About 400 members of the Class of 2021 have signed a letter in solidarity with the students, families, and community members affected by the Aug. 11-12 protests in Charlottesville, Va. In the letter — which is addressed to the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville communities — members of the Princeton’s incoming freshman class condemned the “racism, anti-Semitism, and violence that took place” and commended the University of Virginia for standing “firmly against vitriol and triumphing over hate.”
Anna Macknick ’21 said that after reading other statements in support of UVA and Charlottesville written by the incoming freshman classes at institutions such as Dartmouth and Vassar, she suggested drafting a letter on the Class of 2021’s Facebook page. The Princeton letter stressed the “dangers of bigotry,” with class members writing that “as students of an institution with a notoriously exclusionary past, we acknowledge our responsibility to uphold the sanctity of education by ensuring a safe and cooperative community. We must use education — in and out of the classroom — as a device to further our society.”
Macknick said the violence and bigotry displayed in Charlottesville hit close to home for many members of the Class of 2021.
“A number of students in my class, including myself, had considered UVA during the college application process,” she said. “If things played out differently, we could have been a part of their Class of 2021, preparing to move onto a campus where neo-Nazis had recently gathered. We needed to show our support and solidarity for not just their incoming class, but also for the entire school and community.”