NEWS: Campus crime increases in comparison to last year

By: Hannah Miller | Senior Design Staff

By: Hannah Miller | Senior Design Staff


The overall number of crimes reported on campus in 2013 increased to 56, compared to 48 in 2012, an increase due largely to a spike in the number of burglaries reported, according to the University’s latest Annual Security and Fire Report.

There were 30 and 27 burglaries respectively in 2011 and 2012. However, that number jumped to 41 in 2013.

In addition, changes to the Clery Act, which governs the reporting of crime statistics on college campuses receiving federal financial aid, has added five new categories of offenses and eliminated one. The report covers the 2013 calendar year and was released on Tuesday.

In order to comply with federal regulations, the University must now include the number of incidents reported for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and hate crimes. Sexual assault and violence were previously covered by two categories: forcible and non-forcible sex offenses.

Within the sexual assault category, the University must now give a breakdown to include instances of rape, fondling, incest and sodomy. These changes to the Clery Act were announced over the summer for implementation in this year’s report.

Five cases of sexual assault were reported last year, all belonging to the category of rape.

In addition, four incidents of domestic violence and one incident each of stalking and hate crime, for a total of 11 incidents. There were 16 and 17 sex offenses in 2011 and 2012 respectively, although the reporting criteria were different at the time.

Sexual assault is defined in the report as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity.”

Included under this definition are forced sexual intercourse, sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, rape or attempted rape. This definition is derived from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The definitions under New Jersey law differ slightly, distinguishing between sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault.

Definitions of consent also vary slightly. In New Jersey, the age of consent is 16, but individuals as young as 13 can legally engage in sexual activity if the defendant is less than four years older than the victim. The report contains several additional important points regarding consent and incapacitation, such as that “consent is not implicit in a person’s manner of dress.”

The other categories — murder or non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson — did not change.

In addition to criminal offenses, the report also contains the number of arrests and judicial referrals, split into three categories: liquor law violations, drug abuse violations and illegal weapons possession. Each of these categories is further split into arrests and judicial referrals.

While an arrest involves a student being taken into custody under specific charges, a judicial referral refers to a student who was taken through the University’s judicial process but was not necessarily arrested.

The number of judicial referrals for liquor law violations increased from 28 to 36 from 2012 to 2013, while the number of liquor law arrests in the same period decreased from four to two.

The number of arrests for drug abuse violations, on the other hand, remained constant at 12 for both 2012 and 2013, twice as many as the six arrests in 2011. In 2011, 56 judicial referrals for drug abuse violations were issued in 2011, but that number has dramatically dropped since, to 45 in 2012 and 27 in 2013.

There were no murders, negligent manslaughters, robberies, aggravated assaults, or arsons on campus in 2013.

The report also contains two new sections: one titled “Personal Safety” and another titled “Safety and Security at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.” The Personal Safety section contains a list of tips for students to protect themselves and be active bystanders, as well as a link to information about registered sex offenders. The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, which is located at the University’s satellite Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, reports crimes to the Plainsboro Police department with notifications to the Department of Energy’s Princeton site office and the Department of Public Safety.

The report also indicated there were three fire reports from undergraduate buildings and one from a graduate building. Two of these involved microwaves, one involved a stove top and one involved a towel on a lamp. In addition, two graduate student buildings are not yet fully installed with sprinklers. Under future improvements, DPS said they hope to install a voice notification system to “quickly and efficiently deliver critical information to individuals during large-scale emergencies.”

NEWS: Town appoints next municipal administrator


Marc Dashield has been appointed the town’s next municipal administrator by a unanimous vote by Mayor Liz Lempert and the town council.

Dashield is currently the township manager of Montclair Township where he has served since 2009. As township manager, Dashield oversees the township Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employment programs.

Dashield explained that the similarities between Montclair and the town made him an ideal fit for the position.

“Montclair is very similar to Princeton, both in terms of the demographics and the presence of a university in town, and I think my experience in Montclair was what made me throw my hat in the ring,” he explained. “I definitely think my experience prepared me for the position in Princeton.”

He will succeed current municipal administrator Bob Bruschi, who will retire in December after 15 years of service.
Bruschi did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Dashield said that he had always wanted to be a town administrator ever since he was a child because it gave him a chance to serve in the government and help the members of his community.

“I wanted to be involved in the government, but I didn’t necessarily want to be a politician,” he explained. “This position is a great way for me to do that.”

