LIVEBLOG: Dean’s Date, Spring 2017

2:50 pm – Murray Dodge

If you are looking to waste both time and money, here is a hidden internet gem of Princeton:

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 2.47.10 PM

COS professor Kevin Wayne offers an extremely thorough review of almost every culinary institution in this great college town of ours. It is an extremely thorough resource, even including reviews of places like the C-Store, a hallmark of fine dining:

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 2.49.29 PMAnyway, the link is here.

Eat away,

GSF

(h/t WG’17)

2:42 pm – BS Section, Firestone

Looking for my last paper source, I came across the BS section of Firestone.

IMG_5053

Curious what books warranted this unfortunate call number, I did some investigating. Turns out, it’s one of the least BS-y sections in Firestone: the Bible section.

I was still determined to find BS in the rows of ultra-serious titles.

I thought I found it when I saw the title, Exclusive Inclusivity.

FullSizeRender

But then I remembered the nature of Princeton’s extracurriculars and realized exclusive inclusivity couldn’t be called complete BS.

Then, I thought I saw a title in Comic Sans on the bottom row.

FullSizeRender 2

Upon closer inspection, it wasn’t actually Comic Sans but another bad, elementary school Powerpoint font. Still not verifiable BS though, as the true BS font is Comic Sans.

Finally, I thought I found it in a book titled The Aroma of Righteousness.

FullSizeRender 3

That screams BS, right? Then I remembered the scent of French toast last night at 11 pm, and I realized there could be a scent of righteousness: late night breakfast on Dean’s Date Eve.

Now I realize this post is the actual BS.

Let this be a lesson: what appears to be BS may not actually be BS. May your Dean’s Date papers be as BS-less as the BS section of Firestone.

-ECS

1:45 pm – Firestone

The thesis of my paper is always changing and so are the hottest fashion trends. Coming this fall to lawnparties…

http://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/news/a55081/romper-for-men-romphim/

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 1.47.49 PM

(c/o ZCB ’14)

-FRB

12:10 pm – My Safari thru campus 4.0

This is a fragile time for everyone. But if anything can help, maybe it’s this list of recent Safari searches that will remind us all that, sometimes, school can’t teach you what you really need to know. Maybe google can. Here’s what a few of our classmates are contemplating less than 5 hours before the deadline:

Amazon’s I Love Dick

Does drake even know how to smoke weed?

Beer for dummies cheat sheet

How to draw a shark

Ate a chilly pepper and can’t feel my face

How do you stop the chili pepper burn

Diarrhea from eating a chili pepper

Keds

Doing somersaults down a big hill in the nude

Grindr.com

Arugula piña colada smoothie

What is Dean’s Date?

 

Keep thinking deeply.

-FRB

 

11:10 am – Princeton Public Library (underrated study location)

Dean’s Date is dead & was replaced by a look alike: a conspiracy theory thread

now before some of you come at me with a “this isn’t true” “how can y’all believe this” ITS A CONSPIRACY THEORY.

here’s a picture i made comparing a Dean’s Date from the Orange Key tour guide to Dean’s Date right now

Screenshot 2017-05-16 at 11.17.19 AM

End_of_the_World

okay yes obviously the world can actually end in the span of a few years but like … just saying

-SJ

6:52 am – another realm of existence

IMG_0660

Good morning, everyone :) it’s Tuesday morning, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and our papers are written. Mostly. I still haven’t slept.

-SB

5:40 am – still in the Wilcox dorms nobody has ever heard about and probably the only person still awake on campus

Self-care is playing those cool pixel games from my childhood at 5:40 in the morning.

-SB

4:10 am – back in the Wilcox dorms nobody has ever heard about

Still awake? Lost for words as you type aimlessly in Google Docs? Feeling particularly alone on this fine Tuesday morning? Don’t worry–we’re still awake. Or at least, I am.

Update on Juston the pot-dealer: he’s on 483 words out of 4000.

IMG_0656

Relatable, Juston. Relatable.

-SB

2:20 am – 1901 Hall (AKA Sunday Funday Central)

“The Princeton class of 1998 set the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of People Wearing Tennis Outfits on June 1st, 2013 with 252 folks fully donned in tennis gear.”

http://www.itatennis.com/AboutITA/News/Archived_News/2013_News_Archive/Princeton_class_sets_Guinness_Record_for_largest_group_of_people_wearing_tennis_outfits.htm

Okay.

-LS

2:07 am – the void of 1937 (both the year and the hall work)

(Disclaimer: the following may or may not be a pot-selling–no, not drug-dealing–advertisement for fellow Zees. Sometimes the capitalistic machine grips you and doesn’t let go. Also these are really cool pots.)

ME: I think my only question is…why?

KATIE SCHNEER, ‘20: We are the messiahs of centripetal motion. Does that represent your feelings as well, Juston?

JUSTON FORTE, ‘20: What?

KS: That we’re the messiahs of centripetal motion.

JF: No.

ME: What represents your feelings, Juston?

JF: Well, there’s nothing else to do, and it’s a good way to procrastinate.

[caption id="attachment_19173" align="alignnone" width="640"]Katie, Juston, and their family of pots. Katie, Juston, and their family of pots.[/caption]

ME: How many pots do you guys make a week?

