Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

Princeton professor of economics Angus Deaton is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.”

The University Press Club will be providing live updates from this afternoon’s press conference. 

6:30am – Angus Deaton receives a phone call from the Nobel Committee 

“If you’re my age and you’ve been working for a long time you know this is a possibility,” Deaton told Princeton University. “But you also know there are a huge number of people out there who deserve this. That lightning would strike me seemed like a very small probability event. It was sort of like, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s really happening.'”
10:40am – Economics Department cancels class, asks students to go to the press conference instead.

1:30pm – A filled Richardson Auditorium gives a standing ovation to Angus Deaton as he arrives on stage.

There is heavy media presence.


1:32pm: President Eisgruber’s introduces Angus Deaton

“Angus is a leader not only in his field but on this campus.”

“His book, ‘The Great Escape,’ is now selling rapidly at all bookstores.”

1:36pm: Dean Cecilia Rouse’s remarks

“You do this school so proud.”

1:38pm: Professor of economics Janet Currie’s remarks

“No one could spend time with Angus without seeing his passion for measurement.”

What would she expect of Angus as a dinner party companion? “He’s enormously funny, witty, well-read, frighteningly erudite and incredibly good company.”

1:42pm: Angus Deaton, takes the stage

“People keep congratulating me today, and I keep thinking, for what?”

He thanks Princeton for what it’s done for him, for providing him a place to work, for his colleagues, for a place to work without having to worry about “all the extraneous things that go on in universities.”

“This is the 3rd Nobel Prize that has come to the WWS, which is probably 3 more than anywhere else.”

He lists the many people who have come through the Woodrow Wilson School and met the highest standards of academic excellence. “This is like a Nobel Prize to the Woodrow Wilson School, and I think that is a truly wonderful thing.”

“I feel passionately about measurement, about how difficult it is, how much theory and conceptualizing is involved, how much politics is involved.”

He praises the “breadth with which social sciences has been coming together in recent years.” Economics is taking over a lot of fields such as sociology and politics, and “I would like to be known for that.”

 1:49pm: Questions from the press and the floor

Q: “Take us through the phone call – emotions that you had, how the call happened? …And what are your plans for the prize itself?”

A: This morning, he picked up the phone at 6:10am. “There was a very Swedish voice” on the other end of the line, Deaton said. The Swedish caller “was very keen to make sure that I knew this was not a prank.” But as soon as this happened, he thought, “Oh my god, maybe this is a prank.” The entire auditorium breaks out in laughter. “I’m still trying to figure out whether I made the whole thing up.”

Q: A question from Andy Loo ’16: “May I ask what are you future plans?”

A: “I would like to keep on being most excited about the things I’m working on.”

Q: A question from Krishan Kania  ’17 on the relationship between economic development and access to healthcare.

A: Deaton says he is not a fan of direct causation between health and wealth. There are many other factors involved, such as government capacity.

Universal health care insurance is not the way to go, Deaton says.

He acknowledges the complexity and difficulty of health care, and that the U.S. should be careful not to preach to others how to do healthcare.

Q: How has his background affected how he thinks about poverty and privilege?

A: Deaton emphasizes “how much importance luck is in people’s life.”

Most people in his family thought he should be in the field, Deaton said, and not reading a book at home. It was “a stroke of luck” that his father encouraged him to study.

“It’s just the luck of the draw.”

 2:15pm: The press conference closes. There will be a reception at 2:30pm in the Rocky Common Room. 


2:30pm: As per Princeton tradition, there is a fancy set-up for the reception – champagne included.


2:32pm: Three Princeton Nobel Laureates, just casually.   L to R: Christopher Sims (2011 Nobel Prize in Economics), Angus Dearon, Eric Wieschaus (1995 Nobel Prize in Medicine)

2:45pm: Angus Deaton at the Rocky Common Room 

“I really want to say I’m speechless, but I’ve done nothing but talk since about 7 o’clock this morning.”

We here at the University Press Club love all the new lawn chairs on campus. But we were also curious. How many were bought? How much did they cost? Have any been stolen? We did a little digging…


There are now 64 of these lawn chairs - made 100% from recycled milk containers - across campus. (Photo credit: Princeton University Instagram)

There are now 64 of these lawn chairs – made 100% from recycled milk containers – across campus. (Photo credit: Princeton University Instagram)

On-campus squirrel numbers appear to be down this fall, but one metric is experiencing a significant uptick: the number of lawn chairs – and correlated to that, the number of people doing their class readings out in the crisp fall air.

This pilot project is the brainchild of Ronald McCoy, the University architect. The goal, he explained in an email, is to make the campus more friendly and welcoming. Unlike fixed benches, “these chairs invite people to decide where they want to sit, so every day the chairs move slightly to new locations,” he said. “I like the idea that they leave a trace of events from the day before.”

Photo credit: Ally Markovich.

An eerie-looking chair circle in the early-morning fog. Photo credit: Ally Markovich.

Scattered across Princeton campus now are 47 adirondack chairs (made 100% from recycled plastic milk containers) for the greens and 60 cafe chairs for plaza settings. With bike thefts so prevalent on campus, are there worries about the chairs growing legs and scuttling away?

“The chairs have moved around a bit but so far we are very pleased that the campus community has shown great respect and there have not been any thefts. We count the chairs and check their locations every two weeks,” said McCoy.

And how much do the chairs each cost? McCoy explained that the purchases were funded by the annual campus Landscape Master Plan, but declined to provide more details on cost. Guided by her instincts, however, this reporter flipped one of the lawn chairs over to check its underside for tell-tale signs of  branding. And alas, she found a clue: a label that read ‘Loll Design.’

A quick Google search later…

Loll Designs

Fun fact: you are sitting on 376 reclaimed milk jugs.

Each chair costs $699 –  which means that, if the University didn’t get a bulk-order discount, it spent a total of $32,853 on 47 of these chairs.

This splurge isn’t entirely surprising. The University, as we reported in 2009, has in the past splurged on pricey designer chairs (think of the 74 $1,199-apiece designer chairs at Lewis Library).




One hundred years after Woodrow Wilson screened Birth of a Nation in the White House, Princeton’s Black Justice League projected it on the campus building that is his namesake.

Wilson loved the film, which is a racist depiction of reconstruction in the American south, featuring the KKK and white actors in blackface. He was, after all, a committed racist.

The BJL projected the film onto the Woody Woo building at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night, and two hours later, onto the south wall of Frist. The group’s screening intended to bring up the troubling part of Wilson’s legacy that is so little talked about on campus, where he remains Princeton’s beloved poster-boy. The BJL is the same group that organized the die-in and the Urban Congo protest in the chapel last year.




It’s part of a larger campaign – last week, the group put up posters with racist quotes from Wilson and published an op-ed in the Daily Princetonian, written by Wilglory Tanjong ‘18 on behalf of the BJL.