Dashield beat out a field of 15 candidates in an application process that started in July. In early September, town officials narrowed the field down to three semifinalists, who were then asked to perform several tasks associated with being the municipal administrator.

“They had us come in for a full day and experience day in the life of a municipal administrator, from making presentations, to doing Q&As, to writing memos,” Dashield explained.

His primary task will be to run the daily operations of the town and help the council make policy decisions, Dashield said. He added that he will be in constant contact with the University as partners and collaborators.

“I know that currently, we already work together on some things, like sharing services and equipment, and I think we’ll continue to engage in that same partnership,” he explained. “We’re both important members of the community, so I think it’ll be good for us to continue to work together.”

Dashield added that he had not really had the opportunity to sit down with Bruschi but explained that they were planning to sit down and discuss the issues facing the community in the near future. Dashield will start on Oct. 27, appromixately two months before Bruschi retires, in order to have a smoother transition.

Dashield explained that he would be the municipal administrator for a one-year trial period, ending on Dec. 31, 2015.

“After that, it’s really up to the council — as long as things are working well and the council still wants me in that position, then I’ll stay on,” he said.

“What I like about the community here is that it prides itself on stability,” he said. “When they bring someone in, they really make that person feel like he or she is a part of the town, and I can’t wait to get started.”

SPORTS COLUMN: The valuation of student athletes


College athletics in America faces a crisis. This past August, former NCAA basketball star Ed O’Bannon won a suit against the NCAA over the latter’s use of his likeness for commercial purposes. The NCAA currently forbids players from receiving financial compensation during their collegiate careers, but the ruling on this case would permit schools to set up funds in order to compensate players for the usage of their names, images and likenesses.

Of course, the NCAA had no intention of going down without a fight. The billion dollar organization intends to appeal the decision, continuing to claim that it fights to keep the purity of college athletics alive. As always, it fights in the name of amateurism, an ideal that seems to have defined college sports in the Western world.

The word “amateur” derives from the Latin “amare,” to love. Amateur athletes are driven to play their sports, not by the promise of riches, but by sheer love of the game itself. College athletics have been built on such a model, the origins of which go as far back as Victorian England.

However, it can’t be forgotten that “amateurism” was at the time used as a class distinguisher, where the inability to receive compensation for athletic ability prevented the poor from competing with the higher echelons of society. However, buying into the notion that amateurism merely attempted to ensure a “higher standard” of play, English universities made amateurism the standard. Universities in the United States followed suit.

From its formation in 1906 (when it was still called the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States), the NCAA has been determined to only permit athletes who “participate in competitive physical sports only for the pleasure and the physical, mental, moral and social benefits directly derived therefrom.” However, within this description of the ideal “amateur athlete” lies an unspoken contract: not only the athletes, but also all those involved in this idealized version of the sport ought to refuse financial compensation for their efforts. In order for this model of amateurism to be totally consistent, both players and administrators must work and compete for nothing more than the love of their craft.

Given the current state of college athletics, the reader may find my last statement a little absurd. No doubt it is; the head of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, received nearly 2 million dollars for his services. Coaches and trainers don’t have to buy into collegiate “amateurism,” as if not subscribing to the notion invalidates their services. It seems that only the players have to deal with the legacy of this outdated concept.

In this crucial juncture in the NCAA’s history, many have questioned whether the concept of a student-athlete itself is even viable. Some say that, should the NCAA lose its appeal in the ruling, the universities of America will essentially host a professional league, complete with endorsement deals and the like. It’s important to note that many NCAA standards will still be kept in place, including a prohibition on endorsement deals for athletes and academic eligibility standards.

The only thing that has to be abandoned is the notion that getting paid for providing the university a service inherently taints the purity of the service itself. To ask any other student to operate under the same expectations is laughable; no one would ask a student to tutor others for free just because he loves the subject or to work in the dining halls for free. In the case of college athletics, from which the university can gain well into the millions in revenue, the ridiculousness of amateurism is all the more palpable.

Just as amateurism forced lower-income players away from the games of their aristocratic counterparts, the current constraints facing college athletes across America keep them far from the riches they have earned by their play. The coming change to the NCAA system, despite the proposed reimbursement cap of $5000, marks a long overdue change in how we understand the term “student-athlete.” There isn’t necessarily a dichotomy of pure amateur and pure professional; the quality of the sport and the players’ love for it can remain independent of compensation given. Neither being a student nor being an athlete requires forgoing payment one has rightfully earned.

