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As concerned Black alumni, we stand with the Princeton faculty, as well as the undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni of the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), who have called for the University to transform itself into an anti-racist institution. Their demands are the culmination of a continuum of student protest over fifty years — including the recent efforts of the Black Justice League — to compel the University to eliminate racial inequities.
On Monday, July 6, the undergraduate student population received news from President Chris Eisgruber that we would not be allowed back on campus for at least half of the coming year and that instruction will likely be mostly virtual.
Note: this statement was delivered to Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber, along with Provost Deborah Prentice and Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni, on July 16, 2020. It was acknowledged in a personal email by President Eisgruber on July 17.
Following weeks of civil unrest demanding justice and reflecting on 401 years of anti-Black racism and violence across the nation, the graduate students — past and present — of the Princeton School of Architecture (PSoA) have discussed how best to support our Black peers. In the words of Kimberly Dowdell, President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA): “We must all leverage our positions of privilege to help our most vulnerable citizens, neighbors and colleagues strive for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” If we are to truly resist anti-Black racism in the architecture discipline, we must first recognize and address the ongoing anti-Black racism and inequality within our own PSoA community. We must not ignore the daily realities and traumas of our Black students, faculty, and staff. Our support cannot simply be a statement of detached sentiment or a pledge to “do better.” Those of us who are white and non-Black POC students, faculty, staff, and administration must stand with our Black colleagues and unequivocally condemn and resist the violence that affects them. We must examine the ways in which we actively marginalize Black voices. We must commit to taking concrete steps to build an anti-racist institution where Black students and colleagues, as vital members of our academic community, can thrive. Black lives matter.
Vote100 is an ODUS-sponsored, student-led initiative. Our mission is to ensure 100 percent of Princeton students are civically engaged, with an emphasis on ensuring that those eligible to vote in each election can do so.
We, the undersigned students and alumni of the Princeton Department of Classics and Program in Linguistics, unequivocally denounce “A Declaration of Independence by a Princeton Professor,” written by professor of classics Joshua T. Katz. We condemn its demonization of student organizers, its belittlement of faculty members in their support of anti-racism, and its flippant dismissal of efforts to combat systemic racism at Princeton while minimizing the very presence of that racism itself.
The eating clubs of Princeton have a long and convoluted history. On July 3, we commemorated the 30-year anniversary of the official New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that mandated coeducation for eating clubs that had not yet adopted the policy.
On July 6, we received news describing Princeton’s plans for inviting incoming freshmen and rising juniors to campus this fall. As international first-years, we are excited at the prospect of being able to go to campus and connect with the vibrant Princeton community. Due to the present situation, though, several questions and concerns have been raised by the incoming cohort of international students.
A statement from the Princeton Filipino Community and the broader Fil-Am student community calling for democratic civil liberties in the Philippines.
On July 6, the same day the University announced its plans for the upcoming academic year, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released updated policies that severely limit the possibilities for international students to remain in and return to the United States during the upcoming academic year. During the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, exceptions had been made to allow students to remain in the United States while still taking a fully online course load, something that would not be permitted under normal circumstances. However, these concessions have now been struck down and replaced with the following guideline: if your school is only going to offer online teaching, you are not allowed to remain in the United States.
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.
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.
An open letter to President Eisgruber and the Academic Year 2021 Coordinating Committee:
To the Editor:
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.
As members of the Princeton University undergraduate student body, we all stand in solidarity with the Black community. We condemn the violent mistreatment and senseless murder of Black individuals by the police and the systemic oppression and racism that has long targeted Black lives. We believe Black Lives Matter and know that the Black students within our classes are integral members of our campus community.
The Interclub Council stands in firm solidarity with our Black members, the Black Lives Matter movement, and all of those who oppose the systemic racism which pervades our society. We wholeheartedly condemn the unjust murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all the other people whose names we must and will remember because they were taken too soon.
COVID-19 has resuscitated Rahm Emanuel’s (in)famous phrase: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” While a crisis is not the time to smuggle through policies you couldn’t pass during normal times, Emanuel’s phrase does have some merit. Crises can illuminate problems that have heretofore gone unnoticed or unarticulated. It would indeed be wasteful to not engage with those problems in good faith.
President Eisgruber’s May 4 letter correctly diagnoses the present crisis. COVID-19 has unleashed a public health and socioeconomic catastrophe. It leaves no country, no realm of society, and no institution untouched. Where Eisgruber is wrong, however, is in the response he deems necessary. If the closest analogy we have to the pandemic is indeed a war, then the “budgetary discipline” he prescribes cannot be the answer. No war has been, nor ever could be, won with austerity. Austerity will only deepen our crisis: all to shield the University’s endowment and its investors at the expense of everyone else.