“We want to start conversations between students and with the administration about legacy at Princeton, and why we venerate who we choose to venerate,” said Asanni York ‘17, a member of the BJL.

York said that he and his friends weren’t able to ignore Wilson’s racist legacy while protesting racism at Princeton. He says his fellow activists were constantly pointing out to each other the serious disconnect between their convictions and the history of the Woodrow Wilson School.

“You all are fighting racism on campus when the man your major is named after was an ardent racist,” York said, remembering the line. Woodrow Wilson isn’t the only Princeton figure the group takes issue with, York said, pointing to names like Firestone and Stanhope.

Come this year, they decided to start the conversation.

“Institutions cannot claim to be inclusive when they actively throw oppression in people’s’ faces,” York said. “They cannot claim to be invested in diversity when one of the most popular majors is named after an ardent racist… and expect people to believe you.”

BJL wants to make Princeton question its complacency up to this point, using the screening and the posters to make that happen.

Enacting real change, like getting the name of a major campus institution changed, is a much bigger task.

“Do we want that? Absolutely. Do we expect it will happen? That’s another question,” York said.

York said people have been asking him, “Why now?”

In response, he says, “Why not earlier? Why hasn’t this conversation not been brought up in the past?” York said. “It’s inherent in the university and no one wants to talk about it,” he said.

America’s history of slavery and racist symbols have been part of the national conversation all summer with the confederate flag debate in the south. In her op-ed, Tanjong compared honoring Wilson with building and major names to flying the confederate flag.

Woodrow Wilson’s racism isn’t newly discovered. William Keylor, a professor of history at Boston University, wrote an article for Professor Voices in 2013 titled, “The long-forgotten racial attitudes and policies of Woodrow Wilson.” The Birth of a Nation film screening in the White House features in Keylor’s article.

As for responses to the campaign, York says they’ve been mixed.

“We’ve had support, confusion, and hate, but that comes with the territory of activism,” he said.

Taimur Ahmad ‘16, who walked by the Birth of a Nation screening on Thursday night, said he thought the scrutiny on Wilson is good for the school.

“I think it’s important for any institution to recognize its more unsavory history,” he said. “I think purging Wilson from the school would be a disservice to everyone, while being honest about his legacy would be a service to everyone.”

– am

cover page

Last week, President Eisgruber emailed the student body with results of the We Speak survey on sexual misconduct. More than a quarter of undergraduate women reported nonconsensual sexual contact or an attempt.

“As is the case at other universities that recently released the results of similar surveys, the findings at Princeton are heartbreaking,” Eisgruber wrote.

Many of the sexual assault numbers coming in from other Universities are from one large survey, conducted by the American Association of Universities last spring. The survey included 27 Universities, and more than 150,00 students.

Every Ivy participated, except Princeton.

In conducting a separate survey, confined to its campus and administered by the University, Princeton made it difficult to compare its sexual assault numbers with other schools.

The AAU is a well-regarded nonprofit organization of 62 top American and Canadian universities, which conducts research on issues relevant to those schools. Princeton joined the association in 1900.

The sexual misconduct survey was conducted by private social science research firm Westat, and the team that designed it was led by a North Carolina researcher.

We asked Princeton why it chose to conduct its own survey.

“Princeton designed the survey for the specific needs of the Princeton community,” University spokesman Martin Mbugua wrote in an email response. He also said that the survey asked “specific questions with specific definitions matching those used in our policies.”

The We Speak survey makes clear that it is difficult to compare to other results. The statement below stands out – it’s the only bolded statement in the survey’s executive summary:

“The prevalence estimates reported here are specific to this study and are not directly comparable to other studies reported by other universities and in the media.”

bolded section

It’s followed by another qualification:

“However, our findings are generally consistent with those being reported elsewhere.”

In its executive summary, the AAU survey makes clear that the opportunity to compare results from different universities is a major advantage. In fact, it is one of the reasons they conducted such a large study.

From the executive summary of the AAU survey:

“To date, comparisons across surveys have been problematic because of different methodologies and different definitions. The AAU study is one of the first to implement a uniform methodology across multiple [Institutes of Higher Education] and to produce statistically reliable estimates for each IHE.”

Princeton’s survey did have a much higher response rate than most of the schools in the AAU survey. 52% of Princeton’s undergraduate and graduate students completed at least one question in the survey.

The total sample size of the AAU survey was 780,000 students, with 150,000 responding, a rate of about 19%.

Participation was a high priority in both studies, as some have raised concerns about response bias in surveys regarding sexual assault.

Some schools in the AAU survey had response rates similar to Princeton. More than 53% of Harvard students took the survey, and almost 52% of Yale students took it.

One key difference in the two surveys we found is the time frame that the survey considers.

The AAU survey asked about experiences of sexual misconduct during a student’s time in college, as well as experiences during the current academic year; Princeton’s survey asked only about the current year.

For example, 28% of Yale undergraduate women reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact that would be considered assault under most criminal standards since starting college. Princeton’s results offer no such numbers regarding students’ experience over multiple years.

Because of the differences in definitions and time frames, it’s difficult to make meaningful comparisons between the surveys, but here’s one effort:

In the year the survey was conducted, 14% of Yale undergraduate women reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact.

22% of Princeton undergraduate women reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact in the past year, according to the We Speak survey. The definitions used for the two numbers appear to match up, but as the introduction to the survey made clear, no direct comparison can be drawn.

From the We Speak report.

From the We Speak report.

For Harvard’s number, it’s much easier. 12.5% of undergraduate women experienced nonconsensual sexual contact in that year at Harvard, the same statistic referenced above for Yale.

And one last thing –

Princeton’s homepage story on the survey leads with an encouraging figure – “a sizable majority knows where to go on campus for help following an incident of nonconsensual sexual contact” (!).

The 20% of Princeton students that experienced an incident of sexual misconduct in the past year didn’t show up until paragraph five.

This is the first installment of a series of Press Club investigations into the We Speak survey. Stay tuned.

Come hang out with us at our open houses — 4:30 this afternoon (Thursday) and 8:30 pm on Monday, in Frist 228.

In the past year, members have written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Jewish Daily Forward, and the Washington Post. Swing by and we’ll tell you more about what we do.

If you can’t make an open house, email us at



5:25 PM — Entrance of Firestone

And with that, we call it a day! It’s been a great run, Princeton. For those of you with exams now, best of luck!

There is no better way to summarize the craziness that is Dean’s Date than with some fun statistics. The guards at the Firestone count every time someone leaves Firestone and record the hourly number at the top of each hour. Here’s a graph summarizing today’s Firestone traffic. Check out that spike between 4:00 and 5:00.

That can only mean one thing: Dean’s Date is over.

Over and out,


4:55 PM – McCosh Courtyard

Excited about the ever-nearing end to Dean’s Date? Stop by McCosh Courtyard for festivities and fun! There is Taco Bell, Fruity Yogurt FroYo and bubble tea, refreshments, and even a chance to make yourself feel better by donating to the Nepal Relief Effort if you haven’t already (but seriously, it’s a great cause so please donate). If that hasn’t convinced you, the PU Band is here as vivacious as ever, playing for your musical pleasure. The festivities end at 5:30!


