A 32-hour sit-in at the president’s office at Princeton University ended Thursday night after both sides reached an agreement.
The deal is a compromise between the Black Justice League and the university. In statement posted on Princeton’s website last night, the university agreed to some of the students demands such as designating space for minority student clubs but stated it would only explore the question of whether Woodrow Wilson’s name should be replaced on several campus buildings. Wilson served as Princeton’s president from 1902-1910 and held views the students say were racist.
President Christopher L. Eisgruber, Dean of the College Jill Dolan and Vice President for Campus Life Rochelle Calhoun signed the agreement Thursday evening after meeting with students from the Black Justice League over several hours. Seventeen students signed the agreement.
“We appreciate the willingness of the students to work with us to find a way forward for them, for us and for our community,” Eisgruber said. “We were able to assure them that their concerns would be raised and considered through appropriate processes.”
The student sit-in began on Wednesday at noon when dozens of students entered Nassau Hall and said they wouldn’t leave until their demands were met. University officials said after the agreement was reached Thursday night all of the student left the building at 8:45 p.m.
Here are the terms of the deal, which was posted on Princeton’s website.
The agreement reads:
November 19th, 2015
This meeting was attended by the Black Justice League (BJL) and President Eisgruber, Vice President (VP) Calhoun and Dean Dolan. By signing below, I agree to have verbalized the following during the Thursday afternoon meeting with the BJL:
On the first demand concerning the legacy of Woodrow Wilson on this campus:
Write to Professor Cadava tonight to initiate the process to consider removal of Wilson’s mural, which will express President Eisgruber’s personal view that the mural should be removed from the Wilcox Dining Hall. Dean Gonzalez will be CC’d on this email exchange. This promise was verbalized by President Eisgruber.
Write an email to Katie Hall, the chair of the Board of Trustees, to initiate conversations concerning the present legacy of Woodrow Wilson on this campus, including Black Justice League’s request to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name. This promise was verbalized by President Eisgruber.
The Board of Trustees will collect information on the campus community’s opinion on Woodrow Wilson School name and then make a decision regarding the name. This promise was verbalized by President Eisgruber.
Commitment to working toward greater ethnic diversity of memorialized artwork on campus. Thiscommitment was verbalized by President Eisgruber.
On the second demand concerning the creation of Affinity Housing:
Immediately designate four rooms in the Carl A. Fields Center that will be used by Cultural Affinity Groups. This promise was verbalized by VP Calhoun.
BJL members will be involved in a working group with the staff of the Residential Colleges to begin discussions on the viability of the formation of Affinity Housing for those interested in black culture. This promise was verbalized by Dean Dolan.
On the third demand concerning the implementation of Cultural Competency Training and a Diversity Requirement:
Work in conjunction with Executive Director John Kolligian to enhance cultural competency training for CPS staff. This promise was verbalized by VP Calhoun.
Email Dean Prentice to arrange an introduction with BJL concerning the possibility of cultural competency training. This promise was verbalized by President Eisgruber.Arrange a presentation by BJL to the FACP. This promise was verbalized by President Eisgruber.
Dean Gonzalez will work with the BJL to invite two members to attend the meeting on December 8th to discuss with the General Education Task Force the possibility of a diversity requirement. This promise was verbalized by Dean Dolan.
On the final demand concerning amnesty from disciplinary action for those who remained in President Eisgruber’s office overnight on November 18th, 2015.
No formal disciplinary action has been nor will be initiated if students peacefully leave President Eisgruber’s office tonight. This promise was verbalized by VP Calhoun.In the future, information in regards to processes concerning disciplinary action, protests and Rights, Rules and Responsibilities will be clearly given from administration to students in writing. This promise was verbalized by VP Calhoun.
Inclusion At Princeton website is updated by the Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion. Dean Gonzalez is the point person for checking in on the progress concerning the aforementioned issues. This promise was verbalized by Dean Dolan.