SPORTS: Around the Ivies: Women’s soccer


Conference play is underway in this 2014 iteration of Ivy League women’s soccer. Undefeated champions last year, Harvard appears nearly untouchable. Will any Ancient Eight side be able to take down the Crimson powerhouse?

Harvard (6-2-1 overall, 1-0 Ivy League): Goalkeeper Cheta Emba had a remarkable save percentage of .957 over 13 appearances in the net. That mark is a full 10 percentage points higher than the league runner-up. The Crimson’s scoring margin of 23-7 was, by far, the league’s best. What’s more, this Harvard side boasts likely the league’s finest offensive talent in forward Midge Purce, who won 2013 Offensive Player of the Year honors as a freshman. The rest of the Ivy League faces a tough task in unseating the reigning champs.

Pennsylvania (3-2-2, 0-1-0): The Quakers return three first-team All-Ivy selections from 2013 as part of a strong junior class. Goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli had the Ivy League’s second-best goals-against average last season, allowing only seven scores during 15 outings. Penn’s Ivy opener did not, by any stretch of the imagination, go according to plan. Harvard came, saw and conquered this past Saturday, visiting Philadelphia and leaving with a crushing 3-0 victory.

Princeton (2-3-2, 1-0): Senior Lauren Lazo, who has played a number of positions during her tenure, has been the woman in form thus far. Her four goals and three assists make Lazo the league’s second-highest scorer currently. Additionally, sophomore forward Tyler Lussi will look to improve upon her second-team All-Ivy performance last year, in which she tallied an impressive 10 goals across 17 contests. Mean regression suggests that this side will improve from its one-win Ivy campaign last season.

Dartmouth (3-2-2, 0-1-0): The Big Green lost its offensive talisman with the graduation of forward Emma Brush. The Michigan-native led her side in points last year with six goals and five assists. However, All-Ivy first-teamer midfielder Corey Delaney returns after a strong sophomore season, during which she added three goals and three assists during conference play. Dartmouth opened league play with a 1-1 draw against the next team on our list.

Brown (3-4-1, 0-1-0): Forward Chloe Cross is one of five Ancient forwards to have tallied four goals this season, a league-high mark. Brown hasn’t picked up a convincing win thus far this season. During their 2013 campaign, the Providence, R.I., footballers scored a league-low 20 goals, though their conference total of 10 ranked fourth in the Ivy table.

Yale (5-3, 0-1): Forward Melissa Gavin and back Meredith Speck, earned first-team All-Ivy honors last season. After winning five of their first six contests, the Bulldogs have dropped their past two games and will more than likely find that losing streak extend to three following their upcoming away matchup with reigning champion Harvard.

Columbia (5-1-3, 1-0): Impressively, the Lions have not lost in seven consecutive contests. Yet, it remains to be seen whether this side has the requisite talent to remain competitive in the Ivy League. The New York squad graduated all three of their 2013 All-Ivy selections. Goalkeeper Grace Redmon managed a pair of clean sheets this past weekend while making four saves.

Cornell (5-3, 0-1): A fairly pitiful in-conference shooting percentage of .075 resulted in a league-low offensive output during Ivy play. One of her team’s tri-captains last season, senior defensive midfielder Claire MacManus will look to help solidify a defense, which allowed 2.80 goals per game against Ivy opponents.

SPORTS: On Tap with … Andrew Doar and Jack Hilger


Photo by Conor Dube | Associate Photo Editor


Men’s soccer juniors Andrew Doar and Jack Hilger comprise an athletic, artistic and dynamic duo. Both eager to start Ivy League play this upcoming Saturday, they sat down with ‘the Prince’ to discuss the commonalities and quirks of their personalities.

The Daily Princetonian: To start off, where are you from and what’s it like there?

Andrew Doar: I’m from Brooklyn, New York. Great town. I moved there right about the right time in my life, when I needed a little freedom. I was 14 years old. It’s a great place to come of age.

Jack Hilger: I’m from Hopkinton, Massachusetts. It’s a small town: not a lot of people; not a lot of stuff to do. But it’s where the Boston Marathon starts, that’s a big deal to us for that one day of the year.

DP: Which position do you each play?

AD: I’m a sort of left back or left midfielder. One of my special qualities is I just can run. That’s why I play there.

JH: I’m sort of an attacking mid. And I can’t run.

DP: You had mentioned a funny story about you two running together.

