Bonfire in our Near Future?

Whether you’ll be attending the Yale game or not, hopefully you’re excited about the (very real) possibility of having a Bonfire (yes capital b) next week. Here’s a brief history of the Bonfire, according to the Princetoniana website:

The Bonfire used to celebrate baseball, not football, victories. And if you were a freshman, well, you had to do some of the grunt work; freshmen were tasked with gathering wood from the surrounding area. So current frosh, start looking for wood now. I mean Hurricane Sandy already did most of the work for you…

An additional feature of the Bonfire celebration used to include an effigy of John Harvard and/or a Yale Bulldog.

From 1950 until 1966, the University had seven bonfires. But since then, there have only been four. Here is proper protocol for the Bonfire, according to Sam Howell ’50:

  • Schedule the Bonfire for the Thursday or Friday following the Yale Game, and treat it as both a Big Three celebration and a rally for the season finale.
  • Assign the Freshman Class to collect scrap lumber, crates, and pallets from University workers, town merchants, and other local sources.
  • Seat a stuffed bulldog in the outhouse.
  • Begin the festivities by unleashing the Band to roust students from across campus.
  • At the foot of Blair Arch, hold a pep rally at which the head coach and team captain make brief remarks.
  • Follow the anointed flarebearers to Cannon Green for ignition.

The last Bonfire occurred in 2006. Come on, Tigers, time to crush Yale!

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…

Desperate Times

It pains me to say this, but the Wa has just closed.

And so, it’s come down to this:

Yes, that is the Forbes Private Dining Room, and yes, we will probably be eating a diet of instant noodles for the next 48 hours… or at least until we can get a Wa Hoagie tomorrow.


Let us know your Sandy survival tips in the comments or this writer really will be a starving journalist.

Still waiting on Sandy…

For those of you who missed the email, and the text, and the automated phone message, and every weather report for the last week (basically, anyone who has been under a rock for the past week): yes, Hurricane Sandy is scheduled to hit Princeton pretty soon (updates on the Princeton homepage).

Pretty good timing, Princeton.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll run into if you try to do some hurricane stock-up at the U-Store. The bread is out, the peanut butter supply is low, and some kid walked out with cases and cases of bottled water. At 3:30, there were 25+ people in line. Among the things people were buying: cereal, water, pasta, water, salad, water, plastic utensils, water, sandwiches, water, applesauce, water, chips, water, crackers. Don’t worry, Princeton has generators. And a call to Public Safety clarified that the dining hall (Rocky-Mathey) is considered “critical and essential staff,” and will be opened.

[caption id="attachment_13499" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Rolling 25 deep[/caption]

But as of this posting, not a drop of rain had fallen. Come on, Sandy, we’re ready for you!


Heyy Princeton!  As we all descend into midterm mania, here are a few more snippets and sightings to remind you that you’re not alone.

2nd Floor Frist:

Wow, getting sassy.  We don’t blame you, whoever used the kleenex sticker to tape this up.  Being sick and slammed with work is a rough combination.  To those of you still looking for study rooms, good luck.  Even the East Asian Library was full this evening, but there’s probably room for you in a hallway or stairwell!


Downstairs, a quick conversation with the late night Frist employees showed that they were coming to their own conclusions about our mental state…

Continue reading…


To relieve you from (remind you of?) the misery/frenzied panic/chill times (you know who you are…) that is midterms week, we at the UPC have decided to do a daily round-up of midterms-themed sightings around campus. Consider this a friendly warning: don’t sleep in public places for the next few days.

On PrincetonFML:

Come on, mods…

On #whatshouldwecallprinceton

When I Thought I Studied Enough For My Midterm

Continue reading…

LIVEBLOG: American Presidential Debate

“Presidential Bicker” 2012

Hey politicos, excited for tonight’s presidential debate? Concerned about the future of America? Aware of the huge debate viewing party taking place in Richardson Auditorium with commentary from Anne-Marie Slaughter?

Too swamped with problem sets and midterms to attend?

We at UPC have got your back – tonight we’ve embedded ourselves on both red and blue sides of Richardson Auditorium, and we’ll be liveblogging not just the presidential debate, but Princeton’s live reactions too. We’re on standby for campus verbatim too, so if you’ve got any witty jokes, fact-checking action, overheard commentary or Big Bird jokes, send them our way! Email, tweet @UnivPressClub, or post ’em in the comments. Show us what you’ve got, Princeton.

8:29 PM

Zach Beecher ’13 introduces campus fave Anne-Marie Slaughter. She’s sitting on the Democrats’ side of the auditorium, but chose to dress in classy neutral (black) instead of red or blue tonight. Cheers for her from both sides.


