Current Issue

Feb.†8, 2012

Vol. 112, No. 7

The University and Wall Street

In response to: For most, business as usual despite Wall Street protests

Published on February†8, 2012

When we were at Princeton, we often were reminded that Princeton’s motto is “In the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.” Despite this ideal, we realize that to many within and outside the Orange Bubble, Princeton symbolizes something much less noble: greed, privilege, and elitism. We believe that part of this perception stems from Princeton’s strong institutional support for financial-service firms that have manipulated the political systems and economies of nations around the world to the detriment of those societies and the stability of the global financial system.

We applaud the students of Occupy Princeton for challenging Princeton’s dominant culture of political disengagement. Princeton graduates have the opportunity to choose their own career paths. If they do choose to work in finance, they should know they are entering an industry with a reprehensible historical record of breaching public trust and engaging in practices that run directly counter to Princeton’s motto. We believe that the Occupy Princeton protests send an important message to these financial institutions about the University’s values and serve to educate students considering a career in finance.

The University administration should support those students who are attempting to bring Princeton into a much-needed national conversation about income inequality and economic injustice. Moreover, we urge the administration to stop providing institutional support for recruiting on campus by the worst offenders of the financial industry. Instead, Princeton should redirect its resources to support career options that look beyond the pursuit of profit and allow the University and University graduates to show true leadership and social responsibility, whether in finance or in any other field.

Lastly, we call on fellow alumni to join us in making it clear that “In the nation’s service and in the service of all nations” must include everyone, not just the wealthiest 1 percent.

AARON HARNLY ’99 and AARON MICHELS ’00
and 108 other alumni

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3 Responses to The University and Wall Street

A group of 110 alumni Says:

2012-02-06 15:34:28

This letter was signed by: Aaron Harnly '99, Aaron Michels '00, Adam Flynn '08, Alex Barnard '09, Alice Huang '99, Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux '11, Amy Markoff Johnson '91 s'91, Andrew Ferguson '08, Anh-Thu Ngo '06, Asheesh Siddique '07, Ben Sheng '11, Benjamin Knudsen '11, Benjamin Weisman '11, Bright Limm '06, Bryan Locascio '11, Carol Dreibelbis '11, Chi Anunwa '11, Chloe Hall '11, Chris Hipser '11, Chrissy Nesbitt '05, Cindi Textor '08, Connor Diemand-Yauman '10, Courtny Hopen '08, Dan Huron '00, Daniel Hawkins '07, Daniel Krimm '78, David Mason '00, David Smart '09, David L. Smith '82, David Zaslavsky '08, Devon Ahearn '09, Elika Etemad '10, Elliot Welder '10, Emily Sullivan '11, Emmett C. Buckley '11, Erica Wojcik '09, Erika Wolf '85, Grace (Wright) Dalgarno '07, Greg Hurwitt '82, Harold Feld '89, Hilary Dobel '08, Jacob Denz '10, Jahnabi Barooah '11, Jake Bornstein '09, Jan Devereux '81, Jared Aldwin Crooks '11, Jefferson Clayton '11, Jeffrey Campbell '10, Jennifer Dickinson '03, Jenny Hsi '09, Jessica Lander '10, Jillian Hewitt '11, Johannes Muenzel '11, John Ellington '11, Jon Feyer '09, Jonathan Solarte '10, Jordan Bubin '09, Josh Goldsmith '07, Juan Blanco '77, Juan Pablo Laso '07, Justine Drennan '11, Kate Huddleston '11, Kate Poole '09, Kate Reid '04, Kersten Jacobson Biehn '97, Laurence Moffett '82, Lianna Kissinger-Virizlay '10, Lindsey M. Flower '92, Luke Cissell '02, Madeleine Endicott '10, Madeleine Picciotto '78, Majel Connery '01, Mark Dalgarno '07, Mark Gray '11, Mark Ho '11, Martha Ferguson '11, Matthew Davis '09, Megan Prier '11, Melissa Whitley '08, Mia Tsui '11, Michael Collins '11, Michael DiStefano '11, Michael Hammond '09, Mike Zhao '10, Mohit Agrawal '11, Molly Hickok '82, Nathalie Lagerfeld '09, Niklas Peters '11, Patric Benitez '09, Patricia Chen '11, Paul Cowgill '08, Paul Miller '10, Priscilla Corbin '81, QZ Lau '11, Rebecca Butler '10, Richa Gawande '08, Robert Stephenson '65, Roberto Steck-Ibarra '01, Sam Borchard '11, Samuel Leachman '09, Sean Gleason '09, Sierra Gronewold '11, Sophie Chen Jin '11, Stacia Cedillo '09, Steph Hill '10, Stephen Crown-Weber '10, Steven Schoeffler '85, Sukrit Silas '11, Tesla Monson '07, Theresa Laverty '10, Victoria Tan '11, ZoŽ Saunders '10

David F. Reynolds *75 Says:

2012-02-07 09:52:59

OK, Group of 110, I'll go along. Let's run the nation's economy as you see best and then report back in a generation with the results. Don't forget to inform those who don't agree with any elite views based on being in the top 1 percent in formal education. And include your definition of democracy. Is it a deal?

Christopher Day Says:

2012-02-07 13:41:49

Just because a small group of people have a good idea doesn't mean that good idea will only serve them; that's just the way recent history has painted it. Don't be so pessimistic, deal?
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