Princeton and the President: Election Day Roundup


So we’re all back to campus for the post-fall break grind, some of us a little worse for wear. To all who survived for days without electricity or heat, eating ramen and doing thesis reading by candlelight: RESPECT. To all who stayed on campus and experienced a full 3 traumatizing minutes of losing power: get out of the Bubble (please, let’s). To all who spent fall break on free class trips to Shanghai, Yellowstone, etc: don’t rub it in.

(Actually though, way to choose classes like a boss. May we all be so lucky in this semester‘s course selection.)

We know it’s hard getting back into the swing of things. But whether you’re pumped for classes, still fazed from the hurricane, or out celebrating Jersey-lloween right now, UPC wants to make sure you don’t miss out on the most crucial day of the week: Election Day! Voting time! The future of America in your hands! Princeton’s got loads of political activity lined up over the next few days, and we’ve compiled it all for you here:

  • VOTING. If you’re registered to vote on campus and didn’t read Dean Dunne’s email, check this campus map to see where you should cast your ballot tomorrow. Essentially everyone who lives on campus should be voting in Icahn Lab – unless you’re living in one of the eating clubs, in which case you’ll vote in the COS building by the Friend Center. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bring your prox!
  • Election Night. Whig-Clio is hosting a viewing party “extravaganza” from 7 p.m. on in Whig Hall. If you’re a die-hard Democrat or Republican, head to the basement or third floor respectively, where the College Dems and Republicans will be headquartered. If you’re more moderate or just intimidated by the aggressive political debater kids, show up for free stuff! They’ll have pizza, red and blue cupcakes, and free election themed drawstring backpacks from 7:30 on.

Continue reading…

Motivated Mondays (Or, Other Princetonians are Writing Books and Becoming Millionaires… Et Tu?)

So it’s Monday night and we’re feeling the back-to-Princeton grind. Fall’s third week has started, Lawnparties is far behind us and we can’t even fall back on “But it’s only September!” as an excuse to avoid work anymore. Tonight I lingered over dinner until a friend got up, pushed her chair back and said “I’m going to start my thesis.” WHAT? Yeah, okay, this is real.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="265"] “To achieve the impossible, you must attempt the impossible.”[/caption]

For anyone out there struggling to find motivation this evening, UPC has got the book for you. It’s fresh off the (Kindle) presses today and has a gold star title:

Singapore’s Lost Son: How I Made it from Drop-Out to Millionaire Princeton PhD

Whoa. Yes. Inspiring enough for you?

We haven’t gotten our hands on a copy yet, but the intro and summary are enticement enough. According to the Amazon description, this is the story of one Dr. Kaiwen Leong, a lecturer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and former postdoc here (PhD and MA in Economics, 2011) who was once “a boy with a simple dream — to become a man.” He started out rough as a high school dropout, but eventually worked hard, got a bunch of prestigious degrees and made millions somewhere along the way. It’s like a Horatio Alger story, but based in Singapore.

The book was also co-authored by two current undergrads, Edward Choi ’14 and Elaine Leong ’13. How is that possible, you ask? How do people on this campus have time to write JPs and theses, participate in 1982374 clubs, and casually co-author books on the side? Stop. Don’t ask. Watch this tearjerking book-promo-video. Get a copy of Dr. Leong’s book. Check out the laudatory quotes from Shirley T. Figure out why you’re not yet a millionaire or author or boy-to-man hero. Then go and have the most productive Monday evening ever! Happy October, y’all.

21 Questions with … Dean Cecilia Rouse


Name:  Cecilia Elena Rouse
Hometown: Del Mar, CA

What did you do this summer?
I spent a good part of the summer with my family in France, Switzerland, and Prague.  We took a long overdue vacation.

What do you think are the most pressing policy issues, domestic and international, that we need to work on?
I believe that ensuring public institutions (of all kinds) are structured adequately for our changing population and the increasingly global economy is key, especially as we continue recovering from the Great Recession.  I’m thinking of not only of reform of our entitlement programs and provision of education and health care, but also of the various policies in place that affect the business environment.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
There are too many wonderful Princetonians to choose from.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
My husband’s chicken with black beans and rice.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
At the moment, as dean I’m spending a lot of time listening.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Watching bad movies.

What is the one thing you want to change the most about Princeton/WWS?
More places to go for lunch and dinner.