4:22 PM – Little Hall

Time is ticking away. T-minus 38 minutes and you will be free (sort of). If you STILL need a way to procrastinate and you’ve used up every other possible option, try this super annoying but super awesome website. What’s better than an invisible cow and ever-intensifying moo’s to annoy everyone around you? Have fun.


3:33 PM – 1981 Hall, Whitman College

From the same people who made, linked just below, is Do Not Touch. It is SO. COOL. It’s an interactive music video that records where your mouse cursor goes, and prompts you to work with the previously recorded cursors to make a smiley face and do other cool stuff. Just check it out and you’ll understand what I mean. It’s a quick, 5-minute study break!


2:55 PM — Late Meal

This website is amazing. Place your computer pointer anywhere in the box and the website will generate a photo with a person’s finger pointing to the exact location of your pointer. Try it out for yourself!


(h/t WG ’17)


2:27 PM –Frist

On another charity related note, you may have noticed boxes around res colleges advertising a coat drive to donate old winter coats. You probably assumed that these coats would be going to people in need of winter gear but lack the means of purchasing it. Think again. This coat drive is actually being run by USG for the most needy among us, literally: incoming Princeton freshmen from warm-weathered locales who may not be used to the blistering cold winters of New Jersey.

I kid you not.

Check it out for yourself here.


(h/t YK ’16)



2:14 PM–Frist

Brief privilege check:

Taking a quick break from all the Dean’s Date shenanigans to remind everyone that while your struggle may feel real right now, there are people who are far less fortunate than us right now who need our help. Currently, there are people tabling in Frist raising money for survivors of the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal. Stop by, donate, and learn about about the ongoing relief efforts. It will give you some perspective and you will be doing a good deed.


1:52 PM — Marquand Library

In the words of Kendrick Lamar “I’m dying of thirst.” Marquand is a desert and an oasis awaits at the other side of 5:00 P.M. I tried sneaking a water bottle in here but I was denied at the door. The cabinet outside the library has taken on a funky smell. Dehydration on Dean’s Date.

How is this allowed in here?


1:44 PM — 1981 Hall, Whitman College

^As you can see, I never leave this place.

And now for the 1:44 PM edition of “The Best of Random Cool Addicting Time-Wasting Websites,” this website lets you click and drag on boxes, and they bounce all around. It’s what I’ve always been looking for.

bounce-wiggle, bounce-wiggle.


1:20 PM — outside Witherspoon’s

Hungry and looking for some inspiration from some furry animals? Well kill two birds with one stone with this amazing Youtube video for all you pastries and cat lovers out there. (plus, it’s only one minute long so it won’t take too much time away from your studies.)


12:42 PM — Outside Frist

For some lonely college administrators, Dean’s Date is taking on a new meaning. Around Frist, McCosh Courtyard, and Cannon Green mysterious posters advertising a new online dating service called DeansDate are appearing. Single deans, if you’re reading this, know that all hope is not lost. Just hop on to


11:38 A.M. — bowels of Firestone

Who puts on a play the evening of Dean’s Date? Oh yeah, THE CHINESE DEPARTMENT—the same department that has a quiz every Friday and schedules a midterm the day after Princetoween.

“More desperation, more crazy!” my Chinese teacher told us last night during rehearsal. I squeezed my eyes shut, thought about my papers—one unfinished and two untouched—and repeated my lines.


Forget the things you’ve lost and the things you’ll never have? Sounds like my GPA.

Come to Frist Theatre at 7:30 p.m. to watch the students of CHI 406 and masochistic students (meeeee) who are doing this for NO CREDIT.


10:15 A.M. — The Interwebs

At least you’re not at Harvard

Stay motivated for Dean’s Date struggles by remembering a major perk – you go to Princeton University, hurrah! What better way to realize your great fortune than by perusing Harvard FML?





9:30 A.M. — Holder 112

Last Dean’s Date, two enterprising journalists and a few of their friends came across a glorious, puzzling site in the corner of the C-floor of Firestone: a Macintosh Classic II computer.

Turns out, the great AK (UPC ’14) had already discovered this gem and reported on it in a previous Dean’s Date liveblog in the spring of 2012.

Here is what she wrote (#tbt):

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Macintosh Classic II. Guess I should come down to the C-Floor more often?

The note on top says: Prof. John V. Fleming/C-II-J/Firestone Library”. Professor Fleming gave the Baccalaureate Address in 2007.

That book next to the Mac is a copy of The Holy Bible. Still not sure what either of those is doing on the C-Floor, but given the label, the computer at least is supposed to be here.


But there was one thing the great AK didn’t realize: This Macintosh still works.  If you need a functional computer with Microsoft Word and no internet, check it out for yourself!

8:00 A.M.-Spelman

Tried to multitask this morning. Failed miserably:


For a better way to start off the morning, listen to Tycho’s latest album, aptly named “Awake.” Just 36 minutes of downtempo to fuel you through your writing marathons.


6:27 AM – Pyne Courtyard

In case you were wondering what a gothic building looks like upside down in the glorious morning sunshine (like I was), here you go!

Okay, I’m going to sleep now. I hope you are too.


5:43 AM – McGraw

For the few still remaining in the huddles of their bright screens and dreary books in McGraw, the sun has arisen bringing with a new day full of promise and possibilities — and papers!

Here’s to the 12th of March.



4:46 AM – Frist 228 

For those brave souls still soldiering on through the night – T-12 hours!!  You may be finding out the hard way that between the hours of 4 and 7 AM there is really nowhere to get food on campus.  The U Store has closed.  So have the C Store and Studio 34.  Domino’s doesn’t deliver this far.

Shoutout to Murray Dodge (see previous post) for accommodating late night (early morning?) Dean’s Date sugar cravings – but if you haven’t eaten since dinner (like me) and are desperately craving food with some more substance, you are left with pretty much one choice: the Wa.

Seriously, though, in desperate times like these, it’s worth the trek.  And the hoagies are amazing.

Image courtesy of Wawa website

The alternative option is knocking on your friends’ doors and asking to scrounge around in their fridge for leftovers.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Good luck and happy food-hunting!

– TT

3:15 AM – Murray Dodge Café

For anyone still awake, Murray Dodge is staying open all night and day—until Dean’s Date arrives. The place is pretty deserted right now so it might be the perfect place to work or stop by for a snack.

Also, Murray Dodge is moving to the Carl A. Fields Center next year as the space undergoes construction. In other words, air conditioning and an elevator into this dingy basement!




3:05 AM – Lauritzen Hall, Whitman College

As we approach the wee hours of the morning, I thought it appropriate and completely necessary to welcome the new day with my favorite Vine of all time. Enjoy.


