events,” he wrote. “We think it’s very unlikely that large-scale, in-person indoor gatherings will be safe by February.” Ramesh added that the ICC is working with club officers; graduate boards; Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources and Education (SHARE); Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS); and the Office of Campus Life to mitigate the “numerous challenges” that a virtual Street Week presents. According to an email sent to Cap & Gown Club members, which the ‘Prince’ obtained, “the first five days will be reserved for Bicker, the following seven for discussions, and the final two for sign-ins.” A Cap officer clarified that “signing-in” is the official term for the period of time “set aside for new members to get to know each other and other club members.” The email also laid out a basic plan for Bicker: One-on-one conversations will take place between current and prospective members over Zoom, with pairs being matched in breakout rooms. Ramesh confirmed that the ICC established this timeline, which will apply for all Bicker clubs. He indicated that sign-in clubs, which do not hold Bicker or discussions, will host events at their discretion during those 12 days, “as they have always done.” Instead of strictly afternoon and evening Bicker sessions, Cap plans to utilize blocks of time during “EST morning and afternoon slots” during the first day and then “EST evening slots” on subsequent days, with provisions made for international students. The club aims to complete Bicker conversations in three days, leaving “two grace days between Bicker and discussions for members to write cards and recuperate.”

Discussions at Cap, according to the message, will take place over Zoom as well, with votes on prospective members taking place via the Zoom polls function. The discussions are expected to last seven days, with three to four hours of discussion per day. The email encouraged members to recruit sophomore students from their extracurricular activities, as well as to keep diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind during the “inherently exclusive” Bicker process. A similar email sent to members of Tower Club in October included fewer specifics but confirmed that Bicker will take place and invited current members to apply to join the club’s Bicker Committee. Typically, eating clubs attract sophomore students to participate in Bicker and Street Week through guest meals or sophomore-oriented social events. Colonial Club, a sign-in eating club, has been the only eating club so far to advertise sophomore events on residential college listservs. Such events have included a “Sophomore Social” held on the video-call platform and a

“Sophomore Spook-tionary” event, in which members and sophomores played games over Zoom. Though no information on Street Week has been publicly released, internal communication from one eating club suggests that members hope to preserve eating club tradition. Cap officers wrote to members, “what it means to be a member of Cap has completely transformed over this past year.” They said, however, that participation in Bicker discussions would be “even more important this year … out of respect for the bickerees.” “COVID-19 has stripped away nearly all forms of social interactions and communities that we used to depend on,” an officer wrote. “I feel it is our obligation to take that request for community from our underclassmen as seriously and as generously as possible.” Officers of Cannon Club, Charter Club, Cloister Inn, Colonial Club, Cottage Club, Ivy Club, Terrace Club, Tiger Inn, and Tower Club did not respond to requests for comment. An officer from Quadrangle Club declined to comment. Jon Ort / The Daily Princetonian

Eating clubs line Prospect Avenue.



Ashley Chung / The Daily Princetonian


USG hosts $80K virtual Lawnparties with headliner Jason Derulo By Eva Vesely, Contributor | November 2, 2020


n Friday, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Social Committee hosted Lawnparties virtually, with Jason Derulo headlining and Glenna Jane Galarion ’21 opening. Viewership for the virtual event averaged around 400 at any given point in time, peaking at around 500 near the end of Derulo’s act. According to USG Social Chair Sophie Torres ’21, total viewership was “over 1,900,” not accounting for the viewing parties watching through each account. The concert was also available for students to watch online until 9 p.m. on Saturday. Torres told The Daily Princetonian in an email that the members of the Social Committee “are incredibly happy about the way Lawnparties turned out.” “I thought it was an amazing concert and that our acts, Glenna Jane and Jason Derulo, were really fantastic. I could not have asked for better performances,” Torres wrote. “I also want to give a shout-out to my amazing committee who helped me significantly and to everyone in USG for all of their hard work, both related to and unrelated to Lawnparties.” The event — streamed live on YouTube — started at 7 p.m. and lasted over an hour. Derulo’s performance itself lasted approximately 45 minutes and featured back-up dancers, a smoke machine, and digital art montages between songs. The setlist included recent hits such as “Savage Love,” which became popular on TikTok a few months ago, as well as some older fan-favorites like “Talk Dirty.” Galarion sang two songs for the opening performance: “Them Changes” by Thundercat and “Redbone” by Childish Gambino. The accompanying music was played by Ed Horan ’22, Christien Ayers ’23, Ewan Curtis ’23, and George Rettaliata ’21. As viewers waited for Derulo, students from Vote100 — an initiative focused on inspiring undergraduates to participate in all elections for which they are eligible to vote — held a brief discussion on the importance of voting



in preparation for the upcoming election. The USG Social Committee took several measures to make the event as interactive as possible, including hiring PUSH — a live streaming consultancy and production company — in the hopes of improving the quality of the show. This year, the Social Committee hosted a virtual meet-and-greet with Derulo and a few students. Viewers could tag @princetonsoccomm on their Instagram and TikTok posts to enter for a chance to win. They also ran a t-shirt giveaway benefiting Tigers for Nassau, with proceeds going to COVID-19 relief for local businesses. Despite the interactive elements, some students were disappointed by the performance. The criticism stemmed from earlier backlash directed at USG for spending $80,000 on the virtual event — or 42 percent of its annual budget — during the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of students criticized the $80,000 price tag during the event using YouTube’s chat feature. USG has maintained that rules surrounding funds already earmarked by the University prevented the Social Committee from donating the money — or from spending it on any events in future semesters. After attending the event, Ben Guzovsky ’24 commented, “I was disappointed but not surprised. Even online, there is so much potential for an event like this to be special, but I really did just spend an hour watching Jason Derulo and three backup dancers hang around what looked like his kitchen.” Masha Khartchenko ’24, one of the winners of the Derulo meet-and-greet, also told the ‘Prince’ in an email that it did not live up to her expectations. Despite being informed that the meeting would last three minutes, “I did not get to ask him the questions I wanted to,” Khartchenko wrote. “When I joined the meeting, he said hello to us, told us to take a screenshot, and then left — a total of 10 seconds.” Khartchenko said she had just enough time

to ask him if he was going to vote, to which he responded that he was. She thought Lawnparties was fun, and she enjoyed hearing Galarion sing. Khartchenko, however, expressed frustration about the event’s price tag. “It felt so wrong to hear that they are spending 80 THOUSAND dollars to hear a TikToker sing V I R T U A L LY, while there are people dying because they cannot a fford hea lt hcare,” she wrote i n an email to t h e ‘Prince.’


Princeton Mutual Aid ‘online storytelling’ fundraiser raises over $3.5K By Miguel Gracia-Zhang, Contributor | October 14, 2020


rganizers for Princeton Mutual Aid (PMA), a community network created during the COVID-19 pandemic to help locals in need, utilized the creativity of the Princeton community during their storytelling fundraising event “Giving and Taking.” Over 100 Princeton community members and students attended the event on Tuesday over Zoom. The panel, moderated by Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence Deborah Amos, featured a diverse array of seven speakers who shared stories about immigration and community and raised over $3500 from about 100 individual donors in the process. Since its founding in March, PMA has provided community members with emergency cash assistance, food deliveries, rent assistance, tutoring, translation services, and help applying for government emergency relief. The proceeds from the storytelling event will go directly to utilities, food, and medicine for community members in Princeton. “This is one of those moments when the community and the University come together,” Amos said at the meeting’s outset. “The concept of mutual aid is that people know what they need,” said Jim Christy, a local playwright and PMA member who organized the event. “This is about building a closer community within Princeton.”

PMA was created by local residents and students in late March of this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It began with a dozen people delivering food and medical supplies and has grown to an organization, with over 300 members serving the entire Princeton community. Yan Wang, a postdoctoral researcher at the University, is also an organizer for PMA. “We’ve redistributed over $60,000 and connected many more with resources and goods,” Wang said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian. Wang said that NEW S in mid-summer, as government relief funds were drying up, PMA leadership started thinking about how it could address a “huge structural issue” in the community — housing insecurity. “We were trying to brainstorm ways to come up with rent support for people when Jim called up with this idea of a talent show,” said Wang. Christy said he originally wanted the show to have a variety of performances, but eventually decided to focus on storytelling as a theme. “Stories are a way to bring people together — anybody can have a story and tell a story,” he said. The difficulty, however, was finding the right people to tell the stories. The selection process required months of planning and weeks of sending email requests to guest speakers. “We got a wall of nos for three weeks and then three people said yes all at once,” said Christy. “It’s all a bit rag-tag, but we’re so

Giving & Taking



Ashley Chung / The Daily Princetonian

thrilled with the people that we got.” Amos, for one, expressed appreciation for the event. “It’s hard to figure out what to do, you know, for the people in this town that are having a bad time,” she said in an interview with the ‘Prince.’ “I think it’s pretty cool that we have all come together to do this.” The guest speakers shared a variety of personal stories that spoke to the night’s theme: giving and taking. Associate Professor of Classics Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06 read from his essay “Documentary Anxieties,” which recounted the troubles he experienced getting the right visas and paperwork to be in school, as well as his feelings of “displacement and dislocation” after arriving in the United Kingdom for his graduate studies. Princeton councilwoman Leticia Fraga shared her story of coming to the United States as a child from her birthplace of Mexicali, Mexico, less than a mile away from the U.S. border . “I want to write down this story for us and my children and their children to know where

it all started, how we got here,” she said. Aasif Mandvi, a Daily Show correspondent and writer, read a personal story from his book “No Land’s Man” of how his father came to the United States and fell in love with “ridiculously large brunches.” Joe Richman, a former Ferris Professor of Journalism and founder of Radio Diaries, re-

Priya Vulchi ’22 and Harvard sophomore Winona Guo, co-founders of the non-profit CHOOSE, spoke about their gap year traveling to all 50 states and writing “Tell Me Who You Are,” a book on racial literacy, and how their friendship grew through this experience. Labyrinth Books owner Dorothea von Moltke reflected on how Guo and Vulchi’s story fit into PMA’s goals. “[These stories] connect personal intimate stories and the structures that create conditions for the lived struggles,” she said. “That duality is pretty in the work of Princeton - Jim Christy, PMA Organizer special Mutual Aid.” Christy and Wang hope to follow this vision in their work counted his coverage of the New York sanitafor PMA, even after the pandemic. tion police’s bust-up of newspaper robbers in “At the center of our organization is long the 1990s. term sustainability,” Wang explained. “Even Aleksandar Hemon, a MacArthur and though it was kind of catalyzed by the COVID Guggenheim award-winning author, shared pandemic from the beginning, we’ve always a personal story about how his short trip to thought about how we will continue to reach the United States became permanent when it people even after the pandemic.” coincided with the siege of Sarajevo.

“Stories are a way to bring people together — anybody can have a story and tell a story.”

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Entryways program attendance fluctuates as first-years face Zoom fatigue By Eliza Shaffer and Katherine Dailey, Contributors | October 1, 2020

Jane Doe


n its first month, the Entryways program — a virtual experience designed to help first-year students acclimate to the college experience — has seen mixed results. In addition to encouraging first-year students to take seminar courses, the Entryways program includes weekly colloquiums hosted by faculty and “College 101” discussions, which involve weekly meetings with Peer Academic Advisors (PAA) and asynchronous conversations on Canvas. The program runs weekly, with the exception of midterms week. All first-year students are invited to join the programming, though participation is not mandatory. Cecily Swanson, Associate Dean for Academic Advising, told The Daily Princetonian that she hoped Entryways would replicate as best as possible the traditional zee group experience. According to Swanson, the colloquia aimed “to give students another way of engaging with Princeton’s rich academic life, this time through the most important feature, our faculty” and for “first-years to start thinking broadly about what a liberal arts education means, and what Princeton means when we think about interdisciplinarity.” Past faculty conversations were led by Dean of the College Jill Dolan; Assistant Professor of Computer Science Olga Russakovsky; and Fred Wherry, Towsend Martin Class of 1917 Professor of Sociology. A colloquium held today featured President Emerita Shirley Tilghman. Similarly, the PAAs tasked with leading the College 101 experience hoped to provide a space for first-years to bond with one another and adjust to Princeton’s academic demands. Mary

Davis ’22, a PAA in Forbes College, said one of her main goals was to make resources accessible to students despite them being off campus. Usually an unpaid position, PAAs received a $960 stipend this fall due to their “central role” in College 101, according to University Deputy Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss. The events themselves have been met with varying degrees of success, with each weekly colloquia attended by approximately a quarter of the Class of 2024, according to Swanson. Attendance to zee group meetings has varied. Davis described participation in her zee group as “about where I’d hoped” at roughly 70 percent attendance. Whitman PAA Justin Yan ’21, however, said, “If I get half the zee group to show up, that’s a lot, even to the weekly meetings.” “I’ve heard from other groups that have had very few people come and had everyone come,” Davis added. Some first-years reported feeling overwhelmed by the program’s expectations. Sydney Spector ’24 said she was unhappy with “the sheer number of [events].” “I end up not going to any of them instead of actually sorting through to find the most important ones,” she said. The amount of time students spend looking at screens daily, from classes and homework to club meetings, has compounded this challenge. Spector said she spends “on a good day, at least four hours” on Zoom. In addition to time spent for classes, students connect with friends on Zoom. Spector added, “if you’re at home, and if you’re taking the virus seriously, [Zoom is] your only contact to the outside world.”