Continue reading…

Week in Review: Bad A$$ Edition (July 9 – 15)

[caption id="attachment_13139" align="alignright" width="250" caption="The reason we are using this potentially controversial meme is to pique your interest in an upcoming post by VC '14, re: yellow fever, Asians, etc. Yeah, STAY TUNED! Also, browsing the Princeton memes site actually makes us really homesick for campus. Aww. Also this comment is fiendishly long. I apologize."]The reason we are using this potentially controversial meme is to pique your interest in an upcoming post by VC '14, re: yellow fever, Asians, etc. Yeah, STAY TUNED! Also, browsing the Princeton memes site makes me homesick for campus. Also this comment is fiendishly long. I apologize.[/caption]

First up, shout out to our incoming freshmen! Princeton 2016 is getting all worked up this week – with good reason, since they’ve received both their res college assignments and chance to flip through the fall frosh seminars catalogue.  It includes the classic free trip (!) seminars with promises of fall breaks in Costa Rica or Cyprus – but also a range of gems like “Bad A$$ Asians” (the namesake of this Ink post), a Joyce Carol Oates fanfest, and the chance to literally spend $50,000, as long as it’s philanthropic and approved by Stan Katz. Protip: pay attention to the prof teaching your seminar, not just to the topic. Like, Nancy Malkiel’s “Coeducation” course sounds great, but incoming GPA-sensitive, grade-deflation-fearing premeds might want to do a little background check first…

In any case, we remember those overexcited, over-sharing-on-Facebook days. (Upperclassmen, bored at your internships? Go back and look at the posts your friends made in your class FB groups when you were prefrosh. GUARANTEED LAUGHS.) We think it’s cute! And we welcome you in all your enthusiastic, over-enrolled glory! Case in point, see The Princeton Tiger’s thoughtful suggestions for where to put all the extra frosh:

10. Re-purpose unused Firestone carrels
9. Quad
8. Build a Forbes Annex Annex
7. During Frosh Week, erect large fences around Cloister’s backyard
6. Charter boat, discover new continent
5. All CA groups now focused on building housing for themselves
4. Make OA year-round, Princeton-based
3. Lift the ban on the steam tunnels
2. Rutgers
1. University of Princeton® online

No really though, UPC loves frosh and wants you all to apply for journalistic futures with us. Check out our res college reviews, written last year but very much valid for your incoming lives. Of course you may be placed into what we used to know as Wilcox’s yoga studio and art room, or a Whitman study room, but whatever. Princeton is Princeton and you’ll love it.

[caption id="attachment_13138" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Teaser! Click through for the full comic."]Teaser! Click through for the full comic.[/caption]

Jumping straight from pre- to post-Princeton, our endowment also made headlines this week with the announcement that Aspire, STilghz’ 5-year fundraising campaign, exceeded its $1.75 billion goal by raising $1.88 billion, the highest in Princeton history. Meanwhile, our 2011-12 Annual Giving campaign also broke Ol’ Nassau records by raising $57.2 million. Bad A$$ (more like, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$) indeed.

We leave you with two pieces of Princeton Internet Gold. From a still-undergraduate perspective, we love and identify with this comic from Willa Chen ’13. It was crafted in response to this much-forwarded article on elite education by William Deresiewicz. Agree? Disagree? Comment! Go!

And last, it’s good to see that our former USG president CDY and his Nassoon/Amazing Race BFF Jonathan Schwartz, both favorites of UPC coverage, are still alive and well and contributing great things to society:

Bad A$$. We rest our case.

“I Went to School in New Jersey”

Looking for something to get you through your last final? Getting pumped up for Dead Week revelry? Just want something #orangeandblack to rage to? Hats off to Nikki Muller ’05, who I’m pretty sure has come up with this year’s Reunions anthem. We think this song is gold.

UPDATE — We got in touch with Nikki Muller to get some insight on the inspiration behind her video. A few comments from the artist herself:

On the origins of this song:

The idea came from the fact that most female Ivy Leaguers super downplay their educations in a social setting because it’s immediately perceived as bragging. My friend Aliza Pearl and I (class of ’04, also in the video) were saying that guys react to you saying you went to Princeton on a date as if you just said you’d served time… “You went there? What for? When was that?”

On the choice of musical style:

I thought it’d be funny to, for once, give a girl a chance at some no-holds-barred Kanye West-style self-aggrandizing, which of course is best done through aggressive rapping.

On post-Princeton struggles, but seriously (#payattention2012):

The self-deprecating turn applies to a lot of us who are having a tough time finding jobs these days, and pretty much points out a great education doesn’t guarantee you a comfortable life, nor does it mean you think you’re better than anyone.

On douchey Whartonites:

I also went to the prom of a guy who’d gotten into Wharton when I was in high school, and he absolutely sounded exactly like Greg does in the video. His improv was a little too close for comfort.

On how this song can change your life:

I actually wrote it nearly a year ago and then put it away for a while because I was afraid the tongue-in-cheek quality wouldn’t translate… then I revisited it and thought, “Why haven’t I recorded this yet?!” The song’s been my alarm ringtone on my phone for the past month, which a.) reminded me to get off my butt and make the music video and b.) motivates me to get out of bed. “You went to Princeton, bitch. Stop being lazy.”