JH: Oh ya, when we went to [Doar’s] house and tried to run this summer. And Doar said “We’ll do a three-mile run, and I’ll set the pace. You just follow.” And I had lost him within the first half mile. He had gotten so far ahead of me that he had climbed up in a tree and was just hanging out looking for me as I came back to the house.

DP: What would you say your respective social roles on the team are?

JH: I’m the ideas guy. I’m all about the creativity. I just throw out ideas and some of them don’t land. Some of them do. It’s just thinking outside of the box.

AD: If you look at our email chain or text thread, a lot of times you have 10 straight messages from Jack. No responses. All ideas. His best idea so far this year is for our fantasy league: The loser has to wear ski boots for three days to class.

JH: That wasn’t my idea. It was Sarge’s idea, actually. I’ll take it, though.

DP: Where do you see the other guy in 10 years?

AD: I see Jack living in Hopkinton, probably somewhere in between fisherman and Boy Scout captain.

JH: Probably not inaccurate. I definitely see Doar a little overweight and with a real sweet wife. His main responsibility is getting the kids to practice on time every day. In the big van.

DP: What would you say is the other guy’s greatest strength, on and off the pitch?

AD: Jack has titled himself, on the soccer team, the “Pass Master”. He’s very good with his feet and making plays happen with his cleverness on the field. That’s his greatest strength.

JH: I’d say Doar’s ability to cover ground. He’s super high-energy and goes into tackles really hard. He’s a defensive machine once you let him off his leash. If he’s playing right wing, he’ll make tackles on the left side of the field. And intangibly, Doar can find the nicest thing about anybody. Somebody can be a terrible person and he’ll find something good about them.

AD: Jack’s a conversationalist. He can take any situation no matter how awkward and talk through it, get everyone laughing. That’s why I always have him around.

JH: Doar has asked me to come with him before knowing an awkward situation is pending.

DP: Who’s the quirkiest guy on the team?

AD: First of all we have [junior midfielder] Nico [Hurtado], El Sneako. He scored a goal the other day. He’s very quirky in that he cannot sleep unless it’s pitch black. So he has this great king bed in his room in Spelman and he puts curtains up all around it, so you never know if he’s in there.

JH: We have a lot of quirky guys on our team. All of the goalies are quirky, maybe it’s a goalie thing. They’re just weird dudes. Besides that, [junior midfielder] Brendan McSherry’s got one. He brushes his cleats with a toothbrush before games. Toothbrush and toothpaste.

DP: What’s the other guys spirit animal and why?

AD: We talk about this a lot.

JH: We actually have a team animal, me and Doar. As a team, we’re a wolf. But for Doar, something small and fast.

AD: A jackrabbit?

JH: Yeah, you’d make a pretty good jackrabbit.

DP: Can you describe your relationship with the watercolor palette?

JH: Doar and I wanted to live together this year. We were planning on a two-room double, but it turned into two side-by-side singles this year with the intent of putting both the beds in one room and having the other be kind of like a of play space. That allowed for our preseason hobby. Doar brought his watercolors. And we watercolor together.

AD: Jack, he’s the speed man. He’ll whip something up and just compliment himself on it until he and I think it’s good. I’m very slow and methodical, I sketch things out and take my time. But Jack loses patience. I don’t think Jack’s ever seen a finished work of mine.

DP: You’re on a deserted island and can take three things, what are they?

AD: Flavor Ice. That’s ice pops, my favorite food. Sunscreen. That’s big for me with my fair skin, and probably the game “Catchphrase.” Wait, it’s deserted. That’s stupid, you’d have no one to play with.

JH: I guess you wasted it. I’d maybe bring cooking supplies and one of those big lavish tents with a hot tub inside. Like Harry Potter tents. What else?

AD: I think matches would be key. I wasted a lot of time in my childhood trying to start a fire with that rubbing technique.

JH: I’d bring Doar along to keep me company.

DP: Do you guys have any noteworthy pregame rituals?

AD: The only thing is I don’t listen to music. I think it’s very interesting how guys put their headphones on and get in the zone that way. But I find music gets me out of the zone.

JH: When I was younger, I was really OCD about my pregame ritual. There were certain songs I’d listen to in an order. And I wouldn’t talk to anybody. But that doesn’t bother me at all now. Probably just a bunch of dancing around in the locker room.

DP: If you guys could play a different varsity sport here what would it be?

JH: I’m pretty confident I couldn’t play any sport other than soccer. I have no genuine athletic ability. It’s only soccer skills. We have an IM basketball team and I come in a suit with a clipboard. I’m the coach. Just for being on the team with the guys, I’d probably be a heavyweight rower. They’re all really good dudes and I’d get a good workout in and look a lot better.