Some students, however, have found the adjustment to virtual learning less difficult. Jack Green ’24 has gone to all College 101 meetings and colloquia, isn’t feeling Zoom fatigue, and believes the Entryways program and “ClassPath,” a related summer advising course, have helped him adjust. “Personally, I feel acclimated, as much as I feel like I can ... I think getting that started before the school year started was definitely helpful to transition from an overload of information and people to something more regular and intimate,” he told the ‘Prince.’ “Personally, I feel, not over-supported, but almost.” Swanson was understanding of the difficulties faced by both PAAs and first-years and recognized that incoming students may not engage fully with all of the program’s materials. “The College 101 materials had multiple ways of engaging, so you could choose to read through the week’s module and do the interactive assignment, you could do the asynchronous discussion, you could participate in the live conversation, even if you weren’t doing all three every week — which would of course be ideal, but I also recognize the reality,” she said. Bethany Villaruz ’24, who has not attended many Entryways events, recognized the challenge of creating engaging virtual programming for students who expected to be on campus. “Honestly, I think they did the best they could, given the circumstances,” she said. “I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault, necessarily, I just think it’s hard to make these kinds of things work in an online model.” THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Helen So / The Daily Princetonian


Separated by distance, student groups use Discord to simulate community By Mesonma Anwasi, Contributor | October 1, 2020


n lieu of in-person meetings, a variety of University clubs and student organizations have turned to Discord for communication and community building. Organizers and leaders of University clubs praised the unique structure of Discord servers as one of the key reasons for the switch, but also noted multiple complications while using the platform. Discord is a messaging app that was first released in May 2015 and is prominently used by gamers. A Discord server usually consists of multiple “channels,” with each channel having a different theme or purpose. These channels can incorporate voice and video chat in addition to the text chat that accompanies most communication/messaging apps. “You can replicate, kind of, the classroom experience and a lecture, but it’s a lot harder to replicate things like hanging out in a dining hall or in your dorm room or just walking around together,” stated Ashlee Shaw, Associate Director of the Scholars Institute Fellows Program (SIFP). SIFP began using Discord this year to communicate. Their server includes over 40 channels, including voice chat rooms, study groups, and even a channel to share pet photos. “We wanted to create a sort of flexible space where students have the ability to have small con-

these casual spaces.’” “It’s kind of like a virtual Frist,“ Class of 2022 president Santiago Guiran ’22 remarked, noting that Discord servers allow for multiple virtual rooms, mimicking the community engagement at Frist Campus Center. “I feel like it’s something people can dig, and if it’s something that we can get the ball rolling with, then I can definitely see it becoming better than other alternatives we’ve been presented with.” The Class of 2022 currently utilizes a class-wide Discord server, run by their class government. While the future of Discord as a common mode of campus-wide communication is still unknown, many are hoping that it can continue to be used to increase among stu- Ashlee Shaw, SIFP Associate Director engagement dents. “Students are starting to one into the rooms they were supposed to be in ... warm up to the idea of using the platform,” Whitbecause the tournament would’ve been 200 peo- man RCA Kelton Chastulik ’21 said. “I don’t see it ple being sorted into rooms,” PDP president Jane as something that takes over any other mode of Mentzinger ’22 said. “The bot couldn’t handle it.” communication, but I do think it will be a viable For most groups however, Discord has been es- option for students down the line.” Discord updated its app in March to better acsential in COVID-era community building. “We used it during FSI [Freshman Scholars In- commodate students including the expansion of stitute] and it was really, really effective,” Shaw their Go Live feature, which now allows up to 50 said. “There’s always this warm-up period where people to live video chat. Discord also recently people figure out what the social norms are ... that created “classroom templates” which makes onperiod of people realizing, ‘It’s okay, you can post line classroom navigation easier for teachers and memes here,’ ‘you can talk to each other and have students. versations or livestream or really just gather that wasn’t strictly structured,” Shaw said. Discord also has bots that are able to perform different tasks within the chat room and can even be coded to obey specific commands. However, Princeton Debate Panel (PDP), which also used Discord, reported multiple problems with this feature. “This weekend we had a tournament where they had created a bot to automatically sort every-

“We wanted to create a sort of flexible space where students have the ability to... gather that wasn’t strictly structured.”

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‘Talking to myself in my basement’ First-years share stories of making friends online

By Anika Buch, Staff Writer | November 8, 2020


ou click on a Zoom link with an 11-digit meeting ID. And then you’re there. No near-bike accidents; no showing up late, drenched or frozen. No running into someone along the way. Just you, with a few other rectangles on your screen. The other people there? You’ve never seen, much less met, them. You don’t know the sound of their voices, their laughs. They’re from all over the world. They’re your friends-to-be. Someone types in the chat: a warm welcome to the newest class of Tigers. This scene is nauseatingly familiar to so many members of the Class of 2024, whether it be pulled from orientation events, the first few days of classes, or new club meetings. For many of these students, a campus they have never stepped foot on seems intangible — and the people who populate it, even more remote. Some first-years have ameliorated these challenges by living with roommates or visiting campus when possible. Nick Masters ’24, a member of the wrestling team, is originally from Georgia. He and a few teammates are spending the fall just off campus. “This was my first time away from my family for an extended period of time,” Masters explained. Masters and his new roommates agreed to more than just rooming together — they signed up to cook together, to take classes together, and to

s p e nd a l most all of their days together. Masters admitted that, for him, there was “a little bit of a nervousness coming into it, because you don’t really know each other that much.” Now, with the semester nearing a close, it “seems like we’ve lived here longer than we actually have,” Masters said. Isabel Schoeman ’24 also tried to replicate traditional accommodations. As the semester began, she moved into an apartment with another Princeton student; they had never met in person. Schoeman said she the experience has promoted her to “redefine what you consider social.” “With my roommate, it’s pretty easy for me to develop a friendship with her because I’m with her all the time,” she said. Schoeman, like Masters, has adjusted her social expectations to fit the pandemic, choosing to spend most days

with her roommate. Some first-years have adopted another strategy to simulate a normal semester: visiting campus. Madison Linton ’24 explained that she and a few friends enjoy studying by the Forbes patio and frequent stores on Nassau Street. While Linton appreciated her surroundings, being in Princeton reinforced how unusual this year has been. She said she found herself thinking, “this could have been us!” According to the students, visiting campus evokes what could have been. With campus in THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Ashley Chung / The Daily Princetonian

mind, Zoom classes — particularly if attended from your childhood bedroom — become all the more disheartening. “Eventually, it kind of all hits you that this is the same place that you spent the last six months,” Tony Owens ’24 said about spending the semester at home. Noah Luch ’24 agreed. “I really want to go watch a movie with some of my friends, or just hang out and get coffee or something, but I’m just stuck with a screen that gives me a headache after a few hours,” he said. According to Masters, when first-years do make it onto campus, “we’re going to be compensating for something.” Some older Princeton students, sympathetic to the firstyears’ plight, have organized programming that mimics the in-person experience. Buds at a Distance (BuDs) simulates meeting people randomly, which would happen spontaneously on campus. Co-founder Hannah Reynolds ’22 explained that the program intends to “expose people to people they never would have met before.” “A lot of what my friendships at Princeton have come out of are shared experiences,” Reynolds said. “Aside from classes, we don’t have that many shared experiences right now over Zoom.” Reynolds is a columnist at The Daily Princetonian. Impromptu Zooms also replicate in-person interaction. Luch said his most engaging experience over Zoom was “some of the Butler Zoom calls. Those are really fun, especially because sometimes they go to, like, 11 to 12 a.m.” Many first-year students have also joined clubs and found the experience engaging. Though first-years have taken advantage of BuDs, club Zooms, and impromptu meetings on a variety of platforms, making

friends virtually remains difficult — particularly when those new friends are liable to disappear as internet instability strikes or a breakout room closes. For Luch, the Zoom social sphere has sparked cognitive dissonance. “At a very basic level, I realize I’m sitting here in front of a computer, basically just talking to myself in my basement,” he said. “In my mind, it does not feel the same.” Alison Lee ’24 worried that Zoom friendships could lack permanence. “It’s kind of hard to keep that friendship going, at least personally, as like a, ‘oh my god, you’ve become like my best friend’ over Zoom and text without being able to see them or hang out with them,” she said. Maria Khartchenko ’24 expressed a similar concern. “I do worry about whether there will be more awkwa rdness in person,” she said. Ad it hya Sriram ’24 agreed. “I don’t think we’ll ever - Noah Luch ’24 get back to what we were before,” he said. “I think it’ll take a long time for everyone to get used to being with each other.” Amid these challenges, students are making the most of college. According to Gabe Robare ’24, a contributing Sports and Features writer at the ‘Prince,’ “It’s more difficult, it takes more effort, but I think effort is a good thing. These friendships that have taken more effort will be stronger in the end.” Sydney Johnson ’24, Class of 2024 Class Councilor, summed up the experience. “I am never going to get over the fact that we did not have the traditional freshman year,” she said. “It was something that I looked forward to for such a long time. But a lot of things have happened in my life that have taught me that you have to make the best of your circumstance.”

“At a very basic level, I realize I’m sitting here in front of a computer, basically just talking to myself in my basement.”


Spring 2021 Courses of Interest ART/ARC 102 An Introduction to the History of Architecture (LA) Baudez | Pre-Recorded ART/ARC 233 Renaissance Art and Architecture (LA) Mangone | Pre-Recorded ART 290 The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (HA) Vischak | Pre-Recorded ART 310/HLS 354/MED 307/REL 305 The Icon (LA) Willson | TTh 11:00 am–12:20 pm ART 356/EAS 367 Landscape and the Visual Arts in China (LA) Wang | MW 1:30–2:50 pm ART 397/ECS 398 Reckoning with History, Responding to the Present: Art in Europe Since 1960 (HA or LA) Doherty/Stobaugh | TTh 3:00–4:20 pm ART 402/HUM 406/MED 402 Ethics in Archaeology (EM) Kay | TTh 1:30–2:50 pm ART/VIS/ECS 494 Avant-Gardism & (Anti) Capitalism (HA or LA) Foster/Perl | M 1:30–4:20 pm

For full course list, visit:


‘A wake-up call’ Princeton students recall the wildfires that seared California

By Rachel Sturley and Reva Singh, Head Features Editor and Staff Writer | November 1, 2020


hen Mona Wang GS looked out her window in San Francisco on Sept. 9, she “wondered if the apocalypse was coming.” Social media and national news reacted similarly. Photos of the day’s suffocating orange skies circulated on the Internet, prompting widespread alarm. But while the online fervor soon died down, Californian residents suffered a record-breaking wildfire season that, to date, has set over 4.7 million acres across California and Oregon ablaze. The Daily Princetonian spoke with several Princeton students among those residents about life amid the wildfires and what comes next. Charlie Cowen-Breen ’22, originally from Boston, moved to California for the fall to live with friends — a decision that proved more consequential than he ever imagined. Starting his semester in San Luis Obispo, Cowen-Breen moved north to Lake Tahoe in late September. He reflected on the conditions upon arriving. “There was a very scary sounding critical fire warning in Lake Tahoe the day that we arrived,” he recalled. Cowen-Breen then read the precautions that California’s state government released that day: “‘Now is the time to ensure your vehicle has a full tank of fuel and is parked facing out, your devices are charged, your emergency go kit is currently within reach, and your family and pets are prepared, practiced, and ready to evacuate.’” He shared a photograph of an air quality marker located in town, noting that it reminded him

of “a doomsday clock.” The occasional Boston blizzard had hardly prepared him for such a tinderbox. Wang, by contrast, has lived in the Bay Area for six years; she knows the drill when it comes to the wildfire season. She’s fully equipped with a pink gas mask, a window insulator, and an air filter. The last two purchases came after a smoke alarm went off in the middle of the night — poisonous smoke from the fires had been seeping into her home, despite Wang’s windows being shut. But this fall presented new, more dangerous circumstances. Fires in other areas spelled trouble for her friends, and she welcomed an influx of evacuees into her house. Already quarantined for COVID-19, she was forced to remain house-bound for a week due to the air’s high smoke content. With the looming possibility of evacuation, not to mention days when the sun didn’t rise, Wang said, “it was hard to get work done.” Bridgette Schafer ’24, currently on a gap year, also calls the San Francisco Bay Area home — one that felt very alien this year. “They told us to be ready to evacuate two separate times because there were dry lightning warnings,” Schafer recalled. “We had our bags packed. Everyone was terrified.” More mentally taxing than those warnings was the perpetual sense of alarm; Schafer recalled the days of extreme heat and high winds, in which her town had to be on high alert. She didn’t remember these happening with such frequency in past years. “On those days, if a spark catches, our entire town could go up in flames.” Schafer related an experience from early September: “I was at the beach, and as we were there we saw a fire start on a hill across from us. It blew across the whole skyline and covered the entire horizon.” The last fire was only a few weeks ago, right across the street from her old high school. With fires in such close proximity, Schafer’s family decided to take extra precautions this season. They

“I was at the beach, and as we were there we saw a fire start on a hill across from us. It blew across the whole skyline and covered the entire horizon.”