2:49 AM – 1981 Hall, Whitman College

So I decided to go to, which has a bunch of cool websites, and checked out one of the first few. It’s called Quibbler, and it’s an anonymous chatroom where you can post messages that pop onto the screen for a few seconds…pretty cool. There are only 16 people in the room now, so get on there and let’s have a classic #princetontakeover


1:50 AM – Frist Gallery

There were anxiously awaiting students…


…then there was some pizza…


…and then there wasn’t.


PS. For the record, I was quite excited I got a slice. Then, I looked down and saw pepperoni. I’m a vegetarian. I wasn’t happy.

1:43 AM–Holder 112

This song has powered me through reading period. Let it power you through Dean’s Date night.

Wait till it drops at around the two minute mark. You won’t regret it.


(h/t EMW S’17)


1:33 AM – Firestone

Hey, it’s an oven in Firestone.


1:28 AM – Firestone, C Floor

And just like that, it’s me, C Floor’s eerie darkness, and my melted Starbucks…


1:05 AM – Rocky Common Room

If you’re getting tired of flipping through the pages of that book in search of quotes, try finding an opportunistic place to put it down.

In the Rocky Common Room today, a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince showed up next to copies of our daily newspaper, and has yet to be picked up.

Someone writing this paper knows the right joke to make…

12:37 AM – Firestone, (the emptying out…) C Floor

Tired of staring at your computer? Sick of drinking that coffee? Take a trip down to the bottom of the sea and chill with a gigantic whale!

Yes, that’s right, you can now have that virtual Orca whale you’ve always wanted for a pet! Just move your mouse around and it will swim toward you. Check it out here here:

I have no idea why someone made this, but I’m glad they did since I just wasted like 5 minutes playing with it while taking a screen shot for this post.



12:07 AM–Inside the belly of the Holder Howl

How much money is a Guinness World Record worth? $800, apparently.

According to a source inside the USG social committee, the USG spent $800 on Papa John’s pizza in order to incentivize students to show up for the record-breaking Holder Howl. By 12:01 PM the howling was over and by 12:05 the eight hundred dollars worth of pizza had evaporated into thin air (bellies, really), gone like the fading howls of stressed out Princeton students who apparently really, really like pizza.


11:58 PM–Holder Courtyard

Come for the world record, stay for the pizza…??

Hundreds of Princeton students have gathered in the Holder courtyard for the annual Holder Howl. Unlike all other years, however, this time around Princeton is trying to break a world record for most people “shouting in one place at one time” (who knew there was even a record for that?)

With five minutes to go, students seem mostly interested in the other way this event was advertised tonight: free pizza. Currently, everyone is gathering around one corner of the courtyard as a man in a megaphone tries to do some crowd control.

Also, there is an alarming amount of P-Safe officers surrounding the perimeter. I guess this is what you get for trying to institutionalize tradition?


11:42 PM–Writing Center

Protip: Whitman’s midnight breakfast isn’t checking if you’re a Whitmanite, so if you’d rather avoid the hungry swarms in Frist, head to Whitman dining hall. Still plenty of food left!


11:39 PM–Rocky Dining Hall

Coming down with a bad case of the blinking cursor syndrome? Having trouble getting words down on the page?

Here’s a great website that will inspire you to keep writing:

True to its name, for every 100 words you write, Written?Kitten! will show you a cute picture of a kitten.

Have fun! (h/t AL’16)


10:43 PM–Frist, but leaving soon…?

You may remember my earlier post about the origins of the word “Dean’s Date.” Well, while researching that post, I came across these two old Prince clips that I couldn’t resist sharing.

The first, a really odd photo from the spring Dean’s Date of 1988:

And last but not least, apparently the Prince used to advertise post-Dean’s Date parties in eating clubs:

In other news, apparently Ivy used to advertise its parties in the Prince. Lame.


10:18 PM – Firestone Lobby

The band hit the big stage, and people came from all floors to see them play. The reception was warm, I think, and people clapped on the way out.

The signature Dean’s Date mood, stressed out but strangely celebratory has arrived.

Till next year, band.

– SP

9:54 PM – Still Frist

You can always count on the Princeton University Band to liven up the night prior to Dean’s Date with their high-energy, high-volume music. Here, as always, they ceremoniously pass through Frist to bring joy to all those students laboring over pages (both word-filled and blank)

Meanwhile, a guy decked out in a pristinely white dress came dancing through Frist.

Keep those spirits high, people.


9:50 PM – Somewhere around UCLA?

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this video Chase Bishov (formerly ’18) and Ana DeJesus ’18 made for their freshman seminar “Contemporary Art and the Amateur.” Bishov’s transferred to UCLA so he doesn’t have to deal with Dean’s Date unlike the rest of us, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy his work. It’s certainly strange.

Here it is: Kuchar

Kuchar from Chase Bishov on Vimeo.


Warning: the video contains depictions of waterboarding that may not be suitable for some viewers.




9:49 PM — Still Frist

Some of you may recall that in the Dean’s Date Live Blog of the fall of 2013, the University Press Club was embroiled in a fight with Loki, Princeton University’s hedgehog mascot that had a livecam showing its every move as it ran around at night. After mistakenly calling the hedgehog’s wheel a “hamster wheel” Loki fired back via tweet at the Press Club:

Goddamn Press Club. Hamster Wheel? Am I not quilled? Do I not bleed? #hedgehogrights #speciesism #noudidnt #lokicam

Where, you may be asking, is Loki the Hedgehog now, in my time of greatest need?

A look back at Loki’s home(page) led to this depressing site:

Till next year, Loki.


9:25 PM – Frist

A staple of the Dean’s Date Liveblog has always been inspirational videos to keep you going just when you think you don’t have anything left in the tank. The following video follows in a long tradition of such pieces of inspiration. The catch: it is a seven minute slideshow about bridges personally produced by Professor Maria Garlock who teaches the popular course CEE 262: Structures in the Urban Environment, AKA Bridges.
You may not believe me that this will inspire you but I promise you it will or your money back guaranteed. Also, if you are like me, this video will also help you study for your exams (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…)
You’re welcome.


8:36 PM – Firestone

Some things never change…

Firestone’s C-floor is always packed for Dean’s Date, whether it’s 1989 or 2015. And to those who claim our generation is filled with slackers, take a look at the guy with his feet up. Gotta do better, baby boomers.

– AW

8:24 PM – Frist

On the origins of Dean’s Date:

While suffering through my Dean’s Date papers, I always loved the thought that my pain followed in a long tradition of proud Princetonians. Turns out I was wrong. Well, sort of. “Dean’s Date” as it is currently called is actually a rather new title for a rather old tradition. A search through the Prince archives of every issue dating back to the late 1800s shows that the first ever reference to the name “Dean’s Date” is in an offhand comment from a 1985 article.

