Tag Archives: Princeton University

Nassau: follow Denison’s tracks

In a New York Times column on why diversity isn’t working in colleges, Frank Bruni points out that even when “diverse” candidates (read black, Latino, economically challenged students) they tend to self segregate. Colleges aren’t doing much about helping students feel comfortable with people different from themselves. Here’s an idea from Denison University:

At Denison University, near Columbus, Ohio, there are special funds available to campus groups that stage events with other, dissimilar groups. Adam Weinberg, the college’s president, told me that he’d attended a Seder at which Jewish students played host to international students from China.

And he said that the school was examining everything from the layout of campus walkways to the architecture of common areas to try to ensure that students’ paths crossed more frequently than they diverged.

“We have a group of students and faculty meeting to think about our quad and how can we make some small changes that would bring back a public square where students might congregate,” he told me.

This could work ‘at home,’ at Princeton University, in more than one way.

An aside: William Bowen, former P.U. president, went to Denison.

The Female of the Species is more deadly…

….than the male.

A Princeton University researcher captured, on video, a Panamanian bird rolling another mother bird’s egg out of the communal nest. As the saying goes, “It’s not enough to succeed, to be truly ‘happy,’ your friends have to fail.”

Cassidy-Angus-Deaton-690Writes Angus Deaton: I  see students who want to relieve suffering in the world. Should they go to Dhaka or Dakar? Focus on bed nets or worms? I tell them to go to Washington or London and to work to stop the harm that rich countries do…” (from an article in the Boston Review. 

Here is John Cassidy’s level-headed take on Princeton University’s latest Nobel Prize winner, economist Deaton, published in the current New Yorker. He quotes Deaton as questioning the widespread presumption that rising inequality is always a bad thing. In developing countries, he wrote,inequality is often a consequence of progress.”

Up with Community Building, Down with Stereotypes

Whistling_Vivaldi_Princeton_Cover-Art-Samples[2]-2 (1)Sleeping bags covered the floor of the Youth Room when Princeton United Methodist Church welcomed freshmen from Princeton University for a “service sleepover” this week, part of the Community Action program  that launches freshman year. As described in the Packet,  they did a service project during the day and met for dinner, and went back to the dorms to shower. On the last night the students and team leaders– and some church staff — met to discuss this year’s ‘pre read book,’ Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi: how stereotypes affect us and what we can do.

That book fits right into the PUMC sermon series on “Gospel of the Nobodies,” especially “The Ethnic Other.” Steele will speak to the freshmen on September 12. Other opportunities to examine stereotypes and their effect:

Monday, September 14, an event in the department of African American Studies

Wednesday, September 16, Princeton Regional Chamber hosts Jacque Howard of Trenton 365 Show a community building program that advocates for and endorses private citizens, nonprofit groups and businesses in the greater Trenton area.

Sunday, September 20, a panel at the Suzanne Patterson Center, “Getting Beyond Racism.”

Tiger on Top: General Mark Milley

Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army, poses for a command portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., August 12, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Monica King/Released)

The new chief of staff of the United States Army, General Mark Milley, graduated from Princeton University in 1980. Nicknamed “Milldog” as an ice hockey player, he majored in political science and did ROTC, The four-star general’s father, a Marine, fought at Iwo Jima, according to the Daily Princetonian.

Milley credits Princeton with teaching critical thinking: “a way to frame problems, be skeptical in an intellectual sense of answers and issues and problems you’re facing. It’s almost a worldview or mindset more than a specific instance. You’d be surprised how many people don’t do it.”

“If I needed help with anything … he would stop what he’s doing, assist and help out,” said a friend quoted for the Daily Princetonian article. “He’s just a great friend. He’s the guy you want in the foxhole with you,”

Milley will serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, soon to be headed by a general from the Marine Corps, Joseph Dunford, a Georgetown University alumnus. Dunford has been nominated by Ash Carter to replace General Martin Dempsey, a West Point graduate who finishes his three-year term.

After 20 years Milley could have begun collecting his pension, but as he told the Daily Princetonian reporter, “After 9/11, I decided that I wasn’t going to get out until I was told to get out, You know you were participating in a historic time. As a professional soldier, there’s no way you’re going to turn your back and retire.”

There goes the neighborhood….

