PRINCETON — In a letter to the Princeton University community, President Christopher Eisgruber tells the pro-Palestinian sit-in organizers that they must leave Cannon Green as the space is needed for Class Day preparations.

The sit-in started on April 25 as an encampment which quickly ended with two arrests as the tents set up on the school's McCosh Courtyard were a violation of university policy. Organizers turned it into a sit-in, which meant protesters had to endure rain and both cold and heat. As the sit-in moved to Cannon Green, some of the protesters began a hunger strike at the encampment.

"The sit-in makes it impossible to ready the green for Class Day and other events and has required large amounts of time from university staff members who have served selflessly, seven days a week, and are now needed for other purposes," Eisgruber said in his letter.

The letter does not set a deadline or consequences if the school's request is not met.

Eisgruber said protesters “are free to express their views in many other permissible, non-disruptive ways.”

Class Day, a day-long celebration for seniors with "prominent" speakers, entertainment and the presentation of the symbolic key to the campus by the college president, is scheduled for Monday, May 27. Princeton University's Reunions for alumni begins on Thursday, May 23 and lasts through Memorial Day Weekend.

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Demands of encampment at Princeton University encampment
Demands of encampment at Princeton University encampment (@princetondivestnow via Instagram)
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Demands to be heard by Community Resources Committee

According to the letter, the Princeton University Community Resources Committee will meet Tuesday for an initial meeting to discuss "divestment requests" from the protesters. Eisgruber said the committee always convenes shortly after receiving divestment requests or petitions

The protesters will also have an opportunity to present their views on the university divesting from Israel. Their other demands do not look to be met by the university.

"We could not accommodate, for example, requests for severing ties from the United States military, academic boycotts of Israel, ceasefire statements, or complete amnesty for arrested protestors without breaching principles fundamental to the University’s governance and mission," Eisgruber said.

The protesters responded on Instagram: “Our demands have not changed.”

In a second post they expressed frustration at having less than 24 hours to prepare for the meeting and called it an example of the school’s “bad faith negotiations.”

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Response to email to the Princeton University community from sit-in organizers
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Response to email to the Princeton University community from sit-in organizers (@princetondivestnow via Instagram)

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