News & Politics

Princeton Folds, Agrees to Remove Woodrow Wilson's Name from School Buildings

Students are gathered inside Nassau Hall during a sit-in, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Princeton, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

That would be Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States and Princeton, class of 1879:

University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 agreed to the modified demands of student protestors on Thursday evening. He signed the document at about 8:20 p.m., approximately 32 hours after students in the Black Justice League began a sit-in in his office and after significant negotiations over the content of the demands. Around 20 student protestors had been occupying Eisgruber’s office since Wednesday.

The “Walkout and Speakout” protest, organized by the BJL, began with a walkout from classes on Wednesday morning, then featured a march to Nassau Hall and a sit-in in Eisgruber’s office. Students who occupied the office stayed there overnight. Some other students camped outside the building.

The final list addressed all three initial demands of the protestors, which included cultural competency training for faculty and staff and a diversity distribution requirement, a special space for black students, and the removal of the name of Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879, from the Wilson School and Wilson College.

According to the agreement, Eisgruber will write to chair of the University Board of Trustees Katie Hall ’80 to initiate conversations on removing Wilson’s name from campus buildings. He will also write to Head of Wilson College Eduardo Cadava to request that he consider removing Wilson’s mural from Wilcox dining hall.

The administration also agreed to immediately designate four rooms in the Fields Center for use by cultural groups, and promised to have members of the BJL involved in a working group to discuss the viability of forming black affinity housing.

Regarding the protestors’ third demand, a mandatory cultural competency training and diversity distribution requirement, Eisgruber will write to Dean of the Faculty Deborah Prentice to arrange a discussion on cultural competency training. The BJL will also discuss the possibility of enhancing such training for Counseling and Psychological Services staff with CPS Executive Director John Kolligian.

Michelle Obama, Princeton class of 1985, must be so proud.