JUSTON: Not many. (Author’s note: I don’t believe this.)

ME: What’s the numerical value for ‘not many’?

KS: I would say–

JF: One.

KS: First semester, I probably made like four, and now I probably make like…half a pot. So like a pot every two weeks.

ME: Is that more pots than the average person?
JF: Most likely.

KS: I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think enough data exists at this time.

ME: Any lasting impressions about pots during your current Princeton career? Any shoutouts for our amazing RCA?

KS: Yeah, David Mazumder ‘17 is amazing.

JF: Spirit of Princeton. Definitely deserves it.

ME: Not saying Wilcox is the best Zee group. (Author’s note: Because journalism is objective.)

IMG_0646

KS: Also we sell pots! Hit us up.

ME: I wonder what that pot price is.

KEVIN LIU ‘20: Is it per ounce?

KS: Negotiable.

JF: The price depends on how much they value our art.

KS: And then we negotiate from there.

JF: It hinges upon the fact that they have to judge our art and apply a numerical value to it.

KS: First you need to teach them how to appreciate pots.

ME: Can you see your pots in the Princeton art museum in a thousand years when the university has crumbled?
JF: We can. We have to die first though.

KS: No live potters–

JF: –ever get shown in museums.

Please direct all pot-buying questions to pot-dealers jforte@princeton.edu and kschneer@princeton.edu if interested.

-SB

1:06 am – Despair 

We’re all just leeches in a jar…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FByUqokBv-s

-EA

12:57 am – Rocky Mathey Library

I got one more belated response to “cute texts from your parents.” This one deserves an update of its own:

File_000 (1)

Thank you for your present presence!

-SJ

12:44 am – Forbes

While the Holder Howl seemed to have been pretty weak–and the Whitman Wail didn’t even happen–Forbes students have improvised an event to pick up the slack: “the Forbes F*ck.”

According to the organizers of the Forbes F*ck, students gathered behind the Main Inn and shouted “F*ck” at midnight.

Is this the new Dean’s Date tradition to put all other Dean’s Date traditions to shame? Probably not, but it happened.

-CW

12:23 AM – Holder Courtyard

Here it is, your 2016-17 Spring Holder Howl:

 

“I think the Holder Howl is a great Princeton tradition and really helps with my mental health,” Bilal Mubarak ’20 said.

“It sorta sucked though,” he added.

-MG

12:15 AM – Whitman Courtyard

It is to my deepest sadness that to report that there was no Whitman whale this midnight. I soon realized this after I was the only one screaming in the courtyard. I also realized that this wasn’t the first time I was screaming by myself in the middle of the night.

-NP

12:04 AM – Wilson Courtyard

May I present to you, exclusive footage of the Wilson Whimper–all four people who attended.

IMG_2293.MOV

-ES

12:00 AM- 48 University Place

I have entered the shadow realm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YPyeOjmL1A

-EA

11:48 pm —On iMessage 

An extremely profane Dean’s Date pump-up message is currently circulating around campus via iMessage. The origins of this emoji-laden message is unknown, but the Press Club promises a thorough investigation. Feel free to send any and all tips to us at pressclb@princeton.edu.

Here is the message (WARNING: NSFW):

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.42.04 PM

Thanks to CNV ’18 for passing along.

-GSF

11:10 pm – Mathey Late-Night Breakfast

In honor of the Dean’s Date angst setting in, I asked students what they would title their papers if their professors wouldn’t see them:

“Cash me on the course evaluations, how ’bout dah?” – JJ ’20

“My Bullshit Response to Your Bullshit Prompt” – SK ’20

“The Reason You Don’t Take 4 Seminars in 1 Semester” – MR ’20

“nO, YoU MaKE aN ARGuMeNT abOUT abOUT aN obJEcT oR mONuMeNT oN pRInCEtoN’s CAmpUs!” – AL ’20

In honor of the Spongebob meme:

spongebob

“Can I Venmo you for an A?” -NA ’20

“I sold my soul to the devil for this” -JC ’20, a little too seriously

“Grades Are a Social Construct” -JJ ’20

And, one that hit a little too close to home:

“When you’re just trying to enjoy your breakfast and this white bitch won’t stop asking you for a Dean’s Date paper title” -EF ’19, AW ’20

:’) Everyone loves to hate the media.

-ECS

10:11 pm – Spelman Hall

EXCLUSIVE sneak peak at this year’s Valedictorian on Dean’s Date – she let us into her private quarters on the condition that we stick around with tissue paper in case her mask drips.

Jin1

Jin2

-MH + AW, your investigative duo on Dean’s Date

9:58pm – Forbes, Forbesia

Hi, it’s your UPC foreign correspondent CW here, reporting live from the Forbes Bureau.

It’s time for Late Night Breakfast here at Forbes—now through 11:30—because Forbes is crazy. Forbes does breakfast at night. Forbes knows no boundaries. Forbes takes your expectations and says, “These expectations are dumb.”

What’s that? Other dining halls have Late Night Breakfast too? Never mind then…

-CW

9:47 pm – the floor of Holder Hall

I usually love a good Lisa Frank meme, but today, all of the rainbow cheer just seems insensitive.

