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In an opinion piece published in The Daily Princetonian yesterday, Juan José López Haddad attacked the Princeton Open Campus Coalition (POCC) and its recent efforts to defend academic freedom. As a member of this coalition, I welcome the opportunity to litigate our important work. Haddad, of course, is hardly alone in his rank displeasure with the existence and work of POCC. Since the release of our letter, much has been said of it, both in and out of the University community. What follows is, to be sure, a response to the charges he raises, but it is in equal part a larger defense of our movement for academic freedom.
In a recent opinion piece, Andlinger Center Director Lynn Loo defended the Center’s research partnership with ExxonMobil on the grounds that engagement with oil and gas companies is required for rapid decarbonization. This piece came within 24 hours of an announcement that Exxon had re-upped the multimillion dollar partnership for another 5 years.
In a recently circulated piece, a group of around twenty students warned the University against implementing anti-racist training and curricular reform. All of these claims are made under the purported grounds that it would limit free speech and academic freedom.
To the Editors,
Five years ago, the Black Justice League (BJL) and Black Student Union organized a 33-hour sit-in of Nassau Hall to protest the University’s ongoing celebration of Woodrow Wilson. Last month, drawing upon the BJL’s efforts, Change WWS Now circulated a letter and list of demands. Later that week, Wilson’s name was finally stripped from the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) and the residential college now known as First College.
Princeton University’s recent decision to drop the name of Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879, from the designation of its public policy school garnered widespread attention and praise. Princeton widely advertised the name change as a sign of progress. While the change is certainly progressive, the decision should trigger a discussion on the name “Princeton” itself, which may have a far more sinister legacy than “Woodrow Wilson.”
I recently read the Editorial Board’s piece regarding changing the Department of Public Safety as well as possibly ending their collaboration with outside police departments. In response, I would like to provide a bit of history to correct any misinformation about the origins of campus police and to urge readers to look at campus police in a different light.
Firstly, I wish to thank the Black Justice League (BJL) for its primary role in the renaming of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Fail as he may to acknowledge the BJL by name in his June 27 letter to the University community, President Eisgruber cannot erase the collective memory of Black students’ impact on Princeton. As long as students, alumni and faculty continue to amplify the real history and material forces that brought us this far — namely, the BJL’s incredible direct action against the administration five years ago — whitewashing can never win.
I spent my first two summers of high school completing state-required gym classes so that I could fit more science classes into my schedule during the academic year. Every morning, I had to run a lap on the track with my classmates under the searing July sun.
An open letter to President Eisgruber and the Academic Year 2021 Coordinating Committee:
The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is currently deciding whether to continue its partnership with ExxonMobil.
To the Editor:
Howard Greene was finishing his graduate work at Harvard in 1963 when he received a call from a dean. Sweeping social changes were underway in the ’60s, he was told. Princeton was looking for a couple of young guys to come in and change its culture.
Just before midnight in early March, campus erupted in confusion and dismay as the University accidentally updated their website to alert students that classes would be moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After taking down the information, without confirming whether such plans would be put into place until the next day, the University proceeded to contradict itself and bungle communication about both COVID-19 policy and grading changes in the following weeks, creating a prolonged atmosphere of uncertainty and chaos.
This letter was submitted to administrators on Tuesday, June 23. The text appears verbatim below.
This letter was submitted to administrators at 12:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 22. The text appears verbatim below.
“All the workings of a bank should be as visible as the wheels and mainspring of a glass-enclosed French clock,” novelist John P. Marquand writes in “Point of No Return.” The public intrinsically mistrusts people who handle money, he says, so bank officers should conduct their business with “no deception, everything open and aboveboard.” John T. Osander ’57 thought that Marquand’s advice aptly applied to his own line of work as the University’s director of admission.
On Monday, a Philippine judge found Maria Ressa ’86 — a world-renowned journalist and founder of the independent news site Rappler — and her colleague, Reynaldo Santos, Jr., guilty on spurious charges of “cyber libel.” Ressa’s conviction comes after four years of thinly veiled political persecution.
With decreased air pollution in India, reduced carbon emissions in China, and improved water quality in Venice, much of the environmental rhetoric during the coronavirus pandemic has been about nature “healing” itself. Of course, there is value in the optimism gained by signs of nature’s capacity to heal, but now is not the time to ease up on environmental activism. The fight against climate change has not yet been won.
The public lynching of George Floyd by a police officer last month, after the murder of Breonna Taylor by current police officers and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by a former police officer, has catalyzed protests across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people, including Princeton students, faculty, and alumni, have called for a radical transformation of policing and the criminal justice system.