These are our campus-wide demands directed to the university administration.
In the following demands, we have gathered the common, core issues that activists in our coalition put forward as their priorities for an anti-racist transformation of Princeton University. This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it meant to be the final word on what needs to be done in the struggle against anti-Black racism and other forms of oppression at Princeton. We hope to build on this foundation alongside student activists, workers, and community members in order to push the Princeton administration to implement these changes.
1. Policing and incarceration
- Disarm, defund, and abolish Princeton’s campus police, PSAFE, and redirect funds to training in and implementation of mental health support and non-violent de-escalation practices (see SPEAR’s petition for more details).
- Cut monetary and other ties with the Princeton Police Department and NJ Police.
- Divest from the prison industrial complex (PIC), pledge never to invest in private prisons or firms that profit from the PIC, and publish endowment holdings to ensure accountability and transparency (see SPEAR’s petition for more details).
- Remove questions about misdemeanours and felony convictions from admissions applications, and all applications to work and/or study at Princeton.
2. Hiring and recruitment
- Make transparent and concrete commitments to hiring Black faculty, and recruiting Black graduate and undergraduate students at every level across the university, and establish a timeline for these goals.
- Hire at least two full-time staff members specifically to support and advocate for Native students.
- Hire a Native recruitment admissions officer to improve recruitment and yield of Native students and augment the number of Native students applying to, being admitted to, and choosing to attend Princeton.
- Hire a Native professional to work with the University and Indigenous student activists at Natives at Princeton and the Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition (PIAC) to address Princeton’s past and present role in settler colonial violence.
- Recognize and compensate the work done by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff of color as relates to anti-racism, diversity, and recruitment with course relief, salary, stipends, as set in discussion with said groups.
- Hire American Indian and other Indigenous professors across different levels of seniority, and establish a timeline to meet these goals.
- End the use of standardized testing in undergraduate and graduate admissions.
- Waive application fees for undergraduate and graduate admissions.
- Report on the progress of these goals to the campus community regularly and with space for public and accessible discussion by all members of the university community.
3. Labor practices
- Commit to recognizing and bargaining in good faith with labor unions of Princeton workers, including Princeton Graduate Students United.
- Meet the faculty- and post-doc- level demands of Princeton’s faculty letter of July 4, 2020.
- Re-establish health and other benefits for laid-off and/or furloughed sub-contract workers, and re-hire them as contracted staff with secure benefits and pay. These workers often spend many years working at Princeton University with little security, and most are people of color, including many Black and Latino workers.
4. Curriculum and teaching
- Establish a core distribution requirement for undergraduates focused on the history and legacy of racism in the United States and on campus.
- Work with departments to support and facilitate training in anti-racist teaching practices, including all faculty, graduate students, and other instructional staff, including undergraduates.
- Implement changes to curricula in undergraduate and graduate instruction, particularly in canon-based and methods courses in order to explicitly teach the role of slavery, colonization, and ongoing racism in higher education broadly and specifically in the discipline in question.
5. Addressing racism on campus
- Cultural competency and anti-racism training for all staff, faculty.
- A cultural space on campus dedicated specifically to Black students.
- Commit to clear and explicit policies in full, unconditional, and material support of undocumented students, staff, and community members, including but not limited to non-compliance with police, ICE, and other immigration/border enforcement.
- A land acknowledgement is simply not enough. Princeton University needs to return the stolen land to the Lenape and pay rent for the land the campus occupies.
- Material, transparent, and permanent commitments to the demands of Indigenous students and workers are long overdue, including but not limited to the hiring of Indigenous scholars, the recruitment and support of Indigenous students, specific scholarships, fellowships, and support for Indigenous students and workers, with specific funding and support for students from Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, whose traditional territory Princeton occupies. In addition, land acknowledgments are just empty words if they are not coupled with concrete action. These are the Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition’s demands:
- Dedicate an affinity space on campus for Native students
- Establish a certificate program in Indigenous Studies
- Dedicate annual funding to support Indigenous Studies
- Dedicate physical space to house the Indigenous Studies program
- Clear benchmarks and deadlines for the implementation of these demands and existing recommendations made by student activists and faculty.
6. Princeton University and its obligations to our community
- Substantially increase the University’s material contribution to Princeton town and surrounding community, in direct partnership with community groups.
- Solicit proposals from Princeton residents and community groups, students, and workers in order to re-structure the entrenched relationship Princeton University has with the surrounding region, with the aim of fundamentally transforming the relationship between the community and University in its capacity as a (largely tax-exempt) property holder and employer. Discuss these proposals in a transparent and accountable manner with these groups and the wider community, and establish a timeline for the implementation of changes arrived at through continued dialogue with Princeton residents, workers, and students.