- Bridgette Schafer ’24



Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian

bought a pump hose to connect to their pool, in case they needed to spray down their house before evacuating. “I got super paranoid one day because leading up to our backyard is all this dry hillside,” she recalled. “So I borrowed a rake from a friend and spent the day moving all the dry grass away from our house — I just figured, if this catches, we’re done for.” On a day-to-day basis, Schafer has experienced heightened anxiety — not to mention headaches, fatigue, and other side effects from being forced to stay inside. She usually relies on runs, hikes and other outdoor activities as part of her daily routine. Since the wildfires season started, she’s fallen back on Nike app indoor workouts and online yoga. The forced retreat indoors reminded Wang of the spring’s quarantine. “It’s hard to separate the fires from coronavirus and the general political state of the world,” she said. The fires’ intersection with COVID-19 also weighed on Schafer. Both Schafer and Wang found that their masks served a dual purpose. “Masks have been a helpful normalization,” Schafer said. “In past years, even with bad fires, we’d have to go to school; some kids would wear masks, which was abnormal to see. Now, thank goodness, we all have to wear our masks outside, because it helps me breathe.” Wang’s gas mask, purchased two years ago, resembles a prop out of a cyberpunk film. To her, the object has come to rep-

Courtesy of Mona Wang GS

Wildfires turned the San Francisco sky orange.

resent the upheaval of this year. She’s used it on three separate occasions: during the mask shortage in March; against pepper spray during Black Lives Matter protests in June; and in September, when the wildfire smoke was so bad that the California sky turned orange for two days. October brought cooler weather, and with it a lowered wildfire risk. After months of contaminated air and falling ash so thick it obscured her car windows, Schafer celebrated her “first clear day.” “Everyone went outside to see the blue sky, just sucking in the air,” Schafer remembered. “That kind of relief about clean air — I hadn’t felt that ever before.” As the wildfire season finally cools down, attention is

turning to the Nov. 3 election; the students find themselves armed with only their ballots as the climate disaster escalates. “As a voter this year, which I’ve never been before, it’s interesting to see how people’s campaigns are built around this tragedy,” Schafer said. “Each person running for city council has said that fires are one of their top three priorities ... and for people’s campaigns, being endorsed by the firefighters is a huge selling point.” She worries that campaigns are leveraging this fall’s fear and stress to gain voter support. Nonetheless, she found the “lack of national government response” even more troubling — seeing local government officials eager to do something about the fires, she said, is better than nothing. And with climate change as such a central issue in the presidential election, Schafer hopes that the severity of this fire season will send a message. “It’s definitely a wake up call for some people,” Schafer said. “The classic examples of climate change — ice caps melting, sea levels rising — those are hard to see in your day-today life. But when the sky is covered in smoke and you’re looking around your room trying to decide what to take with you if you evacuate, it gets way too real.” Wang shared a similar sentiment — she placed an onus on national, rather than individual, action as the way to move forward. “I think there needs to be systemic change for anything to happen. The fires have led me to feel a little bit hopeless, because not using a plastic straw isn’t going to save your friend’s house that burnt down.”


The Poll Hero Project

Princeton students bring Gen Z to the polls By Sofia Alvarado, Staff Writer | October 29, 2020


ith a consequential election less than a week away, questions about voting — who, how, where — are on everyone’s minds. But for a dedicated group of Princeton students, the logistics of voting have taken up months of time and energy, and their efforts have garnered national praise. It all started when a small group of Princeton students, working this summer on the Vote 2020 By Mail initiative, came face to face with a hard truth: states needed a lot more personnel, not just funding, for in-person voting plans. Without further support, the lack of poll workers would become “the biggest problem facing the election,” in the words of Kai Tsurumaki ’23.

“The Project recruits young people to work at local polling places.” In the primary elections, several states were forced to scale down the number of polling places available after thousands of poll workers resigned. In Milwaukee, Wis., the city government had to reduce the number of polling sites from 180 to 5, leading to long waiting lines and large crowds — an especially egregious problem amid a pandemic. Historically, the majority of poll workers tend to be older. In the 2018 midterm elections, it was reported that about 58 percent of poll workers were 61 or older. According to the Centers for Disease Control, such an age group is at risk of suffering complications from COVID-19. Th is election would therefore likely see a drastic drop in the number of poll workers, as elderly volunteers would be forced to stay home for their health. It was in recognition of this crisis that the Poll Hero Project was born. Joining Tsurumaki in the Project’s creation were other Princeton students, a group of Denver East High School students, and a graduate from the University

the 35,000 recruits, 20,000 of them are still in of Chicago Booth School of Business. high school. The Project recruits young people to work at “There are many 16- and 17-year-olds who local polling places. In just a few months, the can’t vote, but they can work the polls,” exPoll Hero Project estimates to have signed up plained Tsurumaki. “And even for those peoover 35,000 poll workers. Organizers largely ple who can vote, they want to take it a step target high school and college students, two further this year and actually do even more to demographics often criticized for their lack of help with the election.” political involvement. Kennedy Mattes ’23, another co-founder of In order to reach out to these younger authe Project, agreed. diences, the team developed a user-friendly “Student opportunities to be involved in dewebsite where people can register to be a poll mocracy are already so limited, especially for worker; the team then works behind-thethose who can’t even vote,” she said. “So this scenes to ensure they are able to volunteer. being a unique opportunity where they can According to Ella Gantman ’23, co-founder of the Project, this work includes research to learn local guidelines The University Center for Human Values about how new poll is pleased to announce its workers register. Af9th ANNUAL ter the Project’s research is done, they send the relevant paperwork to the prospective poll worker, who must simply fill it out and send it to their election official. “We just want this process to be as easy as possible, and we want to limit the friction that the students have to go through,” said Gantman. And, as they have discovered, there are The University Center for Human Values awards an annual Short Movie Prize of $1000. DEADLINE: many students who Honorable Mentions are made from time to time and these are awarded a prize of $250. Friday, March 5, 2021 In 2020-21, the jury will consider digital videos (or films transferred to digital form) of any want to participate. theme. Open to undergraduate students. One entry allowed per student. The deadline to With the rise of social submit entries is no later than Friday, March 5, 2021. media and increased SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS political awareness in • The preferred length of the short movie is around 7 minutes, but there is no maximum or minimum length. Music to which rights have not been secured can be used as long as the young people, more film is not shown commercially; students are becom• Undergraduate students should upload their video to a website–YouTube, Vimeo, or some other video sharing website–and provide the jury with a stable URL; ing politically active • Each submission must be accompanied by a short biography (no more than one and getting involved paragraph) of the student who made the movie (if more than one student, submit a separate biography for each student); in the election pro• A supporting statement about the short movie (no more than one page, double spaced). cess, even when they • Please submit your films here: are not of voting age. The Poll Hero Project For more information and questions, please visit is no exception: out of or contact Kimberly Murray (


Helen So / The Daily Princetonian

take on a greater amount of responsibility, I Detroit, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and a few others. think that really helped us get the results that But as Poll Hero has grown, so has their reach we did, just because students were so inclined — they now have teams focused throughout to want to participate more.” the United States. Young voices, the co-founders all stressed, With just a few days until the election, the are not just getting louder on social media Poll Heroes are not slowing down. Along with feeds — they’re getting tangible results. With the March for Our Lives campaign, countless examples of social media activism, and many more, noted Gantman, Generation Z has been instrumental in moving the needle in the political sphere. “It’s amazing to see what the youth can do in terms of organizing,” Gantman said. Gen Z may be playing an outsized role in the Poll Hero sign-ups, but the interviewed students all pointed to a veteran poll worker and member of the Princeton community as an inspiration for their work. Laura maintaining their activity on social media and Wooten, who worked in Butler College’s food other platforms to keep recruiting new volservice for 27 years, started to volunteer at the unteers, they are also working to ensure that election polls when she was 18. Wooten would those already signed up actually work the polls. go on to be the longest continuously serving Gantman explained how they motivate poll worker in the United States, having voluntheir participants: “first and foremost, by foteered for 79 years. She died in 2019. cusing on the election and for democracy, but For Wooten, voting was paramount. “Don’t we also want to give them another incentive if stay home and say your vote doesn’t count. they choose to volunteer.” Without voting, there won’t be any changes. These “incentives” include everything from Another vote makes a difference,” she said in an interview published on the University homepage in 2018. Wooten encouraged people who could not vote to become poll workers, Courtesy of Kai partially inspiring the Poll Hero Project’s ef- Tsurumaki ’23 Poll heroes forts today. from Thanks to social media, the group has been Princeton able to recruit more poll workers than they first thought possible. The group’s original target and beyond. was to recruit 1,000 poll workers by Election Day. In three weeks, they had already signed up 1,500 volunteers. Spurred by this initial triumph, they expanded their efforts onto multiple online platforms and social media sites. Th is pivot to new forms of recruitment proved crucial to their continued success. After a TikTok video about the Poll Hero Project went viral, the team received more sign-ups from that post alone than from all their efforts since the start of the project. Now, with over 35,000 registered poll workers and almost 14,000 Twitter and Instagram followers, their project has become larger than they could have ever imagined. With the sheer number of people that the Project reaches, the team of 108 students — 11 from Princeton — has carefully divided up the work. To create an efficient model, they formed different squads that focus on specific cities and states. In the beginning, the Project focused specifically on areas where they saw the most need for poll workers: Philadelphia,

creating an easy-to-use volunteer checklist called “The Journey” to teaming up with different organizations that can co-host Zoom calls with celebrities and give out prizes. While the team is currently devoting its attention to the 2020 elections, members have begun to think about the future of the Poll Hero Project. “We have been able to see what we can build up, and we don’t want to just let that go,” said Mattes. The next decision about their future post-election involves deciding whether they should continue to focus solely on recruiting poll workers or expand their focus on other areas of the election that still are inaccessible to potential voters, such as their initial work with vote-by-mail. Because each election cycle brings new challenges, the team is still unsure how their project will develop in the future. But, Tsurumaki emphasized, the team is committed to “continue the project to do all we can to help democracy and youth engagement.” “We think we have something really special, and we want to make sure that we can continue it in a way that keeps our core mission alive,” Gantman said.

“After a TikTok video about the Poll Hero Project went viral, the team received more sign-ups from that post alone than from all their efforts since the start of the project.”



Princeton away from Princeton What does college from your bedroom look like for students? Candace Do and Justin Cai, Staff Photographers | November 17, 2020

We asked Princeton students to send in photos of their study spaces at home and tell us about their experiences from online college. Here’s what they said.

What are you most looking forward to about campus life? I am looking forward to finally being able to meet in person all the friends I have made over Zoom. The opportunity to have fun over a meal or a game of spikeball is a little overdue. - Matias Vincent ’24 (Portland, Ore.)

What is a positive experience you’ve had while learning and living at home? A positive experience I’ve had while learning and living at home is definitely the relatively slower pace of things. Though I do miss running around on campus, it is on some level really nice to be able to go at your own pace a bit more, cook the foods you love without feeling rushed (savor that coffee in the morning), spend more time sleeping, and talk to friends on the phone outside of the Princeton bubble. - Catherine Song ’21 (Park City, Utah)

Helen So and Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian

What special things will you bring from home to your campus study space? I’d bring my desk lamp along with my sketchbook and drawing materials for sure. I’d also have my planner with me at all times and this really useful eraser shaving vacuum I got (it’s behind my glass of water!). - Paige Min ’24 (Tenafly, N.J.)

How has your experience been with senior year online?

Being online is nowhere near as fulfilling as being in person. It really sucks knowing that I won’t ever get to experience Princeton like it was before. - Arielle Mindel ’21 (Princeton, N.J.)

