Occupy Princeton Mic Checks JP Morgan/Chase and Goldman Sachs

Update Dec 14, 2011: I apologize for not disclosing my involvement with Occupy Princeton in this post. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been attending the General Assemblies and support the movement but was not a part of these mic checks. As a blog, not a newspaper, there is room for some opinion on the Ink and for writers to report on issues they are connected to. However I absolutely should have disclosed my affiliation and I apologize.

We know, we know. Princeton is apathetic. Politically, we are unengaged. Well, Occupy Princeton doesn’t seem to have received the message. Having held General Assemblies on Frist North Lawn since November 17, they occupied JP Morgan/Chase and Goldman Sachs info sessions Wednesday and Thursday nights. Their message? That sending roughly 10% of our graduates into finance goes against our motto “in the nation’s service and service of all nations.”

Dressing in business attire, about 20 students infiltrated the two info sessions, looking like they were interested students. At the end of Wednesday’s session, senior Derek Gideon yelled “Mic check!” and followed with Occupy Princeton’s speech call-and-response style. Senior Sandra Mukasa led Thursday’s mic check.

In an email sent to Occupy Princeton after the Wednesday info session, Derek told the occupiers who had been unable to attend:

The mic check at the end was awesome- the look of shock on their faces was priceless, especially as we all walked out and they realized more than half of us were protestors- and then I heard the woman leading the session declare, “Well, it’s getting close to 7…”

Though they realize they are unlikely to change the minds of anyone at the info sessions, Occupy Princeton hopes to start a discussion on campus by disrupting and bringing publicity to the info sessions. Occupiers told the Prince:

“Our goal is to open up a discussion at the University level,” said Luciana Chamorro ’12 …. “The idea is that it will spread.”

“My personal goal is to raise awareness,” occupier Robert Joyce ’13 said. “We’re young. These are some formative years. We’re around very smart people and this is our chance to challenge our views.”

The question is, on a campus known for its political apathy, will they get a positive response? Though, with about 50 people in the group, I guess they’ve proved that we’re not all Whitney Blodgetts.

The next General Assembly is Tuesday. Find the words from the mic checks after the jump.

JP Morgan/Chase

Princeton’s motto is:
In the nation’s service and service of all nations
JP Morgan, your actions violate our motto
Your predatory lending practices helped crash our economy
We’ve bailed out your executives’ bonuses
You’ve evicted struggling homeowners while taking their tax money
You support mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia
which destroys our ecological future
In light of these actions,
we protest the campus culture
that whitewashes the crooked dealings of Wall Street
as a prestigious career path.
We are here today
as a voice for the 99%
shut out by a system that punishes them
just for being born without privilege.
What we need is not a university for the 1%,
but a university “In the Nation’s Service,
and in the Service of All Nations.

Goldman Sachs

Princeton’s motto is:
In the nation’s service and service of all nations
Goldman, your actions violate our motto.
In 2001, you helped mask Greek Debt.
From 2007-2008, your imposed commodity market
contributed to the global food crisis
with a quarter-million people starving.
In 2008, you paid a mere $14 million Dollars in global tax,
while making a $2 billion profit.
Your lending practices helped crash our economy
Our bailout dollars went to your executives’ bonuses
In light of these actions,
we protest the campus culture
that whitewashes the crooked dealings of Wall Street
as a prestigious career path.
We are here today
as a voice for the 99%
shut out by a system that punishes them
just for being born without privilege.
Dear Fellow Princeton Students,
We are here to ask you for a moment of reflection.
Deciding on a future career path is difficult
It deserves serious introspection.
When you came to Princeton as a wide eyed freshman,
you probably didn’t dream of working at Goldman Sachs.
What happened?
We are all privileged to have made it to Princeton.
However, our talents will be wasted
if we send all our best and brightest to Wall Street.
Some of you joke that you’re going over to the dark side.
To the Gold Man Sacks.
Those nicknames exist for a reason
You’ve heard that investment banking is an exciting, fast-paced career.
That is what smart people like you do.
You’ve been told that this is what success looks like.
We are here to challenge those beliefs
What you’ve been listening to is a carefully crafted recruitment pitch.
You can do better for yourselves
and you can do better for our society.
Princeton is a university “In the Nation’s Service,
and in the Service of All Nations.”
We invite you to join us at our next General Assembly.

    By Miriam Geronimus on December 9th 2011, 12:09pm
    This article was posted in In the news and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark this article. Post a comment.

    8 Comments

    1. fact check
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      If I’m not mistaken, it’s roughly 35-40% of Princeton graduates who are sent into finance…

    2. Bing
      Posted December 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      No mention that you’re part of the movement, Miriam?
      Congratulations, you guys are finally worse than the Prince.

    3. 13
      Posted December 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Miriam, you don’t see any ethical issues with writing a blog post for UPC about Occupy Princeton (that basically reads like an Occupy press release) after having declared yourself to be part of the OWS movement in another publication?

      http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2011/12/09/29613/

      If you’re going to use UPC’s blog to advertise your movement, at least disclose your involvement within the post.

      Back to journalism 101 for you. I’d have thought UPC held itself to higher standards of journalistic ethics.

    4. Miriam Geronimus
      Posted December 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      @fact check: according to Career Services, about 10% of recent graduates went into finance, but about 35% of employed recent graduates are in finance. (Many graduates are continuing with their education.)

      @Bing, 13: I apologize. Updated with full disclosure.

    5. AFG
      Posted December 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Well done! Thank you for challenging the status quo.

    6. jw
      Posted December 29, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      gutsy and ballsy…well done students! Our future is in good hands…carry on

    7. Erik
      Posted December 30, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      ’77 Northwestern grad salutes these 20 Princeton protesters and all of Princeton’s OWS participants. Keep saying the truth!

    8. Dean Petteway
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Excellent, what a weblog it is! This weblog gives useful data to us, keep it up.

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