Category Archives: Campus News

Princeton Students Walk Out, Demonstrate Against Racism and Police Violence

Outside Frist Campus Center, Princeton students rallied against racialized state violence. (Ellis Liang ’15)

Outside Frist Campus Center, Princeton students rallied against “racialized state violence.” (Ellis Liang ’15)

At 11:30 am Thursday morning, more than 200 students streamed out of their classes chanting “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace.” They gathered on the North Lawn of Frist Campus Center, where they joined faculty and staff in expressing their solidarity with the demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City, and demanding an end to “racialized state violence.” The protests were a response to decisions by two grand juries not to indict police officers in the deaths of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

“Today we interrupt the daily routine of Princeton students, faculty, and staff to draw attention to a national problem, a national disease, a plague that is American racism and racialized state violence,” senior Khallid Love said at the protest.

Dressed in black with their hands raised, the protesters had a moment of silence in solidarity with demonstrations around the country. The protesters proceeded to conduct a 45-minute “die-in,” a form of nonviolent demonstration in which participants lie down on the ground to simulate death.

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Looking Back: Jimmy Carter’s 1981 Visit to Princeton

Jimmy Carter tours the campus with help from guide/reporter Kirk Petersen ’80, right. (Daily Princetonian Archives)

Jimmy Carter tours the campus with help from guide/reporter Kirk Petersen ’80, right. (Daily Princetonian Archives)

It was a chilly spring day 33 years ago, and Jimmy Carter was in town. His visit, PAW wrote, “turned the campus into a carnival.”

How so? That morning, 500 students waited outside the Wilson School for Carter’s 11 a.m. arrival, the Daily Princetonian reported. National media outlets were there, too.

Sixty students, selected after a competitive process — they had to have taken one of seven courses, and been nominated by the professor — were soon to meet the former president in a question-and-answer session.

Earlier that morning, Carter had gone for a brisk stroll through Princeton campus (he would have gone jogging, but had forgotten to pack his running shoes). Only two Secret Service agents accompanied Carter, and anyone able to keep pace could talk to him privately.

Kirk Petersen ’80, who had graduated the previous year and was working as a cub reporter for the Home News (now part of the Home News Tribune) managed to snag an exclusive interview with Carter and took the former president on a tour of campus. Continue reading

PAW Goes to the Movies: Interstellar, with Professor David Spergel ’82

Professor David Spergel ’82, right, and PAW senior writer Mark F. Bernstein ’83 discussed the science behind the new film Interstellar. (Beverly Schaefer)

Professor David Spergel ’82, right, and PAW senior writer Mark F. Bernstein ’83 discussed the science behind the new film Interstellar. (Beverly Schaefer)

David Spergel ’82, the Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation, is an astrophysicist, author, and MacArthur Fellow, but PAW asked him to put on a new hat: film critic.

In the first in an occasional feature called “PAW Goes to the Movies,” we invite a faculty member to see a current movie of particular relevance to his or her field of expertise and then play Roger Ebert for us. In this case, we chose Interstellar, the new film about space travel starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. (The film was inspired by Kip Thorne *65, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology.)

Spoilers follow, so read with caution if you haven’t seen the movie. Continue reading

At HackPrinceton, More Than 500 Students Explore New Platforms, Novel Ideas

Collin Stedman ’15, left, pitches HostShark at the HackPrinceton science fair. (Mary Hui ’16/Picture Perfect)

Collin Stedman ’15, left, pitches HostShark at the HackPrinceton science fair. (Mary Hui ’16/Picture Perfect)

Pop! Pop! It’s just after midnight on Sunday and music is blaring as Rachel Margulies ’16 zips over a swath of bubble wrap on her scooter in the lobby of the Friend Center. Around her, a few other students are dancing along to the music, stomping happily on the bubble wrap.

No, it’s not some misplaced Prospect Avenue party — it’s actually a scheduled late-night stress reliever as part of Princeton’s semi-annual hackathon, HackPrinceton. Gathering more than 500 students from all over the country (and Canada), HackPrinceton is a 36-hour event during which students converge at Princeton to work on software and hardware projects, all while competing for thousands of dollars in prizes. Past projects include piano playing stairs and viral apps like What Would I Say?. “It gives you an excuse to work really hard on ideas you might have had, for prizes,” Margulies says.

Participants are given space to work, along with plenty of food, gear, and mentorship. Margulies and her team have been stationed next to the Apple table (staffed with Apple engineers who offer onsite support to participants) since 4 p.m. “I think we’re doing a lot of learning,” says Eric Principato ’16, one of Margulies’ teammates. “I think we’re doing as much learning as we are coding.” Continue reading

Princeton’s Student Veterans Discuss Service

Names displayed in the Nassau Hall Memorial Atrium. (PAW)

Names displayed in the Nassau Hall Memorial Atrium. (PAW)

This is an edited version of a story posted on Nov. 13, 2014. To view the correction, click here.

Just inside the wood paneled doors of Nassau Hall, the marble walls of the Memorial Atrium list the names of hundreds of Princeton alumni who have died serving in the line of duty since the founding of the University in 1746.

“Up on that wall they have veterans who have died from the Revolutionary War throughout all the conflicts [in American history],” explained a graduate student who, as an active member of the armed forces, asked not to be identified in this story. “What’s missing is Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, referring to the two 21st-century wars that have claimed the lives of more than 6,000 Americans.

The absence of names from the most recent conflicts, while positive, also is symptomatic of growing disconnect between American society, along with its elite institutions, and the members of the armed forces, the graduate student argued.

It was the desire to bridge this divide that led him and his fellow veteran students at Princeton to form the Student Veterans Organization, which aims to serve as both a support group for veterans on campus and a facilitator of dialogue between those veterans and members of the Princeton community at large.

On Nov. 11, the Student Veterans Organization co-sponsored its first formal event, a Veterans Day panel at Robertson Hall featuring six Princeton-affiliated veterans reflecting on their service and discussing the very divide that led to the Student Veterans Organization’s formation last spring. Continue reading