17634805_10154647367173845_485173513237376918_n

If my coffee was strong, would I be lying on the floor of my dorm room, trying to take a nap but too stressed to fall asleep? If my Monday was short, would I pass any of my classes? Lisa Frank, peak insensitivity.

17903417_10154656487828845_2161329414944586634_n

Pretty tone-deaf to bring up climate change right now.

17880783_10154656633508845_5040151443790005821_o

Dear Lisa Frank, have you heard of this fun website: http://isitdeansdate.com/?

18447341_10154743638603845_2414709770500571273_n

Don’t tell me to smile.

17973501_10154668916533845_6917407263395866174_o

You and me both, Lisa. You and me both.

For bonus points, check out this crazy video of Lisa Frank where, like Sia, she does not show her face. Lisa Frank did it first!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOVUCkgoAuE[/embed]

“If I was a drug addict, how could I have possibly done all this?” – Lisa Frank

-SJ

9:18 pm – Edwards Hall

When I stepped foot into Princeton, I promised myself that I would never become an academic who uses words like “versimillitude” and “extralinguistic,” which I may or may not have used in my JP…

I set out to find the most ridiculously academic, convoluted, jargon-y phrases I could find on this Dean’s Date eve. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t an arduous search. Here is an aggregation of the most pedagogic responses:

Even from the grave, fallen kin often haunt their descendants in the form of Social Darwinist reversion, recapitulationism, and anthropological criminology.” – LZ ‘20

“In this sense, the painting can be viewed as a progression from certainty in the form of realism to to uncertainty in the form of abstraction.” – GF ‘17

“In clarifying the temporal point at which the state’s interest in fetal life prevailed over the woman’s interest in bodily autonomy—and therefore subjecting the woman to regulation at an earlier point in gestation—Texarkana holds “pre-viable” fetuses in higher moral regard than the Court did in Roe and Casey.” – MG ‘20

The concept of the human condition is what connects us to and proves the verity of reality. Such things as birth, conflict, and mortality proves the reality of human’s Earth.”- LE ‘20

If the question is simply “Why?” then our answers are infinite—and some of them quite obvious.” – LS ‘18

“Ostensibly, there’s a non-zero likelihood that in some instances of the assignment of written argumentation in response to a given prompt, specifically those whose projected date of completion is the second Tuesday after the end of semester, this author has produced utterances with such winding structure as to obscure the intended meaning of an argument to such a degree that the reader, at a loss for understanding but in awe of the apparent cogency of the utterance, cannot help but respond to the argument with a relatively favorable evaluation of performance, namely, a grade of A-.” – MS ’17 (authenticity unverifiable)

-LS

8:57 pm – Spelman hall (writing my last page of my last paper ever in my college career)

Did you know that each graduating Princeton senior receives a “challenge coin”?

I didn’t until going through the senior checkout fair last week, and was handed this coin:

IMG_7451

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The basic idea is that you carry it on you at all times. (So you don’t forget that you’re a Princeton alum, from the Great Class of X, and oh, while you’re at it, please make a donation and pay your class dues.)

If you meet a Princeton alum somewhere beyond the Bubble, you’re supposed to whip out your coin to prove that you’re a real tiger. And if they can’t whip out their own coin, they have to buy you a drink.

-MH

8:48 pm – outside J Street (afraid to enter)

Because my politics essay can write itself, I’m going to scroll through my YouTube history.

I got a hankering for cute animal videos last night in Firestone. Here’s one of a grizzly bear jumping into a swimming pool:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYq6MgSgnFQ[/embed]

Here is my personal favorite, of a big slobbery dog even heavier than my despair:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUf-4VNeF2A[/embed]

Lastly, I don’t know if anyone else is a fan of Billy Eichner, but he is distracting and loud enough to keep me awake all night:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwL_pRzJuR4[/embed]

-ES

 

7:34 pm – hard bench in my room (discomfort helps you stay awake)

It’s the day after Mother’s Day. In the flurry of mom-themed social media and articles, I find myself really missing my parents. I revisited my texts with my mom and also asked some friends for the cutest text exchanges they’ve had with their parents since they’ve been at Princeton. Here are some of the messages to perk you up or maybe make you somewhat nostalgic this sad, weather-confused day:

[gallery size="full" ids="19117,19118,19119,19120,19121,19122"]

-SJ

7:17 pm – the dorms in Wilcox that nobody knows exist

As you hunker down for what will inevitably be the longest and most grueling night of your life (until the next Dean’s Date, that is), you might be in want of a soundtrack for your pain:

-SB

6:55 pm – Marquand Library

If you are worried that your dean’s date assignments are slowly floating towards the bizarre/nonsensical/absurd as the hours whittle away, don’t fret, just watch this video and realize whatever you submit is far from the most insane thing someone has submitted on Dean’s Date:

https://vimeo.com/116612077

(I know that we have shared this before on the live blog but it is just so good and demands being revisited each Dean’s Date. It is a Princeton masterpiece. Long Live Kuchar!)

-GSF

6:45 pm – Whitman Library

Can we talk about the fact that this big-ass kinetic tiger sculpture has been sitting outside Whit Lib for this entire year with no explanation? What… why…is it?

