In complete silence, students assembled around Nassau Hall, arm-in-arm, until they had entirely encircled in the building. On their mouths were black pieces of tape that read “Listen.”
In front of them, at the entrance of the hall, sat two empty red chairs the protestors had set for President Chistopher Eisgruber ’83 and Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun, who were not in attendance.
The assembly outside of Nassau Hall marks the third day of the student protest against the University Title IX office, as students have remained on the lawn overnight between demonstrations. Students have been on Nassau lawn since Monday at 10 a.m.
Today, these students were waiting for Eisgruber and Calhoun to meet with them and discuss their demands. The protesters had written a letter to the administration late Wednesday evening, asking that the two meet with the delegation of students by 2 p.m., and when they did not make an appearance, the demonstration began.
“Students continue in pain from the broken Title IX system, and it is imperative that you take the time to speak and negotiate with us,“ students wrote in the letter. “We understand that these systems are deeply entrenched, but it is up to all those in our community to provide a safer and more just campus.”
Students assembled in front of the hall and, at 2:10 p.m., repeatedly chanted “Response now.” At 2:20 p.m., the students changed their chant to “We did the work — how about you?” Around 2:30 p.m., students applied the tape to their mouths and stood in silence outside of the hall.
After five minutes of standing, the students began to circle the hall and link arms. They stood around the hall until 2:50, after which they reassembled at the front entrance and chanted “Time’s up.”
Afterwards, the majority of the students dispersed, leaving a handful of students still on the lawn.
On Monday, the students put together a list of eleven demands for the University. They have since said they are willing to amend the final demand, and call for the review instead of the dismissal of Title IX administrator Regan Crotty.
The letter the protestors drafted was written in response to the University’s statement on the protest, which said that the University “is committed to ensuring that all of its community members can learn, work, and thrive in a safe, supportive, and fair environment, free from sexual misconduct and all forms of discrimination.”
Students at the protest expressed clear dissatisfaction with the statement, immediately booing when the statement was read out loud around 4 p.m.
“They are making us seem like we are not knowledgeable,” said Aisha Tahir ’21. “They are not responding to our demands.”
University spokesperson Ben Chang wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian that the University’s statement “still stands” and that the University “respect[s] and appreciate[s] student input into how these important issues are handled by the University.”
“The two committees we referenced, the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct and the University Student Life Committee, will be convening in the near future,“ Chang wrote. “The students who raised the recent concerns around Title IX have been invited to participate. The specific details of the meetings are still being worked out.”
In addition to the formal sit-in, the protesters have sent out a pledge for both current students and alumni to sign, promising to abstain from alumni giving until the protesters’ demands are met. As of the time of this publication, that pledge has received 709 signatures.