8:33 PM

AMS says we’re likely to hear questions pointed at specific foreign policy issues tonight – when are we getting out of Afghanistan? How much support will we show for Israel? What about Iran? Romney and Obama actually don’t disagree dramatically on these questions, Slaughter says. “On the specifics, you’re not likely to hear a big difference.”

8:39 PM

AMS gives bipartisan credit for effective anti-terrorism policy. “I think we can ask Americans on this, ‘How do you feel? Do you feel safer 4 years ago than 10 years ago? I think the answer’s going to be yes.”

8:41 PM 

AMS on Clinton’s apology: “She was right to say that and frankly that’s the woman I work for. She had to step up and own it…but president can’t hide behind secretary of state. It would surprise me and be a bad political move to say, ‘Oh yeah, that was Hillary’s fault.'”

– LZ

8:42 PM

Second speaker! AMS wraps up with a shout-out to Hillary Clinton (“She’ll step up and own it”) and final point that there won’t be a huge axis of difference between Obama and Romney, but that Barack will offer a solid debate. Now we’ve got politics and international affairs professor John Londregan on stage. He wasn’t too fond of Romney’s 47% comments or of the left’s depiction of Republicans as “clinging to their guns,” he says. What solution does he offer for those who aren’t huge fans of either candidate this year?

“I am hopeful that in 2024 or 30, in some years, two of you will be competing candidates!” High hopes…


8:56 pm

Oh, some commentary on the actual scene here: full house! American flags hanging from the balcony, red and blue balloon arches at the from doors of Richardson, CARDBOARD CUTOUTS of Michelle and Barack for photo ops (was there a Romney one on the other side? I didn’t see) and free foam fingers! There’s a pretty visible chunk of kids wearing red or blue in the front rows, but everyone else behind looks more neutral. In terms of dress, at least. We’ll see how the audience vibe goes when the actual debate starts.


8:58 pm

The second speaker is talking for a long time. People are getting antsy… overheard from the Democrat side:
“They should have food for us.”

Also, from the blue crowd as he leaves the stage: “Time to watch Obama whup some ass.”

Continue reading…

Jam Session in Woody Woo Fountain

Apparently, today was a good day for Princeton’s football team. The team, which shut out Brown 19-0 today, “Remains Perfect in Ivies.”

Despite the rivalry between the teams, however, our bands are pretty good friends. It’s become tradition that following the Princeton-Brown game each year, the two bands join together for a jam session in the Woody Woo Fountain, Speedos and tubas and all. In case you missed it (and in case you missed either of the bands parading through campus at ungodly hours this morning) here’s a clip:

Princeton Engineering Ranks Second

Hey Princeton engineers! This one’s for you (for real)! The Times Higher Education has just released its list of the top 50 engineering schools, and guess what? Princeton ranked second – that is, second in the world – after the California Institute of Technology and ahead of MIT. #EQuadftw.

The rankings were based on “teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.” So I guess having a dining hall on the premises wasn’t a prerequisite. #Princetonengineeringstudentsproblems.

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.


University Press Club is the only organization on campus to offer you the chance to work for real newspapers and magazines, to get paid for your writing, and to make connections with the “who’s who” of the journalism world.

This week, we’re kicking off our annual Candidates Period, a three-month application process to join the club. During Candidates Period, we’ll teach you the basics of writing, reporting, and journalism ethics, and you’ll work one-on-one with our members to develop your writing skills.

To learn more about the Press Club and the Candidates Period, come to one of our two Open Houses in Frist 205:

Tuesday, Oct. 2 — 4:30 pm

Thursday, Oct. 4 — 4:30 pm

In addition, on Tuesday, Oct. 2, right after our first open house at 5:30 pm, Mike Allen of Politico will speak about Politics in the Age of New Media. The event is located in McCormick 101.

If you have any questions or are interested in applying for the Press Club but cannot attend an information session, please e-mail us at pressclb@.

Candidates Period is open to freshmen and sophomores. No prior journalism experience is required! We’ll teach you everything you need to know over the course of the Candidates Period.




Nothing Ever Happens in Princeton?

Nothing ever happens in Princeton? With the tale of the U-Store employee accused of engaging in prostitution after hours spreading like wildfire comes the release of the University’s annual security report. Here are some highlights:

There were 30 instances of “burglary,” 16 “forcible sex offenses,” one “aggravated assault,” four “drug abuse violation arrests,” and three cases of “illegal weapons possession judicial referrals” on the main campus in 2011.

Regarding the fire reports (in undergraduate and graduate buildings), there were 16 fires in 2011, some of which were “fires in a trash can” (3), “burnt food in a microwave” (3), and, my favorite, “paper towels in an oven” in Joline. Good thing there wasn’t a question about combustion on the Princeton college app…