The February 2021 PAW reports on a petition, signed by over 1,400 students, alumni, faculty, and staff, calling for the resignation of Sen. Ted Cruz ’92 and for Princeton to consider rescinding his degree, apparently because he objected to the certification of some of the electoral votes in the past presidential election.

Why just Sen. Cruz? A surprising number of Democratic legislators — Sen. Barbara Boxer and a host of Representatives — lodged objections to electoral votes in other presidential elections in the 2000s. Shouldn’t they also have their college degrees rescinded?

Why just electoral college objections? Shouldn’t Princeton consider cancelling the degrees of all the alumni who fought on the side of the South in the Civil War — a genuine insurrection — rather than honor them in the Memorial Atrium in Nassau Hall? (See “Princeton in the Confederacy’s service,” PAW March 23, 2011.) And of course, there are the pro-segregation alumni like Woodrow Wilson 1879.

Why just settle for yanking Sen. Cruz’s Princeton degree? Shouldn’t the petition also call for the retraction of his law degree, high school diploma, and any gold stars he received in kindergarten?

Or is it possible that the goal of making a social leper out of someone, even if they did something that one regards as badly wrong, is simply petty, vindictive, and immature — not to mention totalitarian? 

Walter Weber ’81
Alexandria, Va.