The last time you heard from us, we shared with you our student officers’ statement about our supporting Black Lives Matter and eradicating systemic racism. The Grad Board is taking this opportunity to share our perspective. In doing so, we acknowledge that our collective opinions may not be shared by all Terrans, but we hope that the majority of readers will understand our position.
We, the Terrace Grad Board, are outraged that the list of Black lives murdered continues to grow. We honor Rem’Mie Fells, Riah Milton, Na’kia Crawford, and Oluwatoyin Salau. We honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. We honor these individuals because they are more than a statistic, more than a hashtag, and more than a headline. We are committed to fighting actively against systemic racism and unite with the Black community and with those that seek racial justice and societal reform across our country. Our commitment is derived from our Terrace values, and our human values.
The murder of George Floyd reinvigorated an already-burning movement. The fight doesn’t end when “Black Lives Matter” is painted on a road. The fight doesn’t end when those lost to police brutality receive justice. The fight doesn’t end when reform is enacted. While these outcomes are important, racism and oppression are deeply ingrained in American society. As Terrans across the globe, we vow to advocate for Black lives, Black futures, and Black dreams.
We are outraged by the murder of another Black person by police officers and their continued, violent treatment against protestors. We choose to draw attention to these injustices. We advocate for victims of murder and oppression and with those that seek justice through protests across our country. Our advocacy is derived from our Terrace values, and our human values.
Ongoing violence is a predictable result of a prejudiced system and racist culture that have treated Black people as inferior since Whiteness was created. Unless and until we take responsibility for America’s racism, as well as Princeton’s and Terrace’s role in it, and the impact it has on the present, the list of names to which George Floyd has been added will continue to expand. We must commit ourselves to building a future of increased freedom and improved justice. We choose to use this watershed moment to advance our nation’s long journey towards equality.
While Terrace celebrates acceptance, tolerance, and love, our history is deeply entrenched within Princeton University’s own problematic history with racism and prejudice. Terrace might have been one of the earliest clubs to have Black, Jewish, and female members, but Princeton University didn’t admit its first Black student until 1947, the last Ivy League school to do so. Two decades later, the number of Black students per class remained under twenty. Terrace was the first club to do away with bicker in 1968 (known then as “un-bicker”) to remove any possibility of considering “ethnicity, athletic ability, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, social graces, social status, wealth” in membership. Yet, women, including the first Black female students, at Princeton did not arrive until 1969. These racist pillars of Princeton’s past were not built overnight, and decades later today, students continue working on dismantling relics of a prejudiced system.
We, the Terrace Grad Board, pledge to dedicate Terrace’s resources to continue fighting for legitimate change on campus, within our club walls, and in the world beyond Princeton. Our mission is to ensure that the legacy of Terrace continues, but it must be a legacy of which all members of our community can be proud. We commit to learn, reflect, change, and act. The mission of Terrace is to welcome, accept, cherish, and love every single person, be it member or guest, and we will fight alongside our brave alumni and students to improve social justice. Terrace and the Grad Board are not perfect: while we know mistakes will happen, we commit to learning from our errors to improve what is unjust.
First, the Grad Board supports the student-led cause of Change WWS Now. Removing Woodrow Wilson’s name from the School of Public and International Affairs and the residential college was only the first step. The additional demands of the students are listed below, and we strongly encourage reading their website at https://changewwsnow.com/ for more details.
- CORE CURRICULUM – Establishing a core requirement/prerequisite for concentrators in Public and International Affairs with a substantive focus on power, race, and identity.
- FACULTY – Hiring more Black faculty and faculty of color in the School of Public and International Affairs and establishing regular anti-racism training for all faculty and a transparent process for investigating instances of racism in the classroom.
- SCHOLARLY RECOGNITION – Instituting a thesis prize for work that “pushed the boundaries and enlarged the scope of our understanding of issues of race.”
- REPARATIONS – Committing significant funds to researching reparations policies and directly proposing recommendations to the University.
- DIVESTMENT – Encouraging the University to cut ties with the prison-industrial complex and publicly support student, faculty, Committee, and Trustee efforts towards full divestment.
Terrace Club leadership, both student and alumni, is in contact with the organizers behind this movement to determine what actions we can take that will best support their demands.
We would also like to share with you additional initiatives Terrace is taking with our existing networks and resources. Due to financial losses related to COVID-19, Terrace is currently unable to make monetary contributions at this time, but we will keep you apprised, as our financial situation develops.
- Develop Terrace as a physical and virtual safe space for ALL, not only our members. We are making the Club available for all of Princeton’s affinity groups, official or otherwise, for meetings, events, and pre-games. The Board is partnering with the student officers to reach out to student groups and finalize a scheduling process. In addition, we are offering Terrace’s professional Zoom account to student groups for meetings.
- Establish our “Terrans for the Future” programming: Terrans for the Future is our recurring discussion series for both alumni and students, where each meeting features a different topic and/or resource, including, but not limited to, articles, books, movies, podcasts, and more. If you would like to volunteer as a moderator, please email us at email@example.com.
- Join our Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/terraceforthefuture, where the conversations will continue, including the sharing of educational resources and organizing of protests or events by both alumni and students.
- Join the Groups.io group at https://terrace.groups.io/g/terrans for similar gathering and organizing.
- Improve Freshman outreach: We will improve welcoming our freshman class through introducing ourselves more actively, frequently, and loudly, including the sharing of our Terrace values that future members may expect to find if, and when, they join. Our membership usually reflects the same proportion of Black students as the school, but Terrace should do better.
- Continued expansion of our financial aid program: Terrace provides financial aid towards membership dues based on the level of financial aid they receive from the University. We also provide aid to those not receiving financial aid on a discretionary basis. We hope the Terrace financial aid program will help make the Street welcoming to the entire undergraduate student body. Your donations made to Terrace will enable us to increase the financial aid program, so that any student may make the choice to become a Terrace member, regardless of their financial situation.