No promises of a live Reunions performance (yet), but Muller is starting to tour colleges with her musical standup, so keep an eye out (eating clubs, potential for next fall’s comedy nights? Come on). In the meantime, the Ink suggests you follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s that time of year…

Post-bicker, still a long way from Houseparties, grinding into week 3 with midterms kind of sort of already looming on the horizon. It’s still winter. We’re still cold. Course shopping is over and now we have to, like, seriously work.

But as much of a drag as the next few weeks may be, it’s okay! Not only are we coming back with more frequent blog posts to serve your procrastin-tertainment needs, but sophomore Terrans will also be brightening up your February with offerings all around campus. For the uninitiated, new members of Terrace have to perform tasks in varying degrees of shamelessness, usually in public, before they become full members. That probably explains any peculiar events you’ve been running into on campus. Like, the single ladies dance outside Glee Club rehearsal:

Or Gandalf blocking the Fitzrandolph Gates:

So chin up, Princeton! Spring will be here soon. In the meantime, we still have Beyoncé, the Ink, spouts of Terran miscellany, and of course, our Thursday and Saturday nights. Keep carrying on.

21 Questions with … Julia Blount ’12


jblount_photoName: Julia Blount
Hometown: Washington, DC
Major: History with a certificate from the Center for African American Studies
Club and Residential College Affiliation: The Princeton Quadrangle Club, Rockefeller College

What are you doing this summer?
I am teaching fifth grade grammar at a public charter school in Brooklyn, NY and loving every minute of it!

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Wendy Kopp ’89, founder of Teach for America.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
I love food! I think it is a tie between Quad’s Thanksgiving Dinner and Teresa Caffe’s Conchiglie Balsamico.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Check my email, respond to email, go to class, have meetings at Quad, work at Quad, have philosophical conversations at Quad, and sleep…briefly.

Favorite spot in Quad?
There’s no contest. Definitely the Large Library! Despite the name, very few books are ever read in the Large Library. Distraction takes on various forms including Jenga, Bananagrams, impromptu readings of Shakespeare and Cosmo, and intense philosophical conversations. Also, lots of carbo-loading on snacks provided by my wonderful Activities Chairs.

What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why?
When I was a freshman I thought I would go independent! I love cooking so I really wanted to live in Spelman where I could have my own kitchen. Then I realized that Quad’s chefs are better cooks than me. And now I get to live two floors above Quad’s kitchen!

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Sleeping through brunch and then eating way too much for dinner.

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?
I would eliminate housing based on class year. I like the residential college system, but as an upperclassman who does not have a shared meal plan, I feel like I’m very inaccessible to younger students and vice versa. Sometimes where you live restricts your social life. Alternately, your social life can restrict where you live.  I wish there were more intermingling.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
A stuffed panda bear.

What is your biggest fear?
Being pushed through the Fitz-Randolph Gates.

Continue reading…

Residential College Review: Butler Edition

Wavy. Ivy-free. Home sweet Butler.

Telling people that you live in Butler inevitably leads to the follow-up question: “New or Old?” Butler used to have a reputation for being the worst res college to live in, with legendarily horrible waffle ceilings, a long trek to central campus and only meh-worthy food. But all that changed in 2009, when Princeton introduced shiny new, well, New Butler.

Bedecked in wavy red brick walls, bright interiors, modern lines and a trendy sustainable green roof, New Butler is not your typical Gothic, ivy-covered Princeton building. Before you waste any time feeling disappointed, though (“Nooo I wanted to live in a castle!” It’s okay, I thought that way too, until I moved in and saw the light), realize what it means to reside in the newest college: air conditioning. No bugs. Leather couches. Flat screen TVs. Many a mirthful moment has been given to us Butlerites, chuckling at our friends in Rocky as they traverse four flights of stairs to get to the bathroom, with nothing but a meager fan waiting in their circulation-void rooms.

“What? No, I’ve never seen a spider or ladybug or ant in my room before! That’s gross… okay sure you can come hide out in our basement, the A/C is super cool and yeah Studio ’34 is still open.”

Bloomberg is similarly cushy. Of course, 1915 is a different story. But we’ll get to that as you read on…

The resumé:

Aerial view.

Aerial view.

Laundry: There are ample washers and dryers in Bloomberg and New Butler. They’re all as new as the building, so everything runs oh so smoothly. Check out the map here for specific locations.

Kitchens: In the New Butler buildings, there are kitchens around almost every corner. They’re small but  effective, with a big fridge, stove, oven, microwave and sink. There’s also a huge dining room with attached kitchen on the ground floor of Bloomberg, which is great if you want to cook a larger meal with a bunch of friends.

Computers: The main computer cluster is in the New Butler basement. There are about ten computers including a media Mac if you’re looking to do anything digital artsy, plus a scanner and a printer.

