The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Princeton University students may read Shakespeare and Aristotle but apparently, many do not read the newspaper.

Despite the fact that The Daily Princetonian and the national media have covered the alleged assault on a Princeton debate team member, many Princeton students confessed they had not heard about the incident.

"Wow -- that's nuts," Princeton freshman Kelly Pugh said when asked about the alleged assault. "I haven't even heard about it."

Five Penn students were charged with assaulting Princeton student John Brantl in the Quadrangle on Nov. 16. The students allegedly poured motor oil over Brantl, who was visiting Penn for a debate tournament, and threw a lit cigarette at him.

But many Princeton students are unaware of the news, which has been featured on national television stations over the past week.

The Daily Princetonian charges students for subscriptions each semester so not everyone reads the paper.

"People don't read newspapers here, I guess," said Princeton sophomore Yesim Koman.

Princeton junior Emily Lenz did actually see an article about the incident but chose not to read it.

"I didn't really pay any attention to it or really care," she said.

Student oblivion was confirmed by Princeton junior Lucia Smith.

"We just got back, and everyone's freaking out about school," she explained. "I haven't seen many people lately -- we've all been sort of hiding in the library."

Many students reported that their friends had not been talking about the alleged assault.

Princeton freshman Patrick Chaing speculated that perhaps the story had maintained a low profile because it had involved the debate team.

"I don't think many people keep up with the happenings of the debate team," Chaing said. "A lot of people who aren't really involved in that scene aren't exposed to it as much."

The Princeton students who had read about the assault in the newspaper or heard about it through word of mouth did express concern, however.

"I just thought it was wrong," Princeton freshman Bart Oliver said.

Students also said they were curious to see what disciplinary actions Penn would take against the students involved.

"People aren't on the edge of their seats wondering what the next step's gonna be, but I think everyone's interested to see what happens," Princeton senior Anna Rose Poole said.

Despite the Ivy League competition between the two schools, Princeton students refused to attribute the cause of the alleged incident to the rivalry.

"I didn't think there's a traditional rivalry to throw motor oil on each other," Poole said. "The general consensus is it sounds like it was a bunch of jerks and not representative of Penn students."

She added, "It sounds like it was really embarrassing for Penn."

Yet although some Princeton students spoke of the "bad press" Penn has received since the incident, they did not blame the University for the alleged assault.

"It's not really like Penn has done something to us," Koman said. "It's just a student that has acted weirdly at one of those schools out there."

Smith agreed with that perspective.

"People are stupid, but the school isn't," she said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.