Firestone Library Pilots Café: The “Tiger Tea Room”

Patrons of Firestone Library, one of Princeton University’s most popular study spaces, are gently reminded to refrain from eating when they enter the lobby through electric turnstiles:

 

 

Library administrators and Campus Dining created an exception for this reminder last week, when they opened a café in the DeLong Reading Room where eating, drinking and conversation is encouraged.

The "Tiger Tea Room", where "conversation is encouraged"

 

The café, the “Tiger Tea Room,” is accompanied by an adjacent “Tiger Den,” a small reading and seating space formerly used as a classroom. Both are open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM.

 

Library administrators reached out to Campus Dining to create the café after receiving requests for such a space from library patrons, according to Barbara Valenza, Library Communications Manager. The project is a partnership in which Campus Dining Services provides all food items, she said. The current menu lists items such as croissants, muffins and other pastries.

 

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The Tiger Tea Room and Tiger Den are both pilot projects that are in a trial run period until June 2017, according to signs distributed via residential college listservs. The library administration will gather feedback during the pilot to help determine the library’s long-term purpose and structure.

Feedback posted on designated spaces in the Tiger Tea Room suggests that current student feedback is largely positive.

“Great idea!” one sticky note says. “Keep it going!”

 

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Charles Brobbey, a temporary Campus Dining employee, is recording patron visits and purchases to aid the evaluation of the pilot program.  Based on his observations, Brobbey says patrons have come back to the Tiger Tea Room and have also utilized the Tiger Den.

The fact that the Tiger Tea Room is the one of the few places in the library where patrons can freely converse may attract visitors, Brobbey said.

“People seem to like it a lot,” he added.

Woke Wednesdays: A new podcast highlighting Black voices on campus

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Following the most polarizing presidential election in recent memory, a new Princeton group is seeking to foster a more open discussion on race and belonging.

“Woke Wednesdays,” a weekly podcast on Soundcloud, was created by eight Black freshmen with the intention of highlighting their experiences on campus.

I spoke with Kadence Mitchell ’20 and William Pugh ’20, two of the podcast’s founders and co-hosts, about their ambitions for the project.

“We’ve been trying to bring the community together as much as possible,” said Mitchell. “That’s where this whole idea sprung from: bringing us all together and having us all talk, even if it’s heated debates or everyone’s standing in a circle and agreeing with each other.”

The podcast, currently three episodes in, centers on a different topic each week. The most recent episode, which features Professor Imani Perry, is titled “Blackness in the Context of the Ivy League.” In the prior episode, the group discussed President Obama’s legacy.

Mitchell stresses that the podcast is not meant to speak for all Black students on campus, but rather, it exists as a platform for students to share their own personal experiences. “We’re not representatives for the race, and we don’t need to be,” she said.

Woke Wednesdays strives to offer different perspectives from within the Black Princeton community. “Just because we have a shared racial identity doesn’t mean we have a shared political identity,” said Pugh.

Mitchell and Pugh say being Black at Princeton has presented a unique set of challenges, both pronounced and subtle.

“For me personally,” said Pugh, “it’s looking around and seeing you’re the only African American person in the room, or the only person with melanin in the room, and just trying not to feel the pressure to represent your whole race, but at the same time knowing you can flip that on its head in a way and show people that, ‘Wow, the one Black person in my class is one of the smartest people in here.”

The podcast is also an effort to combat the lack of representation of student voices in the news space. “Historically speaking, we’re the ones that prompt change,” said Mitchell. “Students are so important, and so to not include our voices and just get the perspectives of people who are forty to fifty-plus, it’s not representative of our generation.”

In terms of goals for the future, Mitchell and Pugh want the podcast to reach all of Princeton, and they plan on bringing more guests on as the show evolves.

“We’re taking all of our ideas, energy, and passion and moving towards a more structured organization,” said Pugh. “Kadence and I serve as the moderators of each podcast. I’ll do one and then she’ll do the one after that. Everyone is paired up with someone to pick a topic, and we have all the dates established for when each podcast will be released.”

Though not yet an official student group, the Woke Wednesdays team says they are working on getting USG-approved. They also have ambitions to utilize a recording studio on campus.

“Saying we want our audience to be Princeton students is a means of starting small, but this conversation is important everywhere throughout the nation,” added Mitchell. “So if we could reach that level where people are listening to us in our hometowns and outside our hometowns–throughout the country–that would be great.”

 

You can find Woke Wednesday’s episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/user-877144100

 

 

-EA

LIVEBLOG: PPPD protests Princeton’s rejection of its proposal to divest from private prisons

6:00 pm: 

PPPD has invited journalist and Princeton Professor Chris Hedges to speak at the teach-in.

“I applaud what you’re doing,” Hedges said. “I found it emotional and moving.”

Hedges taught in prisons for 10 years.

“The prison system is the modern iteration of slavery by this corporate state,” Hedges said. “We are going to have to join this class war that has already begun by those within this prison system. It’s not going to work to appeal anymore to the centers of power.”

