NJ.com reported Jan. 11 that a federal district judge denied, for the case’s discovery phase, a motion by Princeton to force a student suing the University to reveal his name publicly in court papers, even though his suit is based on his allegation that the University wrongly forced him out after a suicide attempt. I am appalled by Princeton’s “win at all costs” tactics, looking to pressure someone who obviously feels the public stigma often associated with suicide attempts. I am not prejudging the merits of the plaintiff’s claim, but nothing can justify forcing someone to reveal something so sensitive under these circumstances.
Princeton apparently claimed in its papers that it was unfair for the plaintiff to say bad things about the University in court without being open to public scrutiny, but this is not a level playing field, and Princeton has a greater ability to withstand unfounded allegations than an individual facing potential lifelong consequences. I expect more of our University, and I am deeply disappointed.