Princeton Graduate Students United (PGSU)


PGSU Demands For a Safe Workplace


The letter outlines demands to increase economic support and ensure safety for graduate student workers and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also demands that Princeton commits to an anti-racist and anti-sexist workplace that supports students of all backgrounds, supports vulnerable populations in the surrounding community, affirms workers/students’ right to organize, and protects international and immigrant workers.

The letter makes the following demands:

  1. Commit to a just pandemic response.
    • Maintain employment, pay, and benefits for all Princeton community members.
    • Allocate fellowship and postdoc funding to provide the option to extend time-to-completion fellowships and maintain employment.
    • Guarantee full health coverage to all campus workers during the pandemic.
    • Ensure safe working and living conditions.
    • Adjust academic requirements for graduate students.
  2. Commit to an anti-racist and anti-sexist workplace that supports all students.
    • Meet the demands of BJL, SPIA, SPEAR, and Prinecton faculty.
    • Defund and abolish campus police (PSAFE).
    • Commit to a survivor-led model for addressing assault and harassment.
    • Provide a starting grant to all first-year graduate students for moving and travel.
    • Increase and expand support for graduate workers with children.
  3. Protect international and immigrant workers.
    • Extend all I-20s and DS-2019s by at least one year.
    • Provide free access to legal counsel for immigration and tax matters.
    • Designate Princeton as a sanctuary campus.
    • Organize mandatory annual trainings on international/immigrant scholar issues.
  4. Demonstrate accountability to students and workers; recognize workers’ right to organize and unionize.
    • Hold at least two town hall meetings/semester open to all grad students.
    • Establish a robust privacy policy for information gathered during the pandemic.
    • Include PGSU reps in University meetings and decision-making processes.
    • Commit to recognizing the results of any future campus union election process.
  5. Commit funding to support vulnerable, poor, and working-class residents of Princeton and surrounding townships.
    • Provide compensation for pandemic-related income losses in Mercer County.
    • Ensure that all workers including subcontracted workers earn a living wage and receive adequate workplace protections, healthcare, and pandemic relief funds.
    • Redistribute wealth.


Princeton University is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Lenapehoking and the Lenape people. We pay respect to Lenape peoples past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora.