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 pointerpointer.com, 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 deansdate.com


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 http://www.reddit.com/r/interactivewebsites, 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: http://img0.liveinternet.ru/images/attach/c/5/3970/3970473_sprite198.swf

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 thepatternlibrary.com. 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 PrincetonMary 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


The YikYak rumors are true: YikYak campus representatives are at Princeton. For now, they’re occupying a table at Frist, handing out free swag from sunglasses to ping pong balls to coozies.

Surprisingly, the campus reps aren’t anonymous in real life.

The campus reps said their visit isn’t a response to the controversy this past weekend that translated into chaos all over YikYak, though they were aware of what happened.

“We had a box full [of gear], and knew we needed to visit at some point,” one of the reps said. “We know about what happened the other day, and thought this was a good time to come down.”

Most of all, they said, their deadline for visiting Princeton – one of many campuses they’re required to visit – is tomorrow, April 10. (Apparently YikYak is so in touch with college culture that just like us, they procrastinate until the last day.)

The YikYak team had apparently been eyeing Princeton’s feed for a few days after the weekend drama. According to one anonymous user that emailed YikYak asking for Princeton’s feed to be featured on the app, YikYak Support considered shutting down usage of the app on campus.


The YikYak campus reps are on campus until 10. Their most coveted piece of swag are YikYak socks, which the reps said are only for users with over 10,000 “Yakarma,” which users earn by giving or getting upvotes on posts in the app.

Now that’s what I call Sockarma.

Welcome, pre-frosh, to Princeton. You’ve taken the tours, and you’ve been to the info sessions. Now you’ll be coming to visit and it’s time to get real.

This is the first of a series of Press Club guides to life on campus, an introduction to the dining options that you will have in your first two years at Princeton.

Not all dining halls are created equal — here’s your definitive guide.


There are 6 on campus dining halls that anyone on a residential college meal plan can eat in.

Rocky/Mathey dining hall is the Harry Potter-esque one, with its dark wood paneling and gothic architecture.

Forbes is probably too far away for anyone to eat there unless they are a Forbesian, but its hotel/country-club like dining hall is a nice place to grab Sunday brunch. Plus, thanks to its smaller crowd, it’s able to spend more time on the food it does make. For example, the egg mix they use at brunch is actually freshly cracked eggs from the morning (whereas the other dining halls use carton eggs).

Whitman is knock-off gothic, but somehow lacks the same Harry Potter-esque grandeur of Rocky/Mathey. The lighting in Whitman is also extremely dim. They’re also the most exclusive with weekly College Dinners on Tuesdays that are only open to members of Whitman.

Wu/Wilcox (Butler/Wilson) is the modern-looking one, and the most centrally located, so it tends to receives the most foot traffic per week. But high traffic can mean less attention paid to each dish.

The CJL is Princeton’s only kosher dining hall, which means that meat (not including fish) is not served the same meal as dairy. Monday,Wednesday and Friday are meat days, while Tuesday/Thursday are dairy days. They also have nice Shabbat dinners on Friday that are open to everyone — and served with wine.

The Grad College is like the Forbes of Forbes. It’s quite the trek from central campus, and generally meant for the grad students that are banished to that corner of campus. But they do have very nice Thursday dinners where local chefs come in to make special dishes. You may eat there, like,  once or twice a semester. Maybe. If you’re really trying.

Don’t trust our judgment? You can compare menus for each meal on Campus Dining’s website.

Best Breakfast (M-F)


For the rare few that wake up in the morning for breakfast, Wilcox is the best place to start off your day. If you get there early enough, you can grab a copy of the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal on your way in, and there’s always a good variety of fruit, muffins, bagels and sausage/eggs. If you happen to get the raisin bread in the morning, it’s heavenly. Plus, they have a waffle maker for your own waffle-making pleasure.

But the real winner is the omelet station, where you can get made-to-order omelets on the grill. If Joe is working in the morning, you’re in for a treat. Joe has perfected the art of creating delicious, hefty and expertly constructed omelets on the grill (it’s more difficult than it sounds), rolling up the thin layers of egg with the fillings to ensure that nothing falls out. Also, they have real eggs, so if you’d rather not get the carton egg/egg whites, ask for “two eggs scrambled with [items of choice]“.

The Others: Rocky/Mathey features a breakfast tofu scramble, a greater variety of Dunkin’ Donuts, and decent quiches.Whitman has smoothies on Tuesday/Thursday mornings. Forbes…. to be honest, yours truly has never been to Forbes for breakfast.

Best Lunch


The CJL can be a madhouse at lunch time, when engineering and science/math students descend upon the tiny house after their classes get out at 12:30. But if you can claw your way in, it’s certainly worth it.

What makes the CJL the best? The stir fry bar. You get to fill up a plate with your desired veggies/meats/imitation crab and pair it with pasta/rice, and they’ll cook it for you, with your choice of stir fry sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, along with condiments like garlic. Unfortunately, the stir fry bar is not always available, and the CJL pretty frequently does not follow the menu they post online, so it’s hard to tell when it’ll be available.

On dairy days, the CJL also features a yogurt bar with organic granola and FRESH blueberries.

Finally, the desserts at the CJL are hands down the best on campus. They’re the only dining hall that makes their baked goods on site (other dining halls get their baked goods from Mathey Bakery), and the difference is evident. Their cookies are amazing — soft, chewy and delicious.

As an added bonus, the staff is always SO happy. Marshall, pictured above, makes an expert stir-fry (ask for the special) and Edith’s smile always brightens your day.

The Others: Wu/Wilcox is a madhouse at lunch time as well, and the food is generally average. One highlight is a made-to-order panini station. If you can make the trek, Forbes lunch can be surprisingly good – the options on the grill are great (they have omelettes, make your own stir fry bowls) and they have good pre-made paninis. Rocky/Mathey usually features a sandwich for their main entree (plated for you). Whitman can be pretty good depending on the bar option (Asian Noodle Bar!) and the pasta station (see below).

Best Dinner


Whitman features a rotating specialty bar, ranging from the Asian Noodle Bar to Burrito Bar, where you can construct your own noodle soup or burrito or gyro (or whatever). They also have a really good pasta/noodle station, with options like Chinese Egg Noodles with Chicken and Pasta with Clams/Mussels.

The Others: As with lunch, Rocky/Mathey will pre-plate their main entree and sides onto a plate for you. They sometimes have really good entrees, but it can be hit or miss. Forbes is pretty good if you can make the trek out there, but let’s be real, unless all your friends live there, it’s not happening. Wu/Wilcox tends to have a lot of chicken, but if you don’t like the entrees, there’s always a plethora of other options (deli, the grill, vegan bar). The CJL is very limited at dinner since it’s a smaller dining hall that doesn’t see much traffic at dinner.

Best Thursday Dinner

Graduate College

The only reason to ever trek out to the Grad College is for their Thursday night dinners. On Thursday night, the dining hall adds 4 made-to-order stations (one in each corner), with options like quesadillas, ravioli, and crepes. Made-to-order always = better. There’s also usually an extensive spread of bread and desserts. Worth at least checking out once.

Best Sunday Brunch


The renowned Forbes Sunday Brunch deserves its acclaim. Featuring delicious quiches, lox/shrimp, fruit, made-to-order omelets and waffles,  baked brie and a chocolate fountain, the options are endless. It’s also a nice way to start your Sunday morning, with the view of the golf course and a lavish spread of food.


Best Saturday Brunch


Brunch in Wu/Wilcox is a lavish affair. They bust out the pans for making omelets at brunch (not just on the grill), with two people making omelets on the pans, and a third person making omelets on the grills. There is also a variety of fruit, lunch entrees, muffins, pound cakes, raisin bread, and steelhead trout.

The Others: Whitman features a breakfast burrito bar where you can make your own delicious and fresh breakfast burrito. Rocky/Mathey is like Wu/Wilcox with less variety.

Best for Vegetarians


Wu/Wilcox wins by the sheer number of options is has. There’s a well-stocked deli bar (with panini press), vegan pizzas, and plentiful vegetarian mains (lots of tofu and seitan). To top it off, it has the best salad bar and vegan bar, with its extensive options ranging from kale salad to curried cauliflower.


When it comes to dining at Princeton, it’s all about knowing where to look. Check back for more Press Club guides to campus in the coming weeks.

This blog post is by Mary Hui and Spencer Parts.

This past weekend, Princeton’s Yik Yak was unusually abuzz with activity. Three themes in particular stood out: a petition against Big Sean, student percussion group Urban Congo, and the made-up Ivy Scandal.

As one student put it on Twitter:

On a campus where many a complaint has been made about overly superficial conversations – “Where are you from? What’s your major? What classes are you taking?” – the discourse on Yik Yak, Facebook, and listservs provided insights, however raw and roughly sketched, on the topics such as racism and the campus culture surrounding sexual assault.

Of course, Yik Yak’s anonymity means that the conversation there may have been dominated by a small minority doing most of the posting and upvoting, and it may also cause students write in a way they wouldn’t on other platforms.  But discussion of the topics that dominated Yik Yak also took place on Facebook and Twitter, and in dining halls and dorm rooms, where  identities aren’t concealed.

1. The anti-Big Sean petition

Duncan Hosie ’16 and a few other students put out a petition Sunday afternoon suggesting that USG paying Big Sean to headline lawnparties promotes “rape culture and misogyny” due to the rapper’s personal history and misogynist lyrics. The response to the petition on Yik Yak ranged from the more substantive, like the conversation depicted below, to the personal, with comments made about Hosie and others involved.

A YikYak conversation regarding the petition that took place Sunday night.

