By Princeton Summer Journal staff
As the summer of 2017 comes to an end, the long-simmering problems with the New York City subway system have reached full boil. The congestion caused by nearly 6 million riders a day has dramatically slowed down the rail system. The 112-year-old signaling system is unable to withstand everyday use. Rail cars built more than 50 years ago are breaking down more frequently than ever before. Two high-profile derailments – including one that injured 34 people and an incident in which people were trapped underground – have New Yorkers demanding changes from their elected officials.
On Tuesday, August 8, during rush hour, 39 reporters from the Princeton Summer Journal spread out to dozens of subway stations across the city, interviewing riders about how the crisis is affecting them. While some people told us that their experiences with the subway system have been positive, many other riders had major frustrations, which we relay below.
By Valeria Escobar
With camo cargo shorts and a blue crew-neck shirt commemorating the Battle of Gettysburg, Matthew Penza, a rising junior at Princeton, stood in front of the classroom in a power stance. He first seriously contemplated conservative ideology when he studied great thinkers of the Enlightenment such John Locke, Voltaire, and Montesquieu. But Penza would later dismiss their arguments from his political philosophy. “I am a monarchist,” he told the Princeton Summer Journal. “I am an uppercase ‘R’ Republican. I do not believe in the idea of a republic.”
By Princeton Summer Journal staff
Journalism in general is a struggling enterprise, one which can unfortunately deter plenty of hopefuls. Historically popular media outlets have seen a steep decline in their finances, and many American public schools do not provide students with a course in journalism or media. The declining popularity of traditional journalism among the millennial generation may spell doom for the industry. However, there is potential for aspiring young writers.
By Jessica Simpson
From the time an African American girl is born, she’s told that she must aspire to have “good hair.” She is told that her hair is nappy and should be relaxed because it’s too difficult to style naturally. Years of relaxing hair developed the notion that black hair is “bad” and not as beautiful as it’s other counterparts. The hatred of natural black hair lasted for years, until recently.
By Danielle Emerson
On a Friday afternoon, Albert Rivera took the train home from work. His eyes were on his phone the entire time. The message would have been lost in his email if he had not glanced at it that morning. A member of Princeton University faced legal complications at the airport. Rivera was busy texting an attorney. This was right after President Trump announced the travel ban.
By Muhammad Elarbi
San Diego, CA
It was the opening weekend of the 2017 NFL preseason, and I found myself in the MetLife Stadium press box to cover the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. One would assume that someone who has a seat in the press box would be knowledgeable about what is going on. But this time, that wasn’t the case.
Saturday marked my first time at a football game. Before I entered the stadium, I didn’t even know which state the teams called home. I was clueless.
By Yamilet Velez
Los Angeles, CA
In the low-income neighborhoods that surround the worst factories in the United States, smoke fills workers’ lungs, clogs the environment, and paints the skies grey. As dystopian as that sounds, harsh factory conditions are a reality in many communities of color.
My own parents moved into East Los Angeles, near the Tesoro Oil Refinery, not because it had the cleanest air, but simply because they couldn’t afford homes in the “rich areas” of Los Angeles, California. That was their only option, and unbeknownst to them, it was a dangerous one.
By Danielle Quezada
San Bernardino, CA
In the final ten seconds of the Princeton-Notre Dame basketball game, time seemed to stand still. Princeton was in possession of the ball, and optimism filled Tigers fans. With five seconds remaining, Princeton’s Devin Cannady tried for a three-pointer to win the game. As the ball arced toward the net, the crowd rose with excitement — but the ball bounced from the rim onto the backboard and into the hands of Notre Dame. Seconds later, the team and the crowd wore dejected faces and bowed heads. The scoreboard read: 59-58, Notre Dame.
By Claudia Kania
The nationwide debate over private prisons came to the Princeton campus this year, with students speaking out against corporations contracted by the federal government to house inmates.
For-profit prisons came to center stage in February, after the Justice Department under President Trump’s administration opted out of the previous administration’s plan to gradually discontinue the practice.
By Libbing Barrera and Christopher Quintero
Spring, NY and El Paso, TX
President Trump is the target of many negative reviews from New Jersey residents. On a Friday evening in Princeton, New Jersey, local people were questioned about their perception of Trump’s policies and his time as president.
Janet Shaw, a 66 year-old woman from Plainsboro, New Jersey shook her head and sighed that there were “simply no words” to explain her contempt for Trump. She felt quite strongly about people that voted for him and was shocked to hear there were Princetonians that supported him. Shaw claims the media portrays him accurately — as a “horrible human being” — and doesn’t think he could do anything to improve his image. Continue reading