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“The Daily Princetonian”

A bit of shuffling over at the helm of The Daily Princetonian: Ameena Schelling ’12 was appointed the new editor-in-chief after Gabriel Debenedetti ’12 resigned for “personal reasons.” Schelling, who formerly served as managing editor, took over as per Prince bylaws, and she’ll hold the position until February 1.

Debenedetti declined to comment, citing the Prince policy that only the editor-in-chief is authorized to speak to the media; Schelling did not respond to requests for comment. In an email to the Prince staff, president of the Prince grad board Richard W. Thaler, Jr. noted that it was a “difficult decision” for Debenedetti, thanked him for his service, and summed it all up as “a painful moment for Gabe, a challenging moment for Ameena, and a hopeful moment for the Prince.”

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This is known as "steeplechase."

Meanwhile, some more literal batons were being passed. While you were trolling Hulu or interning or exploring exotic locales on the Princeton dollar, a handful of your peers were running extremely quickly in Iowa. Donn Cabral ’12 and Ashley Higginson ’11 both notched top-10 finishes at the track and field NCAA Championships in Des Moines, and a total of 12 Tigers earned All-America honors. That includes the members of the 4×400 relay team, who were profiled in a fresh NYT piece a while back.

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from Politico.com

Cool tie. (from Politico.com)

Last May, the Prince and Mudd Library launched the Larry DuPraz Digital Archives, which offers scans of The Daily Princetonian from its early issues in 1876 through 2002. Going through the collection, named after the paper’s former production manager and informal adviser, is like stepping back in history. I highly recommend it, when you’re feeling a bit of that Princeton nostalgia, or wondering if Wendy Kopp ’89 lived in your dorm room. Sit back, click around, and travel back to a time when Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was that senior who was always winning awards and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels was that kid who got arrested after the drug bust in his room in Cuyler.

Wait, what?

So, the real reason I started looking into the Prince archives was because I stumbled across a Politico blog post about Daniels’ curious arrest in 1970. (Unfortunately, the Prince archives aren’t available for that year–they’re in the process of uploading every year.) Daniels, one of the frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination, was charged with two counts, marijuana possession and maintaining a nuisance (the nuisance being his room, 111 Cuyler, out of which undercover officers said they purchased marijuana and LSD.)

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wikipedia

wikipedia

Last week’s bat sighting in the Daily Princetonian building got me thinking (in numbered list form):

1a) What other critters might “accidentally” find their way into the office of Princeton’s paper of record?  And which of those animals would be big enough, strange enough, “newsworthy” enough, to force Da’ Prince’ to violate one of the cardinal commandments of journalism: “Thou shalt not report on thyself in the pages of thine own newspaper”?

2a) BATMAN. Thanks to 2005′s Batman Begins, everyone knows that the Caped Crusader attended Princeton in his youth. Attended, past tense. But what if the Prince-bat was meant as a public declaration that the B-man is back?

Well I got to thinkin’, and then I got to investigatin’, and now it’s time for some answerin’ answers.

1b) According to sources at the Prince, either “something big enough to eat you” OR “any animal you wouldn’t expect [ie, any non-indigenous species]” would warrant mention in the paper.  Good to know from a completely theoretical standpoint!

2b) Batman’s actually here. For real for real. His email is batman@princeton.edu.  His job is to keep us safe (from others, sure, but also from ourselves).  He’s not the hero we want; he’s the hero we need. “A silent guardian. A watchful protector.” BUT WHO IS THIS MASKED AVENGER?…

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You may remember a few weeks back that a controversial op-ed in the Prince got quite a stir started both on campus and around the country, especially on the Internet.

Some students are wondering what happened to that debate and whatever became of the conversation:

As quickly as things got heated in Princeton, they cooled down. Following the controversy that erupted after The Daily Princetonian published an op-ed about sexual assault, the buzz fizzled, and many students think the charged debate over rape hasn’t changed campus culture.

Read the full story at the Huffington Post.

On Monday, freshman Iulia Neagu contributed an opinion column in The Daily Princetonian entitled “The real ‘Sex on a Saturday Night.’” It’s sparked a nationwide controversy and the story has been picked up by popular news site Gawker and its sister site, Jezebel. The piece has blogs and their commenters foaming at the mouth with accusations of upholding patriarchy, mysogyny, and untrammeled conservatism at Princeton.

Jezebel, a self-proclaimed feminist blog in the Gawker network, has seen their coverage blow up with user feedback, having more than 15,000 views and 713 comments on their story at the time of this posting. Gawker has 296 comments and more than 14,000 views.

Blogs aren’t the only interested parties. Amelia Thomson-Deveaux ’11, co-editor of the feminist blog EqualWrites.org, tells us that a Fox News reporter sent an email on the subject to the EqualWrites address earlier today. At this point she doesn’t “know what their plan is.”

The Daily Princetonian has not issued a response to the controversy. Mendy Fisch ’11, executive editor for opinion, declined to comment for this post on Princetonian standards for vetting potentially inflammatory opinion pieces or the process of editing and approving opinion pieces.  He also declined to comment on the Prince’s rationale for running this particular piece by an aspiring regular columnist.

Jack Ackerman ’11, editor-in-chief of and spokesperson for the Daily Princetonian, has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

What’s the hubbub about? At the risk of reducing Neagu’s argument, the gist of the piece is this:

She knew what would happen if she started drinking. We all know that the more people drink, the less likely they are to make wise decisions. It is common sense.