AD: I think I’d do an individual sport, maybe tennis or squash. Tired of having to deal with guys like Jack.

DP: What has been your proudest moment on the Princeton soccer team?

JH: For me, a lot of my favorite times — times that I’ll remember forever — have been off the field hanging with the guys. Just doing what are probably dumb things and messing around. I think being part of the team is way more than just being on the field. But for on the field my proudest was the first game I played my sophomore year against Fairleigh Dickinson. Freshman year was frustrating with injuries.

AD: Beating Dartmouth in our Ivy opener last year was definitely one of my prouder moments. Seeing the team come together in that game was great. I was very proud of our team that day.

DP: You guys have Dartmouth coming up this Saturday, what’s a pitch you’d give to fans to get them to come out?

JH: Well if you’ve ever heard of “The Firm,” they will be making an appearance, led by senior Nana Nyantekyi, and they previewed some of their chants last night. They’re definitely some entertaining ones.

AD: Come out, have a good time. Cheer loudly. And don’t be afraid to heckle the goalkeepers.

NEWS: Digital availability for senior theses resumes


Senior theses for the Classes of 2013 and 2014 are now available online, with a few changes to accessibility.

Mudd Library and the Office of the Dean of the College made Class of 2013 theses available digitally via an online database called DataSpace in October of last year. However, availability of the theses was suspended a few weeks later because ODOC was concerned about copyright protection.

University Archivist Daniel Linke said Mudd Library, ODOC and the Office of Information Technology had been working until August of this year to resolve the concerns that caused the suspension and to incorporate the Class of 2014 theses into the database.

Linke met with various faculty members around campus last spring and over the summer, including members of ODOC, the Office of the General Counsel and OIT.

Deputy Dean of the College Clayton Marsh ’85 said ODOC led the effort to reevaluate the database.

“We wanted to take a second look at the notices that were in place that would put prospective users of the database on notice of their obligations to copyright law, in terms of how they might use materials they find on the database,” Marsh said. “We also wanted to take a closer look at our communications to students who were or will be depositing electronic versions of their theses for inclusion in the database.”

Linke said there was one ultimate goal during the meetings: to balance access to the theses with copyright protection for the students’ work.

He noted that students have the option to embargo their theses if they are dealing with confidential information. The embargoes are for one, two or three years at most.

The students also have the option to allow walk-in access only. He explained that this is the digital equivalent of what Mudd did with the paper copies in the analog days, when students can submit their theses digitally but patrons can only view the digital copy at Mudd Library.

The Class of 2014 seniors were able to choose from these options. However, Linke noted that seniors from 2013 graduated before the “walk-in” option was available, so 2013 theses are no longer available on DataSpace from personal computers and can only be accessed through Mudd Library computer terminals.

Linke said he refers to the Class of 2013 as “the unlucky Class of ’13” because they do not have a paper copy in the library archives and their digital copies are only available in the library.

Todd Kranenburg ’15 said he doesn’t think he’ll be making use of the options to limit accessibility because he said he appreciates what having a digital copy of his thesis will mean in terms of readership.

“I think they’ll be used more. It’s cool to know that people may actually access your thesis in the future,” Kranenburg said. “It gets you more excited about your thesis to know that someone could actually use the work you have done for themselves.”

Kranenburg also said he isn’t concerned with the possibility that his work could be less unique if it is more accessible to people as a resource for their own topics.

“I would be more nervous that I was being redundant in my thesis if I didn’t have access to anyone else’s thesis,” he said. “I could be saying something that someone has already said in their senior thesis before or in any other written work.”

Linke said this was one of the more difficult ways in which he and others working on the project had to strike a “balance” between accessibility and copyright protection.

“Essentially, the challenge here is when you’re on campus, you can send messages to the Class of ’14 or to the Class of ’16 or whoever. When you graduate those mechanisms don’t work anymore, so we just decided to leave them like this,” Linke said. “It’s the equivalent of what we did before we collected [theses] digitally in the sense that the Class of 2012 we have all on paper, and if you want to look at a Class of 2012 thesis, you have to come to Mudd Library.”

In terms of the mechanisms of the site itself, Linke said the copyright agreements for the downloadable theses are standard like those seen when buying music on iTunes and are in the same language as the previous paper agreements students had to sign when viewing theses at Mudd Library.