Further investigation, with the help of the great AJS, led me to this article from 1938, which declares that reading periods would be extended to the freshman and sophomore classes, with written work for all their courses due “at the end of each period.” Sounds a lot like Dean’s Date.

However, this prototype of Dean’s Date, introduced in 1939, would be short lived as the University completely altered the academic calendar after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, gutting the reading period entirely.

It was not until 1961, after a 20-year hiatus, that reading period would return, and, with it, the dreaded day in which “all written work” is due. Or, as it was far more ominously and blandly labeled in this 1966 notice, “The Work Deadline.

(The article about the reintroduction of reading period includes this gem of a fluff quote: “When asked about the possibility of some students abusing the privilege of a reading period, Dean Finch said that “the large majority of students are mature enough to see clearly the possibilities for consolidation of previous work and exploration of new avenues that the reading periods will offer.”)

Either way, you can still take solace in the fact that you follow in a long, proud tradition of Princetonians suffering through the end of reading period, even if they never called it “Dean’s Date.”

Enjoy “consolidating previous work” and “exploring new avenues”


8:10 PM – Between Frist and Elm

A beautiful scene for a horrible day.


7:45 PM – Firestone Library

TOP (L-R): Mark of Aldus Manutius, printer in Venice (1520); “The Ship of Fools,” Bergmann von Olpe (1497); bibliomaniac engraving from “The Ship of Fools;” mark of Simon de Colines, printer in Paris (1527). BOTTOM (L-R): Mark of Etienne Dolet, printer in Lyons (1542); mark of Simon Vostre, printer in Paris (1501); mark of Geoffroy Tory, printer in Paris (1529); book ornament used by Simon Vostre. Courtesy Princeton University Archives

If it’s Dean’s Date (it is), chances are you’re locked in the depths of Firestone Library, Princeton’s very own Collegiate Gothic temple to the written word. If you think you know Firestone, think again. Throughout the night, we’ll periodically update the liveblog with facts about our beloved library.

Ever noticed the eight carvings on the cornice of the exterior of the Trustees Reading Room? They’re not standard-issue gargoyles, but decorative bosses based on fifteenth and sixteenth century printers’ marks: intricate designs that appeared in early books for protection against literary pirates.

A passage from a Princeton Alumni Weekly from 1949, reproduced below, explains some of the bosses:

Making a pun on his own name was also a favorite device…the urn in Geoffroy Tory’s mark is pierced with a drill called, in French, a touret. Etienne Dolet’s mark shows a hand grasping an adze, or planing tool; the verb “to plane” in French is doler.

Next time you’re outside Firestone (hopefully soon), take a closer look!


7:28 PM – The Tree House, Lewis Library

The Tree House at Lewis Library is looking a little fuller today than usual. (Full disclosure: this photo was taken an hour ago, but yours truly had to run off to grab nourishments.) Now, the question is, do expensive chairs make one churn out higher quality papers? The chairs at Lewis cost a fortune, as we reported a few years back.

Those egg-shaped chairs cost $5,000.

The swivel ones start at $1,199.

And the boxy armchairs along the walls are supposed to cost at least $1720 each.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery as you power through those final pages tonight, head over to Lewis and enjoy those chairs.


6:40 PM – Firestone Library

Firestone Library’s fourth-floor cafeteria operated until 1976, when it was moved to the D floor. Courtesy of the Daily Princetonian.

If it’s Dean’s Date (it is), chances are you’re locked in the depths of Firestone Library, Princeton’s very own Collegiate Gothic temple to the written word. If you think you know Firestone, think again. Throughout the night, we’ll periodically update the liveblog with facts about our beloved library.

The D-floor cafeteria operated until 1984. Courtesy of the Daily Princetonian.

Are you hungry yet? Firestone’s ban on food means we have to leave its confines in order to get a bite to eat, but it wasn’t always this way. The fourth floor balcony above the Signature Reading Room, formerly the faculty lounge, housed a cafeteria complete with vending machines dispensing food and drink.

In 1976, the cafeteria was moved to the D floor (yes, it exists) to make room for a listening room for music and speeches. The cafeteria on the D floor, which is now a storage room, was removed in 1984 because of safety concerns over spilled beverages smuggled out of the room. Though the University Librarian alleged that several people had slipped on spilled cola, the reasoning sounds highly suspect. Food has since been banned from Firestone Library, and the D floor was turned into an incredibly depressing office for an unlucky preceptor in the History department.


6:15 PM – 9 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ

Halo Pub sells doughnuts for 30 cents, with any coffee.

To give you an idea what you’re working with, a macchiato or espresso will set you back $1.20.

So we’re talking $1.50 coffee and doughnut. It looks something like this:

They also sell drip coffee for $1.60. It’s a miracle Small World and Starbucks are still in business.

Halo Pub closes at 11pm. That gives you time for about three more trips today.

See you there,


5:55 PM – 1981 Hall, Whitman College


In case you need some bright visual stimulation, and appreciate patterns as much as I do (is that weird?), I strongly advise you to check out It’s a collection of cool tiled patterns that you can download for free. New desktop background, anyone?


5:45 PM – Firestone Library

Courtesy of the Daily Princetonian

If it’s Dean’s Date (it is), chances are you’re locked in the depths of Firestone Library, Princeton’s very own Collegiate Gothic temple to the written word. If you think you know Firestone, think again. Throughout the night, we’ll periodically update the liveblog with facts about our beloved library.

You know the emergency exit in the Trustees Reading Room that leads out onto the roof? The roof was designed to be an outdoor reading terrace where students could study when the weather was nice. A similar terrace (also locked and unused) is outside the former Reserve Reading Room, now the Cotsen Children’s Library, on the east side of Firestone.

Though Firestone opened in 1948, the reading terrace was not used until the spring of 1955, when Librarian William S. Dix managed to convince Building Services to open the terrace for daylight reading hours. Students had to use lightweight aluminum chairs available from the reference room and were limited to a small area covered by flagstone pavement to avoid damaging the gravel roof. According to notices in the Daily Princetonian, the terrace was open each spring through 1960.


5:40 PM– on a dance floor somewhere

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling something like this right now (h/t: MW ’16):

Just remember that in 24 hours you’ll be feeling (and dancing and singing) like this:

As six-year-old Isaac Brown says to Howie Mandel, you don’t have to be the best dancer (read: writer), you don’t have to be the best singer (read: studier), “it only matters that it’s coming from your heart”


5:08 PM – Firestone, C Floor

Starbucks, Small World, and Rojo’s (but Rojo’s a little bit less because they’re a bit more for coffee snobs after all) LOVE reading period. For us, so much coffee, so much energy. For them, so much coffee, so much money.

If you’re a coffee-holic you may already know about Caffeine Informer, but for the rest of us twice-a-year intense coffee drinkers, this is a great site. It tells you how much caffeine is in drinks from places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, along with teas, energy drinks, and anything else with the pump-you-up special ingredient.

Starbucks Caffeine Levels

It even has a somewhat ominously described Caffeine Calculator that tells you how much you “should” drink. Should is the operative word.

