Students refused to leave the Princeton president’s office Wednesday night, with about 15 staying there overnight and vowing not to leave until he agrees to a list of demands they believe will improve the racial climate on campus.
Christopher Eisgruber, the university president, agreed to one of their demands Wednesday – that black students should have a cultural space on campus. But he did not immediately agree to “recognize the racist legacy” of President Woodrow Wilson, a famous alumnus, and remove his name from buildings, nor to mandate that faculty and staff take a “cultural competency” course. The conversation will continue, a university spokesperson said.
Wilson, a former Princeton president and the 28th president of the United States, permitted segregation in federal offices and opposed efforts by civil rights leaders to combat discrimination against African Americans.
One of the protest organizers, Wilglory Tanjong, said about 15 students chose to remain in his office until he agrees to all the demands, despite warnings that they face disciplinary consequences for doing so.
Scores more gathered outside of historic Nassau Hall, some pitching tents to sleep there overnight, some singing songs such as “Amazing Grace.” They remained there during the day Thursday.
The demonstration started on a day of nationally coordinated student protests over race, linked by the hashtag #student blackout day.
Princeton University student Mary Hui contributed to this story from New Jersey.