There’s also a computer cluster on the third floor of Bloomberg. And the printer in Wu Library is convenient when you’re on your way to class and don’t want to go to the basement. But remember to set up your laptop’s printer connection first, because it’s just a printing station, not a full cluster (although you can easily go to the Wilcox side and use J-Street).

Continue reading…

21 Questions with … Daniel Fletcher ’12


dfletcheName: Daniel Fletcher
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Major: Civil Engineering with a certificate in Architecture
Club and Residential College Affiliation: Charter and Butler

What are you doing this summer?
I am doing hydrological modeling of the Princeton watershed in an effort to reduce flooding that occurs during heavy rainfall.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Definitely Batman.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
Explorers Pub Night at Charter. We had exotic meats from all over the world, including Yak burgers, pheasant sausages, Crocodile nuggets, and kangaroo meatballs.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Search for new and exciting ways to avoid doing my work.

Favorite spot in Charter?
The computer cluster. Members go to the library when they actually want to work, but they go to the cluster when they want to procrastinate on their work, so you can always bet on some fun conversations, Sporcling or YouTube videos.

What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why?
I knew the most people in either Tower or Terrace so probably one of those.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Tea. I drink it all the time and I help run Tea Time every Wednesday afternoon at Charter.

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?
I would put it somewhere besides New Jersey.

Continue reading…

21 Questions with … Susan Zhang ’12


szName: Susan Zhang
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Major: Mathematics
Club and Residential College Affiliation: Colonial and Butler

What are you doing this summer?
Saving the world one spreadsheet and graph at a time.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
John Nash. I like his shoes.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
I’m naturally biased for Colonial food.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
I’m not sure.

Favorite spot in Colonial?
Movie room couches. Those things suck you in and never let go.

What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why?
None. I watched too many food channel shows and thought I would make my own food. Needless to say, that thought didn’t go very far…

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Watching every TV show imaginable on And SC2 replays on youtube.

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?
Move it to Texas.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
Nothing of particular interest.

What is your biggest fear?
Disappointing my Tigermom.

Continue reading…

21 Questions with … Derek Grego ’12


Name: Derek Grego
Hometown: Pittsburgh, City of Champions
Major: WWS
Club and Residential College Affiliation: Cap & Gown, Wilson

What are you doing this summer?
Training up for my assessment in ROTC. Then a month at Fort Lewis, Washington for an undoubtedly good time in the woods. No planes, helicopters, or explosives this summer.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Aaron Burr.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese and Vitamin Water at Olives every Sunday morning for recuperative purposes. Also, Spicy Salmon from Sakura is out of control.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Wake up, try to keep it drama free, sleep.

Favorite spot in Cap?
Hands down. There is a threshold on the first floor that used to lead to the back porch but now it’s in front of the stairs to the taproom. But it’s a solid piece of stone that has been warped by a century of Cap members stepping on it. To me it’s our answer to the Shao-lin temple.

What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why?
Frosh week I was totally going Charter.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
I’m currently a recovering Xbox addict.

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?
I just think there’s not really a good policy in place so we can figure out who are the smartest people at our school. I just don’t think there’s anything to distinguish Princeton students from any other school so we should strive to make classes artificially difficult.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
List of life maxims, Princeton banner, and a crucifix. No jokes here.

What is your biggest fear?
I was going to say ‘being alone’ or ‘fading into obscurity’ but on second thought: Ticks. Or Brown Recluses. Seriously spend any time in the woods in the South and you will see what I mean.

Continue reading…

21 Questions With … Ricardo Lopez ’12



Name: Ricardo López
Hometown: Escondido, CA
Major: Spanish Literature
Club and Residential College Affiliation: Terrace F. Club; Mathey College

What are you doing this summer?
I’m in Buenos Aires, interning for UNESCO at a center for the promotion of culture and literary research, and also traveling a bit within my surroundings.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Antonio Calvo is my favorite Princetonian.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
For Lawnparties our chef, Olin Noren, and his friends once roasted an entire pig until the love was capable of melting in one’s mouth in perfect, exquisite bliss.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
I actually just listen to The Strokes and The Beatles, read, enjoy time with friends, and go about my responsibilities mindful that FOOD=LOVE.

Favorite spot in Terrace?
Within the same vertical space, the terrace itself and the solarium.

What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why?
By November of freshman year I knew which club I’d join after I learned three important things: Terrace is your mother, Terrace is the best, and Terrace has the Jazzy lifestyle.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
My greatest guilty pleasure is Lucifer.

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be?
With the health and safety of students in mind, I’d reinstate our previous emergency response system regarding calls from outside of Princeton’s “nucleus”; e.g., the places where the majority of upperclassmen happen to have their meals.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
Nothing, I have windows over both.

What is your biggest fear?
André the Giant and his posse, for many reasons.

Continue reading…