IMG_1451 (1)

-EA

5:46 pm – Firestone Café

Needlessly looking at books is the last thing most Princetonians want to do right now, but spine reading is a sport of its own. The newly café-d Tiger Den in Firestone has a quirk you might not have noticed: it’s full of books about women.

A Survey of the Woman Problem. The White Goddess. Three Wise Virgins. What are these volumes even doing in the same section, you might wonder?

I could have made this post a rant about the Library of Congress Classification System and how it literally stacks the American conception of womanhood in neatly typed titles next to each other. Volumes full of them, as Mitt Romney might say.

Instead, I invite you to let your tired eyes read between the shelves and laugh about sexism for the first time in a while.

1. Luckily, there are only two volumes necessary to master womanhood.

Books-2

2. “The trouble with  women is men.” Sounds well meaning, but somehow still offensive.

Books-3

3. “The Sum of Feminine Achievement” – a fun, quick read.

Books-5

4. Dostoevsky’s Wife = Anna Dostoevskaya. Tolstoy’s wife = Sophia Tolstaya.

Books-6

5. “Live Alone and Like It” or “Women Who Don’t Meet Susan Patton’s Expectations.”

Books-8

6. De Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” isn’t thrilled about her shelf-mate.

Books-9

7. Only “good women” are worthy of defense, clearly.

Books-12

8. New requirement for female ORF majors: “What Every Woman Should Know About ƒinance”

Books-149. VIRGINITY.Books-15

10. …

Books-16

11. “Good women”  take up a lot of shelf space.

Books-19

12. Their main rival are “women of some importance.”

Books-20

13. Men = Men. Women = Virgins.

BookPhoto-Extra1

14. “Wife no. 19” is not to be mistaken with “The Twenty-seventh Wife,” is not to be mistaken with Tolstoy’s Wife.

BookPhoto-Extra2

15. My personal favorite, “Professions Accessible to Women” by someone named Chauvin.

Books-21

-AW

5:38 – The Syllabus

Final Paper Assignment:

In 8 – 10 single spaced pages, analyze this video using methods discussed in class:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItMJtA8vfpw

Remember that the final paper makes up 90% of your final grade.

(P.S. Much to my disappointment, www.funkyfreshsrchoir.com is not a real website.)

-CW

5:07 PM – Chancellor Green Cafe

I told my crush I liked them through a Spotify playlist :)

File_000 (5)

-SJ

 5:00 PM – Firestone’s most comfortable couch 

The Dean’s Date LiveBlog has long been the crowning achievement of every Press Club semester.

Ok, not really. But for whatever reason it’s the main thing most of campus knows us for. . . so. . . HERE GOES:

We, too, are crying silent tears of anguish at the thousands of words left to write. We, too, are staring at blank Word documents until the edges begin to blur. We, too, are setting up camp in the bowels of Firestone to await the early morning light.

We, like you, are procrastinating. But one thing we will never procrastinate on is providing your one ray of hope amidst an atmosphere of impending doom. The (in?)famous Dean’s Date LiveBlog is back. Prepare yourselves for continuous updates for the next 24 hours.

Serious journalism never takes a break. Neither do we. Here’s a Vine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mVj2r4nwGg

-LS & EA

“Thank you, thank you, thank you”: The Strange World of Senior Thesis Acknowledgments

blog post

Turn to the second or third page of a Princeton senior thesis to the acknowledgments section. It is usually between the title page and the table of contents, though sometimes the table of contents comes right before. The acknowledgments are typically what the reader will read first, and maybe even last, too, if you’re like me and on this mission. For example, these acknowledgments in a thesis called “BFFs on the Big Screen: A Study of Friendship and Gender in Film and Television.”

“A major shout out to The Bitchez Who Brunch, the women of eXpressions dance company (especially my SWUGs), the DBIC, the Broheys, my spring breakers, #Obeezy, and my fellow Terrans for giving me some ridiculous stories to tell my grandchildren.”

In 2012, Sam Sachs published “Against Acknowledgments” in The New Yorker. He wrote, “Acknowledgments typically open with a statement to the effect that, although writing is lonely work, the author could never have completed his book without help and support. ‘This is my fourteenth novel and I am as dependent as ever on the wisdom of others,’ begins one, and another, plucked at random from a Barnes & Noble new-arrival shelf: ‘The creation of this book has removed any notion I may have had of it being a solo endeavor.’”

Sure, Sachs is mostly referring to novels, which call for a solitary writing experience. However, a senior thesis is not a lonely thing; students are guided by advisors and professors, they might interview students, conduct fieldwork. Still, Sachs’ idea carries over. Senior authors love to thank each person, library, coffee shop, eating club, and higher power that contributed to the publishing of their first piece of scholarly writing.

One acknowledgment reads, “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes an army to write a thesis.”

In high school, I became obsessed with book dedications. I thought of dedications as special notes that authors wanted to pass to me, glimpses into their lives or vulnerable confessions that their books do not answer all of the world’s questions. My favorite came from East of Eden. Steinbeck describes a wooden box he carved for Pat, his publisher, in which he presented the pages of his manuscript. “Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full,” Steinbeck writes. I visited the actual box in the Steinbeck Museum in Salinas Valley during the summer before my junior year of high school. The box, whose dimensions seemed much larger than the standard eight-and-a-half by eleven piece of paper, was covered with wooden block letters that spelled out “East of Eden” and “timshel” (translating to “thou mayest,” timshel is an important phrase and theme in the novel). In the museum, my two sisters complained and moaned the entire time.