Tell us about your study space or anything you miss from studying on campus! My study space is just my desk in my bedroom; it’s the same one I used during high school, though I have made some changes to it in terms of what I have in its drawers and bookshelves. The postcards and binder clip booklet are all from the trips I took back in 2019 during my gap year, and they bring me a bit of joy whenever I look at them. - José Pablo Fernández García ’23 (Associate Prospect Editor) (Loveland, Ohio) 16 THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

Anika Maskara / The Daily Princetonian


A new Street:

A suggestion for expanding the Carl A. Fields Center Elijah Benson

Contributing Columnist November 9, 2020


ne Saturday in my sophomore year, I ventured all the way from my room in Whitman College to the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding (CAF) to go study with some friends. I was inconvenienced, to say the least. Walking the more than half-mile in the famously-brisk New Jersey November weather was suboptimal. But I went all the way to CAF to study because I wanted to do something that I hadn’t done since I got on campus: study in their African American study space. Once I got there, snacks and water with me as I arrived, I had an underwhelming feeling of the space. Already in the room were two other friends (both African American) whom we did not expect to be there. Luckily enough, we all knew each other so we had no problem studying together, but therein lies the problem. Why isn’t there enough space for our two groups to be able to study separately? Had we not all known each other, and my friends who were already in the space had rightfully refused to move from the space they already occupied, this would have created a very “awkward” situation. The people with whom I came would either have to occupy another one of the rooms that had been designated for other groups or find another space altogether to study. While that wouldn’t have been impossible, this shouldn’t be a problem in the first place, since more than one group of African American students should be able to study in the African American study space. With esteemed alumna Mellody Hobson ’91 giving the University a major gift, there will be a new residential college built where First College (formerly known as Wilson College) stands. As the first residential college named for a Black woman, this is a historic and momentous shift for the University that has also dissociated from the Woodrow Wilson name this year. Hobson said, “my hope is that my name will remind future generations of students — especially those who are Black and brown and the ‘firsts’ in their families — that they too belong. Renaming Wilson College is my very personal way of letting them know that our past does not have to be our future.” Hobson has taken a very necessary and important

step in the fight for more substantive diversity within the University. The next steps to this process, however, include changes that affect the dynamics of the University on both a micro and macro level. One step that can be taken from here is to focus on creating more spaces on campus that highlight diversity. The Fields Center is a fantastic space. However, CAF alone is inadequate to be the sole place that is meant to celebrate diversity on campus. CAF, on its first floor, has plenty of room to host events. That is not the problem and is a major positive of the space. What is a problem is the second floor. On the second floor, there are separate rooms that are designed to be spaces for studying or meeting according to different eth-

tral place on campus so they are easily accessible and not as far away as CAF is now. There has been frustration expressed on the placement of CAF before, which continues to this day. Thus, with my proposed buildings, location is of utmost importance. These buildings should be in a highly visible and accessible place on campus; I propose it should not be too far off from Prospect Garden, a hub for faculty and students alike, as well as a prominent visiting place for tourists. Furthermore, these buildings must include as many resources as possible to maximize their effect. Similarly to CAF, they should each include study and event spaces. To a grander scale than CAF, each building should celebrate the unique identity it houses. These buildings, if built correctly, would be a much-needed injection of energy to make students of color feel as if there is a substantial space for them to exist on campus as opposed to the rooms that exist now at CAF. CAF would still exist, but serve a different function, as a sort of a headquarters for diversity and a home base for the other buildings. These other buildings would be of great benefit for students and be crucial to their success at Princeton because there would exist a space where they can truly unpack and unwind during their time at Princeton. With Hobson’s gift and residential college, as well as the dissociation from Woodrow Wilson’s name, new buildings celebrating diversity would further the momentum of the University as it tries to turn a new chapter in its history. No longer would only one group of students be plausibly able to occupy the African American study space because there could be a whole building for us to go study in. Thank you, Mellody Hobson, for taking a massive step to help students of color at Princeton. We will try to build on your legacy from here.

“The Fields Center is a fantastic space. However, CAF alone is inadequate to be the sole place that is meant to celebrate diversity on campus ” nic backgrounds. These rooms, individually, aren’t larger than a standard dorm room and are not sufficient to serve all the students of color. Furthermore, these rooms are not likely to be used for their stated purpose because of CAF’s location toward the end of Prospect Avenue. The Women*s, LGBT, and AccessAbility Centers, respectively, are housed inside of Frist Campus Center in rooms with similar dimensions. The University should not confine these important and meaningful identities to the space of a dorm room; rather, each identity should have its own building the size of CAF. When looking at the rest of campus, names like that of former University President and Founding Father John Witherspoon are everywhere and are a constant reminder of Princeton’s history. With that being said, there needs to be a greater effort to have centers of diversity throughout campus instead of in one location. Similar to “the Street,” the University should build a row of buildings that house different identities. These buildings could augment the new residential colleges that are being built as a commitment to highlighting diversity on campus. However, these buildings should be in a cen-

Elijah Benson is a junior from Newark, N.J. He can be reached at THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Anika Maskara / The Daily Princetonian


When sport meets silence

The unraveling of collegiate athletics Claudia Frykberg

Contributing Columnist

November 8, 2020


he 2020–2021 season marks the 50th anniversary of women’s sports at Princeton University. The relative newness of the women’s athletic program is a rather striking and timely reminder that women’s collegiate sports are still in their infancy. The fact that such a momentous milestone has landed this year — a year in which it is not clear whether sports at all— demonstrates the fragility of our athletic system, especially the women’s program. As a result, it is important now more than ever to protect the spirit of sport at Princeton. But instead of preserving and promoting collegiate athletics, the administration has been mostly silent and decidedly vague. Last week, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 wrote that Princeton will announce its spring semester plans during the first week of December. However, the email did not mention college sports, leaving teams, coaches and athletes to wonder when or if they should expect to hear anything about the spring season. As athletic programs face tremendous upheaval, the administration’s lack of guidance has made it difficult to navigate this trying situation. This lack of communication has had a number of consequences for our athletic community. As a member of the women’s swim team, I have experienced first hand the harmful effects of team members being spread far and wide with no clarity on when they can reunite. The knowledge that we have little time left with our seniors, the leaders of our team, only exacerbates the grief associated with our loss of proximity. Indeed, seniors playing spring sports face an especially difficult situation this year. With no clarity as to the likelihood of a spring season, they are left in the dark about whether or not their final season is already behind them. This ambiguity is not only incredibly emotionally trying, but it also presents a practical issue. Between applying for jobs or to graduate school, working on a senior thesis, and attending classes, time is a

luxury many seniors do not have. Dedicated commitment to collegiate sport necessitates copious hours of practice, training, travel, and recovery. The sad reality for many seniors is that without having a season to work towards, their time may be better spent on other professional or creative endeavors that better prepare them for life beyond college. Without such certainty, or even an indication as to what to expect in the spring of 2021, the graduating class is left in limbo. This lack of certainty has also affected Princeton’s coaches. Isolated from their athletes and without a championship to prepare for, they are left unsure of their role in uncharted athletic territory. Recent NCAA rulings have made it so that student-athletes who are in-season, but not on campus, are not allowed to have virtual prac-

teams are in disarray — a state only worsened by the inability to meet in-person and make collective decisions and plans. The lack of clarity has also damaged the prospects of future athletes at Princeton. In some instances, the University’s response to the pandemic has driven entire teams, such as men’s golf, to take leaves of absences, completely disrupting the usual recruitment process and leaving very few spots for the incoming class of 2025. While all of these challenges affect the broader collegiate community, the irony that they should disrupt women’s athletics in a year when our program is celebrating a major half-century milestone makes the disruption feel that much more profound. Tradition needs time to grow roots and the uncertainty that has come with the physical uprooting of athletes feels specifically acute for women’s sports. There is no doubt that collegiate sports cannot go on the way it normally would in the coming semester. The pandemic has brought enormous challenges, entirely disturbing familiar methods of operation and making the execution of a collegiate season more difficult than ever before. However, this does not mean that we should do away with the idea of competition altogether. Indeed, Princeton collegiate sports have brought joy, purpose, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging to the student community; values that are even more important in our current moment. During this time, coaches and athletes are especially in need of reassurance and guidance, yet the administration seems reluctant to offer a single word as to what we can expect in the spring, or even an inclination that they are attempting to find creative solutions to address the challenges we face. Guarantees aren’t needed, nor are hasty decisions, or promises that are likely to be broken. Any gesture will do – just to know that our staff, coaches, and athletes have not been forgotten, and that our voices have not been lost in the void.

“Not only have relationships between athletes and coaches disintegrated, those among athletes have as well. Teams are breaking down.”


tices supervised by coaches, and are unable to report any stats or data from athletically-related practices or workouts to our coaches. Meanwhile, in-conference rival teams with players on campus are still able to hold practices, even with COVID-19 restrictions in place. With the knowledge that competitors are free to do much more during this time, tensions have never been higher between coach and team, which only serves to exacerbate existing feelings of isolation and distance that coincide with the virtual format. Not only have relationships between athletes and coaches disintegrated, those among athletes have as well. Teams are breaking down. Some student-athletes have decided that they would be better off pursuing their goals elsewhere and, receiving no word from the administration regarding sports in the spring, elected to transfer. With transfer students leaving absences in their wake,

Claudia Frykberg is a junior in the English department. She can be reached at

Anika Maskara / The Daily Princetonian


Won-Jae Chang

Contributing Columnist November 5, 2020


14-hour time difference from Korea to Princeton is difficult, as anyone I’ve complained to about my sleep schedule can attest. Yet being an international student in the age of COVID-19 means much more than a time difference. Rather, what’s most frustrating is feeling different and oftentimes less important than our United States-based peers. The University must ensure better, equitable treatment of our international student body. Perhaps what is most difficult about being an international student at this time is the feeling of being overlooked. Whenever I have a class past midnight or an event that is held at 4 a.m. local time, it is not just the time zone that presents an issue. It is also the mentality that comes with feeling that you and your fellow international students have once again been overlooked in a decision that could well have been avoided by a simple adjustment.

students in the United States that has begun to take shape through increased xenophobia and resentment. But it’s not just that which contributes to a feeling of otherness. It’s the small, seemingly trivial things that have the largest impact. Between not having received the welcome packages that our American resident peers received months ago, to being unable to visit campus during fall break, these small differences accumulate to what ends up being a large impact. Yes, we are international: that’s the label we are given for coming from opposite ends of the world. But before that, we’re simply students. Our passports might say South Korea, Brazil, or Kenya, but like all students, we applied to Princeton and rejoiced when we got in. We went through the same standardized exams and teenage melodrama, and still struggle through the same problem sets and cry through our papers. We are no different, and we deserve to be prioritized in the same way that students are. There are many individuals in Princeton’s community who display this much-needed kindness and consideration. In my experience, many upperclassmen and student leaders have been generous and thoughtful when planning events or meetings; for instance, one of my club presidents messaged the international students in our group to ask us about meeting times she should avoid. Many of my professors and preceptors have also been mindful about providing class times and office hours that are convenient for different time zones. These small acts of consideration go a long way: not only do they let us sleep at reasonable hours, they also demonstrate support for our student body. Yet Princeton, as an institution, can still improve its treatment of the international student body. While I recognize that it is impossible and unrealistic to push for changes in all class times, small changes such as keeping convenient precept times open for international students, or providing some priority in choosing precept times, would be a phenomenal way of showing support. For first-year students, it would be beneficial to provide more variety in class times for freshman seminars, instead

“Yes, we are international... But before that, we’re simply students.” Just because international students make up a minority of the student body does not mean that we should have to sacrifice sleep and life to avoid feeling excluded. In his column about international students and club meeting times, Rohit Narayanan ’24 excellently points out that “real leadership doesn’t turn a blind eye to inequities for the sake of simplicity.” This statement especially holds true as we transition into a second semester. As we anticipate the different circumstances that will be brought to the table in the months to come, the University community has an opportunity and responsibility to address the shortcomings of a first semester online. The inherent flaw with the current approach is the importance that we place on the label “international student.” Rather than a classification based on citizenship, this label paints students living outside the United States with a broad stroke, and what feels like a new and separate identity. This is due in large part to the current hostility towards international

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Reflections of an international student

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of holding most classes between 1:30 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. eastern time, which is highly inconvenient for most East Asian time zones — where a large number of our international student body comes from, according to The Daily Princetonian’s freshman survey. But more importantly, including the voice of international students when making decisions will be the most effective method in assisting us. Even if we cannot sway decisions or change policies as the relatively smaller group we are, our voices deserve to be better heard. Perhaps international upperclassmen have more of a say in these matters than I myself experience, but the University must recognize that international first-years are undergoing many situations that are unique to our class. For example, many of us are unable to reside in the United States due to immigration policies, whereas upperclassmen are allowed to live inside the country and can thus minimize time zone differences. Keep us in mind, and show that you value our voice: ask for our feedback, but not just once a semester; keep an open channel of communication. One way to do this is to create a committee of international students from different areas of the world that would report specific problems we face both specifically, and collectively. I cannot speak on behalf of every international student, or even every international first-year. We are all in different situations. In addition, there are definitely students within the United States who undergo similar or even more difficult problems; this is not to undermine any of their struggles. Still, this remains true: our international students deserve better treatment and more representation in decisions. I write not in criticism, but in a mere request for support during these difficult times. Won-Jae Chang is a first-year from New York and Seoul, South Korea. He can be found at THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Abby Nishiwaki / The Daily Princetonian


When we come back David Palomino

Contributing Columnist October 18, 2020


hen Japan surrendered in 1945, the Nassau Bell rang for three and a half hours. From Nassau Street to Nassau Hall, a “milling crowd” of townspeople, military, and students cheered, celebrating the end. Today, we may long for a similar end. We may long for the bell, the crowd, the moment that tells us the pandemic is over. Yet that moment may never come. “There will be no sudden victory,” a doctor tells the New York Times, because pandemics do not end simply. Pandemics persist. No singular event, no medical marvel, will end this era and hail the next. Even with the announcement of a vaccine, immunizing a sufficient segment of the United States could take months or years. Students should brace for the long haul. When students return to campus, the University may not be the same. The Princeton many left, the Princeton many firstyears never met, may be shadowed by health measures that leave us aching for our college experience. But in that slow and careful crawl back to normalcy, we might find comfort in people and places we have forgotten. We cannot be faulted for forgetting. We left with little warning. Goodbyes were too rushed, too hard, and too scarce. No one who left campus had enough time to see everyone or everything they wanted. It is no surprise that we might forget the face of someone we once spoke to or the view from a spot we once appreciated — many thought we would return soon enough. Now, a return date is anyone’s guess. While the University administration may choose to open campus for the spring semester or the next academic year, it may also may reverse its decision as it did this past fall. The dangers may be too high. Yet the University administration will also reckon with institutional and finan20 THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

cial realities. Despite Princeton’s enormous endowment, the administration will undoubtedly feel mounting pressures to welcome students back. Given that the pandemic will not end in the near future, such pressures might ultimately determine that this welcome will be sooner rather than later. This event seems likely. Besides institutional and financial pressures, the University might also be pushed to open simply because people grow tired. They yearn for normalcy. For college students, this yearning is palpable: It is the pressing feeling that their classes have been reduced to small screens, that a long and late night alone could have felt shorter and brighter with friends. The day will come when Princeton opens its campus. Whether that day is before or after COVID-19 treatment has been perfected is uncertain — but whenever that day arrives, caution will drive conduct. Housing, dining, classroom learning, and social activities will be regulated by appropriate health measures. Without common rooms filled with voices, without seminars of crowded tables, Princeton may not feel as it once did. Yet one might find comfort in simply returning. Stepping on campus, one might be reminded of the way snow rests on Blair Arch, the way the sun rises over Poe Field, the way rain pools before RoMa’s steps, the way people rested against trees at Cannon Green, the way people’s laughter carried over Firestone’s shelves. We might have forgotten these moments. When we come back, we will remember. David Palomino is a junior in the politics department from Los Angeles, Calif. He can be reached at

“The Princeton many left, the Princeton many first-years never met, may be shadowed by health measures that leave us aching for our college experience. But in that slow and careful crawl back to normalcy, we might find comfort in people and places we have forgotten.”