Therefore, the girl willingly got herself into a state in which she could not act rationally. This, in my opinion, is equivalent to agreeing to anything that might happen to her while in this state. In the case of our girl, this happened to be sex with a stranger.

The Princetonian‘s own website has a current 231 comments at the time of this posting, and the paper printed a response to the opinion from members of SHARE and SpeakOut on Tuesday.

College Confidential, virtual home to thousands of angsty 17-year-olds college-prepped to within an inch of their lives, is a pretty easy gauge for the general College Admissions Stress Level. This week’s stress-inducer: The Prince’s annual joke issue–specifically, “Princeton sees steep drop in applications for Class of 2014.” (Oh, Class of 2014…we’re a little worried for you too.)

The take-away: High school seniors don’t care about how high the acceptance rate is! They’re not going to judge you for it, Ivy League schools (and University of Chicago!). They just want to get in!

From the joke issue:

The University received an astonishingly low 10,943 applications for the Class of 2014, representing a 50 percent drop from last year, a stunned Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian on Tuesday. If the University accepts roughly 2,150 people from the applicant pool this April — as it did last spring — the school’s acceptance rate would more than double, to 20.1 percent.

“I will be delighted to be able to offer admission to more students,” Rapelye said. “It’s only good for us. They are so strong and so powerful.”

Reactions after the jump.

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from blog.nielsen.com

from blog.nielsen.com

Sure, you might read a copy of the Prince while eating your cornflakes, or grab a Nassau Weekly off the table when you head out of the dining hall–but campus media is headed to the Internet.

Princeton’s newest publications–Equal Writes, American Education Review, which launches in December, and this blog–have all been web-only, and will likely stay that way. 127-year-old Tiger Magazine recently relaunched its website, adding consistently updated content, and American Foreign Policy has done the same.

The Prince is also shifting toward a more web-oriented model, says editor-in-chief Matt Westmoreland ’10.

“Not only is there so much more we can do on our Web site that we can’t do in print, but there will come a time in the future when The Daily Princetonian is an online-only publication,” Westmoreland said. “We need to make sure that we’re making as much progress as we can, so that when that time comes … we’ve built a new media infrastructure that will have the opportunity to grow even more.”

To read more, check out the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Alright, guys, I have something to confess. There’s no sense beating around the bush, so I’ll just be straight-up about it: I read the Prince sometimes.

Wait, okay, hold on, don’t look at me that way. Come on, it’s really not a bad publication. It’s actually quite informative and presents some interesting points of view.

User complacent biz alum takes time out of his day to comment

User 'complacent biz alum' takes time out of his day to comment

…Maybe I should qualify that. I usually read the Prince online, and typically only the comments. Because, Jesus, have you seen those things? They’re kind of like what I imagine would happen if you shoved 20 of those “that guy from precept” into a room and asked them to argue about abortion. And you gave them lots of Adderall beforehand. And they all had funny names like “mr hat” or “t-bone” or pretended to be “Shirley Tilghman.”

I mean, don’t you guys remember this comment thread after the Prince reported Princeton had admitted 9.79% of applicants last year? Classic. Just absolutely brilliant reading, I’m serious. Leave it to Princeton students to be absolutely enraged over – what else – exclusivity.

But hey, don’t believe me? Gonna keep on glossing over the comments? Fine, let’s look at a few cases.

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kirn

(image source: amazon.com)

In his upcoming book Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever, novelist Walter Kirn ’83 writes about his experience at  Princeton, where, as he said in an interview with the Chicago Maroon, he felt “alienated among the indoctrinated.”

The book description on Amazon describes the university as:

an arena for gamesmanship, snobbery, social climbing, ass-kissing, and recreational drug use, where the point of literature classes was to mirror the instructor’s critical theories and actual reading of the books under consideration was optional.

Compare that to a comment on an article in the Daily Princetonian posted today:

who comes to pton to “learn”? pton is a means for the end that is employment with a high salary/status/etc. with this ridiculous deflation policy, cheating will only increase as people realize that in the real world, no one cares about your “honor” but rather your gpa.

Huh.

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The Prince reported this week that “tweeting” has increased in popularity recently, and has attracted the attention of a few big names on Princeton’s campus, namely Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Cornel West. Not mentioned was Peter Singer, who also updates his Twitter quite frequently.

It’s to be expected that these update-streams from noted scholars at a prestigious institution should be self-referential, yes, and perhaps even a bit introverted. But these three take it to a new level.

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basketballIt’s a cold Friday night in the dead of winter, and none of the major basketball conferences have games. What’s an addictive professional gambler to do? Well, according to this New York Times article, the answer can be found in a small cult of gamblers who bet on Ivy League basketball games religiously every Friday night (kind of like Shabbat, but with less Challah). And because of the lack of information available on Ivy League teams on traditional sports websites like ESPN.com, the gamblers often turn to the student newspapers. Finally, a niche for the Prince beyond lonely breakfasters!

On the subject of Princeton basketball, after a 2-8 start and an improbable late season run, the Tigers have a shot to at least tie Cornell as Ivy League Champions if they can win at Columbia, at Cornell, and at Penn. (Likely? No, not really. But hey, crazier things have happened…)

(image source: princetonbasketball.com)