The Weekly Roundup March 20 – 31

[caption id="attachment_16408" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Princeton Women’s Basketball thanks their fans after the loss in Maryland.[/caption]

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.



How Much is Your Princeton Degree Really Worth?

After the Princeton midterm crunch, you might be wondering how much your degree will really pay off post-graduation. A new report by PayScale stacks Princeton at the top of the Ivy League, with a 20-year net return of $795,700 given a four-year tuition fee of $217,300. This translates into about $4 earned for every dollar spent on a degree.

Dividing net return by the price of tuition, Princeton ranks 22nd overall, falling behind 17 public colleges including the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the University of Virginia and the Georgia Institute of Technology, which sits at the top of the rankings.

The top ten is dominated by public colleges with significantly lower tuitions and returns close to $9 for every dollar spent on a degree. The only private institution to make the golden list is Brigham Young University.

Princeton is 12 spots above the closest Ivy, Brown, and Columbia finished worst of the Ivy League schools, at 53rd,  with a return of just over $2.

Samuel Bennett, a Colorado high school teacher, spread the news in his popular Reddit post, “The College Gap No One is Talking About.” Bennett holds an environmental science and engineering degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Bennett’s post received over 7,000 Facebook likes, and sparked discussions on the value of free higher education.

“There’s a major difference in cost between public and private schools, but there’s no significant difference in how much money you’re going to make,” Bennett said in a phone interview.

Bennett noted that the analysis does not consider the benefits of peer networking or alumni connections at prestigious universities like Princeton. He added that the data does not distinguish higher-earning majors such as engineering or the health sciences.

However, Bennett said that many of his students are aiming for private, East-coast universities without considering cheaper options.

“I would suggest they look at in-state schools.”

Another surprising revelation from the analysis is that 23 schools showed negative returns, with Shaw University, a private institution, leading the list. Of the top ten schools with negative returns, 6 are private.

Check out some of Bennett’s graphs below!


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Women’s Basketball Coach Courtney Banghart Named World’s 43rd Greatest Leader

[caption id="attachment_16367" align="aligncenter" width="361"] A screenshot of the accolade.[/caption]

What do Jimmy Fallon, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver have in common?

They’re all worse leaders than Princeton women’s basketball Head Coach Courtney Banghart, according to Fortune Magazine’s list of the 50 “World’s Greatest Leaders.” Banghart was ranked #43.

The Princeton women had their undefeated season spoiled on Monday in a hard-fought loss to the no. 1 seeded Maryland Terrapins. But they can take solace in the accolades earned by their coach.

As the magazine’s profile of her pointed out, Banghart led the team to unprecedented success this season, breaking all kinds of records. Last weekend’s win over Green Bay was the team’s first ever NCAA Tournament win, and the young coach already has more wins than any other in the program’s history.

Jimmy Fallon could not be reached for comment on the loss.

Spotted: Malia Obama

The Obama family has been showering Princeton with love this week. Just this past weekend, President Obama was seen cheering for the Princeton women’s basketball team, and today, oldest daughter, Malia Obama was spotted on campus in the morning, escorted by Shawon Jackson and some rather conspicuous Secret Service agents. Also sighted were seven inconspicuous NJ and Texas plated vans parked behind Nassau Hall, some of them still running with people inside.

Malia sightings were reported sporadically through the morning. Here we’ve compiled a short timeline:

~10:20 – Malia Obama is spotted in Mathey Dining Hall. Several Yik Yaks are made about Malia. Most are down voted in seconds. Coincidence? I think not.

10:30 – Malia Obama is seen with a group of students at 1879 arch.

10:50 – Shawon is seen talking about alumni engagement with Malia outside East Pyne.

11:04 – Malia Obama leaves Firestone with Shawon. Press Clubber Spencer Parts gets a shot of her in Firestone with Shawon and a few friends.

11:18 – Shawon seen sans Malia.

As for what she was doing on campus, we suspect it’s part of a college tour for high school junior Malia. BusinessInsider reported she was scheduled to visit Brown this week, after visiting Columbia University, and New York University and Barnard College last month. We hope she enjoyed her tour of her mother’s alma mater! Princeton 2020?

S/O to President Obama, who is Cheering on the Women’s Team Right Now

[caption id="attachment_16327" align="aligncenter" width="515"] The President cheers on the undefeated team.[/caption]

Barack Obama has made his support of the Princeton Women’s Basketball team known – he picked the team to go to the Final Four in the famous Presidential Bracket. Today, he came out in person. Right now, he is cheering on the Tigers, the only undefeated in women’s college basketball, in College Park, Maryland, where they are playing Green Bay in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Full disclosure: he has a couple close connections to the team. In addition to Michelle Obama attending Princeton, his niece, Leslie Robinson, is a Freshman reserve on the team. And College Park is only a short drive from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The First Lady was not in attendance, after having spent the week travelling in Japan.

President Obama is sitting in a sea of orange – part of a huge Princeton contingent that made it out to College Park for the game. The showing certainly appears to have energized the team.  They came out of the gate quick, and had a 7-point lead with ten minutes remaining in the first half. Green Bay narrowed it, and is now up by a point at the half.

Princeton is killing it on the boards, with a +16 rebounding advantage, but some nerves might be showing too – they have 9 more turnovers than Green Bay.

If you can’t make it out to College Park like the President, you can catch the second half on ESPN2 or


The Tigers won their first ever NCAA Tournament Game by a score of 80-70. Green Bay hung with them for much of the second half, but the Tigers pulled away in the closing minutes, and Annie Tarakchian led the way with a huge double-double: 19 points and 17 rebounds. President Obama stayed for the entire game.

The team will continue their pursuit of perfection against the winner of Maryland and New Mexico State at 6:30 pm on Monday in College Park. Who knows who might show up this time.

Princeton Women Ripped Off by NCAA Selection Committee

[caption id="attachment_16313" align="aligncenter" width="515"] The Princeton women take the court vs Brown in February.[/caption]

The Princeton women’s basketball team received a no. 8 seed in the NCAA Women’s Tournament this year. That means the selection committee thought them to be roughly the 32nd best team overall, and it’s a shock, given the team finished the season ranked no. 13 in the A.P. poll. The team will face off with Green Bay in College Park, Maryland on Saturday. Green Bay finished the season unranked.

The road gets much tougher in the next round, which is where the low seed really starts to make trouble for the team. If Princeton wins, they will play No. 1 seeded Maryland on the Terps’ home turf. Maryland finished fourth in the AP poll, with a 30-2 record.

Few predicted such a low seeding for the team. Many thought that they would win a top 4 seed, which would have given them a chance to play at home, in Jadwin. Charlie Creme, ESPN’s bracketologist for women’s basketball, thought they would be a no. 5 seed. He wrote on Twitter that he was “mildly surprised,” and “thought the 30-0 would have carried more weight,” but he also said that the matchup with Green Bay was among the best in the first round.

The Committee may have felt that the team did not have enough quality wins. They had not beaten any other ranked teams, although they did beat Pittsburgh in their first game of the season, which got a no. 7 seed in the tournament.

Kentucky, which finished only two spots in the AP poll above Princeton but got a no. 2 seed, was another big surprise in the seeding. The Kentucky men’s team was the only other undefeated in college basketball this season.

A win over Green Bay alone, however, would make history for the program. Harvard is the only other Ivy women’s basketball team to win a game in the tournament.

The seeding might be madness, but March is about upsets, after all.

Carly Rae Jepsen at Spring Lawnparties?

Cameron Brown for The Snipe

After an extensive analysis of potential acts, we think “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen could be headlining Spring Lawnparties.

On Wednesday evening, USG President Ella Cheng ’16 sent an email to all undergraduates with a link to a promotional video for the spring concert that revealed the headliner is Grammy-nominated, won a Billboard Music Award, and is currently played on the radio.

We first put together a list of all 217 Billboard Music Award winners and then checked if the artists were nominated for a Grammy but had not won. We then looked at radio airplay and narrowed the list down to eleven possible performers that included stars like Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj.

To narrow the list, we cross-checked artists’ touring schedules with the May 3rd concert date and alleged booking fees with USG’s $79,000 Lawnparties budget. According to USG Social Chair Simon Wu ’17, $67,000 will be spent on artists and the remaining $12,000 on food.

Jepsen is the only performer to meet every piece of criteria. She won three Billboard Music Awards in 2013, and ‘Maybe’ was nominated for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards. According to a posting by Mainstage Productions, a booking agency that USG used to book Lawnparties acts in previous years, Jepsen is available this spring for $50,000, leaving roughly $17,000 for the two openers.

When asked for comment, Wu only wrote back “Haha.” Wu is evidently a fan of Jepsen though: he has a two-year-old playlist on Spotify dedicated to her 2012 album Kiss.

Booking agents and managers for Jepsen did not respond to requests for comment.

Our shortlist of somewhat weaker possibilities included Nickelback, the recipient of seven Billboard Awards, six Grammy Nominations, and recent radio play due to their late 2014 release No Fixed Address. Nickelback was also the subject of last year’s USG April Fool’s Joke, in which Shawon Jackson ’15 announced that the band and JoJo were performing at Lawnparties.

Jepsen rose to prominence in 2012 off the strength of her single “Call Me Maybe.” She released her latest single “I Really Like You” on March 2, and its music video features actor Tom Hanks and fellow Canadian Justin Bieber.

Watch Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” video:

“I Really Like You” video:

The Real Reason Why You Got Into Princeton

[caption id="attachment_16275" align="aligncenter" width="420"] Now you can. Source:[/caption]

Last Friday afternoon, Dan Kang ’15 found out why he really got into Princeton.

Over the years, whenever he went home, family, friends and “random parents” would always bombard him with questions: how to get their son our daughter into an Ivy League school like Princeton. And he would never have a ready answer, because he had no idea why Princeton chose him.

Now, though, after having reviewed his admissions records – long thought to be inaccessible, but now readily available thanks to a close reading of a law by a group of Stanford students – he has a much better idea.

“Daniel is number 6 on our slate,” one of the admissions officers had written.

“Getting assigned a number was interesting,” Kang said.

They also thought that he would make a great engineer. “This kid is destined for the EQuad,” one officer wrote. “He is certainly capable of thriving in the EQuad,” wrote another.

Kang is part of a growing number of students who are gaining access to their admissions records.

[caption id="attachment_16278" align="aligncenter" width="426"] The Fountain Hopper’s Five Step Plan. Source: The Fountain Hopper[/caption]

Earlier this year, in January, a student group at Stanford University, named Fountain Hopper, published what they called a “tried and tested Five Step Plan™ for getting hold of your admissions records, including qualitative and quantitative reviews by your admissions readers.” And it would be easy. “Requesting your admissions documents is a simple 5 step process that takes less than 5 minutes,” they wrote.

How did they do it? Essentially, the Fountain Hopper group had found that under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), passed in 1974, students are entitled to see their educational records.

Since the group has made their findings public, students across university campuses have filed requests for their own admissions records. What did the admissions officers think of an applicant? What numerical scores and rankings did the officers assign? Did the officers see potential in the applicant? For a long time, these were questions that students had thought they would never find the answer to. Now, though, it is only a 45-day wait away (the university must comply with your request within 45 calendar days).

U. Penn has seen an “avalanche” of such requests. Yale and Stanford have both seen a increase in the number of requests made. And it seems to be catching on in Princeton, too.

After Kang made his FERPA request, several of his friends also told him that they had also sent in emails asking for access to their records.

Perhaps what surprised Kang the most was the fact that, as inferred from two distinct styles of handwriting, the comments were mostly made by one officer, with a small paragraph made by another officer.

“The fact that it only seemed to get reviewed by two people was kind of surprising, because I thought there would be more people involved in the process,” Kang said.

Overall, though, the process itself was fairly anti-climatic, Kang said. “It’s things that you would expect if you are somewhat familiar with the process.”

At the micro-level, Kang didn’t think that looking at each individual file illuminated much. But at the macro-level,  “it would be really nice to get more transparency in the admissions process.”

Might a wave of student requests for their records change the nature of the admission game?



Art You Can Buy

Ben Denzer ’15 knows that if he wants to keep doing art, he’s going to have to sell it. He also has a lot of books (and sweatshirts and glass blown Tito’s bottles) to get rid of.

Denzer is the artist behind S-T-O-R-E-D, a pop-up art store, and the latest student exhibition in the Lucas Gallery of  the Lewis Center for the Arts. Included in the collection are books on wheels, artistically altered Tito’s bottles, and postcards featuring screenshots of Facebook invitations for a party he threw. Denzer is “mixing a store, mixing a gallery, mixing a yard sale,” he says. Everything is for sale on the spot, and many items can also be purchased in the accompanying online store.

The exhibition raises questions about art as a commodity, an issue Denzer thinks artists should address directly. An architecture major getting a certificate in visual art, Denzer said he wants to keep making art after graduation and selling his art online is the best way to make sure that he can keep doing it.