A book dedication and an acknowledgment are very different, though. A dedication comes at the very beginning, while an acknowledgments page comes at the end. A dedication is quite brief but powerful, while an acknowledgments page is usually long and loosely written. But relocate the thesis acknowledgments page to the beginning of the work—a Princeton tradition—and suddenly the acknowledgments page seems more significant than a list of thank-yous.

Last week, a friend in the History department finished writing the majority of his thesis on Spy Magazine and Donald Trump, and was beginning to worry about his acknowledgments page. His thesis wasn’t due for another three days, but it seemed like he needed at least twenty just for acknowledgments.

“What’s the big deal?” I said.

“People are either not serious enough or take themselves too seriously,” he said. “It’s not like you just wrote Crime and Punishment. You just submitted a senior thesis that you wrote in probably three or four weeks. When you acknowledge people who brought you Hershey kisses, you look stupid.”

He was right. Most thesis acknowledgments that I read, which I found publicly online through the Princeton Harvey Mudd Manuscript Library, were either extremely dramatic or very light, tinkering on inappropriate. On the far end of the serious spectrum, one author lists thirteen teachers who have each taught him something specific: “For their help I am beholden, and for their influence am enriched,” he begins. He takes an interesting approach to the classic list format: “Eduardo Cadava, my Ralph Waldo Emerson, facilitated rejuvenating conversations about the ideas closest to my heart,” “James Richardson, my aphorist, taught me secrets in the length of a line,” “John McPhee, my editor, took away my fear of red pens.”

Students are also grateful for their eating clubs and more specifically, the parties. One comes from a thesis titled “Living Healthy or Living as We Can?” It reads: “Now to the Glorious Tiger Inn. The experiences you have brought me, and the life-long friends you have given me are some of my dearest treasures. As long as love and liquor last.” I couldn’t decide if this was ironic or intentional.

Another reads:

To the animals of the Tiger Inn, thank you for taking me in. Thank you for the friends I will have sixty years from now. Thank you for nights I can’t remember but will never forget. Thank you for the weirdness. Thank you for the food and thank you for the beer.”

God and Jesus are commonly thanked, usually at the beginning of the acknowledgments. One author opens with, “Firstly, praise the Lord!” and after seven paragraphs of thank yous, ends with a Bible verse and “Lastly, praise the Lord!”

I showed a few of these pages to my friend’s roommate as we all sat talking about acknowledgements. “I would be really upset if Jesus cared about the senior thesis,” he said.

Sachs said that the acknowledgments page “appears like an online pop-up ad, benefiting no one but the author and his comrades.” It may be that students use this page as a place to show how many friends and supporters they had. (The student’s thesis advisor, who will read and grade each advisee’s work, is almost always thanked profusely, too. I imagine an advisor, sitting at a desk covered in leather-bound books in the basement of McCosh Hall, opening each thesis to the acknowledgments page before anything else, just to see how he will be thanked.)

Still, my favorite acknowledgments are the ones that I understand the least, like “Every doctor that told me to run away from medicine. That was a close one.” Or one acknowledgment from a 2016 sociology thesis titled “The ‘Eat’ in Eating Clubs: A Study of the Relationship between Eating Disorders and the Princeton Eating Clubs.” It was either insufficiently ironic or completely lacking in self-awareness. “To the University Cottage Club,” she wrote, thank you for the inspiration, the people, and the food.”

J Street U abandons claim that it might lose CJL affiliation

There was some hubbub and confusion last weekend about J Street U Princeton’s plan to invite the Israeli activist group Breaking the Silence to campus. At first, it was reported that J Street U could lose its association with the Center for Jewish Life, but multiple sources now say that is not the case.

Differing accounts of what, if anything, actually happened have gone around, so here are the facts as they stand: the Breaking the Silence photography exhibit will be presented Tuesday and Wednesday at the Carl A. Fields Center.

The Center for Jewish Life, which is the official branch of Hillel on Princeton’s campus, declined to host the event after months of discussion with J Street U.

J Street U is and will continue to be an official associated student group of the CJL, although J Street U said Friday on its Facebook page that the CJL had threatened to revoke the political advocacy group’s affiliated status.

Since Friday, J Street U’s leaders have walked back their claim that the CJL said there would be repercussions for hosting the event. Rabbi Julie Roth, executive director of the CJL, wrote in an email that although the CJL would not host the exhibit, it “did not oppose J Street bringing Breaking the Silence to speak on campus.”

(In the interest of full disclosure: I went to a J Street U meeting once, and I attended another event that they gave; I am involved in a few activities with the CJL and Hillel, although I do not hold any leadership roles; and I am a member of Princeton’s Alliance of Jewish Progressives, which, although not an official CJL group, meets in the CJL and is often critical of the CJL on issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.)

Let’s go over the statements, some of which have been contested, from J Street U and its leaders over the past weekend, in chronological order.

On Friday, the organization posted that “hosting the event could lead to a revocation of our status as an affiliated group of the CJL.”