Caffeine Out,


5:00PM–Holder Hall

“What’s that?” you ask, as you swivel around on your chair in a carrel on the third floor Firestone, trying to locate the source of the soft rumble growing louder by the second. Dean’s Date is approaching and you have 5,10,15,20,30 pages to write and you feel all alone. Suddenly, as the sweat drips down your brow and you feel hopeless, lost amidst the piles of books and articles mounting up, it arrives like the Coors Light© Love Train, to save you from your impending doom.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the thing you’ve been you’ve been waiting for all year. It’s new and improved. It’s back and better than ever.

It’s the Dean’s Date Live Blog. 

For the next 24 hours, the University Press Club will be here to provide you with all the comic relief, emotional support, and inspirational gifs, Youtube videos, and memes to power you through to that 5 PM deadline.

Just keep on doing you and you can count on us to do the rest. Check back in as we will be updating continuously through the night and the rest of tomorrow.

Godspeed, everyone.



After meeting with student advocates for the Abolish the Box campaign in his office on Thursday afternoon, President Eisgruber addressed a crowd of students who had gathered outside Nassau Hall to publicly protest the University’s policy of asking applicants to reveal past involvement in the criminal justice system on its application.

“I agree with you about the really serious of injustice in our incarceration system,” Eisgruber said to approximately 100 students and faculty members seated on Cannon Green as part of a teach-in planned by the leaders of the Admissions Opportunity Campaign (AOC) at Princeton. AOC is Princeton’s chapter of the national Abolish the Box campaign that calls for universities to stop screening for criminal records because of the systemic racial and economic inequalities within the American prison system.

While Eisgruber expressed interest in the campaign, he voiced skepticism with regards to whether “abolishing the box” is the effective or appropriate response to the larger issues of societal injustice. In particular, Eisgruber argued that he sees little difference between the University’s interest in knowing whether an applicant failed a course or faced academic probation—other elements of the common application—and having a criminal record. “Someone who fails an examination and fails a course, maybe goes on to do something great in life, but that counts against their record,” he said.

While sounding unmoved about the possibility of eliminating the question from the application, Eisgruber did say that he sees room for common ground between the University and the student activists. “I do appreciate their arguments about how there can be aspects of the process that are discouraging,” he said, referring specifically to the argument that the issue with “the box” is not that it leads to rejection from admissions offices, but that it discourages students who would otherwise apply to college from submitting their application.

Eisgruber also noted that the work of SPEAR (Students for Prison Education and Reform) last year led the University to change its policies in hiring for staff positions. Previously, a criminal record question was one of the first asked of all job applicants, ultimately screening out candidates before they had even interviewed. Now, candidates are only asked that question at the tail end of the application process, once they have already been interviewed and reviewed by their potential employers. Eisgruber said that he would be interested in seeing whether such a policy could be used in the undergraduate applications process as well.

After speaking for ten minutes, Eisgruber engaged in a back and forth discussion with students who responded to his remarks. A central argument repeated by the students was that many high school students break laws, like drinking underage or smoking marijuana, but the criminal justice system only penalizes the most marginalized people while the rest get off free.

One student who spoke up said, that “no one here has a criminal record, I don’t think, but probably all of us have broken the law”

“Well I am sorry to hear that,” Eisgruber retorted, not missing a beat.

Another student told Eisgruber that by not “abolishing the box,” the university was complicit in the injustices of the American prison system. “The work has been done. We know that this is an issue,” she said. “It [not deleting the question] is saying that we are comfortable that these injustices exist and we are going to allow them to continue to exist.”

Soon after, Eisgruber was whisked away by his staff. But before he left he signaled that the door is open for future conversation. “I agree about our need to respond to injustices within society,” he said. “I know that this conversation will continue.”


After a week of furious postering, tabling, and Facebook status-ing, the dust has settled on the USG Referendum to divest from companies “that maintain the infrastructure of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.”

It was defeated by just over a hundred votes. 52.5% voted in favor and 47.5% voted against, according to an email from USG President Ella Cheng which announced the results, and 2032 students total voted on the referendum. That’s roughly 40% of the student body.

The failure of the referendum means that USG will not call on University trustees to divest. Princeton’s divestment guidelines call for “considerable, thoughtful and sustained campus interest,” and also require the issue at hand to involve a core University value, a high bar to clear, even if the vote had passed.

Given that challenge, leaders of the divestment campaign have expressed that they consider the student conversation and awareness of the issue developed a success in itself, for their campaign. While a number of university student governments have held contentious debates and votes regarding divestment, rarely have they been opened up to the entire student body.


William Scheide just donated a bazillion dollars worth of old books to Princeton but let’s be honest, you’ll never read them. Libraries aren’t about books – they’re about sitting on your laptop looking studious.

Where you Library says a lot about you, so you might as well find your niche before you hit campus.

Check out the pro’s and con’s of Princeton’s many libraries below…

1. Firestone

Usual Open Hours: 8 am – 11:45 pm

As Princeton’s largest library with over a million and a half volumes, Firestone is the behemoth of book houses. You might be intimidated by Firestone’s gothic architecture and ancient feel, but remember that it was built in the mid-20th Century, so it’s basically a poser and should be intimidated by you.

Major pro of Firestone? This is where shit gets done.  Walking into the silent reading room feels like entering a battlefield, but in a good way.

Firestone attracts the most studious Princetonians hunched over wooden cubbies with empty boxes of ramen and Red Bull cans. Which leads us to another great perk – food.

Although you’re technically not allowed to bring in anything other than sealed beverages, there are no evil bag checkers (looking at you, Marquand) and the welcome desk is usually just chilling.

Firestone also has some spectacular views, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to procrastinate by staring at other people from above.

Another great Firestone feature is the light study space on the third floor. Fancy portraits and whimsical lighting will definitely keep you motivated.

However, navigating Firestone’s narrow stacks can be a challenge.

This view may be traumatic for those with limited special navigation skills, and is especially scary at night.

Parts of Firestone are under construction until 2018, causing occasional re-routings and noise in the library’s lower levels. Note: a true Firestoner hates nothing more than noise.

Also, beware of tomb-like desk spaces with combination locks. Angry preceptors are rumored to lurk in their shadows.

To end on a positive note, remember that Malia Obama may be spotted in Firestone’s rare books collection…


2. East Pyne Library

Usual Opening Hours: 7 am – 10 pm

East Pyne is home to the classics, comparative literature and European language departments.

More importantly, however, East Pyne attracts some of Princeton’s best-dressed and most obnoxiously foreign students. (Obnoxious in a stylish way, of course.)

Edward Said’s daughter Najla mentions East Pyne as one of her favorite hideouts in her memoir, so you know it must be worth your time.

The East Pyne library is unassumingly fancy – there are no bag or book checkers (you’ll see why…), food is fair game (and sometimes provided!), while the library’s gothic architecture will help you feel tragically academic at all times. It’s also perfect for those quintessential Princeton snaps your friends at other schools will love to hate.

