Princeton University considers erasing history over protest demands; all signs of Woodrow Wilson must go

Princeton University has acquiesced to students’ demands to consider removing former Democratic President Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus buildings.

The agreement between the Ivy League university and students came Wednesday, after a 32-hour sit-in at the front of school President Christopher Eisgruber’s office, according to a statement from the university.

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Photo credit Princeton University.

The protest was organized by a group known as Black Justice League which demanded Wilson’s name be erased from the school, according to Reuters.

Protest organizers from the Black Justice League have called on Princeton to remove Wilson’s name and image from its public spaces, as well as from the university’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Wilson, the 28th U.S. president from 1913 to 1921, was a leader of the Progressive Movement but also supported racial segregation, which was legal and part of public policy at the time in the United States, particularly in southern states. Segregation was banned under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Calls for the removal of Wilson’s name from Princeton, where he served as president from 1902 to 1910, arose during a wave of demonstrations at U.S. colleges over the treatment of minority students.

The Princeton students also want the school to institute a cultural competency and diversity training program and to designate space on campus for “cultural affinity” groups.

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Carmine Sabia

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