“We have now been told that, as a student group affiliated with the CJL, we are strongly discouraged from hosting Breaking the Silence anywhere on Princeton’s campus,” J Street U wrote in their Facebook post. “If we move forward with the event, we would risk having J Street U removed entirely from affiliation with the CJL.”

When I read this Friday afternoon, I understood it to mean that someone at the CJL had directly threatened to end its affiliation with J Street U. Multiple people I spoke to on Friday found the same message in the post.

On Saturday, Dylan Mittag, the president of J Street U, told me that Roth “sort of implied or suggested” that J Street U would lose the associated student group status if it invited Breaking the Silence to campus.

“It was mostly implied that we would be removed as an ASG,” Mittag told me a second time in our interview on Saturday. He said that former J Street U president Justin Vogel was present when Roth implied the possibility of dissociation.

Vogel wrote, via email, that he could not remember anything Roth said that seemed to threaten J Street U’s status; however, because the CJL did not approve of hosting the exhibit inside its own building, he worried that the CJL could still punish J Street U for hosting the exhibit elsewhere.

Between Saturday night and Sunday night, the concern that J Street U would lose the affiliation seemed to disappear.

In an interview with the Daily Princetonian Sunday night, Mittag said that “J Street U will remain a CJL organization.”

Reached by Facebook Messenger Monday morning, Mittag wrote that he “sat down with Rabbi Julie [Roth] and reached some agreements that have settled the situation.”

Asked whether he was still claiming that Roth had implied that J Street U would lose its affiliation, Mittag again changed his tune.

“W [sic] were told in slight that we could potentially be removed but the process and notion was uncertain,” Mittag wrote. “I think at this point it’s unimportant who said it and when it was said, as it’s been settled that was miscommunication and we are now not risking losing our status.”

Roth agreed Monday that there was some miscommunication between the organizations, noting that “everything’s good.”

“The pro-Israel/anti-occupation voice is an important one to include, which is why I worked so hard to have J Street affiliated with the CJL,” Roth wrote in an email. “We hope to find constructive ways to partner in the future.”

File_000 (4)

The “economic sense” of Princeton’s $30 million solar fields

File_000 (4)

Just south of Lake Carnegie, 27 acres of photovoltaic panels collect and convert enough solar energy to account for about 6% of Princeton University’s energy usage every year. These panels cost about $30 million to install in 2012. According to Gina Talt, a Campus as Lab fellow at Princeton’s Office of Sustainability, the university contracted the fields in 2011, because solar energy started to make “good economic sense” around that time.

About $10 million of the project was paid for by a federal grant, made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The university is currently selling Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) to pay for the rest of the project. SRECs, which represent one Megawatt-Hour of renewably produced energy, are comparable to stocks, in that both are theoretical goods: buyers in the SREC marketplace purchase the renewable energy savings represented by each certificate, not the energy itself.

SRECs are valuable because some states mandate that electricity supply companies produce a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources. New Jersey, for example, requires that 20% of energy sales come from renewable sources by 2020. As a result, utilities that are lagging behind New Jersey’s requirements can buy SRECs from Princeton to make up for the difference in their own emissions savings.

At the beginning of April, SRECs in New Jersey were selling at about $220 each, a relative low point for the state. The university expects to stop selling SRECs in 2019 or 2020.

Caroline Savage, a Campus as Lab manager at the Office of Sustainability, said that the university saves more on carbon emissions through energy efficiency upgrades than the production of solar energy. According to Savage, solar fields save about 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, whereas upgrading existing energy facilities to be more efficient saves about 5,000 tons of emissions per year.

“Solar is definitely fantastic, but the most sustainable unit of energy is the one you don’t consume,” Savage said.

When the university stops selling its SRECs, it will start counting emissions savings towards its own goal to reduce campus emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

 

Disclaimer: Somi Jun is a Communications Assistant for the Office of Sustainability.

ListServ Discourse: a New Platform?

We’ve all seen it (and muted it): the dreaded discourse chain of 30+ emails over the residential college ListServs.

If Princeton students are good at anything, it’s starting arguments in the strangest of places–dining halls, bathrooms, Terrace at two in the morning, even gmail.com. In light of an email advertising the Anscombe Society’s talk on redefining “traditional marriage” values, the WilsonWire ListServ exploded with twenty-nine responses, ranging from clips of American Dad to quotations of the University’s statement on inclusion. The Forbes and Whitman ListServs had similar responses.

“I was not expecting such a long back-and-forth when I sent the email,” said Thomas Clark ‘18, a member of the Anscombe Society. “I know this is a controversial topic but ListServs are also used to advertise many other controversial events.”

Responders threw around words like “hypocrisy” and “prejudice,” arguing back and forth about the nature of the talk with guest Ryan T. Anderson. Multiple responses against the talk linked to the GLAAD website, where a list of Anderson’s problematic statements on the LGBT community were compiled.

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.06.55 PM

“I notice that there are a lot of fliers that are for events on campus that really bother me, but I don’t do anything about them,” said David Herrera ‘17, who responded with the statement on inclusion. This, he said, is the “price” of living with those who have different viewpoints.