Abby Nishiwaki / The Daily Princetonian


You are not entitled to ‘civility’ Brittani Telfair

Contributing Columnist October 21, 2020


n high school, I had a better relationship with civil discourse. I was part of my school’s We the People team, and we competed in competitions centered on debating pressing constitutional issues. At Princeton, though, I noticed that things changed. I began dreading certain classes’ lectures and precepts. It wasn’t until recently that I realized why. My relationship with civil discourse wasn’t fracturing because I was becoming more radical or college-level discussions were more complex (I got deep into constitutional law in high school, studying everything from Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to the definition of speech). It was because, in my department at least, I’ve found that “civil discourse” is “no holds barred.” Anything is up for debate, and that includes my right to be in the classroom at all. The reality is, civil discourse does not always have symmetric asks of everyone involved. For instance, a student of color may be asked to defend why marginalized communities should have equal rights if their oppression pleases white people and makes the latter better off. If they respond with frustration, they may be

“Students of color don’t have a responsibility to educate and correct their peers.”

accused of being “uncivil.” However, this would be a misplacement of blame. To demand that some students defend their presence, their identity, and their very existence is an uncivil act, regardless of how politely the demand is posed. Anger or frustration in a student’s response does not invalidate their argument, as they are responding to an act of aggression. Ultimately, students of color should not have to deal with a lower-quality educational environment simply so their white peers can frolic around in thought experiments that carry no valence for them. Racist remarks should have no place in classroom “civil discourse”; they inflict trauma and degrade a significant portion of the student body. I have encountered classmates who justified racial degradation and disenfranchisement on the basis of continued white prosperity in one class. In another, I was asked if Brown v. Board of Education “should have happened.” Over the years, I’ve heard innumerable racist stereotypes recounted as though they were fact. My academic experience has not been enriched by any of this. I carefully monitored the tone of my responses, but the expectation to do so shouldn’t be on me: my classmates should be expected to treat students of color with respect. Students of color don’t have a responsibility to educate and correct their peers. Read a book. Consult the internet. Take a class centered around understanding race and difference, such as those offered within the African American Studies department. Princeton students have many resources at their disposal. At this point, if they remain ignorant about the pervasive effects of race and racism and instead seek to belittle their classmates, it is willfully so. The concepts of civil discourse and mutual respectability ask us to treat

“We can discuss many things calmly and politely. My worth is not one of them, and no one is entitled to conversation, civility, or respect if they think otherwise.” every idea as though it is worthwhile, holding them up to the light and investigating them carefully and unemotionally. Plainly put, this is nonsense. Some ideas are not worth discussing; the basic and fully-answered question of whether or not racism is real is a distraction from talking about how to handle its innumerable impacts. This is not to say that civil discourse is entirely bankrupt. As James Baldwin said, “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” We can discuss many things calmly and politely. My worth is not one of them, and no one is entitled to conversation, civility, or respect if they think otherwise. Brittani Telfair is a junior from Richmond, Va. concentrating in the School of Public and International Affairs. She can be reached at THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN




Starting Essays

Paige Min ’24

Research Presentation

Elizabeth Medina ’24

Modern Conversations

Victor Guan ’21

Abby Nishiwaki / The Daily Princetonian

Outdoor i s t r a c t i o n s

Emily Wu ’24

CAPTION CONTEST WINNING CAPTION “It’s not a Zoom glitch; my face isn’t loading.” Submitted by Daniel Te ’21

Abigail Litvak ’24




As COVID-19 upends Ivy League play, men’s soccer head coach Jim Barlow focuses ‘on the things we can control’ By Wilson Conn, Contributor | November 10, 2020


hen the Ivy League announced that fall athletic competition was canceled, any plans coaches had made for in-person activities vanished. Teams such as men’s soccer, however, have adapted to their time off-campus, even as uncertainty shrouds their spring season. “We’re just trying to focus on the things we can control,” said head coach Jim Barlow, in his 24th year at the Princeton men’s soccer program. Though some schools have held in-person practices, Barlow said he “trust[s] that the University made the best decision … for the health of the community” when it decided not to welcome the vast majority of undergraduates back to campus this fall. “We are still in a holding pattern with regard to our spring plans,” he added, pending next month’s announcement. Although the team has not conducted in-person practice since March, the players and coaches have done their best to remain in close contact. Though much of their Zoom meeting time has been dedicated to “chalk talk” and film in the spring, the team branched out over the summer to cover a wide variety of topics, including racial justice and leadership. The team also welcomed two Princeton Soccer alumni

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations, enacted due to the large number of athletes taking leaves of absence, have prevented the team from engaging in team-wide discussions about tactics on the practice field. NCAA code stipulates that players not currently enrolled cannot attend team meetings in which soccer tactics are discussed, though the rest of the team is permitted to discuss tactics. Barlow said that around 40 percent of his squad elected to take a gap year. “It was really on a case-by-case basis with each player, trying to decide what made the most sense for [each player], and what he was planning on doing … with the year,” Barlow said. He also noted that some players’ plans became clearer once the University announced in August that students approved only for two-year leaves could reject the offer. While coaches cannot communicate tactics to players on leave, they are able to discuss workouts and other objectives to help the players keep on track. Barlow added that the NCAA recently announced a forthcoming exception, which will allow gap year students to be part of sport-related discussions. Some team members are living and training together, and many have competed with club teams thanks to NCAA exceptions made this year for gap-year athletes. Players taking a year of absence have also been able to fill time with meaningful work in the community; one player volunteered as a poll worker, others have been involved with initiatives in the University’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the team worked together with Princeton Women’s Soccer to raise money for homeless youth. “We’ve had some guys involved in service activities, and that has been good,” Barlow said. Beyond complicating the logistics of team meetings, the number of players taking a year off has also presented recruiting challenges. The team is looking to bring in a smaller recruiting class next year in order to maintain a steady number on the roster. “We usually hope to bring in six or seven new players ev-

“Though much of their Zoom meeting time has been dedicated to “chalk talk” and film in the spring, the team branched out over the summer to cover a wide variety of topics, including racial justice and leadership.” who produced Soccertown, USA, a documentary that tells the stories of Tab Ramos, Tony Meola, and John Harkes, all of whom grew up together in Kearny, NJ and went on to be star players for the U.S. Men’s National Team. The team also heard from Jesse Marsch ’96, coach of Red Bull Salzburg, and Charlie Stillitano ’81, chair of Relevent Sports. 24 THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN

ery year ... this year we are hoping for only around four,” Barlow said. “From a long-term standpoint … it is helpful that [leaves] weren’t clustered in one or two classes.” Recruiting challenges also surfaced after the NCAA extended the recruiting “dead period” to January, making

“There’s nothing as fun … as when your team starts to become a team.”

- Jim Barlow, Men’s Soccer Head Coach

it more difficult for the staff to get a nuanced look at their recruiting targets. Even while many clubs and schools are holding competitions across the country, the dead period prevents them from either watching or meeting with recruits in person. Instead of in-person recruiting, Barlow’s staff has no choice but to watch a massive amount of film. “We’re getting inundated with tons and tons of film [from prospects] to go through,” he said Despite obvious complications, Barlow remains positive about the recruiting process. “We’re still optimistic that really good student-athletes are going to be interested in Princeton,” he said. “Our biggest selling point is our incredible campus and facilities … it’s awesome to be able to have our recruits interact with [professors and staff],” albeit in a virtual setting. Barlow acknowledged that the being remote and not knowing how the spring will unfold have been frustrating. “The thing that has been removed is the most fun part,” he lamented, in reference to practices and games. Barlow has watched quite a bit of soccer, taken long walks, and listened to a variety of podcasts since March, but nothing quite matches the excitement of being on the pitch. Yet, he remains excited for the future. “I look forward to pushing training sessions … and figuring out who will take care of what responsibilities,“ he said. “There’s nothing as fun … as when your team starts to become a team.”


‘Deep in this voting thing’ Princeton athletes reflect on how they prepared for Election Day

By Rachel Posner and Julia Nguyen, Assistant Sports Editor Emerita and Contributor | November 4, 2020


ccording to Isabelle Chandler ’21, a senior captain on the women’s lightweight crew team, voting “is a right and an awesome opportunity that we have.” Among Princeton student-athletes, she isn’t alone. The Daily Princetonian asked representatives from six varsity teams about how they and their teams promoted voting in the weeks leading to Election Day. Conversations with Chandler, women’s cross country and track and field’s Elizabeth Chittenden ’21, women’s soccer’s Ella Gantman ’23, men’s basketball’s Ryan Schwieger ’21, men’s soccer’s Benjamin Bograd ’23 and Khamari Hadaway ’25, and football’s Caleb Coleman ’24 shed light on their efforts.

‘That’s what we do as a team’ While all teams set voter registration goals, the men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s basketball, and women’s cross country and track and field teams officially achieved 100 percent voter registration among all eligible teammates. Team members expressed gratitude for their coaching staff’s help getting there. Schwieger, a senior guard and team captain on the men’s basketball team, credited the team’s 100 percent voter registration to check-ins during weekly team Zoom calls, where he answered any questions about voter registration status, such as in cases of dual citizenship. Recalling those calls, Schwieger said, “if you know you aren’t registered for a couple of weeks, it was like, let’s figure it out, let’s get registered.” According to Schwieger, head coach Mitch Henderson “was one of the leading voices in getting us all to register.” Similar to the men’s basketball team, the men’s soccer and football teams also utilized team meetings. In addition to talking through voter registration, they discussed ongoing movements for social and racial justice. “We give a lot of ideas of what we can do to support and raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. That’s what we do as a team,” Hadaway explained.

Alissa Selover / The Daily Princetonian

A collage of six of the athletes that the ‘Prince’ spoke to showing off their voting stickers or voting projects.

About a quarter of the women who row on the lightweight team are international. Nevertheless, senior team captain Isabelle Chandler said most teammates registered to vote. In the week before the election, Chandler sent out an email encouraging those eligible to register. The teams’ coaching and support staff also helped. “There are lots of resources that are sent out by the Princeton Athletic department in general, and our coaches emphasize this with additional emails, pointing us to where we can go to vote,” Chittenden explained.

away, Gantman, Schweiger, Coleman, Chandler, and other team leaders turned to the next step: ensuring everyone had a voting plan. Gantman said that she wanted to make sure the “100 percent registration rate converts into 100 percent voting rate,” and she was fairly certain that everyone on the team would vote. Schwieger said that state-specific rules about absentee ballots made voting this year more confusing. “Absentee ballots aren’t the easiest thing to remember to do, between going to class and whatnot, and once you remember to do it you have to do it right,” Schweiger said. “But if we do it as a team and we hold each other accountable, there’s no excuses for Making a plan not voting.” After achieving their first goal, Chittenden, HadGantman agreed that voting required “a lot more