Some have commented that the focus on making a sale diminishes artistic value, Denzer said. But he thinks that, for most people, it actually adds to the experience of the work. The exhibition is doing well – attendance is good, and many people on campus have heard about it, not a given for an art event at Princeton.

“More people can interact with the work,” Denzer said. “With this stuff you can interact with it on the level of ‘do I like it $20 worth? do I like it $10 worth?'”

Every student in the visual arts department has to answer three “critical questions” to accompany their exhibition. Denzer commodified these, too, selling his answers on $1 postcards. One question asks about the relation of the project to its historical context.

“It acknowledges (rather than ignores) the fact that $ is a crucial part of art,” Denzer writes.

S-T-O-R-E-D’s last day is tomorrow – 9 am to 5 pm at the Lewis Center.

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– KC and SP

Weekly Roundup Feb 22 – Mar 2

The Weekly Roundup, Edition 3

Feb 22 – Mar 2

This week in Press Club:

What the Patton Reaction Says About Campus Rape… A Taste of Vienna in Princeton… Diversity Task Force… Uber in Peril

The Atlantic – The ‘Princeton Mom’ Controversy and Campus Rape Today – Mary Hui ’17

Susan Patton sparked another round of controversy when she called certain instances that have been classified as rape a “learning experience.” The comments reminded a group of alums of problematic attitudes on rape that were prevalent when they were at Princeton, more than thirty years ago. They don’t want the University to go back there.

The longest piece yet in the Press Club’s ongoing coverage of sexual assault at Princeton.

The Princeton PacketUniversity Diversity Task Force to Begin Meetings – Tammy Tseng ’18

Princeton University recently established a task force to answer a call to action to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion among students, faculty, and administrators. The task force aims to develop recommendations for improving university policies and programs and enhance public dialogue on campus.

Planet PrincetonAnita Waldenberger: Bringing a Taste of Home to Princeton – Logan Sander ’18

Almost a year ago, Anita Waldenberger quit her job in real estate and opened up a Viennese coffee shop in Princeton, featuring recipes from her childhood growing up on a farm in Austria. You can find them at 200 Nassau. Choice quote:

“Her father, who was a lieutenant in the Austrian army, was a prisoner of war in the United States during the Second World War. When he came back to Austria, though, he told his daughter how wonderful the United States was and how friendly the people were.”

The Princeton Echo  Forbidden Fruit – Rebeccah Barger ’18

Looking to make some extra cash selling photos of Lewis Library ? You’re out of luck. Princeton has a restrictive imagery policy, allowing no commercial or outside photographers to take pictures of the campus’s five biggest attractions: Nassau Hall, Alexander Beach, Blair arch steps and tower, FitzRandolph Gate and the Lewis Library.The Princeton Echo  Who uses Uber? – Rebeccah Barger ’18

The Princeton Town Committee is looking into putting restrictions on and potentially banning Uber because it is hurting local taxi companies. A look at the Princeton residents, students and Uber drivers who might be harmed by the change.

The Canada Geese Migration

During the past few weeks, a great geese migration has come to Princeton in the form of down feathers stuffed into premium winter jackets. Canada Goose jackets are recognizable by their ubiquitous red circle patch on their sleeves and the coyote-fur lining used for their hoods.

A Canadian outerwear company, Canada Goose has been making jackets since 1957. However, they have only recently achieved massive commercial success: their sales have grown from $3 million annually in 2001 to a predicted $300 million in 2015. Since the company’s rebranding in 2001, Canada Goose’s jackets, true to their name, have been made exclusively in Canada.

Commenting on the sudden proliferation on campus, Jack Jundanian ’17, while wearing his Canada Goose jacket, said, “People definitely asked their parents for them over winter break. It’s probably similar to what happened with Barbour jackets three or four years ago.”

And these fur-lined parkas have received backlash on campus.  Injee Unshin ’15, Creative Director of Verte fashion magazine, wrote a scathing critique on Facebook, “If I see one more canada goose jacket, I will literally burn it… on the body of the person wearing it. Talk about a combination of lackluster taste and misplaced wealth…” Another unnamed student has described the jackets as “basic” and “opulent.”

Nevertheless, owners of the jackets laud their utility and warmth – perfect for nights out on the Street until they get mistakenly goosenapped in the Ivy coatroom.

Press Club reporters have taken to the field to get some shots of these geese in their natural Princeton habitat.


If you have $800 lying around, they can be purchased here.