- Invitation to our virtual town hall on the topic of race: On July 25th, we will host a virtual town hall, and we invite you all to join. The purpose of this discussion is to (1) provide a platform for our community members to voice their comments, concerns, suggestions, and/or ideas on the topics of race, racism, and racial justice, and (2) allow alumni and students to share their perspectives on how Terrace can do better. We welcome candid feedback on our current initiatives. Stay tuned for more details.
While we are already seeing some strides towards change, such as the repeal of Section 50-A in New York and the renaming of institutions at Princeton University, the fight to end racism must continue. As Terrans across the globe continue to fight, donate, educate, learn, and reflect, we hope you will share your resources with our Terrace community.
- Click here for Terrace’s open-source resource list at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zNneFcPc4_Fv8LqKQhsAgMNo1vlyDBEDVLqu1i1JcG8/edit?usp=sharing, which we are in the process of developing.
- Click here to submit additional resources at https://forms.gle/afQyT9rqZS2RmyEh6.
Terrace is us. Terrace is its members, past and present. We hope you will share your criticisms, comments, feelings, stories, suggestions, and ideas with us. We welcome honest feedback, so that one day, FOOD=LOVE will ring true for every individual. We invite you to submit your thoughts directly through the Terrace website contact page at https://princetonterraceclub.org/contact/.
Terrace Graduate Board of Governors
Terrace stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, our Black members, and those who oppose the systemic racism that we face as a society. We want to offer our support to anyone and everyone who needs it right now – the officers and Sages are here for you and always will be, regardless of whether we’re together or not.
We call on our local leaders, national leaders, and you to do everything we can to improve the institutions that have sustained this injustice. We have a duty, as individuals, as Princeton students, and as Terrace members, to help each other and learn how to contribute to the betterment of our community.
Terrace takes pride in its history of inclusion within the Princeton University community, as we were one of the first eating clubs to accept Black students, women, and Jewish students, but it is important to acknowledge that this means that these students were at one point not allowed to join. As such, we must follow the example of Terrans who came before us, take a hard look at ourselves and take the necessary steps towards change and equality in the Terrace Community and beyond. We hope to continue fostering the kinds of discussions that lead to real positive actions, large or small.
Currently, we are working with our wonderful intersectionality chairs to hold virtual town halls/discussions about instances of social injustice, allowing anyone to share their views and discuss how we as individuals, and a club, can make a difference. This will hopefully be something we can continue into the fall, leading to other discussions on various social issues, as well as how Terrans can band together remotely and address the structure of Terrace, regarding topics of equality and inclusion.
During our Virtual Reunions event, we offered some resources for supporting bail bonds and organizations fighting for racial justice. We highly encourage you, if you are able, to make a donation to one of these groups supporting efforts against racial injustice and paying for protestors’ bail bonds – some of these organizations include The Bail Project, Equal Justice Initiative, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Additionally, here is a list of anti-racist literature provided by seniors Lauren Johnson and Ashley Hodges. We hope you take advantage of these resources and use them for good, to uplift others, and have difficult conversations that will help us improve as a community.
Finally, please read the statement below from the eating club presidents on our goals as a cohort for addressing and supporting the BLM movement, acknowledging the history of our clubs, and our partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to begin discussions in and between our clubs about how to support the fight for racial justice.
All our food and more,
Thea, Allyson, Carson, Maddy, Enzo, and Chase
The Interclub Council stands in firm solidarity with our Black members, the Black Lives Matter movement, and all of those who oppose the systemic racism which pervades our society. We wholeheartedly condemn the unjust murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all the other people whose names we commit to remembering because they were taken too soon. In these difficult and emotional times, we stand with the Black members of the Princeton community and hope to see justice served. To this end, we call on our local and national leaders to do everything in their power to fix the institutions that have contributed to the unequal application of justice in our society.
However, we know that this job is not only up to them. While we can and should hold accountable those who unfairly apply the law, we know that at the end of the day, we cannot legislate hatred and bigotry out of our hearts. That duty is up to us, as individuals, to help each other to grow and to learn how we can eventually come to terms with America’s original sin, and how to root out its remains from our society.
As some of the oldest and well-established organizations on campus, we recognize our and Princeton’s complex history with race and our role in directly recognizing and calling out the injustices that have impacted and continue to impact Black students. As student leaders, we pride ourselves on creating inclusive communities that value the exchange of ideas and experiences between members. In this moment, we must set a precedent for continued dialogue and engagement so that we can continue to improve.
Recognizing our history is merely the first step, and we intend to do everything that we can to tackle these issues in our own homes. That is why we have decided to create a new initiative, the ICC Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, to bring these important conversations that are happening all across the world into our own clubs. We are looking forward to reinvigorating partnerships with student groups and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to organize forums and share resources.
We would like for this program to have input from the thoughtful and passionate individuals in our community. It is our intention that these conversations will continue past this moment into the Fall semester. If you have an initiative or idea that you would like to propose, please reach out to either Karthik Ramesh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jaren McKinnie (email@example.com).
We wish to begin this process today by proclaiming that Black lives have mattered and Black Lives always will matter.
The Interclub Council
Karthik Ramesh, Cap & Gown Club
Thea Zalabak, Terrace F. Club
Claire Guthrie, The Ivy Club
Jaren McKinnie, The Princeton Charter Club
David Hoffman, Cannon Dial Elm
Grace Atlee, Tiger Inn
Kai Zheng, Colonial Club
Hans Imhof, Cloister Inn
Nick Cefalu, University Cottage Club
Krystal Delnoce, Princeton Quadrangle Club
Fergus A. Binnie, Princeton Tower Club