5:55 pm: 

Professor Naomi Murakawa, who writes about incarceration among other subjects, asked a question addressing the “already low bar for public prisons” and their “standard abusive practices.”

“This is an incredible consensus,” she says, noting the 177 faculty members who have joined the petition.

Professor Murakawa also asked whether the committee would consider a rewrite of the proposal. Several committee members said, “Absolutely.”

She pressed President Eisgruber on his statement that the University is not invested in private prisons. He has not yet responded.

5:50 pm:

Students are gathered in the lobby of Friend to hear student groups, including the Princeton Advocates for Justice, and guests speak.

Graduate students are now speaking at the teach-in:

“We’re not just calling for divestment because we want to divest from prisons. We’re calling for divestment because we want to abolish prisons,” graduate student Heath Pearson said.

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5:40 pm:

PPPD and a large portion of audience members have left the meeting, and they plan on holding a teach-in. President Eisgruber has opened the meeting up to questions.

Some CPUC member comments from the audience:

“How could the University divest without making a very bold political statement?

“We are an educational institution…We need to be careful not to take a political stand.”

5:37 pm: 

PPPD is leading a walk-out and has invited everyone to attend a tech-in in the lobby of the Friend Center.

Students are chanting “What do we want? Divestment. When do we want it? Now.”

Watch the walk-out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWr446jH_Hc

5:30 pm:

PPPD is now speaking:

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“I don’t know what Eisgruber is talking about when he says we’re not invested in private prisons,” one student announced. “What’s going on in this room right now is a charade.”

“We have undeniably shown campus consensus around this issue.”

“With respect to the referenda- 89% of undergrads and 85% of grads voted in favor [of divesting].”

“This movement is not over and it will not be stopped.”

Students said that the Committee’s decision and discussion did not respond to PPPD’s proposal.

5:25 pm:

Princeton Professor Michael Littman outlined the Committee discussions about the proposal. The The Council of Princeton University Community met three times this year and will meet two more times this year.

During its meeting on March 10, the committee decided that “the proposal in its current form, did not meet the high bar to recommend action,” the Committee said.  The committee felt that there was insufficient evidence, and the issue “remains under active consideration,” Littman said.

5:15 pm:

President Eisgruber began the discussion by stating that the University has no assets invested in private prisons, or the companies listed in the petition, but that the issue remains critical as it would impose a filter on future investments by the University.

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Eisgruber: “We don’t normally discuss what’s in our investment portfolio, but I can tell you we do not hold investments in the companies that are the focus of this petition.”

4:45 pm: 

Bob Durkee is currently speaking about Agenda 1 discussing University contributions to the community. Friend 101 is completely full. Several students are standing in the back are students holding signs:

“Stop incentivizing incarceration,” “Princeton Divest,” and “Private prisons =/= Justice”

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PPPD distributed flyers to students and community members attending the meeting:

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4:30 pm: 

The Council of Princeton University Community will announce today, March 27, in a community-wide meeting that the University will reject The Princeton Private Prison Divestment (PPPD) campaign to divest from private prisons.

PPPD has organized a protest after being informed in advance that their petition for the University to divest from “11 companies operating or exclusively contracting with private prisons and detention centers” had been rejected.

“PPPD will publicly reject the legitimacy of the decision, and lead its supporters in a rally nearby,” PPPD said Monday in a press release. “The campaign will continue to escalate until the University divests from the companies and industries detailed in the coalition’s proposal.”

A Facebook event asking people to attend the CPUC meeting wearing red to protest the decision was shared with more than 1,400 people. An undergraduate referendum on private prison divestment last spring, supported by PPPD, failed because not enough students voted on it. One-third of the undergraduate student body must vote on a referendum for USG to consider it. Among students who did vote on the private prisons referendum, almost ninety percent were in favor of divestment.

Princeton alumni have also organized an online petition to CPUC’s decision, reiterating that “we cannot allow the school we love to continue to support an industry that profits only when depriving human beings of freedom.”

The University Press Club is here in Friend 101 to live blog the meeting and protest. Stay with us.

Overpricing at the U-Store: processed food kills (your wallet, that is)

‘The U-Store is too good to be true,’ I remember thinking during move-in day. It had the felt hangers I forgot, the sugar for the coffee grounds I brought from home and imitations of the baked goods my Mom makes better.

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Six months later, I found myself dragging a massive Amazon Prime Pantry box back to my dorm with items I could have bought at the U-Store, just a minute walk from my Mathey residence, but chose to buy from Amazon instead. How did my relationship with the U-Store get to this point, where I walk an extra 25 minutes to avoid it?

Turns out, I was right that first day. The U-Store is too good to be true. After a few trips back first semester, I realized how overpriced many of its items were. This is likely since it is the only supplier of grocery-like goods in all of Princeton and Nassau St.’s mix of specialty groceries and expensive restaurants.

Motivated by my walk with the heavy box, I set out to find out just how overpriced the U-Store was.

