About 75 students and University employees protested treatment of workers in an April 27 march across campus, urging newly admitted students who had arrived for Princeton Preview to join them.
The protest was organized by campus dining workers and the Princeton Young Democratic Socialists (YDS), a group of about 30 students. In March, with a major snowstorm forecast overnight, 39 workers chose to spend the night at the University. The workers said Princeton had provided a single large room with cots for about 35 men and women, rather than private rooms, and also voiced concern about overtime pay.
In a statement, the University said that it “greatly appreciates the work and commitment our staff showed during the recent storms.” It said the workers who stayed on campus overnight are union members and that the union contract “directs procedures and pay for situations in which overnight or extended stays occur.” The University said it had acted “in full accordance” with the workers’ union contract.
The demonstration began as admitted students and administrators exited a Princeton Preview assembly in Robertson Hall. The protesters then marched through campus to Frist Center, where they were joined by others. “Our wages don’t match the prestige of Princeton,” one worker said. The students chanted, “When workers’ rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”
Shortly before the march, another student group — Princeton Private Prison Divestment — held a short demonstration outside Richardson Auditorium to show admitted students that “our community cares about fighting mass incarceration and anti-immigrant policies,” a member of the group said. The University said in a statement that Princeton has no investments in private prisons and that President Eisgruber ’83 has said publicly that the University has no intention to invest in them.