Tag Archive: Princeton University

Same Sex Marriage – An Academic Viewpoint

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton has a world-wide reputation as a center of excellence in its field. It boasts such distinguished alumni as Senator Bill Bradley, Governor Brendan Byrne, New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, Governor Eliot Spitzer, and Senator Paul Sarbanes. Alumni also include some prominent but disappointing people like Congressman Leonard Lance and Justice Samuel Alito.

As part of its academic mission, the school conducts seminars and panel discussions, some of which are open to the public. Given the enthusiasm and need for marriage equality in New Jersey and across the country, when I saw a seminar entitled “Same Sex Marriage in the United States: Where We Are as a Nation”, I figured it was worth the drive up to Princeton to see what I could learn – and I was not disappointed.

Protecting the Sanctity of…Sidewalks?

Princeton students are braving the cold to show their support for Traditional Perambulatory Values:

A group of students opposed to the recently-passed California marriage amendment (Proposition 8) gathered outside of Firestone Library at 9:30 this morning to launch a day-long protest in support of their own Prop 8, an initiative to ban Freshmen from sidewalks in order to “restore the definition of sidewalk accessibility to what the vast majority of Princeton students already believe it should mean and what Princetonians agree should be supported, not undermined.” The protest’s organizers explain their demonstration on the group’s Facebook page:

We believe that California’s Proposition 8 is illegal and immoral. The use of a state-wide referendum to limit the rights of a minority group is the very sort of action the that the constitution ought to defend against. We hope to point out the danger and absurdity of that proposition by advocating for our own “Princeton Proposition 8” which will ‘ban freshmen from walking on campus sidewalks.’ We hope to parallel the language and actions of the real Prop 8 as much as possible, as we believe the injustice speaks for itself and needs no exaggeration. We will be careful not to turn this into an attack on any particular group or organization, instead choosing to focus on the moral, legal, and logical reasons why Proposition 8 should be overturned.

The protest is scheduled to continue throughout the day today and again from 9:30 to 5:00 PM tomorrow. If you’re in the Princeton area, stop by to show your support!

More photos below the fold.

Nava Say Nava Again: Princeton University Winger Lied About Assault

Has it really been only about a month since David Horowitz blew through the Princeton University campus for Islamo-Fiasco Awareness Week? That cross-country pity party, which drew horselaughs from left- and right-wing alike, served chiefly as a stage for Horowitz’s fantasy of himself as a charismatic firebrand who needs a phalanx of bodyguards to keep from being assaulted every time he sets foot on a college campus. As it turned out, the only people who needed protection were the unwary souls who wandered into one of his speeches and instantly suffered attacks of narcolepsy.

But it appears Horowitz made a big impression on one Princetonian: Francisco Nava, a winger student who last week concocted a story about being beaten unconscious by two assailants after receiving e-mails threatening him with all kinds of mayhem because of his conservative views. 

Syllabus Day 1: How To Diagnose By Video

Bill FristFormer Senate majority leader and video brain diagnostician Bill Frist accepted a one year faculty position at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The Frist family donated $25 million to the university in exchange for a student center bearing their name. I’ve always been curious to learn about the most creative ways to make a mockery of yourself and the institutions of public service. I may have to sit in on a few of these lectures.

Princeton Students Call Senator Turner!

A couple dozen Princeton students called Senator Turner’s office today to tell her to join Assemblyman Gusciora and Assemblywoman Watson Coleman in supporting full marriage equality.  Princeton Justice Project’s Gay Family Rights Project, a student group on campus, organized the effort.

I called the Senator’s office at the end of the day.  Once I told her staffer that I was a Princeton student she knew exactly what I was calling about.

Other legislators from districts 11, 14, 21, 30, 34 and 37 may have recieved calls thanks to the organziation’s efforts.

The organization is looking into expand its tabling efforts from Frist Campus Center to the Residential College Dining Halls in the next few days to encourage more students to call their legislators.  The GFRP is also trying to contact organizations at other colleges around that share our goals and are willing to join us in this effort.

Marriage equality finds some of its strongest support on college campuses.  In particular, Princeton undergraduates supported marriage equality in a 2005 referendum by better than two to one.

Quote of the Day

Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman speaking at the grand opening of the LGBT center on Thursday:

“We were named among the top 20 universities in the country for LGBT student life which was more important to me than the U.S. News mention of Princeton as the top university in the nation.”

The LGBT center is in the Frist Campus Center – named after Senator Bill Frist and his family, who donated $25 million for it.