Because you don’t need a prox to enter the library, it’s the perfect place to take visiting family members or friends. With its cathedral windows and arched roof, the East Pyne library is a pleasant view from any angle.

Have fun perusing the random book titles in East Pyne between readings — because nothing says brain candy like “The Mourning Sexton.”

While East Pyne is often pleasantly empty in the evening, beware on three accounts. One, tourists wander inside pretty frequently — you may be subject to photo shoots, pointing, and awed whispers.

Two, it can get very cold at night, presumably because no one bothers to keep the heat on. Three, East Pyne is sometimes closed to host events. But these events often have food, and food means leftovers.

3. Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology

Usual Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 11:45 pm

We already made a jab at Marquand for its strict food police, but the library’s stringency pays off. Marquand is one of the cleanest, most streamlined study spaces without crumbs, smells or wrappers.

The furniture is minimalist and chic, but definitely not lounging material.

Marquand’s panorama windows offer a beautiful view of campus with plenty of natural light.

Marquand is perfect for people watching, but remember that you may be watched in return, so stay classy.

Located next to the art museum, Marquand is often surrounded by members of the local community, international tourists and posh older couples checking out the museum’s newest exhibits. This change of crowds offers a welcome break from the usual set of college students.

Alas, we do need to address the food problem. Marquand bag checkers are religious in their searches and will find that banana you plopped in your bag without thinking and that you did not even plan on eating in the first place.

You will awkwardly take the banana from the inspector’s hands and NOT throw it away in a trashcan inside the library (also not allowed), but backtrack and deposit the illicit item in Marquand’s not so yummy food cabinet.

IN the cabinet, not on it, because food juices could damage the mosaic hanging above. Never mind that the art museum hosts a food fest every year.

But snackers should not despair – Marquand is conveniently located across from Murray Dodge, which offers free cookies fresh from the oven most evenings and afternoons.

Side note: Marquand hasn’t started patting people down TSA style yet. Do what you wish with this information…

4. Lewis Library

Lewis is Princeton’s most prominent science library, and carries the name of our biggest donor, Peter Lewis.

The building is rather psychedelic, which begs the question: is Princeton secretly aligning itself with Peter Lewis’ stance on legalizing marijuana?

Lewis offers a more modern brand of library, and boasts a spectacular reading room dubbed the Bird Cage.

Lewis also features futuristic chairs that you may turn in circles at your leisure.

Although Lewis has an interesting, geometric infrastructure, this translates into narrow hallways and an unintuitive layout. Unlike Firestone, however, Lewis is more moderately sized with landmarks for the geographically challenged.

5. Architecture Library

Usual Opening Hours: 9 am – 11:45 pm

The architecture building has a bad reputation for being “ugly” in the eyes of Orange Key tour guides. But you, prefrosh, know better — the building is obviously Bauhaus and therefore functional and sophisticated.

By visiting the architecture library, you too may become a black skinny-jean-wearing, cigarette-smoking artiste like those pictured below.

Along with Lewis, the architecture library also offers the rare experience of sitting on $5,000. Yes, that’s how much one of these wonky chairs cost.

In line with its Bauhaus style, the library is minimalist and equipped with sharp, flexible desk lamps. The approachable chalkboard offers plenty of space for artistic expression and/or frustration.

Springtime views are therapeutically matched with cozy seating arrangements.

However, you do have to climb a flight of narrow stairs to reach the library, and its no-noise policy is strongly enforced.

And so ends our tour of Princeton’s library land – keep in mind that these are only five of the many study niches on campus, so get excited to explore!

Welcome to…

Princeton is the new party hotspot for French celebrities with César awards. Well, not really. But the dashing Pierre Niney said he had a great time partying on campus when he first visited Princeton as a student five years ago. It was his first trip to the United States.

This week, Niney is back in Princeton with his fiancé, a César award for best male actor and upcoming meetings in Los Angeles for his next film on Jacques Cousteau. I think it’s safe to say Princeton was the catalyst.

Niney arrived on Tuesday to host a free showing of one of his latest films, “Yves Saint Laurent,” at Princeton’s Garden Theater. The film follows the life of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent through the gaze of Pierre Bergé, his longtime lover and manager.

University French Theater Professor Florent Masse planned Niney’s visit over the course of a year and a half, and said he was thrilled to have Niney back on campus.

This week, Niney will be rehearsing scenes with members of Professor Masse’s French theater troupe, L’Avant-Scène, and other student members of the University’s theater community.

Rehearsals began on Tuesday in the Rocky common room.

“Pierre gave such insightful advice,” Avant-Scène member Jin Chow ’17 said after the workshop. Jin performed a scene from Racine’s “Phèdre.”

Pierre said he usually applies real-life situations to a given scene and thinks of people in his life to conjure the appropriate emotions.

“I’d like to start doing this more, because I think it could help to make my acting more genuine,” Jackson Salter ’17, who played scenes from “Phèdre” and “Antigone,” said. He explained that Niney made them whisper their lines to each other and then yell their lines across the room while he played the piano.

“I think that experimenting with these techniques helped the scenes evolve, whereas they otherwise would have remained static,” Jackson said.

“Pierre Niney brought an insightful, creative approach to the workshop, one that I genuinely felt improved my scene work and comprehension of theatre as a whole,” Emma Michalak ’17, who also worked on Racine, noted. “It’s so incredible how intelligent and accomplished he is at such a young age.”

Niney gave a question and answer session moderated by Professor Masse in East Pyne on Tuesday night.

He said he was very impressed by the student performances, and that it was great to be back in Princeton.

Niney spent about six months working on his character before shooting the Yves Saint Laurent movie, his longest preparatory work for a film so far.

“I didn’t know a thing about fashion when I started,” Niney said. Niney explained that he worked with a drawing coach, a vocal coach and a fitness coach to adapt his mannerisms and skills to Saint Laurent’s distinct persona. He also listened to Saint Laurent’s voice, immersed himself in old footage, and visited archives.

“I was basically living with him,” Niney said of Saint Laurent. “I wasn’t seeing anyone else.”

The movie includes real costumes and artifacts from Saint Laurent’s atelier and even Saint Laurent’s dog, Niney said, who seemed to mistake Niney for his former owner. Saint Laurent died in 2008 at the age of 71.

Niney will be holding a question and answer session in French on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

The slender Frenchman can also be spotted strolling up-campus and in the Lewis acting complex, so keep your eyes open this week!




In this week’s edition:

What defines us as a nation is our willingness to struggle through tough circumstances, said Anthony Romero ’87, director of the American Civil Liberties Union, during an Apr. 8 lecture at the Friend Center for Engineering. Romero spoke about some of the greatest challenges to civil liberties today, including LGBT rights, mass incarceration, immigration, abortion, and surveillance.