There was extensive debate over Big Sean on social media as well – Hosie distributed the petition on Facebook, and lengthy (we’re talking 70 comment) conversations took place over its merits there. Things got particularly heated on the Cap listserv, according to sources in the Club.

2. Urban Congo

A student group made up of swimmers, that performed at the eXpressions dance show Saturday night, came under fire for cultural appropriation, and word of the performance was spread on Yik Yak. The group, wearing loin cloths and calling itself Urban Congo, took the stage during an eXpressions filler to percussively bang on trash cans and wine bottles. The end of the performance transitioned seamlessly with the rest of the show, with the five members each carrying off an eXpresions dancer to begin the next number.

Achille Tenkiang ’17, voiced his displeasure on Facebook and Twitter, and posted videos of the performances after they were taken down by the performers. But before Tenkiang’s critique reached a wide swath of the campus on Facebook or Twitter, the outrage showed up on YikYak, mixed in, as always with complaints about work and “overheards.”

A conversation about the group that took place in the early afternoon.

Khallid Love ’15, the president of the Black Men’s Awareness Group on campus, used Twitter to comment on the incident. His tweets touched on the troubling and dangerous way in which “cultural appropriation and white impunity are simultaneously sanctioned,” and lamented the fact that “attending institutions of higher learning doesn’t imply cultural literacy (or sensitivity). In another tweet, Love wrote, “Honest conversations make for a better informed and functional citizenry.”  The social media activity of the weekend started some of those conversations.

3. IvyScandal

And then there was IvyScandal, the rash of increasingly improbable accusations of wrongdoing against the eating club, often considered to be the most wealthy and exclusive at Princeton. Word of a “scandal” initially fed on itself, with posters trying to figure out what the “OP” (original poster) said, and attempting to determine the legitimacy of accusations dealt on the platform.

The conversation quickly turned into an opportunity for jabs at the club, with YikYak settling into perhaps its most comfortable mode, as a place for jokes, especially ones that stem from underlying frustrations. The purported “scandals,” which dominated the platform on Saturday night, made fun of the club’s perceived exclusivity.

Some of the most popular “accusations.”

The Press Club was unable to confirm any “scandal,” nor determine the original source of the controversy (Yik Yak doesn’t release that kind of information), but like in the case of Urban Congo, the platform allowed the commentary a huge audience.

So what’s next…

All of these platforms (and especially Yik Yak) are somewhat insulated, so it’s unclear whether these controversies will translate to real action. In the Prince today, Michael Hauss ’16, the founder of Urban Congo said that the group “fully recognized the offensive nature of the performances” and was apologetic. They probably won’t be performing again, and we’ll keep an eye on their student group status.

USG is looking into making the headliner selection process more transparent, according to the Prince, but Big Sean will almost certainly perform at Lawnparties. To take the stand that Hosie and others advocate would mean a loss of over $50k. Still, a movement to boycott the performance could be in the works.

Another front opened up on Facebook Monday morning, with Julius Dixon ’16 posting a status criticizing the Urban Congo and Big Sean controversies, calling them the work of “butthurt narcissists.” The post may gather the forces of those who have criticized the movements as overly sensitive. It has over 400 likes, and started another fierce round of commenting. Dixon made similar comments on Whitman Wire, one of the places where Hosie originally publicized the petition, and intense debate took place there too.

Posting on Yik Yak had cooled down though, by the end of the night, with caffeine and midterms commentary competing with references to the controversies.

-MH & SP

Correction: Achille Tenkiang’s class year is 2017, not 2015, as originally reported. We apologize for the error.


Princeton Women’s Basketball thanks their fans after the loss in Maryland.

In this week’s edition:

Liberty U. students forced to attend Cruz announcement… NBA Commish talks race and activism… historic Pton Women’s Basketball… the football team goes to Japan

Washington Post - Liberty University students say they were required to attend Ted Cruz speech – Ally Markovich ’17

Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign to 11,000 students at Liberty University. The catch: they had to be there. Ally investigates a mixture of religion and politics that made some students uneasy.

The Princeton Packet - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver supports political activism of players - Spencer Parts ’17

The Commissioner spoke alongside Knicks GM Steve Mills, and former Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson. He said that he supports player activism, but dodged some of Professor Eddie Glaude’s more pointed questions on race in the NBA.

WHYY Philadelphia Princeton University’s Women’s Basketball Team heads into NCAA tournament undefeated - Anna Windemuth ’17

A throwback to a time when hope sprung eternal. The team’s run ended at the hands of no. 1 seeded Maryland, which just advanced to the final four, but 31 – 1 isn’t bad. Anna recaps what brought them there.

Princeton Football Blog - Princeton University dominates Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan - Rebeccah Barger ’18

The Princeton football team spent its spring break in Japan, capping its trip with a 36-7 victory over the national college team there. The “Legacy Bowl” victory left the Tigers confident for their Sept. 19 opener vs Lafayette College.