Princeton Scientists Hack Electronic Voting Machine

Prof Ed Felton and two graduate students – Ariel J. Feldman and J. Alex Halderman were able to hack into a Diebold electronic voting machine and install a virus that changed the results of an election, leaving no trace of tampering. We mentioned this a few days ago, but now you can watch the demonstration they did on Fox “News”:

You can read the full research paper and see a more detailed video demonstration at their website. Diebold predictably responded by insisting that their machines are safe, but they still refuse to allow independent testing of their machines. What are they so afraid of? The fact is that any computer can theoretically be hacked, and this latest demonstration should lend more urgency to the need for a voter-verifiable paper record, like Rush Holt’s HR-550.

Princeton Named One of Top 20 LGBT-Friendly Campuses

Advocate Magazine is publishing a book titled The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students which was released yesterday. In it is an alphabetized list of the “100 Best LGBT Campuses.” Princeton University made it not only onto this list, but also the “Best of the Best Top 20 Campuses.”

“Princeton has a vibrant and quickly expanding LGBT community, and the University’s staff and administration are incredibly proactive in serving it,” said Debbie Bazarsky, director of Princeton’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center. “…[I]t is exceedingly gratifying to be recognized for our dedicated efforts to support LGBT students, including the opening of our newly constructed LGBT Center.”…

Among the many initiatives and services for students, the University has numerous ally and student organizations; health and counseling services; LGBT course offerings; and social and educational activities, including an LGBT graduation ceremony.

Princeton also ranked highly for having some of the largest LGBT administrative support nationwide; a nondiscrimination statement that became the second at a higher education institution in the country to include sexual orientation in 1985; domestic partner benefits; and the integration of sexual orientation concerns into University documents. In spring of this year, the University amended its nondiscrimination statement and the “Respect for Others” section of its policy document Rights, Rules, Responsibilities to include gender identity.

My experience as a student at Princeton certainly confirms this. I’ve noticed a strong and active LGBT community and an administration that places a priority on fairness and equality. The student body, overwhelmingly supports (73%-27%) marriage equality. The university deserves this recognition as much as anyone else.

Trouble at Woodrow Wilson school

After taking heat from students, faculty and a few alums for a 75th anniversary weekend that featured, Condi Rice, General Petraeus, and Michael Chertoff, the Woodrow Wilson school is now facing charges that they didn’t use donors’ funds as requested. 

The Daily Princetonian’s article reviewing a public forum that took place regarding the 75th anniv “Intellectuals and War” is missing from the website.  But an opinion piece by a student who wasn’t impressed with the forum and overall seemed to be taking Dean Slaughter’s side is up today.

From the Trenton Times:

University funds diverted

Princeton president admits money wasn’t used as donors wished

The president of Princeton University has admitted in court documents that $750,000 earmarked by a foundation for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs was diverted to other uses and that she kept the diversion secret from the family who had donated the funds.

Shirley M. Tilghman, who is president of the university as well as of the foundation, made the admission in a deposition under questioning by lawyers for the Robertson family — major donors who are fighting a court battle to try to wrest control of a $620 million endowment from the university.

While the $750,000 is a small part of the Robertson family’s gift to the school, the issue of whether the funds were used as specified in the bequest is central to the case…

From 1990 to 2003, the university increased its annual charges to the foundation from $4.4 million to $23.8 million, according to the Robertson legal briefs, while the number of graduate students taking government jobs declined from nine in 1990 and 10 in 1991 to three in 2002 and six in 2003.

Princeton students overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage

The Princeton University Undergraduate Student Government (USG) recently held a referendum on whether or not the USG should sign on to an amicus brief from the Princeton Justice Project (PJP) on behalf of seven gay and lesbian couples who want to get married in New Jersey who have a case before the NJ Supreme Court (Lewis v Harris).

The referendum asked two questions: whether students supported same-sex marriage and whether they believe  that the USG should sign onto the amicuss brief submitted by the PJP. While support for same-sex marriage was very strong, some supporters thought it was inappropriate for the USG to speak on behalf of all students about such politically-charged issues. Still, both referendum items passed. The results:

As a student of Princeton University, do you support the right of all consenting adult couples to marry, regardless of sexual orientation?

73%  Yes
27%  No

Shall the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) be directed to sign on the amicus brief submitted by Princeton Justice Project (PJP) on behalf of the plaintiffs in Lewis vs. Harris, same-sex couples seeking to marry in New Jersey?

51.6% Yes
48.4% No

It’s encouraging that tomorrow’s leaders are way ahead of the general population when it comes to civil rights.