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“Double Sights” — known colloquially throughout the town as the “Woody Woo 36-Degree Inverted Half Pipe” — has garnered mixed reviews from community members since its construction.
For decades, Scudder Plaza, adjacent to the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, has been the place to be on campus for skaters. New Jersey’s best have traveled to the University for a chance to grind on the railings of the Julius Romo Rabinowitz building, tick-tack around the Fountain of Freedom, and kick-flip off the steps of Robertson Hall. Especially during its construction, many of these individuals expected “Double Sights” to have a negative impact on the Princeton skating scene. However, since its unveiling, the 39-foot instillation has provided skaters with much-needed opportunities to try out new tricks.
“It was really frustrating having that area blocked off during the summer,” one Princeton High School student said, “but I never imagined the number of gnarly stunts I could shred off the side of Double Sights.”
“I don’t know how much it cost to build, but whatever the price, I think it’s really paying off for the local skateboarding community,” he continued.
“I had literally never seen someone land a 940-degree backstop leap stand until Jason pulled it off, sliding down from the top of the monument,” another skater noted. “I haven’t had this much fun since I dated Avril Lavigne.”
Though loving this new ability to shred the gnar, other Freedom Fountain frequenters called into question the necessity to raise another monument to President Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879.
“I appreciate how the Woody Woo Inverted Half Pipe lets me pop insane frontside laser flips,” skater Rodney Mullen said. “But I’m unsure if we should be commemorating this man at a diverse and forward-thinking educational institution, given his segregationist policies and rhetoric during his tenure as president of the University.”
“I was so stoked watching Blake grind nose-first off the back edge of the instillation yesterday,” one Princeton Charter School seventh grader noted. “But it also bothers me a bit how Princeton University continues to commemorate Wilson’s idealized language when he very clearly — shown by both his domestic policies and priorities at international diplomatic conferences — did not believe the concept of self-determination should be extended beyond the European continent to various Asian, African, and South American nations being oppressed by colonialism and imperialism.”
“I guess Double Sights is a pretty accurate name for the thing,” this student continued. “Because I go back and forth between thinking of it as a skater’s paradise and thinking of it as a monument to a man who resegregated the federal government, gave millions of oppressed people false hope through promises of freedom, and supported a brutal, colonialist American regime in the Philippines.”
“I read the 14 Points in middle school and thought Woodrow Wilson was a pretty great guy,” another PHS student recalled. “Then I took his advice and watched “The Birth of a Nation” — and, like, wow. Though I appreciate having the Half Pipe, we should really stop naming things after a Klan defender.”
A few University students on campus have called for the monument to be torn down, but the University has not budged. The Board Jumpers Legion (BJL) — a coalition of New Jersey skaters — has come up with a different solution.
“We don’t want to continue deifying Wilson, but we also don’t want to take away this unique opportunity for the people of New Jersey to shred up on their platters,” BJL spokesperson Tony Hawk wrote in a press release. “Therefore, we call for the monument to be kept in place, but to be renamed and altered such that it can be unaffiliated with President and poser Woodrow Wilson.”
Specifically, the BJL wants to paint over the monument in a swath of rainbow — a stark contrast from sculptor Walter Hood’s original black and white design — to commemorate the racial, cultural, and ideological diversity of the Princeton student body.
This monument would be renamed the Obama-Sotomayor-Kagan-Cruz-Bradley Quintuple Sights Inverted Half Pipe and include a plaque honoring former First Lady Michelle Obama ’85, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor ’76 and Elena Kagan ’81, Texas Senator Ted Cruz ’92, and former New York Knicks shooting guard and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley ’65.
“And maybe while they’re at it, Princeton can think about renaming Wilson College and the Woodrow Wilson School too,” the BJL statement continued. “Just a thought.”