For a few days last month, 60 black-and-white portraits of straight-faced student and alumni activists faced Nassau Hall, calling on President Eisgruber ’83 to meet demands of a coalition of student groups, ranging from divestment from fossil fuels to the abolition of Princeton’s Department of Public Safety.
The portraits were part of “Eyes on Eisgruber,” an art installation of five student organizations: Divest Princeton, Natives at Princeton, the Princeton Indigenous Advocacy Coalition (PIAC), Students for Prison Education, Abolition, and Reform (SPEAR), and Change Princeton Now. The list of demands was included in a folder by the display and emailed to the administration (see bit.ly/eyes-on).
“We’re really trying to show how it’s not just these separate groups but [rather] a bigger commentary on the University’s tendency to stonewall and stall when student activists are calling for change,” said Hannah Reynolds ’22, a coordinator of the demonstration and a member of Divest Princeton and PIAC.
University spokesman Michael Hotchkiss declined to comment on the student demands.
All the groups in the coalition were founded within the last 10 years. By displaying the collective faces of student activists, they hoped to convey that the University wasn’t just letting down any one individual, said Keely Toledo ’22, co-president of Natives at Princeton and a leader of PIAC. “We’re a community,” she said.
“I think what’s different about this year is that it’s so apparent how much it’s necessary,” said SPEAR co-president Emma Harlan ’22. “Without coming together, there really aren’t enough voices to build something that the University has to respond to.”
Reynolds said Divest Princeton plans to collaborate on another display using the photos and on efforts to make the Young Alumni Trustee election more transparent by pushing for candidates’ stances on relevant issues.