I live in the Riverside neighborhood. A long while ago I heard that the Butler Apartments were going to be turned into a parking lot. Now it’s a reality. Earlier, I posted about the university’s taking over Alexander Road. Now it’s coming close to home. 
As below, this letter from the Riverside Neighborhood Association. There’s a meeting this Thursday. 
Did you know that Princeton University is preparing to demolish the Butler Apartments? The Butler Tract (bordered by South Harrison Street, Sycamore Road, Longview Drive, and Hartley Avenue) comprises 33 acres and over 300 apartments. The demolition and future use of the site will have a major impact on the Riverside neighborhood.
Questions raised by this project include:
-Given the age of the buildings, it is likely that asbestos, lead paint, and other environmental hazards are present. What steps will be taken to ensure the health and safety of the community?
-Princeton University has announced that it is not currently planning any new construction on the site, and instead will use it intermittently for overflow event parking. How will the presence of a large vacant lot, used intermittently as a parking lot, affect the quality of life and property values in the neighborhood?
-Is Princeton University willing to consider input from community residents about plans for the Butler Tract? What are your ideas for possible uses of the land? For example, instead of an unsightly vacant lot doubling as a parking lot, could the area become a park, field, or garden?  
Princeton University is going to hold a meeting to provide information about the demolition and answer questions from area residents. All community members are urged to attend:
Thursday, July 30
7:308:30 p.m.
Lewis Library, Bowl 138
Corner of Ivy Lane and Washington Road
Parking will be available in the university parking lots located on Ivy Lane across from Lewis Library. An interactive campus map is available here: https://m.princeton.edu/map/[m.princeton.edu]
If you have questions or are interested in working with other neighbors on this issue, please contact me. Feel free to share this with others. Thank you.
Sally Goldfarb <sfg@camden.rutgers.edu>
100 Sycamore Road
Chair, Butler Tract Demolition Committee,
Riverside Neighborhood Association

One Less Gas Station

Just when the controversy about tax exempt status for Princeton University is heating up, Philip Sean Curran reports in the Packet that the university has bought Larini’s service station on Alexander Road. As a reporter for U.S. 1 I’ve been watching the university inexorably acquire property on the “back door to Princeton” for 25 years — starting with its purchase of the Princeton Ballet School building — and that goal was never secret.

Campaigning for a change in the tax status, Roger Martindell wrote an impassioned letter to the editor in Town Topics to make the case that the university should pay taxes, not merely donate “in lieu of taxes’ to the municipality.  He cites (1) government grants (2) intellectual property licensing and (3) ticket sales as proof that the university is making a profit.

I have no personal connection to the university and have not studied the tax question recently, but I seriously doubt that the university’s vast wealth derives from ticket sales. Intellectual property income paid for the new chemistry building, and government grants pay for research. I believe the university’s wealth comes from having a lot of money to begin with, thanks to wealthy – privileged — alumni, and it was invested well. .

The “privilege” that alumni (and now alumnae) enjoy is a topic for another day. But as an owner of property near the university, I do not support the movement to strip tax exempt status from the institution that increases the value of my property.  People — and this includes me — want to live here because of the university, not because of the shops in Palmer Square.

This is another one of those “uh DUH” moments for parents who know, instinctively, that it’s important to respond to their baby’s very whim.

Lauren Emberson, who joins the Princeton University faculty this fall, is proving that learning-induced expectations will change the brains of infants just five months old. 

But will all that attention from sleep weary moms and dads — will it produce optimists?

Smart Driving Cars: Kornhauser’s the One

If you ever need the best expert on the future of transportation, let’s say, re smart driving cars — Princeton has him. Alain Kornhauser, head of the transportation department at Princeton University and founder of a  company, ALK. Here he holds forth on how John and Alicia Nash could have been saved, not by seatbelts, but technology.

The fundamental problem was that the taxi was not equipped with available automated stability control, lane keeping and collision avoidance systems.  This was not an accident, it was a failed public safety policy that refuses to move beyond crash mitigation and its challenged “V2x” initiatives to embrace forthright automated crash avoidance. 
Moreover, there is a failed Taxi regulatory structure that doesn’t even hint that taxis should have electronic stability control, automated lane keeping and collision avoidance.  What is the purpose of taxi regulation, to keep “Ubers” out of business? 

The Daily Princetonian headline on his profile reads “Like a V8 engine on a roller skate.”