Gantman became her team’s voting “point person.” “I had a lot of different teammates asking me about absentee ballots and mail-in and what deadlines were and how they would find out about certain things, and so I would try to do that research for them and get back to them,” she said. Based on this research, Gantman said, “ is a really great resource — if you look up your state, it will have the instruction for every different kind of circumstance you can find yourself in.” Gantman also explained that “voting has come up in a colloquial manner” among her teammates. While living with some of her teammates in South Carolina, the team watched the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates and “had fun with it.” “We debated topics, and we’re still friends. We’re able to have those discussions in a respectful manner,” Gantman said. Many other teams shared this sentiment, noting that political discussions had always remained respectful. “We talk about pretty much everything in the locker room or on the bus to games, so talking about the debate or something isn’t much different,” Schwieger explained. belongs to a group - Ryan Schwieger ’21 chatSchwieger with other senior teammates and their faculty fellow, Gene Grosswas offering in-person early voting, he went with man, an expert on international trade. “[Grossman] sent us 10 texts explaining what this his mother a couple weeks prior to Election Day. Hadaway, a resident of Virginia, voted by mail-in means and what that means” after some questions ballot. “I was so excited to go to the polls,” he said. “I came up during the Vice Presidential debate, Schweiwas so excited to vote, but it was so anticlimactic — ger said. He added that many people involved with the getting it in the mail, filling out, and just being done. team and the athletics department were “there for us for anything we need in this process.” But I’m so grateful that I can and that I did.” While Hadaway stressed that the men’s soccer Although Bograd’s home state is New Jersey, he is currently residing in California. Bograd’s family players had not “pushed an agenda for a specific canmailed him an absentee ballot weeks before Election didate,” their conversations made clear “that this election is very important for the Black community and Day. Chandler was registered in Connecticut and for a lot of different communities that are struggling right now under the Trump administration,” Hadmade plans to vote in person on Election Day. away said. According to Bograd, though teammates hold difTalking as a team fering views on certain political topics, the team parVoting often arose outside official team contexts. ticipated in “civil discussion,” which never devolved Gantman, along with the women’s soccer coaches into “unproductive conversation.” The lightweight women’s crew also pushed into and captains, said she found it important to bring up “more political discussions surrounding the election,” voting in both casual and official team settings. “I’ve been pushing that this is important in our Chandler said. Over the summer, the crew team held group chats and asking people if they have any a biweekly book club to discuss systemic racism in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests. questions,” Gantman explained. coordination,” since athletes are not all on campus together and therefore cannot drop off their ballots together. They discovered that “a very successful tactic so far is making people make a plan before — are you voting early, did you request your absentee ballot, did you mail in your ballot, etc,” Gantman said. “I recommend that your voting plan be super specific — you should know what day, what time, how you’re getting there, etc. If you don’t, there are just so many excuses,” she said. Gantman voted early in person on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8:30 a.m., after driving herself to the nearby polling location. Schwieger planned to vote early and in person and, at the time of his interview, was making his way through to ensure that his research on the candidates was thorough. “I don’t want to just guess at any names,” he said. “The minimum that everyone can do is to stay engaged in the process and stay educated.” Chittenden, a resident of California, sent in a mail-in ballot. She had made plans to return to her hometown from Tahoe, where she is spending the semester with a few teammates, to fill out her ballot. Coleman explained that since Massachusetts

“The minimum that everyone can do is to stay engaged in the process and stay educated.”


Chittenden, when asked if political conversations affected the team dynamic, said that was “nothing that can’t be overcome.” Emphasizing the

“We debated topics, and we’re still friends. We’re able to have those discussions in a respectful manner.”

- Ella Gantman ’23

team’s strong bond, she said, “there definitely have been tense conversations between [teammates]. But they also at the end of the day will go for a run together.”

Above and beyond

Many of these student athlete leaders took their passion for civic engagement to the next level. Chandler encouraged the lightweight Tigers to act by sharing emails with information on phone banking events for various candidates and other similar resources. Other athlete leaders became involved with specific voting organizations, such as Vote100 and the Poll Hero Project. Football’s outside linebacker Coleman volunteered to take part in a Vote100 video alongside fellow teammates. The video was posted on the football team’s official Instagram. Gantman had been heavily involved with two major voting efforts this summer and fall as a Vote100 Lead Athletic Ambassador and a founder of the Poll Hero Project. Vote100, an effort sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, encourages 100 percent of eligible Princeton students to register and vote. Gantman worked for Vote100 by “sending emails and outreach to the athletic director and the whole department to make sure they were aware of what Vote100 was and encouraging all the coaches to talk about it with their athletes.” Joined by Schwieger and other non-athlete Princeton students this summer, Gantman founded the Poll Hero Project, “a nonpartisan organization with the mission to recruit and facilitate the process of becoming a poll worker.” She explained that students began the project because “poll workers was a niche that hadn’t been filled, and it was something tangible that we could do. We wouldn’t have to wait for anyone else to create that chance for us, we could do it ourselves.” “It kinda blew up a little bit, more than we thought it would, so that’s really exciting to see,” Schwieger said of the Poll Hero Project. After learning of Schwieger’s involvement, many of his teammates signed up to be poll workers. Bograd, who had also been working with the Poll

Anika Maskara / The Daily Princetonian

Hero Project, explained that about 60 percent of poll workers in past elections have been senior citizens. According to Gantman, experts told the founding students that “poll working was absolutely a disaster in the primary,” so she, Schwieger, Bograd, and others “focused on students recruiting other students to be poll workers.” The Poll Hero Project, featured on major news outlets such as CNN, attracted national attention and gained momentum in the last few months. Bograd worked for Maine Democratic Senate nominee Sara Gideon’s campaign. In that role, he called residents in Maine, “talking to voters and trying to get Democratic supporters to volunteer with [them], and then trying to make sure that people who are more on the fence have a compelling perspective on why they should support the Democratic Party.” Though Gideon lost her race last night, Bograd said that working with the Gideon campaign and the Poll Hero Project was an “eye-opening” experience. “There’s just so much you can do without committing an obscene amount of time, [while] making a real substantial difference,” he said. “I’m deep in this voting thing,” Schwieger said, explaining his thesis work on gerrymandering. Gantman wasn’t the only one on the women’s soccer team who took voting seriously. “The whole team has been so incredibly supportive of the projects I’ve been nvolved in as well as projects independently of me. I think that our team cares deeply about the state of our country and the democratic processes that our democracy rests upon, and we will always support that,” Gantman said. She acknowledged her coaches for doing “an excellent job supporting me and supporting these organizations.” Schwieger’s team was right there with him too. Schwieger praised the efforts his fellow senior Elijah Barnes, who “led some protests a few months ago.” “He’s been speaking a lot in his community, doing a lot of good work in his community. Guys are really stepping up to be leaders wherever they are,” Schwieger continued. According to Schwieger, a few teammates living in the northeast were planning to travel to New Jersey to watch Barnes speak in Princeton, Trenton, Newark, and other local communities in need. “That’s what teams are for — they’re supportive. This is

just another way that teams can be teams and support each other and hold each other accountable,” he explained.

In their own words

All the athletes found voting particularly important this year, not least because it was everyone’s first time voting in a presidential election. Here’s what they had to say when asked, “What does voting mean to you?” “Most importantly, for me, as a woman and a woman of color, I think that voting is the bare minimum that you can do for all the people who fought for your suffrage before you. There have been people who have lived, fought, and died just so that I could vote, and to not do that feels like a disservice in those people’s honors. And as well, there are so many people living today who can’t vote or are prevented from voting due to various reasons, so anyone that has the ability to vote and no obstruction to your voting, to not do that is such a disservice.” — Ella Gantman (women’s soccer) “It’s the most important thing you can do as a citizen. This summer a lot of social and racial justice things brought voting to the forefront. Through the research for my independent work [in the sociology department], I’ve learned that a group of citizens voting is the most powerful thing.” — Ryan Schwieger (men’s basketball) “It’s about responsibility in terms of making sure that people who have the best interests of Americans at heart get elected. And it comes down, for me, to supporting people who are good and decent and have strong moral values.” — Benjamin Bograd (men’s soccer) “I think it’s just really important for everyone to have their voices heard and to help with the different issues that we face today, because there are a lot of people that complain about things that are happening in the country, but don’t do much to help it. So I think if you make your voice heard, vote for the candidate you think would best fill the seat and then we can move forward together and accomplish the things we want to accomplish.” — Khamari Hadaway (men’s soccer) “I have pretty bad feelings towards our current president right now, especially about all of the racial injustices that have come to light under his administration. It feels good to be able to actively participate and to point our country in a better direction.” — Caleb Coleman (football) “Participating in this process is a right and an awesome opportunity that we have. I think it’s important to exercise that right and try to create a government that I’m proud of.” — Isabelle Chandler (women’s lightweight crew) “There are a lot of people in this country who don’t have the privilege of voting. If you’re incarcerated, if you don’t have access to a voting center, if you’re not going to receive your mail-in ballot on time, if your state is not allowing you to do mail-in ballots, like there are a lot of people who don’t have access to this privilege. So I think it’s incredibly important for every single person who does to actually act upon it. So it becomes more than a privilege at that point. It’s a duty and obligation.” — Elizabeth Chittenden (women’s cross Chandler ’21 country and track and field)

“Participating in this process is a right and an awesome opportunity that we have. I think it’s important to exercise that right and try to create a government that I’m proud of.” - Isabelle

“It’s about responsibility in terms of making sure that people who have the best interests of Americans at heart get elected. And it comes down, for me, to supporting people who are good and decent.”

- Benjamin Bograd ’23

UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS Who is the best teacher or advisor you have had at Princeton? Send us a letter and tell us why! Nominate your favorite faculty member for the PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED TEACHING All current full, associate, and assistant professors and senior lecturers are eligible for nomination. Send your signed letters of nomination by February 5, 2021 to: Office of the Dean of the Faculty 9 Nassau Hall or


Tiger Time-Out: Collin Eaddy ’22 By Sreesha Ghosh, Contributor | November 3, 2020


n 2019, junior Collin Eaddy, running back on the University football team, was named as a second-team All-Ivy League selection. He had carried 159 times for 799 yards and 12 touchdowns, led the Ivy League in rushing touchdowns, and had at least one rushing touchdown in eight games. As a junior, Eaddy was a force on the team. With one season left, emotions were riding high and the path ahead for him abounded with uncertainty due to COVID-19. Joining several other Princeton athletes, Eaddy decided to take a leave of absence after the Ivy League made the decision to cancel all sports through January 2021. Currently, he is working full-time, though remotely, for J.G. Petrucci, a commercial real estate firm in Asbury Park, N.J. His role involves consulting, research, and breaking down commercial and residential real estate trends across different areas in the United States and assessing each for their economic viability. Eaddy seems optimistic about his year off. “My job keeps me pretty busy. I honestly see it as a good opportunity for myself because I get some full-time job experience. And while I obviously miss football, it’s kind of nice to get to take care of my body and not get beat up, so to speak. Plus, I get to train like a pro athlete because after I’m done with work, I have the rest of the day to myself,” he explained. But before Eaddy started working in real estate, he was playing football at Princeton. And before he played the sport, his father did. In fact, Eaddy’s father played professional football — four years at Temple University and a stint with the Cowboys. Eaddy himself started playing at the age of five. He reassured me that his father never forced him to follow his footsteps. “It was just something I naturally gravitated towards.” Once he did start playing, however, his parents were entirely supportive. “They took me everywhere I needed to go. Mom was very much a ‘team mom’ — the mom that was bringing us oranges and snacks during halftime, that sort of thing.” In high school, Eaddy played running back for varsity three years straight. During this time, he was awarded the Greater Neuse River Conference Offensive Player of the Year twice and earned second-team all-state honors in 2016. “I could’ve ended up in a lot of places. But I think I ended up right where I needed to be,” he stated proudly. Eaddy broke a bone in his foot playing football in high school. “It was kind of like one of those things where I didn’t realize it was broken. I was just kind of like, ‘Oh, well this is nagging.’ Like, it hurts, but I didn’t really think about it and I kept playing, and I played to the point that the bone actually died. And so, after the season, they had to take the bone out of my foot.” At this point in his story, he notices the expression on my face. Laughing, he admits, “That’s usually the reaction I get.” Besides playing football, Eaddy wrote for the school news-

Beverly Schaefer /

Eaddy running the ball against UPenn.

paper and actively engaged in volunteer work. He might not be playing football at the moment, and he doesn’t write for a paper anymore, but Eaddy still loves to volunteer. Right now, when he’s not working or training, he’s volunteering at the virtual learning center at his church, working with approximately 40 children from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the mornings. “It was just something a friend had asked me if I was interested in and I wasn’t sure because I’m not really huge on kids,” he admitted.

“Come to find out, I really love working with kids,” he laughs. “I didn’t think I would, but I just love them. They’re so innocent and so full of energy, and I’ve always got a smile on my face.” Coming out of high school, Eaddy was considering a number of different colleges. His father, having played against the football team, knew Princeton well, but Eaddy was a different story. “I didn’t even know what Princeton was until the beginning of my senior year. I knew Harvard, I knew Yale,” he claimed. “But oddly enough, I’d never heard of Princeton.” But one campus visit later, and Eaddy was sold. “My gut never lies to me. I’d sat in many rooms with many coaches and it just didn’t sit right. But I’ve never once sat with [Head] Coach [Bob] Surace and felt uneasy.” Eaddy spoke highly of Surace. It’s clear that the relationship they share is one built on genuine adoration for one another. In fact, when Eaddy was facing personal challenges during his first year, Eaddy could be found in Surace’s office every Friday. - Collin Eaddy ’22 “I was going through a really rough time, and I remember I told him at some point at the end of the season that I was depleted — I was like, ‘Coach, I just need some But after finding out that the center had no male voluntime away from football.’ And that entire spring semester, I didn’t teers, Eaddy decided to step up and in the process, discovered play at all. Instead, we would just sit in his office every Friday and something far more valuable. talk,” he explained.

“I could’ve ended up in a lot of places. But I think I ended up right where I needed to be.”


