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?

The President cheers on the undefeated team.

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 WatchESPN.com.

UPDATE:

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.

The Princeton women take the court vs Brown in February.

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.

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:

Now you can. Source: someecards.com

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.

The Fountain Hopper’s Five Step Plan. Source: The Fountain Hopper

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?

-MH

 

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.

 

- KC and SP

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.

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.

-KC

The Princeton women’s basketball team beat Brown 79-67 tonight, staying undefeated on the season. The team, ranked no. 14 in the AP poll coming into the game, improved to 27-0.

That is the most wins the team has ever had in a single season, according to Princeton athletic communications.

The Kentucky men’s team is the only other undefeated in college basketball.

Early second half action.

Michelle Miller led the team with twenty points, and Annie Tarakchian, the team-leader in rebounds on the season, tied for the game high rebound total with nine.

Princeton pulled off the win despite a poor showing from three-point-range, typically one of their strengths. They shot 31% from behind the arc, just under ten percentage points below their season average, but significantly better than Brown’s 12%. They also had 18 turnovers, four more than their season average.

2097 people attended the game, nearly double the season average for the team at Jadwin. There were enticements for the crowd – the Class of 2016 even gave one Princeton student the chance to take a halfcourt shot for a chance to win $10,000. The student, a 2016-er himself, hit the backboard but missed.

The Tigers have three games remaining. They play at Cornell on Friday, and finish the season with Columbia on Saturday and Penn next Tuesday. Only a train ride away…

 

Correction: A previous version of this post stated that the team’s next game is at Columbia on Saturday. They also play on Friday, at Cornell.

 

 

For years, there’s been an online, frequently updated, comprehensive, semi-facebook of over 3,500 Princeton affiliated individuals, and we just never knew. Don’t believe me? Well, read on. And look here.

From 2003 until this past summer, David Dobkin, a COS professor, served as the Dean of the Faculty. Working from Nassau Hall, Dobkin met with students and faculty daily and wanted to create a living memory of his tenure and the people he met. So he put up 1,500 (seemingly random) photos of of students and faculty, tagged by individual, on his personal Princeton page, which can be found here.

The individually tagged photo blog apparently has another unexpected use. “It evolved into a useful tool for people around the university who wondered what others looked like.  It has been used by many people to identify people they had to meet,” he said via e-mail.

Well, let’s dive in:

On the front page, there’s a great picture of University leaders at the beach. Some explanation from Prof. Dobkin helps: “One year after graduation, it was hot in our robes, so we went to the beach :-) ” In this situation, “:-)” indicates Photoshop use.

This picture speaks for itself.

Then you can look at hundreds of pictures of random professors, staff, and students from the class of ’01 until now. What’s amazing is that since they’re tagged individually, you can search by name, class year/department, or by day taken. Yes, it’s down to the day.

Photos organized by name.

 

Photos organized by month

 

Organized by department and class year.

All together, it ends up being a really cool collection of Princeton headshots and candides from across the years.

Want to find a picture of Cornel West from 2007? You’re in luck, it’s here.

Or how about Robby George from 2005 and 2007? Covered also, here.

There’s also Richard Just, alumnus and current visiting Ferris professor, from Reunions in 2011, here.

The tagging took a while: “I wrote a few computer scripts to turn photos into proof sheets and to enable adding text to proof sheets to create web pages.  This was originally used to record my history with my family.  When I became dean, I expanded the scripts I had written to record people by name, by date and by department.”

But thanks to Prof. Dobkin, I’ve got tons of Princeton history to search through.

 

Princeton has a lot of gargoyles. As students we don’t notice much, staring at our phones while we walk to class, but we are surrounded by stone animals doing crazy shit.

Technically, Princeton’s gargoyles aren’t really gargoyles. Gargoyles in its literal sense refers solely to sculptures that sprout from gutters and are used to convey water off of building surfaces. Those types of gargoyles were mostly popular in the medieval era and have kind of gone out of fashion in the past few centuries, along with other items of the time period like tunics for men. Instead, most gargoyles fall more accurately under the categories of chimeras and grotesques, sculptures attached to building surfaces that serve only an aesthetic purpose. Princeton has a lot of these.

