Notes on Diversity: An Open Letter to President Tilghman

Dear President Tilghman,
I was recently speaking with a prospective student about the process of applying to college, and I wanted to share with you a concern that came up during our discussion.  After a number of questions about academics and college life, this student asked me if Princeton was a diverse community.
My first thought was yes, of course, Princeton is a very diverse school.  The admissions office is committed to building a student body in which people of all colors and creeds are represented.  After the student had left, however, I was reminded of how I myself sometimes feel unwelcome at Princeton.  Every student at Princeton is unfailingly accepting, but I feel alone all the same.  This is because I belong to a group that is underrepresented in the Princeton student body: talentless hacks.
In this respect I point to the example of our rival institutions, Harvard and Yale.  Harvard has made great strides in the past five years by implementing an affirmative action program for Talentless-Americans.  Talentless hacks already make up an inspiring 11% of Harvard’s student body, and Cambridge shows every intention of expanding this program even further.  Even more impressive is Yale, which has led the Ivy League with a commendable 28% talentless student body.  I mean, come on, they even let in George W. Bush.  Now that’s a commitment to diversity.
President Tilghman, I ask you: How can our students develop into educated members of the global community if they never understand what it is like to have absolutely no talents of any kind?  Where are the Princetonians who lack charisma and wit?  Where are the Princetonians who couldn’t complete a choreographed routine to save their lives, even if said routine were the hokey pokey?  Where are the Princetonians who have a crippling fear of singing “Happy Birthday” due to the feral cats that inevitably emerge from the woods to claw at their faces just to stop the horrible, horrible noise?  Where are the Princetonians like me?
Even our Princeton Preview shows display evidence of this insidious discrimination.  I see dancers and musicians, Latinos and Arabs, Hindus and Jews, all performing together.  (And Indians.  So many Indians.)  But where are the talentless hacks?  Including Fuzzy Dice goes a long way, but more must be done.
President Tilghman, I urge you to please admit more talentless hacks to Princeton.  We must send a message to future generations that intolerance will no longer be tolerated.

Dear President Tilghman,

I was recently speaking with a prospective student about the process of applying to college, and I wanted to share with you a concern that came up during our discussion.  After a number of questions about academics and college life, this student asked me if Princeton was a diverse community.

My first thought was yes, of course, Princeton is a very diverse school.  The admissions office is committed to building a student body in which people of all colors and creeds are represented.  After the student had left, however, I was reminded of how I myself sometimes feel unwelcome at Princeton.  Every student at Princeton is unfailingly accepting, but I feel alone all the same.  This is because I belong to a group that is underrepresented in the Princeton student body: talentless hacks.

In this respect I point to the example of our rival institutions, Harvard and Yale.  Harvard has made great strides in the past five years by implementing an affirmative action program for Talentless-Americans.  Talentless hacks already make up an inspiring 11% of Harvard’s student body, and Cambridge shows every intention of expanding this program even further.  Even more impressive is Yale, which has led the Ivy League with a commendable 28% talentless student body.  I mean, come on, they even let in George W. Bush.  Now that’s a commitment to diversity.

President Tilghman, I ask you: How can our students develop into educated members of the global community if they never understand what it is like to have absolutely no talents of any kind?  Where are the Princetonians who lack charisma and wit?  Where are the Princetonians who couldn’t complete a choreographed routine to save their lives, even if said routine were the hokey pokey?  Where are the Princetonians who have a crippling fear of singing “Happy Birthday” due to the feral cats that inevitably emerge from the woods to claw at their faces just to stop the horrible, horrible noise?  Where are the Princetonians like me?

Even our Princeton Preview shows display evidence of this insidious discrimination.  I see dancers and musicians, Latinos and Arabs, Hindus and Jews, all performing together.  (And Indians.  So many Indians.)  But where are the talentless hacks?  Including Fuzzy Dice goes a long way, but more must be done.

President Tilghman, I urge you to please admit more talentless hacks to Princeton.  We must send a message to future generations that intolerance will no longer be tolerated.

Sincerely,

Archibald Worthington
The Editorial Board
The Princeton Tiger

P.S. Please see attached:

talentless_hacks

Figure 1: Just some of the thousands of talentless hacks who would benefit from a change in Princeton's admissions policies: (A) Dane Cook (B) Marcel Duchamp (C) Bill O'Reilly (D) Fiddy (E) Green Day (F) Michael Bay (G) Hermann Rorschach (H) Jimmy Fallon (I) Frank Lloyd Wright (J) That goddamn talking owl from Ocarina of Time (K) Alexander Hamilton (L) MySpace Tom

- JRV ’12

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