President Eisgruber said that he had regretted his participation as a student in a protest because he was unaware of and disagreed with the view expressed by the sign he was following. Fair enough. Students get swept into these things — and they are students, after all. They are feeling their independence and testing the new rules and behavioral boundaries.

Now, he is not a student; he is the leader of Princeton University. I had hoped that he would answer your question about the sit-in with a thoughtful reflection of how he could have avoided getting swept along by the angry and emotionally charged events, and would say how he might have handled the situation in a better way. If he had done so, I would have more confidence in his and the University’s ability to ensure free speech and, at the same time, provide student comfort and belonging (inclusivity). Students look to him to articulate the rules and behavioral boundaries; alumni and friends (and the government) look to his leadership qualities as they evaluate Princeton’s requests for financial support.

John Baker ’61
Atlanta, Ga.