Below are photos of some of Princeton’s best. Hopefully, next time you’re walking around campus, you will look up from your iMessage or Twitter or Facebook and find yourself staring at a monkey with a camera. It turns out, this gargoyle above 1879 arch was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, the same man who sculpted Mt. Rushmore.


 

 

These tigers outside McCosh Hall appear to be unphased by the snow. Their majesty is only challenged by that of the adjacent A/C unit.

 

This entrance to the side of the chapel is lined with various animals, including some dragons:

 

And on the subject of animals, probably almost no one knows that Guyot Hall is surrounded by over 65 animal gargoyles. Yes, you probably just screamed in amazement and disbelief, “but that can’t possibly be true!” but you heard me right. Even cooler, the east side of Guyot, which houses the biology department, is littered with gargoyles of living species while the west side, home to the geology department, is covered by gargoyles of now extinct animals. Some examples include this crocodile:

And this dinosaur head:

 

 

And while on the subject of animals, this goat is reading a book:

 

Moving up campus, attached to the Firestone Library Trustees Reading Room, hidden behind some trees, is this guy playing a flute. Who knew? It turns out there are sixteen gargoyles that line the sides of the reading room.

Full disclosure: this picture is taken from the Flickr account of a wonderful photographer with the username Kitty Fox. Thanks, Kitty Fox!

 

Right across from Firestone, above the archway of East Pyne that faces towards the library, is this pretty fly gargoyle. Apparently, the gargoyle is supposed to be a metaphor for how the university opens up the eyes and the minds of its students.


My personal favorite gargoyle features an old-school football player running on top of the entrance to McCosh 10:

 

But the most famous Princeton gargoyle resides in the graduate college. Called the “Joy Ride,” it shows a young man, assumedly a student, driving away in a car with his date by his side. It was so famous, it was even the subject of its own New York Times article back in 1927:

 

And here it is, in all its glory, courtesy of Princeton Alumni Weekly:

If you want to read more about many of these gargoyles, you should check out this book, lined to here as a pdf:

http://tigernet.princeton.edu/~ptoniana/Gargoyles.pdf

This decade-old, illustrated map of literary Princeton shows exactly where in Princeton famous authors and poets had lived at some point in their lives. For privacy reasons, the map doesn’t contain any drawings or addresses of the homes of authors who were living in town at the time. Current faculty were represented by campus buildings. Household names like Toni Marrison, Paul Mundoon, and JCO have arrows pointing to 185 Nassau Street, East Pyne is associated with John McPhee, Robert Fagles, and Clarence Brown, and F. Scott Fitzgerald points to Cottage Club.

Here’s a contemporary (and somewhat creepier) tour that includes what some of the homes on the original map look like now. If you don’t know some of the writers, the names are very google-able.

14 Alexander Street
T.S. Elliot resided in the modest home, with the two white columns, on the left.

William Faulkner lived in this odd, flattened house at 85 Elm Rd.

Thomas Mann (Death in Venice) hung out in this beautiful home at 65 Stockton Street.

For 1 Evelyn Place, we have Hermann Broch (Austrian writer, The Death of Virgil) and Erich Kahler from Prague. Broch passed away in New Haven while Kahler chose Princeton as his final resting place.

Poet John Berryman lived in what are now grad student apartments on Prospect Ave. Hopefully with friends?

Allen Tate, a poet of the American South, at 16 Linden Lane, out of his natural habitat.

Caroline Gordon, novelist and literary critic, had lived at 145 Ewing Street.

You can complete the tour on Google Maps, or go for a run and find the homes yourself. Maybe inspiration will strike as it did these great writers.

 

*Note: the addresses that the Google Streetview images read do not necessarily match the ones I’ve listed – just a glitch! They are the right homes we’re looking it!

This map was made by Aaron S. Madsen, Class of 1994, for the Council of the Humanities, where it remains.

am

 

CORRECTION: As of 2/34, 1:30 AM – “enormous house on Prospect” was changed to “what are now grad student apartments.” Please excuse the error.