Concern about the Trump administration’s policies on immigration and other issues took many forms during the past month, including a daylong teach-in organized by graduate students, an undergraduate initiative to write to Congress, a two-day conference on the plight of refugees, and a concert benefiting the Latino immigrant community. At the same time, University administrators continued to work with individual students anxious about the effects of new immigration policies.
About 300 students gathered for an Immigration Day of Action in Frist Campus Center Feb. 17, making phone calls and writing more than 500 letters and postcards to members of Congress in opposition to President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order on immigration. The event was sponsored by Princeton Advocates for Justice, a coalition of about 25 student groups and organizations on campus. “There’s a real drive to get organized and do something,” said Nicholas Wu ’18, one of the organizers.
A week later, the group hosted “Arts Without Borders,” a benefit concert at the campus center featuring student performance groups. The concert drew nearly 200 people and raised $1,300 for the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, an organization that serves the Latino immigrant community in Mercer County, N.J.
Assistant Professor of Theater Brian Herrera approached recent events through art; he opened a gallery in the Lewis Center to mark “Not My President’s Day,” a series of performance events held across the country Feb. 20. Members of the Princeton community were invited to perform and speak about recent politics, using art as their medium.
More than 400 people registered for a campus conference March 3–4 titled “Seeking Refuge: Faith-Based Approaches to Forced Migration,” hosted by the Office of Religious Life and the Community of Sant’Egidio, a global Catholic lay movement. Recognizing the role played by religious groups in working with refugee families, the conference was expected to bring together people from faith-based and secular agencies, government officials, scholars, human-rights advocates, and refugees.
Princeton Citizen Scientists — a group of science, engineering, and social-science grad students — joined with Princeton Advocates for Justice in organizing a University-wide Day of Education and Action March 6. More than 700 students and nearly 100 faculty members supported a call for the Princeton community to participate in more than 50 workshops and teach-ins and learn about “specific actions to defend the value of liberal-arts education and science.” (Coverage will appear at PAW Online and in the April 12 issue.)
Alison Boden, dean of the Chapel, said University staff have been working with international students who could be affected by new travel restrictions, including identification of housing options and domestic internships for students who had been planning summer travel abroad. She said a number of alumni have approached the University to offer assistance.