New York Times  Campus Jargon – Oren Fliegelman ’16

College campus slang explained.


Planet Princeton – Mary Anne Haas: 89 Years Young – Logan Sander ’18

Mary Anne Haas is truly a sight to behold: nails painted bright green, pink streaks in her hair, rainbow-beaded earrings glinting in the sunlight, and a long, dangling necklace jingling as she moves. Her appearance does not deceive — Mary Anne is every bit as spirited and nontraditional as her neon hair or her jewelry collection.


Planet Princeton – Nick O’Connell: Father’s Wrongful Conviction Motivates Son to Help the Innocent – Logan Sander ’18

Nick O’Connell and his father, Frank O’Connell, are checking items off of their bucket list, from whitewater rafting to road tripping across the country. The completion of their list got a late start: Frank was wrongfully incarcerated for murder for 28 years, beginning when Nick was only four years old.


U.S.1 – Connecting Readers with Brands at Buzzfeed – Mary Hui ’17

Jacob Loewenstein, account manager at BuzzFeed, shares insights on native advertising and the future of the media industry.


Trenton Times – Princeton Professors Opposes New Policy for Handling Sexual Misconduct Allegations – Spencer Parts ’17

Princeton professor opposes new policy for handling sexual misconduct allegations
At Whig-Clio discussion, Professor Stanley Katz says new standard of evidence for sexual assault – preponderance – is bad for students. 

President Eisgruber invited the student body in an email to a chapel gathering at 2 pm today. Dean Alison Boden sent a follow-up email, writing that, “The intention for the gathering is both to acknowledge frankly our divisions and to reaffirm, together, the University’s guiding values of respect, dignity, honesty, and compassion.”

1:30 – Around 20 students dressed in black gather outside the Chapel

2:04 – Dean Alison Boden speaks, leads the University in prayer.

This is “A particularly challenging time for the university”

“Speaking honestly can be hard.”

“To say what we must, no matter the cost”

“Please Join me in the spirit of prayer”


2:06 – President Eisgruber speaks

About twenty students dressed in black stand up in the pews, facing away from President Eisgruber.

There’s been an “eruption of hostile and thoughtless comments on YikYak”

“The anonymous cowards that post these messages debase us all with their ignorance and contempt”

“Members of minority groups too often find themselves hurt by stereotypyes, by ignorance, or by hostility.”

“We have a responsibility to change that,” President Eisgruber said.

“I’ve been impressed, for example, by how much so many people in this community from so many different groups love this university and by how much they want it to be a better and more welcoming place.”


2:12 pm

Ruha Benjamin, Assistant Professor, Center for African American Studies, offers another reflection.

The students sit down.

“There is no orange bubble, there is only us,” Benjamin says.

Benjamin quotes an upvoted Yik Yak, “If Princeton is so damaging, leave.”

“How About, “If Princeton is so damaging, we have to change it. But how?”  Benjamin asks.


Jacob Cannon, Class of 2017 U-Councillor, speaks.

“Why do we tend to expect so much from Princeton, or from each other? Or perhaps we don’t,” Cannon said. “I think that the reason for the tendency to criticize Princeton is much purer and more underlying than we think.”

“We believe in what Princeton should be, a place where every student can thrive… A place that can offer the best undergraduate education.”

“When I see attitudes of criticism, dissapointment, as frustration, Idon’t view it as complaining as much as a reflection of how much we care about the University and its students,” Cannon said. “We look to Princeton to create an environment that perhaps exists no where else in the nation.”

“We’ve had a lawn parties act every year, so why is now the time to protest misogyny in the music industry?” Cannon said, commenting that it is all too easy to ask questions like this. “I implore each and every one of you to engage with your peers in person, and to do so respectfully.”

 2:32 pm Musical reflection, “Sound over the water” with soloist Alice Frederick ’17

 2:37 pm Eric Glover, a graduate student in the English Department

“I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t eager to leave,” Grover said.

In light of recent events, Glover finds himself qualifying his introductions. “While I am from Princeton U, I’m not of it,” he said.

“Don’t sit by and watch. Hold them accountable…So the burdens of race and racism do not continue to fall onto the shoulders of the underrepresented,” Glover urges.

2:42 p.m. Professor William (Bill) Gleason, Professor of English begins

“Humor can be a powerful social weapon, or it can be a divisive and humiliating gesture,” Gleason said.

“There is much I think that informed historical knowledge about the work of culture can bring understanding to us today,” Gleason said. “What we need most of all, perhaps, is a more informed knowledge of each other.”

2:46 pm musical reflection on violin by Solene Le Van ’18

2:52 Isaac Serwanga ’13, Athletic Administrator and founder of Profound Ivy, speaks

“When you’re part of a community, the strength of the community lies on the individual who understands that the responsibility falls on them.”

“In my time as an undergraduate I saw that Princeton was missing something…I didn’t feel that the support that Princeton provided pertained to my situation.”

“It wasn’t until my senior year that I could be an agent of change.”

Explains Profound Ivy, mentorship group for Black student athletes that he founded as undergraduate, which meets weekly on Sunday afternoons.

“As we build up the individual, the community wins.”

Serwanga’s remarks are the only remarks met with applause by audience so far.
Remarks by Lina Saud ’15

Speaks of being taunted by intoxicated peers because of her headscarf.

“Go to the dining hall and sit with someone who does not look like you…ask them the questions you are too scared to ask” Saud encourages. “Embrace each other and do not let yourself get robbed.”

3:04 pm U-Councillor Naimah Hakim ’16 speaks

Speaks of taking time off from the University:

“The conditions that drew me to leave the University were intricately intertwined with me being a woman and me being a Black student.”

“If we are to keep one another accountable and rigorously pursue not only the freedom of expression but justice”

Hakim calls four students to stage to read “manifesto” of students who are “sick and tired of being sick and tired” to Eisgruber administration, which they denounce as racist. “The following are our demands,” Hakim said.

“We demand honesty,” one student said.

“We demand respect,” another student said.

“President Eisgruber and his administraton have described racism as a ‘difference of opinion’,” another student said.

Other students stand with posters in the aisle as the students on stage speak.

“We demand dignity and compassion”

“Freedom of speech is not a license for daily verbal assault”

“We demand accountability,” a student said. “Accountability means actively dismantling racism even if it makes some uncomfortable”

“Black students have repeatedly done the unpaid work of educating our peers and administrators about oppression, not just during your [Pres. Eisgruber’s] presidency, but for the decades preceding your term, and we suspect, unless something changes, for the years following it,” Hakim said. “We demand change,” she concluded. The audience claps.

3:11 pm students walk out chanting “hate speech is not free speech.”

After speech by professor and Chapel Choir performance, President Eisgruber delivers closing remarks:

Eisgruber thanks students for attending and speakers for sharing their thoughts and emotions:

“It was challenging, illuminating, and sometimes uncomfortable,” Eisgruber said of the gathering.

-GSF and AM