Clark noted that anybody who attended the talk with Ryan Anderson would have seen how “civil and respectful the entire event was,” adding that Princeton students have the ability to engage with a variety of viewpoints in an environment that encourages freedom of expression.

“A few people sent private messages to me in reference to the email I sent, which I appreciated,” Clark said. “What I did not appreciate was the use of ListServs for mere snark without actually engaging intellectually with the issue.”

The ListServ discourse was indeed snarky, whether the response was outraged or as simply put as “take this sh*t back to Facebook.”

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.09.02 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.09.24 PM

“I admittedly think ListServs are a bad forum for discussion,” said Mitchell Bast ‘20, who responded to the WilsonWire email. “People don’t tend to take the discussion seriously, nor do they like being spammed with emails.”

The question remains why these backlashes never tend to be the result of liberal-leaning talks or events.

“I don’t think that the people who respond to ListServ emails are representative of the student body as a whole, and I think it’s important to have alternative perspectives thrown in as well,” said Richard Chang ‘17, who responded to the Forbes Innformer in defense of the talk. He added that it’s important to maintain a space for those with moderate or conservative opinions.

“The discussion likely won’t change anyone’s mind, but having that sort of public conversation provides for a wider range of discussion,” said Micah Herskind ‘19, who responded to the Forbes Innformer email with an offer of “progressive christian love.”

Firestone Library Pilots Café: The “Tiger Tea Room”

Patrons of Firestone Library, one of Princeton University’s most popular study spaces, are gently reminded to refrain from eating when they enter the lobby through electric turnstiles:

 

 

Library administrators and Campus Dining created an exception for this reminder last week, when they opened a café in the DeLong Reading Room where eating, drinking and conversation is encouraged.

The "Tiger Tea Room", where "conversation is encouraged"

 

The café, the “Tiger Tea Room,” is accompanied by an adjacent “Tiger Den,” a small reading and seating space formerly used as a classroom. Both are open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM.

 

Library administrators reached out to Campus Dining to create the café after receiving requests for such a space from library patrons, according to Barbara Valenza, Library Communications Manager. The project is a partnership in which Campus Dining Services provides all food items, she said. The current menu lists items such as croissants, muffins and other pastries.

 

File_005

File_006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tiger Tea Room and Tiger Den are both pilot projects that are in a trial run period until June 2017, according to signs distributed via residential college listservs. The library administration will gather feedback during the pilot to help determine the library’s long-term purpose and structure.

Feedback posted on designated spaces in the Tiger Tea Room suggests that current student feedback is largely positive.

“Great idea!” one sticky note says. “Keep it going!”

 

File_003 File_004

 

Charles Brobbey, a temporary Campus Dining employee, is recording patron visits and purchases to aid the evaluation of the pilot program.  Based on his observations, Brobbey says patrons have come back to the Tiger Tea Room and have also utilized the Tiger Den.

The fact that the Tiger Tea Room is the one of the few places in the library where patrons can freely converse may attract visitors, Brobbey said.

“People seem to like it a lot,” he added.

Woke Wednesdays: A new podcast highlighting Black voices on campus

16939692_1472969829393871_722980616494268083_n

Following the most polarizing presidential election in recent memory, a new Princeton group is seeking to foster a more open discussion on race and belonging.

“Woke Wednesdays,” a weekly podcast on Soundcloud, was created by eight Black freshmen with the intention of highlighting their experiences on campus.

I spoke with Kadence Mitchell ’20 and William Pugh ’20, two of the podcast’s founders and co-hosts, about their ambitions for the project.

“We’ve been trying to bring the community together as much as possible,” said Mitchell. “That’s where this whole idea sprung from: bringing us all together and having us all talk, even if it’s heated debates or everyone’s standing in a circle and agreeing with each other.”

The podcast, currently three episodes in, centers on a different topic each week. The most recent episode, which features Professor Imani Perry, is titled “Blackness in the Context of the Ivy League.” In the prior episode, the group discussed President Obama’s legacy.

Mitchell stresses that the podcast is not meant to speak for all Black students on campus, but rather, it exists as a platform for students to share their own personal experiences. “We’re not representatives for the race, and we don’t need to be,” she said.

Woke Wednesdays strives to offer different perspectives from within the Black Princeton community. “Just because we have a shared racial identity doesn’t mean we have a shared political identity,” said Pugh.

Mitchell and Pugh say being Black at Princeton has presented a unique set of challenges, both pronounced and subtle.

“For me personally,” said Pugh, “it’s looking around and seeing you’re the only African American person in the room, or the only person with melanin in the room, and just trying not to feel the pressure to represent your whole race, but at the same time knowing you can flip that on its head in a way and show people that, ‘Wow, the one Black person in my class is one of the smartest people in here.”

The podcast is also an effort to combat the lack of representation of student voices in the news space. “Historically speaking, we’re the ones that prompt change,” said Mitchell. “Students are so important, and so to not include our voices and just get the perspectives of people who are forty to fifty-plus, it’s not representative of our generation.”

In terms of goals for the future, Mitchell and Pugh want the podcast to reach all of Princeton, and they plan on bringing more guests on as the show evolves.

“We’re taking all of our ideas, energy, and passion and moving towards a more structured organization,” said Pugh. “Kadence and I serve as the moderators of each podcast. I’ll do one and then she’ll do the one after that. Everyone is paired up with someone to pick a topic, and we have all the dates established for when each podcast will be released.”

