Caraun Reid Headed to Detroit

Princeton Defensive End Caraun Reid was selected by the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft today. Reid, picked in the fifth round, is Princeton’s highest NFL draft selection since Bob Hews in 1970. Projected to go as high as the third round, he was a steal for the Lions who have looked to bolster their defense in the draft. Reid was a force on the field, he was Princeton’s first two-time All-American in twenty years, but was also active in music and religious life on campus. You can read more in a profile of Reid from Tuesday’s New York Times. Looks like a Tiger might be just what the Lions need.

IN PRINT: Student Advocates at Princeton Launch Prison Reform Conference

Students at Princeton University have mentored inmates at New Jersey correctional facilities and worked to advocate prison reform throughout the state.

This weekend they are launching their first conference on prison reform.

“This is the biggest civil rights issue that I can think of at this time, and we want to give students the tools to advocate and to understand the different avenues for advocacy,” said Princeton senior Shaina Watrous.

Watrous is a founder of Students for Prison and Education Reform (SPEAR), which today and tomorrow is bringing students, academics, and activists together for a conference titled “Building A New Criminal Justice System: Mobilizing Students for Reform.”

Read the full story here at The Times of Trenton.

Buy train tickets from your phone! Great job, NJ Transit! (Never thought I’d say that.)

It was the fastest I had run in my life. My backpack bounced left and right on my back, harshly pressing me on with each step. My brother Ricky, though more stressed than I was, lagged behind. His long-legged strides weren’t fast enough.

We were about to miss the Dinky.

Okay, okay, so maybe I could’ve packed my bag more quickly. But, come on, Ricky didn’t have to show me that stupid Youtube video. Regardless, we sprinted towards the station, under our breaths cursing the Arts & Transit Neighborhood like never before.

We made it just as the Dinky began to move. The conductor almost barred our entry, physically. We slid past him, ignoring his protests and throwing words in his direction about how we couldn’t miss the train, we made these plans a while ago, Matthew you’re so stupid, Ricky no you are. In the end, he sold us tickets. But they were $4 extra, each. That was my lunch money!


I wish I could say I learned a lesson that day, but in reality, it seems like every time I need to take the Dinky I’m sprinting over there at the last minute. But the point is I don’t need to worry about that mean ol’ conductor anymore. (But let’s be real: normally those guys are pretty nice!) Why, you may ask? Because now NJ Transit offers the MyTix app, where you can easily buy and present train tickets digitally!

I downloaded the app five minutes ago (although it’s apparently been around since January), and happily discovered that NJ Transit actually did a great job! Setting up is simple – just follow the steps at the end of the post.

I just wonder how the conductor notes whether a digital ticket has been used. The potential bad news is you can no longer end up with an un-hole-punched, reusable (What? Cheat the ticketing system? Never!) ticket.

At the very least you’ll stop having that nightmare where you’re buying tickets at the bottom of the stairs when suddenly the train pulls away as the machine takes its time, sloooowly, sloooowly printing out that useless receipt.

[caption id="attachment_15235" align="aligncenter" width="165"] 1) After you’ve made your account/added a credit card, this page should appear.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_15236" align="aligncenter" width="165"] 2) As expected, you can choose origin and destination. What a clean interface![/caption] [caption id="attachment_15237" align="aligncenter" width="165"] 3) If you want, you can even designate stations as favorites to quickly choose them![/caption] [caption id="attachment_15238" align="aligncenter" width="165"] 4) Finally, buy your ticket! You can bring as many children and adults as you want – fantastic![/caption]

The Presidential Debate According to Freshmen

Not quite satisfied with Harvey Rosen‘s or Politico‘s analysis of last night’s debate? Who better to ask than Princeton’s own budding politicians–the freshmen class council candidates?

