"Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs" and "Wilson College" at Princeton University
Artist: Princeton University
Date of Action: November 2015
Region: North America
Location: Princeton, NJ, United States
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Black Justice League
Description of Artwork: In 1948, Princeton University named a residential college and its school of international relations school after President Woodrow Wilson, an alumni of the university.
The Incident: The Black Justice League, as well as other students and faculty, argued in late November 2015 that President Woodrow Wilson's racist beliefs and actions are unbefitting asa moniker for the residential college and international affairs program. They staged a sit-in and met with Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber. These actions were in the context of other demands by the group, including creating a "safe space" for minorities, mandatory training in cultural-competency for faculty, and a diversity requirement within Princeton's core curriculum.
Results of Incident: On November 19, 2015, President Eisgruber agreed to investigate expunging Wilson's name.
A group called "Concerned Princetonians" posted a petition online at change.org arguing, "free speech is fundamental to Princeton’s role as an institution of higher learning and excessive political correctness stifles academic discourse.”
The incident garnered significant media coverage, including mentions in the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Princeton University's board of trustees has decided that it will not remove Woodrow Wilson's name from its School of Public and International Affairs and from a residential college, despite student protests over the former president's segregationist views.