Abby Nishiwaki / The Daily Princetonian

“There are a lot of places where the coaches are not going to take the time to do that with you. And a lot of places where they say they will, but their actions don’t line up with their words,” Eaddy claimed. “But I knew from just sitting in a room [with Surace]. I knew he was genuine. And it’s held true to this day.” Perhaps the only thing Eaddy talks about with even more affection than he talks about his coach are his teammates — or the “Brotherhood,” as he refers to it. They’re “all in this together” quite literally, as approximately 20 of the 30 players in Eaddy’s class are taking leaves of absence. Eaddy credits his own to his teammates. “For me, personally, I made my decision based on what the majority of the other guys wanted to do. We came in together, we want to go out together. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs at Princeton, and it just didn’t make sense not to finish what I started with anyone except for the people that have been with me since the very beginning,” Eaddy explained, reflecting on his decision to take a leave of absence. “It’s more than just the games. We spend our summers together. We get apartments and live together. We ride to practice every morning together. There’s just so much chemistry and camaraderie, and I’ve really missed them.” When Eaddy arrived at Princeton as a first-year student, he was quick to excel. As the only first-year on Princeton’s offense to actually play in the Ivy League, Eaddy went up against players that far outranked him in age and accomplishment. “It was a great opportunity, but it was still kind of scary. I had just barely turned 18, and some of the guys I played with were 23, 24 — and some of them were married. They were grown men,” he laughed. If Eaddy was intimidated, it didn’t translate into his play —

evident by the long list of accolades he’s garnered over his time at Princeton. Earning the Donold B. Lourie Award as Princeton’s top offensive first-year, he was responsible for a 32-yard touchdown in a 52–17 win at Harvard, the Crimson’s worst home Ivy loss in 50 years. In his sophomore year, he was named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week after rushing 25 times for 226 yards and scoring three touchdowns at Yale. “It was the game of a lifetime. I think it made a record in the history of Princeton football,” he proudly claimed.

ly writing, but even just the academics in general can get really hard because you eventually realize, like, you can’t get by with not studying. I tried it, and it didn’t turn out so well. So I would say it’s definitely not easy, but it is one of those things where you learn to adjust. At least, when I leave Princeton, I think I’ll be well prepared professionally because I’ve already been under that duress.” Like most other athletes, Eaddy was disappointed to hear about the Ivy League cancellation. “I mean, I was expecting it, but when the time came, my heart still dropped,” he explained. Despite enjoying his year off, Eaddy still has the occasional regret. “It’s not easy. It’s really hard when I turn the TV on on Saturday and I’m watching college football. Because like, dang, I should be doing the same thing. I miss football. So, so much. I’m just trying to see the side of it, stay optimistic and trust the proEaddy bright cess.” “Our coach was really understanding. I think the day after it happened, we were on a team Zoom. And he was like, ‘Guys, take the week off. Just stay in the moment and really allow yourself to feel what you feel. Don’t sweep it under the rug. And this time next year, when it’s time to play again, you guys will remember this feeling and it’ll be so much more satisfying and exciting because of it,’” Eaddy stated. “My days can get monotonous. I volunteer, I work, I work out. Maybe if I have time, I’ll see a friend. Then, I go to sleep and do the same thing again next morning. But I also understand that doing the same thing over and over again will pay off at the end. So, I’m just going to stick to grinding things out, and come next season, I’m confident I’ll be better for it.”

“There’s just so much chemistry and camaraderie, and I’ve really missed [the team].” -

It did — it was the fifth most single-game yard in all of Princeton’s program history. He earned an All-Ivy League honorable mention after ranking eighth in the Ivy League in his sophomore year. His favorite football moment? Winning the Ivy League championship his sophomore year. Why? “I got a really big hug from Coach.” Academically, the transition was a bit harder. “It was a little bit of a shock. My high school was a good high school, but I don’t think I was prepared for what Princeton threw at me. I think the biggest challenge for me was definite-

The Department of Art & Archaeology announces ART 361/HIS 355/MED 361/ HUM 361 (counts towards Archaeology Certificate) Pre-recorded Lecture + Live Precept

“The Art & Archaeology of Plague” Taught by: Janet Kay, Lecturer, Art & Archaeology; Executive Director, Environmental History Lab in the Program in Medieval Studies This course will examine archaeological evidence for and art historical depictions of plagues and pandemics, beginning in antiquity and ending with the COVID-19 Pandemic. We will explore the Black Death, the Justinianic Plague, and other examples of infectious diseases with extremely high mortality rates throughout history. We will also consider the differing impact of plagues during the medieval, early modern, and modern periods: themes surrounding death and disease in works of art; the development of hospitals; and changing ideas of disease and medicine. Students will complete six "Plague Simulation" activities throughout the semester, working with their precept group’s “city” to respond to class-wide prompts about the arrival of virulent infectious diseases, the rearrangement of urban environments, the availability of supplies, and the social changes resulting from each “plague” situation.



Takács String Quartet reimagines the conventional in virtuosic performance By Aster Zhang, Senior Writer | November 5, 2020


n a Q&A held immediately after their Oct. 15 concert, the Takács Quartet emphasized the importance of demystifying the classical music industry, particularly in the often esoteric and unreachable depths of the diverse, yet relatively untapped, string quartet repertoire. Second violinist Harumi Rhodes said that one of the Takács’ newly reignited missions in the depths of the pandemic is “trying to reconnect with the inclusive parts of music-making.” Indeed, they succeeded in this mission, breaking countless long-held rules in the process — to great effect — and potentially setting a new precedent for online music performance that may very well persist after the pandemic has subsided. The Takács’ concert, hosted by Marna Seltzer, was the opening night of Princeton University Concerts’ 2020–21 season, and they brought to their virtual evening a program of works by Mozart, Coleridge-Taylor, Bartók, and Debussy. Seltzer hit the nail right on the head in mentioning the “tinge of disbelief ” pervading concerts like these. Truthfully, there’s considerable disbelief to be suspended in any virtual concert, although I appreciated their choice to film together in a concert hall; I felt far more immersed in the visual and auditory aspects of the performance as a whole. Touching on the topic of immersion, the Takács’ members — violinists Edward Dusinberre and Rhodes, violist Richard O’Neill, and cellist András Fejér — chose to program just small excerpts from a wide range of pieces written for the string quartet. From the abrupt-


ness of the first movement of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 (K. 421/417b) to the unbridled, colorful vitality of the Andantino and Très modéré of Debussy’s String Quartet (L 91, Op. 10), they explored the repertoire in a setting short-form enough to keep the attention of a digital audience. What stands out at once about the Takács Quartet on the whole is its unflagging, astounding attention to detail. Particularly in the Mozart, I was impressed by the quartet’s ability to bring out flowing lines, both within and between different parts, without compromising Mozart’s legendary contrapuntal writing. The result, as the emphasis passed first from Dusinberre to Rhodes and then from Rhodes to O’Neill, before finally settling on Fejér’s resolution, was a unique musical choreography throughout the movement. In a piece that arguably leaves little to the performers’ imagination, the subtlety of the Takács’ cadences lent an interpretative imagination wholly welcome in Mozart’s often temperamental and yet lively composition. Rhodes introduced the second work, Coleridge-Taylor’s Fantasiestücke for String Quartet (Op. 5), from which the Takács exercepted the Prelude and Humoresque for their performance. In her introduction, she gave much-needed context for her own discovery of the piece earlier this year — a piece of incredible depth, characterized by a great number of parallel chords and solo melodies over drone tones. During the Prelude, Dusinberre took on the brunt of those melodies with great aplomb, his rich tone carrying over the pillowy soundscape created by the rest of the quartet.

“It goes without saying, then, that what the Takács and other artists are doing has the potential to change the canon, both for good and for the better.” Perhaps it’s just the way in which the performance was recorded, but I find that — even at its most biting or virtuosic — the Takács Quartet has a deep, burnished sound throughout that sets it far and away from its peers. The sense of polish is almost off-putting at certain times, when it seems almost too perfect to capture the true emotional anguish of some of these works. Nonetheless,

Anika Maskara / The Daily Princetonian

the result is an incredibly distinctive auditory experience, particularly in the Coleridge-Taylor, where they provided an apposite sense of well-rehearsed mastery throughout the deceptively difficult Humoresque. While introducing the Coleridge-Taylor and the Takács’ process of discovery, Rhodes mentioned the classical music world’s incredibly lukewarm reception of Black composers throughout history, describing her “shame for not knowing [the Fantasiestücke] before.” I think she brings up a significant question: is it the responsibility of the performer to seek out

instantaneous energy. Speaking overall, Bartók certainly provides a much more diverse tonal color and palette for the modern performer than, for example, the Mozart, and the Takács Quartet, with its diverse musical experiences, feels uniquely suited to perform his works. In a strange way, I almost felt like the Takács’ performance of this work was the closest one can get to “musical perfection” as a tangible concept. I say this because everything adheres to the technical notion of conceptual perfection; every note is audible, everything is executed to an impossibly high standard of technical accuracy, and yet they also bring to the table an ineffable understanding of their works from different angles. The violin unisons close to the end were musically sublime, all instruments blending tones together in golden walls of sound, and they set up the listener for the euphoric conclusion. The opening of the Debussy’s third movement was the first time in this concert that the listener really got to experience O’Neill as a soloist in his own right, and just on merit of a single phrase, he is simply incredible. He made the response of the viola quick, sharp, and yet rounded, cutting gracefully through the otherwise-heavy, con sordino colors of the accompaniment. There were some interesting stylistic touches here that actually went rather against the grain of what listeners might be accustomed to when listening to the Debussy. In her opening line, Rhodes took an unprecedented pause between the final G and the half-step up to the A-flat, bringing a not-unwelcome tonal tension to the undulating melodies of the piece that persisted throughout the third movement. Moreover, the Takács played the third movement at a faster pace than the norm, which resulted in an eerie, surreal atmosphere. Indeed, one could make the case that the reason why Debussy put so much emphasis on the interconnected nature of his chords from bar to bar and note to note was specifically to bring out the diverse tonal and harmonic shifts that arise as a result of faster performance. At the same time, there were instances in which I didn’t feel that such cases were executed as effectively as they could be. The musical climax of the third movement felt jarringly empty, as if the resonances of the instruments weren’t interacting with each other, despite the Takács’ sustained tone throughout. To conclude the concert, the Takács performed

“In a strange way, I almost felt like the Takács’ performance of this work was the closest one can get to ‘musical perfection’ as a tangible concept.”

the lesser-known works of an instrument’s repertoire and bring them to life? At face value, it’s not a difficult question to answer; the focus of concert programming as little as a year ago wasn’t necessarily bringing audiences’ attention to works that were underperformed or composers that were underrepresented, but rather bringing new life and new interpretations to the masterworks by the so-called “greats” of classical music. Over the past few months, though, I think the community has come to a long-overdue realization: pieces will never enter the zeitgeist of masterworks if performers don’t take it upon themselves to share them with the general public. Just as with Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Sonata, there exists a startlingly limited variety of recordings, on Youtube or otherwise, for the Fantasiestücke. It goes without saying, then, that what the Takács and other artists are doing has the potential to change the canon, both for good and for the better. With little rest, the Takács jumped directly into the second half of the program: the Introduzione and Allegro vivace from Bartók’s String Quartet in A minor (Op. 7, No. 1), immediately followed by the Debussy. I really loved Fejér’s quick but reasoned analysis prefacing the Bartók, in which he discussed the chordal motifs present throughout Bartók’s writing; as Bartók was one of the 20th century’s most diversely and complexly influenced composers, it’s difficult to fully understand his works through a purely Western framework of listening. Hearing the Takács’ performance of the Bartók felt like experiencing them at their absolute best; after a shocking, abrupt, and Prokofiev-esque opening, Fejér’s opening lament was very impressive, with each gradually more-agitated bar melting into the next. When Dusinberre took up the solo, it was with a bright and vibrant, yet also sustained, tone that carried throughout the hall, perfectly unrushed, and yet pulsating with an

the fourth movement from the Debussy: a technical bear in every sense of the word, intimidating even veteran players for its cliffhanger modulations and nightmarish intonation, and yet the Quartet did an exceptional job navigating keys from D-flat major to F-sharp major and all sorts of changes in between. It really wasn’t until the ending, towards the concert’s conclusion, that I came to understand how the Takács’ choices in programming managed to show the widest possible breadth of their performing oeuvre: from the separate-yet-flowing lines of the Mozart to the remorselessly coloristic blending of tones, registers, and ranges in the Debussy, there truly seemed to be nothing out of bounds, nothing unexplorable. The closing passages were truly just as I’ve always envisioned them, with absolutely glorious energy — almost as if the final chord were signifying a beginning, rather than a conclusion. The Takács followed their hour-long concert with a question-and-answer session of similar length, during which they discussed their takes on music-making, the pandemic, and the state of classical music in contemporary society. I found Rhodes’ comments on inclusivity in music performance to be particularly eye-opening, as she considered how the role of music has become more important than ever, as well as the privileges of being able to rehearse and perform in a chamber music setting when so many other groups have been forcibly rent apart by the pandemic. There’s no doubt that she struck a chord with many musicians in discussing how “we feel like we need to gate [classical music] to make it more special by coddling it, by making it almost like a special club ... a beautiful gem that we hold so dear.” Furthermore, what she sees as most important and most compelling — and what many of us have turned to for inspiration in our own creative processes — is music’s “capacity to include ... so many minds, and to make that connection across so many continents.”

“The closing passages were truly just as I’ve always envisioned them, with absolutely glorious energy — almost as if the final chord were signifying a beginning, rather than a conclusion.”