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The Experiment

I wanted a broad sampling of goods that students could buy other places, so I kept my sampling to the cosmetic and hygienic items, pre-packaged food and drink, and dorm goods sections. I went through each aisle and chose two items randomly, recording their sizes in ounces and their non-member prices. Then, I found two comparable prices for each item online, excluding Amazon’s prices since they are unusually low. (The comparable prices were usually from Target or Walmart.) I averaged the comparable prices and compared the difference in the U-Store price with the competitor price in percentage. Some items were thrown out of the experiment because there were no comparable prices online.

Findings and Theories: the Good, the Bad, the Booty

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On average, U-Store goods were priced 67.33 percent over their usual prices. That’s 57.33 percent over their prices for members.

Only one good out of 30 was priced below the market price: a four oz. bag of Pirate’s Booty was 10 percent cheaper at the U-Store. Two goods were priced at their market price: a four-pack of men’s Jockey Classics Full-Rise Briefs and Nissin Cup Noodles. Wet Ones were priced two percent over their usual price.

The most overpriced good was a 12.4 oz. box of Cheez-Its, priced at $6.29, 213 percent over its comparable price. Hunt’s Pudding priced at 150 percent its usual price, and a 13 oz. box of Chip’s Ahoy cookies were 90 percent over its competitor’s price.

Generally, as I moved from the food aisles closest to the University Place entrance toward the aisles closest to the pre-packaged meal section, items seemed to become more overpriced. They seem to place the most profitable goods closest to the main entrance for easy access by students in their most desperate and zombie-like state after hitting the Street or pulling an all-nighter.

Processed food was the most over-priced category, followed by cosmetics and hygiene-related items and by dorm goods and necessities, like underwear.

Another shocking revelation from this study: Hot Pockets are not sold online. Not even on Amazon.

This was not a perfect study, but the findings are clear. Generally, follow the booty for the best prices. Thank the U-Store for your Hot Pocket consumption. Drop your Cheez-Its habit.

-ECS

Conspiracy Theorist for NJ Governor (Also, Do 90% of Princeton Students Work for the NSA?)

 

For those who are already preparing to cast their vote in the 2017 New Jersey Gubernatorial race, there’s an underdog who should not be ignored: Jeff Boss.

Mr. Boss has run for elected office over a dozen times, often with the slogan “NSA did 9/11.” Most of Boss’s campaigns are focused on his claim to have witnessed the U.S. Government organize the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, offering little in the way of policy positions. Boss’s last candidacy for New Jersey senate received 9,877 votes.

On Boss’s website, he claims to possess DVD recordings of “550+ people, 20 military in uniform, and a former Vice President all confirming [Boss’s] story on camera with 40 sworn affadavits (sic).”

When the Press Club requested an interview with Boss, he promptly declined with a bold statement via email:

“almost 90% of the students at Princeton work for the nsa, no thanks”

His response made a claim that—if true—would be astonishing. But, after some preliminary fact-checking, it seems that 90% of Princeton students in fact do not work for the N.S.A. (at least not officially).

When Boss was asked how it could be proven that his interviewers do not work for the N.S.A., he did not respond for comment.

It can be assumed that Boss is particularly emboldened by the recently released Wikileaks documents which allege that the C.I.A has conducted widespread espionage on U.S. citizens (it remains unconfirmed, at the moment). In his YouTube videos, Boss has suggested that the U.S. government uses “massive computers” to spy on citizens.

In addition to his 2018 New Jersey Governor’s candidacy, Boss will be on the ballot for Mayor of N.Y.C. in 2017, as well as the 2020 Presidential ballot. He has asked Edward Snowden to be his Vice President on the 2020 ballot.

In the meantime, those Princeton students who do work for the N.S.A. should be wary of this not-quite-new-comer on the political stage.

[Correction: An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect date for the upcoming New Jersey gubernatorial election. The election will be held in November 2017, not 2018.]

The Nassau Weekly just trolled The Daily Princetonian, big time.

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The Nassau Weekly‘s latest cover features a gibberish-filled article, with four incorrect spellings of “Nassau Weekly” circled in aggressive red ink.

Nassau Weakly. 

     Nassuh Bleakly. 

           TASA Weekly.

                   Nasal Weekly. 

What gives?

Well, it’s all a huge joke — and at the butt of it is the Daily Princetonian. 

Two Wednesdays ago, the Daily Princetonian ran an article on undergraduate food co-ops on campus. Featured in the story was Alex Gottlieb ’18, the co-president of the Real Food Co-op.

But alas, Alex Gottlieb never made it into the article. The Daily Princetonian, somehow, managed to spell his name wrong three different ways, four times.

 

Gottlie.

    Tottlieb.

         Tottlieb (again).

And, enlarged, in a pull-quote, Tottlie.

The actual name, Gottlieb, never appeared. How that happened is a mystery.

But the Nass took it upon themselves to memorialize the Prince‘s series of unfortunate typos, and thus was born this week’s cover.