Did you watch the presidential debate? No? Aren’t you a politician–what’s your excuse?
No – because I was busy preparing things for my own campaign! —Brian T. Chen

What’s your favorite moment of the debate?
[Seeing] Obama’s sassy side when he claimed, “I had five seconds before you interrupted me.” —Priya Krishnan

Romney: And congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your anniversary. I’m sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine, here – here with me. —Gloria Kantungire

My favorite moment of the debate was when the candidates ignored the requests and pleas of Jim Lehrer. Basically, I liked the entire thing. —Brian J. Geiger

What’s your favorite Election 2012 meme?

My favorite “belief” in the election is definitely the fact that Mitt Romney’s full first name is Mittens. —Ben Dobkin

—Brian J. Geiger

Continue reading…

The Woman Behind the Piano: The Frist Piano Player

You’ve definitely heard her piano, but probably not her voice. (For the record, she has a cool German-British-Chinese accent.) UPC sits down with the Frist piano player again, but this time it’s a girl—Sophie Zhang, a post-year grad student in physics who interrupts your studies plays in Frist every day:

Why do you play at Frist?

Not many people can hear you, or at least they’re not paying attention, so it’s a good place to practice or do anything.

But doesn’t it take a lot of guts to play in one of the most popular places on campus?

Not really. Piano is something I’m comfortable playing in front of a lot of people.

What are your favorite pieces to play at Frist? Do you change up your repertoire according to your mood?

I don’t know that many pieces so it’s the same thing every day.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would you play?

If I were really good, I’d say something like Carnegie Hall, but I don’t really care. I like Frist because it’s nice playing in front of people, even if they aren’t really listening. Also, you’re taking a lot of notes.

I know, I’m a journalist. Anyway, how do you respond to all the criticisms about “the annoying Frist piano player”?

Really? I’ve never heard anything.

During Dean’s Date, especially, people studying in Frist will complain about it or post something on PrincetonFML… in a joking manner, of course.

Well, Frist isn’t a particularly quiet space, so A) if no one is playing the piano themselves, they wouldn’t mind me taking up the space and B) I’m—hopefully—not really bad and creating excruciating pain to everyone around me.

HEY PRINCETON! Prefrosh Edition

Prefrosh are almost as cute as baby giraffes

Prefrosh are almost as cute as baby giraffes

Oh, Prefrosh.  We watch them stumble around campus clad in orange lanyards and various articles of freshly bought Princeton gear, earnestly proclaiming that they “love Princeton already” and that “the architecture is to my liking.”  But, what’s really going on behind those confused faces, those adorable mouths filled with braces?  The UPC roved around last night to talk to some members of the Class of 2016–let’s see what they have to say.


So, I’m writing a blog post about prefrosh. Any idea where the prefrosh nucleus is located tonight?

Right here! We can pretend to be prefrosh

Okay! So, pretend prefrosh, what’s going on?

Everything is fine. I can just see myself happy here for the next four years. You know when your high school guidance counselor tells you “when you know, you’ll know”? I know!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on campus today?

I saw some other prefrosh all prepped out with croquets mallets and douche sunglasses–they’re ready for Lawnparties, but I’m kind of questioning their clothing choices for today. Croquet mallets are really impractical.



Which schools are you deciding between?

Here and Stanford. It depends on how I feel in the different environments. I have to feel comfortable and I have to see myself there. I’m pretty comfortable here.

You’ll soon learn that it’s super awkward to tell people that you go to Princeton. The guy at the grocery store will say: Hey, lemons are half off today. Where do you go to school? And you’ll say: Princeton! And he’ll respond: Oh, that school isn’t as good as Harvard, right? [true story]. So, let’s practice. I’ll be the grocery store guy. Nice lemons. Where do you go to school?

Uhh, wait. Do I say I go to Princeton?


Oh. I go to Princeton.

Whoops. Guess that really wasn’t awkward.


More after the jump

Continue reading…

New Locks Are Not So User-Friendly

Hey Princeton! So what’s the deal with these new keyless locks? I can function for days on four hours of sleep, and I can write a paper in a day, but what can’t I do? Get into my own room. Poor little homeless Princeton girl.

Apparently, I’m not alone:


What do you think of the new locks?
They’re so annoying. Because you can’t open them with more—er less—than two hands.