There’s no doubt that the Takács’ wide-ranging Q&A had something for everybody, serving as an eye-opening view into how one of the world’s most successful string quartets has acclimated to a rapidly changing scene for music and the arts. Perhaps the most compelling revelation of the night, however, was Rhodes’ perplexing affinity for soups. THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN


Abby Nishiwaki / The Daily Princetonian

Reflections from a first-year: Establishing friendships over Zoom By Anna Chung, Contributing Writer | November 1, 2020


n the era of modern technology, the phrase “don’t talk to strangers online” has become an age-old adage instilled in our generation. However, this notion has been turned on its head for many first-years trying to navigate the uncharted waters of a social landscape that is almost entirely virtual. With few options to choose from, we have turned to various social media platforms in an attempt to salvage interactions with our classmates. As a first-year myself, I was grateful for the excuse this article gave me to reach out to fellow first-years, often on these same platforms. Drawing on both my own experiences as well as those of the students I talked to, I found that it was often a combination of serendipitous events and intentional outreach that have allowed first-years to reclaim semblances of in-person experiences. Although the specifics varied, I found a trend in the general progression of interactions between two strangers connected only by their shared Princeton identities. In a normal semester, students may have been able to sow the first seeds of a budding friendship by turning to a peer in an orientation hall or large lecture class to exchange a few words. Now, side conversations have become relegated to the Zoom chat, where a quick private message about an assignment might just spark the beginnings of a new connection. From there, it’s easy enough to take the friendship further. With the various social media platforms available, it’s not hard to find someone online. Searching someone up on Instagram has become second nature, our eyes now trained to spot the “Princeton ’24” in their bio. Thus ensues a few days of awkward DM conversations. Like the small talk characteristic of a new friendship, this usually entails a back and forth of questions about majors, hometowns, and hobbies, with some shared commiseration about problem sets or Zoom fatigue. Unlike in-person interactions, however, both individuals have the opportunity to read the message in advance and carefully craft a response in the moment, or come back to it after attending to coursework. Sometimes, friendships are just left at that: acquaintances that live in one’s Instagram DMs. However, if they find that they click over shared classes or a favorite TV show, one of the students might be so bold as to suggest taking their friendship to the next level by scheduling a face-to-face call. What may have once been an offhand suggestion to get a meal has turned into a text message asking to FaceTime. A FaceTime call is most reminiscent of an in-person firstyear interaction, but it is admittedly harder to read body language through a screen. While the content of the conversation may not necessarily differ as drastically, it does become more

difficult to discern whether someone isn’t digging your joke or if their Wi-Fi just momentarily cut out. But if the interaction was a positive experience, those FaceTime calls may become a regular routine, a substitute for daily interactions until it’s possible to meet in-person. Of course, this is just one path of many that first-years have chosen to take in lieu of face-to-face interactions.

adapt, taking advantage of all the platforms at our disposal. And in a way, it’s come close to what we would have experienced in a normal year. Some first-years have even expressed a sense of comfort in the knowledge that the use of platforms like Instagram to establish relationships was a common practice among first-years even before the COVID era. Furthermore, while the strategies used to initiate friendships may look different now, the first invitation to connect is still an integral part of making new friends. The willingness of other first-years to engage in conversation is not a new phenomenon: first-years have always bonded over their shared desire to connect with others in a largely unfamiliar environment, whether that be on campus or over Zoom. There are, naturally, some things that simply can’t be translated. After all, no online interaction will ever quite do justice to the power of proximity, where body language can be read and interpreted, laughter can be richly heard without the distortion of computer audio, and offhand comments can be dropped to one or two individuals without fearing that they will be out of place in the whole group. However, until then, we have accepted that we must do what we can to recover those experiences, limited as they may be, taking solace in the knowledge that these unique interactions will provide us with the comfort of familiar faces when we finally see each other in-person.

“I found that it was often a combination of serendipitous events and intentional outreach that have allowed first-years to reclaim semblances of in-person experiences.”


Having spoken to several first-years about their experiences socializing virtually, I’ve found that most students have found a platform that works best for them. Some have turned to Snapchat, while others rely on GroupMe to connect with fellow students from their classes or in the Class of 2024 as a whole. Some have made friends through study groups, where calling to work on a problem set has led to further conversations. Still others have found that they’d rather not form relationships through social media, and are content to remain patient until in-person opportunities present themselves, whenever those may be. Regardless of the method, the Class of 2024 has learned to

John Ehling / The Daily Princetonian

Zoom backgrounds and creativity collide in this year’s production of By Lois Wu, Staff Writer | October 29, 2020


would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey,” invites the criminologist narrator at the beginning of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” As we have all embarked on the strange journey of transitioning to a life with COVID-19, so has theater, and along with it, the Princeton University Players (PUP) and Theatre Intime’s annual Halloween production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” A cult classic and satire of mid-20th century horror B-movies, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” belongs to many genres, encompassing elements of musical, comedy, and horror. Based on Richard O’Brien’s musical “The Rocky Horror Show,” the movie tells the story of one very memorable night in the lives of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, a newly engaged couple. The couple’s car breaks down during a storm, and the two are forced to take refuge at the mad scientist and “sweet transvestite from … Transylvania” Frank-N-Furter’s castle. The couple soon becomes swept up in the strange happenings at Frank-N-Furter’s house as sex, murder, and aliens proliferate. Every year, PUP and Theatre Intime put on a shadow cast performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” where actors pantomime the actions of characters as the movie is projected onto a screen behind them. This year’s performance is directed by Grey Raber ’23 and stage-managed by Julia Elman ’23. Benjamin Ball ’21, Ian Johnson ’22, Anna McGee ’22, Ally Wonski ’22, Mel Hornyak ’23, Elliot Lee ’23, Rosemary Paulson ’23, Emily Della Pietra ’23, Ethan Hall ’24, and Miles Schaeffer ’24 make up the student cast,

“[I hope the audience] is able to enjoy [the show] and experience it in a new way.” with McGee and Tanaka Ngwara ’24 serving as costume directors and Hornyak and Rhim Andemichael ’24 as technical directors. Ball, McGee, and Raber serve as managing editor, chief copy editor, and staff copy editor at The Daily Princetonian, respectively. For Raber, directing this year’s production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was an opportunity to test the waters as a first-time director and help create a welcoming environment for other students, especially first-years. In last year’s production, Raber, then a first-year student, played the role of Columbia, and the production helped them find their community on campus. “I think before that, I was struggling a lot with imposter syndrome, and being able to be around people who enjoyed the same things that I enjoyed and just have such a fun time with it really helped me feel at home,” Raber said in a conversation with the ‘Prince.’ Raber had agreed to direct early in the summer before Princeton had announced its decision for the fall semester, but even after learning that the performance would be virtual, they were still committed to putting on the performance over Zoom. It hasn’t come without its difficulties. Both Raber and Stage Director Elman laughed over trivial difficulties communicating directions to move left and right over Zoom, but the group has also faced more serious challenges from the limitations of the different actors’ access to technology and other resources. For one, Raber felt as though they had to make difficult decisions regarding how to balance the size of the screen-shared movie with the size of their actors’ Zoom boxes. Their biggest worry is that their actors will not receive the attention they deserve for their hard work.

- Grey Raber ’23

Despite this limitation, other challenges regarding actors’ backgrounds and costumes have been met with creative solutions. The Costume Directors put together aesthetic boards and color palettes for the actors to identify items they own that could work for the performances. The group has also been experimenting with recording makeup tutorials for the actors and using different virtual backgrounds for different scenes. So far, only a few items have had to be shipped to actors — a single hat (for a character who, apparently, really needs a hat), a pearl necklace, and face paint. “I think that [using what actors have around them] makes it even more fun because we’re creatively using what we have and making it work,” Raber said. For potential audience members familiar with the intimate interactions that normally occur between the cast and audience at a live production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Raber and their team have worked hard to maintain this aspect of the performance. Although the audience cannot shout and throw things at the actors in person, viewers this year will be able to unmute themselves at different parts of the performance to shout different lines and will be allowed to turn on their videos to dance along during the popular musical number, “Time Warp.” Raber cites their fellow peers in the Princeton theater community for providing support in the transition to a virtual performance. They brainstormed ideas both on their own and with others at PUP and Theatre Intime to test what



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Harsimran Makkad / The Daily Princetonian Helen So / The Daily Princetonian Annabelle Berghof / The Daily Princetonian

'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' does and doesn’t work over Zoom. For Elman, who has worked on virtual theater performances both in the spring as a part of “The Renegade Storyteller,” an original musical by Richard Peng ’20, and over the summer, as Publicity Director for Princeton Summer Theater, adapting “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” to a virtual format has also required a learning curve. She praised Raber for their hard work and continued commitment to the project. Although the cast and production team have only interacted with each other over Zoom this year, Raber was still able to build a strong sense of community. Schaeffer, a first-year who plays Frank-N-Furter, has found their Princeton community in the group, from the first audition where everyone “just hopped in a Zoom room, hung out together, and listened to the music” to regular rehearsals, dancing and working together over Zoom. Raber spoke of how Zoom’s chat function was a way for the cast to bond and talk during rehearsals. Raber, Elman, and Schaeffer also frequently used the word “fun” to describe their experience — they have all enjoyed working on the production thus far and hope the audience has fun watching. “I want people to laugh … It’s not going to be the best production ever, it’s online, things are going to be laggy, but … [I hope the audience is] able to enjoy that and experience it in a new way,” Raber commented.



“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” also means something different to each of them. For Elman, it’s about community, having fun, and filling “a little bit of the theater shaped hole” in her. For Raber, the movie was “one of the first movies [they] … consumed where LGBTQ culture wasn’t stigmatized,” helping them “come out of [their] shell as a queer person.” For Schaeffer, it’s about the freedom of expression the movie invites. Regardless of what it might mean to each person, this year’s production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is proof that, in the words of Schaeffer: “Even in these difficult times, art and performance arts don’t stop. We’re going to keep going and pursuing and we’re going to make the best of our situation.” Performances of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” took place on Oct. 30 at 10 p.m. EDT and Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. EDT with a costume contest that began at 7 p.m. EDT.



Ashley Chung / The Daily Princetonian Priyanka Aiyer / Songline Slam

Songline virtual Newbie Arch

A new way to ‘slam’ By Baylee Cox, Staff Writer | October 22, 2020


riting about poetry performance in prose is an endeavor bound to fall short. And when the deliveries are as expressive as those given by the Songline Slam poets at their “Newbie Arch” last Friday, the challenge becomes all the more daunting. The virtual gathering began in typical Zoom fashion — that is to say, with a brief hiccup of internet connection issues — but soon transformed into an experience far different from our daily Zoom meetings and classes. At the beginning of each academic year, new members of Songline Slam give their debut performances beneath one of the University’s stone arches. Th is particular “arch” (conducted via Zoom, for obvious reasons) spotlighted five newcomers: Maya Eashwaran ’21, Rooya Rahin ’23, Akhila Bandlora ’24, Katrina Nix ’24, and Collin Riggins ’24. Rahin is an Assistant News Editor at The Daily Princetonian, and Riggins is a contributing columnist. For much of the performance, the audience listened to the talented students’ rhythmic musings, with a couple veteran members stepping in to share pieces of their own. As an audience member, it was difficult to tell which poets were experienced “slammers” and which were novices, a testament to the new members’ capabilities. The performances’ enrapturing quality became all the more impressive, considering the poets performed not beneath a historic archway, but rather from their bed-

rooms. The poetic ground that we collectively traversed was jarring (“Rip its skin apart like wild dogs to excavate its origins” –Bandlora), angry, hopeful (“a small bright giggle from somewhere deep within the grass” –Rahin), fantastical, romantic, and even hilarious (Songline Artistic Director Hannah Wang’s poem, a parody inspired by rapper Machine Gun Kelly, had us in a state of shocked mirth). Wang is a senior reporter for the ‘Prince.’

Although only one performer had their camera on at any given time, the uplift ing and appreciative comments from listeners flooding the chat made it clear that the audience members were present and deeply impacted. Many attendees professed experiencing goosebumps and shedding tears, allowing the poets (and other audience members) to “see” the responses being evoked. I had the opportunity to speak with fi rstyear “newbie” Katrina Nix, who delivered a poignant piece titled “10 Th ings You Should Know About Being Black Abroad.” She affi rmed that the audience’s warm welcomes broke through the semester’s electronic chill: “I really like everyone on the team. They’ve been very welcoming and very excited to have all of us newbies to be a part of the club.” When asked about the experience of beginning Princeton online, Nix acknowledged, “it’s been harder to make large-scale connections,” but joining clubs such as Songline has enabled her to feel more connected to the University community. Songline’s website says its members “probably want to be your friend.” Th at sense of camaraderie was apparent in this brief virtual show. In time, this group — as well as countless others — will be reunited to convey and experience friendship face to face. Until then, shared experiences like this performance offer valuable opportunities to keep our community afloat.

“The poetic ground that we collectively traversed was jarring, angry, hopeful, fantastical, romantic, and even hilarious.” In spite of physical distance, the event brought spectators and performers together to appreciate the poets’ dazzling, tumultuous, and vulnerable linguistic sequences. Th at Songline executed the event so well online gave a great deal of hope. As the pandemic continues to upend our lives, moments of profound human connection have become difficult to fi nd (and understandably so). As an audience member, I felt I was in the same room with others, sharing the same experience for one of the fi rst times since the pandemic began.



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