Pro-Palestinian protesters at their encampment on Cannon Green.
John Emerson

Princeton University officials, including President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, met with a group of students and faculty who represent pro-Palestinian protesters on Monday, May 6, according to University spokesperson Jennifer Morrill. 

Protesters had been calling on Eisgruber and other administrators to meet with them and discuss demands established when they started an encampment in McCosh Courtyard on April 25. In addition, 17 undergraduate students said on Friday they were starting a hunger strike and invited others to join, even if just for one day. 

Protesters are calling for Princeton to divest from companies connected to Israel’s war in Gaza, enact an academic and cultural boycott of Israeli institutions, support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions, and publicly advocate for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 

In addition to Eisgruber, Monday’s meeting was attended by Graduate School Dean Rodney Priestley, and School of Public and International Affairs Dean Amaney Jamal. 

“President Eisgruber explained that at Princeton, divestment is rare and only considered as part of an orderly process that includes input from across the community. Divestment at Princeton also requires a formal determination that campus consensus is possible on the issue,” Morrill said in a statement. 

“He invited the protesters to engage in that process, which has led in recent years to divestment and dissociation from segments of the fossil fuel industry. A 2014 petition calling for divestment from Israel did not meet the dissociation standard at Princeton.” 

Emanuelle Sippy ’25, one of the students at the meeting, said during a speech at Cannon Green that "Eisruber gave us nothing," according to The Daily Princetonian. David Chmielewski ’24 told the Prince that the protesters "feel deeply disrespected by the University administration."

A follow-up meeting was discussed, according to Morrill. She added that University officials were receptive to strengthening academic ties with Palestinian institutions and creating an affinity space for Palestinian students. 

On Tuesday, Eisgruber emailed the campus community to address recent events and "the path ahead."

"My colleagues and I are now in direct conversation with the protestors," he wrote. "I have told them that we can consider their concerns through appropriate processes that respect the interests of multiple parties and viewpoints, but we cannot allow any group to circumvent those processes or exert special leverage."

Since April 25, 15 protesters have been arrested and suspended pending disciplinary hearings, including 13 who were involved in the occupation of Clio Hall on April 29. 

"As the protest activity and rhetoric has intensified, I have heard from members of our community who say that they feel less welcome or secure on campus because they are encountering antisemitic language and behavior that should have no place at Princeton," Eisgriber said. "Some people believe we are tolerating too much protest on the campus and some that we are not tolerating enough.

"Finding a path forward will require that we respect all of these perspectives.  That will not be easy.  Never have I seen our campus more riven with passionate disagreements, disagreements that encompass the war in Gaza as well as issues about Princeton itself."

Protesters moved their encampment to Cannon Green after the Clio Hall takeover and held a town hall-style meeting there Monday night, discussing and voting on their next moves.  

In an effort to show the University they have broad support among the campus community, protesters said they plan to hold a rally in front of Nassau Hall on Tuesday night. The group also voted to boycott and disrupt University events, although specifics were not publicly discussed. 

In addition, 17 undergraduate students said on Friday they were staring a hunger strike and invited others to join, even if just for one day.