Do you need help opening your door?
Usually I’m fiddling with it, and then my roommate hears me after three tries and comes to open it.

Have you tried getting into your room while drunk?
Yes, actually. Two nights ago.

Was it difficult?
I got it.

Somehow it worked.


Have you tried getting into your room drunk and struggled with the new lock?
That hasn’t been an issue yet. Because the crew team’s dry. I’m sure that would be a problem though. I hadn’t thought about that!

New Lock Poses Challenges for Princeton Students


What do you think of the new locks?
I think they’re nice except you need two hands to open them, and one of my hands is in a sling right now. I’ve been working on the one-hand technique. Maybe I’ll get it. Maybe I won’t. I like the old locks better.

Have you been practicing with one hand?
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve also been duct-taping the lock shut.

Duct tape?
Yeah, so I don’t need to unlock it sometimes. The hole that the locking device goes into, I cut a credit card in half and put it over the front and duct-taped it shut. If I can’t get the lock, the door’s not locked anyways.


So what do you think of the new locks?
I like how they look. But it’s kind of a hassle opening them up because sometimes it doesn’t open even when you put the key in and turn it. Sometimes I just prop the door open.

How many times does it take you to open your door?
On the first try because I’ve learned the trick by now … It really requires that both of your hands be empty. I have to put everything down.

How are the roommates/friends doing with the locks?
Both of my roommates always struggle. Always struggle.


So what do you think of the new locks?
To be honest, I don’t like them very much. Because it takes two hands to open.

Do you have roommates or friends who just cannot get into their room?
Yeah, for sure. I’ve had to open the door a number of times for my roommate.

How are you going to open your door now with the bagels and all?
I have no idea. I’ll probably tuck the bagels into my elbow.

PrincetonLunch: Befriending Your Blind Date

Hey Princeton! Guess what?? I had a date on Tuesday! Intrigued? Curious? Want to hear all the deets? Well, before you get too excited, I should clarify—I had a PrincetonLunch date on Tuesday. Never heard of the program? According to its website, PrincetonLunch “gives you the opportunity to meet new people over friendly lunches.” In other words, it’s a blind date to make friends. But unlike an actual blind date, you don’t have to dissect every detail of the date afterwards with your friends, you don’t have to feel dejected because he/she wasn’t “the one,” and you don’t have to pay for the meal. Sounds pretty good to me.

How it works is that you enter your name and netID into the form on the website’s homepage, and then you get randomly paired up with another undergraduate student at Princeton. Grad students have a separate form to fill out. No worries.

I was randomly paired with another freshman. She lives in Rocky. I live in Forbes. For what it’s worth, those are two different universes, so having the PrincetonLunch program in place definitely cut the time frame of our meeting by about, well, ten years. After jokingly confirming that neither of us was a creep, we began chatting about classes, summer plans, people we knew. It turned out that we actually had a lot of connections to each other: one of the other students from my high school here at Princeton is in her zee group; she’s in a freshman seminar with one of my good friends; my lab partner is on her sports team; and she’s in the same writing seminar that two of my good friends took last semester. Six degrees of separation?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="A portal for friendship!"]PrincetonLunch[/caption]

All in all, it turned out to be a very nice lunch! I made a new friend, realized how small the Princeton community actually is, and learned about the IRC. Not too shabby. So if you want to meet someone new, I’d definitely give this program a shot. 1,970 students would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise, according to the website. Will you add to that statistic?

Five Roommates in a Quad

Athena is likely the youngest junior on Princeton’s campus. She’s eight months old and only joined the Princeton community four months ago. “But Princeton doesn’t take transfers, let alone babies,” you might say. And you’d be right. But Athena is neither—Athena is a kitten, and she’s not really allowed to be here.

The Housing website explains that students with any pet other than fish (which must be in tanks smaller than 10 gallons) will be charged $25, and “must remove the pet immediately.” If either “the pet or evidence of” is found at the re-inspection of the room, the fine is increased, and the student may face “losing housing priveleges [sic].”