Pam Soffer ’15 said that she appreciates the effort to make past theses more widely available to students and that she thinks it is a great resource for students to have at their disposal. Soffer also said that online submissions free students from the previously necessary hassle of having their theses printed and bounded.

“Getting [a thesis] printed is expensive, and towards the end of the year everyone is printing their theses, which can be very hectic,” Soffer said. “I think [the online database] is a nice update, and you can still choose to continue the tradition of printing your thesis if it’s important to you.”

The theses on DataSpace are only available on the Princeton Wi-Fi network or through a virtual private network, Linke noted, as another way to protect students’ rights to their work.

“When you write your thesis, you own the copyright to it. That means if you want, you can publish it as a book or put it on the web and give it away for free, et cetera” Linke said. “So if we were to make it available to the whole world, we would be taking away that right from you. So instead, we’re trying to make it so that students who do look at a lot of theses can do it online, anywhere on campus, 24 hours a day.”

OPINION: How we view diversity at Princeton


The week we, the freshman class, marched through FitzRandolph Gate, we were bombarded with activities that initiated the four-year-long journey that will be our Princeton careers. Some of them instilled the expectations the University has of us, some set the tone and others acknowledged the problems that exist on Princeton’s campus.

The diversity talk — “Reflections on Diversity” — falls under the third category with its discussion of sexual and racial differences and the challenges differences present here on campus. While the University did a good job with the former, I found the latter to be rather flavorless due to its emphasis on polarity.

I was born in Seoul, South Korea, but I moved to New York seven years ago. Since then, I have been living in a beautiful, middle-class suburbia that is noteworthy for its homogeneity and WASP-yness. There was not a single black person in my high school, and there were only 10 Asians, including myself. I still loved my one square mile of a town. But I am painfully aware of the fact that I have not been exposed to the full spectrum of the American experience. It is a continuing struggle for me to expand upon my limited interaction with diversity, especially racial diversity. I wanted the diversity talk to introduce the wide variety of experiences at the University. In this respect, the diversity talk did not meet my hopes.

I listened to speeches that were, literally and rhetorically, very much focused on the black and white. Literally speaking, there was a glaring underrepresentation of any race other than white or black. All panelists discussed the African-American experience. (There was one white, Jewish panelist, but she too spoke about her work on the topic of what it means to be an African-American male in America.) In favor of discussing the dichotomy, they neglected East Asians, Indians, Hispanic, etc. It was as though only African-American and white students existed at Princeton, as though the struggle of an Indian-American in this country, let’s say, isn’t every bit as legitimate.

Then, I was reminded of a comment my good friend had made a year or so ago. Racism toward Asians just is not in fashion, he argued. Asians, or so his argument went, have assimilated successfully into the American culture. He even added, all in good humor, that they were whites for all intents and purposes. And he pointed to me — the living evidence of his argument. An Asian girl who lived in Korea until the age of 12, fully assimilated into the stereotypical American suburb. I did not agree with his assessment back then, and I do not agree with it now. But I realized that many people must agree with him, consciously or subconsciously, and view the racial struggle as a clash of two groups, white and black. All other groups are observant nonparticipants.

But I want to give a voice to other stories. There are those of us who are not black or white at Princeton. There are also those of us who hail from other backgrounds. There are those of us who struggled. There are those of us, myself included, who were far from the majority in our towns but still felt at home there. My slight Korean accent, my stubborn refusal to eat Pop Tarts (“It’s so gross,” I would exclaim) or, more seriously, my friend’s Hindu beliefs didn’t automatically translate into a struggle. The point is that these are all valid American experiences that should be acknowledged when we talk about diversity.

No single person’s experience is representative of a whole group’s. Just because I was blessed and did not face any discrimination even while I lived in one of the more WASP-y towns in the nation doesn’t mean that every Asian girl will feel at home there. I don’t claim to represent the whole; similarly, the diversity panel should not have asserted that the University is a certain way when it comes to a certain race.

I want to make it clear that it was through no fault of the panelists themselves that the diversity talk was so lacking in the end. They discussed their valid, personal experiences. But in the future, the University should organize the event in such a way that not all panelists focus on the different experiences of one racial identity.

Perhaps what was the most uncomfortable was that in the absence of this acknowledgement, the University missed the entire point of diversity. It didn’t focus on what really matters. Diversity should cover the whole range, not just a couple of points on the spectrum.

Erica Choi is a freshman from Bronxville, NY. She can be reached at