Though not yet an official student group, the Woke Wednesdays team says they are working on getting USG-approved. They also have ambitions to utilize a recording studio on campus.

“Saying we want our audience to be Princeton students is a means of starting small, but this conversation is important everywhere throughout the nation,” added Mitchell. “So if we could reach that level where people are listening to us in our hometowns and outside our hometowns–throughout the country–that would be great.”

 

You can find Woke Wednesday’s episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/user-877144100

 

 

-EA

LIVEBLOG: PPPD protests Princeton’s rejection of its proposal to divest from private prisons

6:00 pm: 

PPPD has invited journalist and Princeton Professor Chris Hedges to speak at the teach-in.

“I applaud what you’re doing,” Hedges said. “I found it emotional and moving.”

Hedges taught in prisons for 10 years.

“The prison system is the modern iteration of slavery by this corporate state,” Hedges said. “We are going to have to join this class war that has already begun by those within this prison system. It’s not going to work to appeal anymore to the centers of power.”

5:55 pm: 

Professor Naomi Murakawa, who writes about incarceration among other subjects, asked a question addressing the “already low bar for public prisons” and their “standard abusive practices.”

“This is an incredible consensus,” she says, noting the 177 faculty members who have joined the petition.

Professor Murakawa also asked whether the committee would consider a rewrite of the proposal. Several committee members said, “Absolutely.”

She pressed President Eisgruber on his statement that the University is not invested in private prisons. He has not yet responded.

5:50 pm:

Students are gathered in the lobby of Friend to hear student groups, including the Princeton Advocates for Justice, and guests speak.

Graduate students are now speaking at the teach-in:

“We’re not just calling for divestment because we want to divest from prisons. We’re calling for divestment because we want to abolish prisons,” graduate student Heath Pearson said.

IMG_7697

5:40 pm:

PPPD and a large portion of audience members have left the meeting, and they plan on holding a teach-in. President Eisgruber has opened the meeting up to questions.

Some CPUC member comments from the audience:

“How could the University divest without making a very bold political statement?

“We are an educational institution…We need to be careful not to take a political stand.”

5:37 pm: 

PPPD is leading a walk-out and has invited everyone to attend a tech-in in the lobby of the Friend Center.

Students are chanting “What do we want? Divestment. When do we want it? Now.”

Watch the walk-out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWr446jH_Hc

5:30 pm:

PPPD is now speaking:

IMG_1271

“I don’t know what Eisgruber is talking about when he says we’re not invested in private prisons,” one student announced. “What’s going on in this room right now is a charade.”

“We have undeniably shown campus consensus around this issue.”

“With respect to the referenda- 89% of undergrads and 85% of grads voted in favor [of divesting].”

“This movement is not over and it will not be stopped.”

Students said that the Committee’s decision and discussion did not respond to PPPD’s proposal.

5:25 pm:

Princeton Professor Michael Littman outlined the Committee discussions about the proposal. The The Council of Princeton University Community met three times this year and will meet two more times this year.

During its meeting on March 10, the committee decided that “the proposal in its current form, did not meet the high bar to recommend action,” the Committee said.  The committee felt that there was insufficient evidence, and the issue “remains under active consideration,” Littman said.

5:15 pm:

President Eisgruber began the discussion by stating that the University has no assets invested in private prisons, or the companies listed in the petition, but that the issue remains critical as it would impose a filter on future investments by the University.

IMG_7690

Eisgruber: “We don’t normally discuss what’s in our investment portfolio, but I can tell you we do not hold investments in the companies that are the focus of this petition.”

4:45 pm: 

Bob Durkee is currently speaking about Agenda 1 discussing University contributions to the community. Friend 101 is completely full. Several students are standing in the back are students holding signs:

“Stop incentivizing incarceration,” “Princeton Divest,” and “Private prisons =/= Justice”

IMG_1266

PPPD distributed flyers to students and community members attending the meeting:

IMG_1268

 

4:30 pm: 

The Council of Princeton University Community will announce today, March 27, in a community-wide meeting that the University will reject The Princeton Private Prison Divestment (PPPD) campaign to divest from private prisons.

PPPD has organized a protest after being informed in advance that their petition for the University to divest from “11 companies operating or exclusively contracting with private prisons and detention centers” had been rejected.

“PPPD will publicly reject the legitimacy of the decision, and lead its supporters in a rally nearby,” PPPD said Monday in a press release. “The campaign will continue to escalate until the University divests from the companies and industries detailed in the coalition’s proposal.”

A Facebook event asking people to attend the CPUC meeting wearing red to protest the decision was shared with more than 1,400 people. An undergraduate referendum on private prison divestment last spring, supported by PPPD, failed because not enough students voted on it. One-third of the undergraduate student body must vote on a referendum for USG to consider it. Among students who did vote on the private prisons referendum, almost ninety percent were in favor of divestment.

Princeton alumni have also organized an online petition to CPUC’s decision, reiterating that “we cannot allow the school we love to continue to support an industry that profits only when depriving human beings of freedom.”

The University Press Club is here in Friend 101 to live blog the meeting and protest. Stay with us.