That didn’t stop Athena’s owner, who got her from a pet adoption agency in Trenton last October. Last year, Athena’s owner heard rumors of an “Underground Railroad” for shelter kittens, whereby student volunteers at the shelter fostered kittens until they were old enough for the shelter or found good homes. By the time the student found out more details, the shelter’s administration had changed to one that “apparently detests college students,” thus ending the “kitten revolution” of the Underground Railroad.

athenapc (1)

Continue reading…

HEY PRINCETON! Saturday Night in the Library Edition

Cornfields are also boring places to be on Saturday nights

Cornfields are also boring places to be on Saturday nights

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do–even if that gotta involves spending a Saturday night in a library.

UPC hears you out.  We’re giving a voice to the voiceless, to those hushed by librarians on Saturday nights, when nobody should ever be working, really.


So, how’d you get stuck with the Saturday night shift?

I requested it.  It’s peaceful.  I do homework.  I’m doing Chinese right now because I got tired of Chemistry.

You know, it’s kind of really depressing down here in Lewis.  Fine?  Lewis-slash-Fine?

I think it’s the Fine wing of Lewis.  The smiley face balloon makes it better.  But, I like the fact that it’s depressing because then the happiest place is your book, so you want to study.

Any Saturday night regulars?


Continue reading…

Hey Princeton! Mustache edition

Friday night’s annual student gala at the Princeton Art Museum, “This is Collage,” featured music, students dressed as famous artists, and large platters of Olives cookies.

But one of the main draws to the well-attended event: a table kept well stocked with fake mustaches of various shapes. We asked some attendees to tell us the story behind their mustache.

  • DSC_0002Savannah Hankinson ’13 as Salvador Dali
  • Well, my mustache. Em, I have many problems with my father, so I grew it out of rebellion, de mi padre, for my father. I think it is very sensual, sexual, como–like my paintings. Yes. And, people cannot resist it, and I think it looks wonderful. It brings out the surrealism that I like to live, through my life and my paintings, and my films as well.

  • DSC_0006Marjorie Crowell ’12 and Ashley Wenke, Rutgers
  • Am I wearing my mustache upside down?
    Ashley: I don’t think so.
    I just like yours more than mine.
    Marjorie: Yours is more like Burt Reynolds, I think.
    That’s the vibe I’m getting. So tell me about your mustaches.
    Ashley: Well, it was a very hard decision, what mustache I was going to pick.  Ultimately, I saw Marj going for the little curl flip, and I could not resist.
    How would you describe your mustache?
    Ashley: Charlie Chaplin?
    Marjorie: Yeah. We saw the mustaches, and no one else was wearing them. So we debated for a while whether it’d be weird to be the first ones to put them on. I think there may have been one other person, but he was like, hanging out in the corner. Which is obviously what you want to do when you are the only one wearing a fake mustache.

Continue reading…

Hey Princeton! Valentine’s Day Edition

Taped to doors in Whitman. (Fire Safety violation detected!)

Taped to doors in Whitman. (Fire Safety violation?)

How are all the lonely hearts out there, Princeton? Hope you’re not avoiding any and all pink and red this February 14th, because campus is sure glowing with it this sunny afternoon.

Student Global AIDS Campaign’s Condomgrams are turning out to be a big hit in Frist mailboxes this year. And if you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas? You might be able to swing some chocolate truffles for your sweetheart on the first floor of Frist. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more divine, check out “Will You Be My Valentine? God, Dating, and Marriage” at 5:30pm tonight at Murray Dodge.

In other news, Valentine’s Day at Princeton is shaping up to be a box of (awkward) chocolates. I now give you some samplings of my V-Day campus reporting:

The Sweet (?):
Hey WOM professor! What’s the lesson plan for today? [She hands out chocolates like we were in grade school] I thought this might offset the topic of the today’s lecture: Contextualizing the Rape/Sexual Violence against Women in Colonial Spanish America.
I think I’m going to need more chocolate.

Continue reading…