LIVEBLOG: Dean’s Date, Spring 2015

5:25 PM — Entrance of Firestone

And with that, we call it a day! It’s been a great run, Princeton. For those of you with exams now, best of luck!

There is no better way to summarize the craziness that is Dean’s Date than with some fun statistics. The guards at the Firestone count every time someone leaves Firestone and record the hourly number at the top of each hour. Here’s a graph summarizing today’s Firestone traffic. Check out that spike between 4:00 and 5:00.

That can only mean one thing: Dean’s Date is over.

Over and out,


4:55 PM – McCosh Courtyard

Excited about the ever-nearing end to Dean’s Date? Stop by McCosh Courtyard for festivities and fun! There is Taco Bell, Fruity Yogurt FroYo and bubble tea, refreshments, and even a chance to make yourself feel better by donating to the Nepal Relief Effort if you haven’t already (but seriously, it’s a great cause so please donate). If that hasn’t convinced you, the PU Band is here as vivacious as ever, playing for your musical pleasure. The festivities end at 5:30!


4:22 PM – Little Hall

Time is ticking away. T-minus 38 minutes and you will be free (sort of). If you STILL need a way to procrastinate and you’ve used up every other possible option, try this super annoying but super awesome website. What’s better than an invisible cow and ever-intensifying moo’s to annoy everyone around you? Have fun.


3:33 PM – 1981 Hall, Whitman College

From the same people who made, linked just below, is Do Not Touch. It is SO. COOL. It’s an interactive music video that records where your mouse cursor goes, and prompts you to work with the previously recorded cursors to make a smiley face and do other cool stuff. Just check it out and you’ll understand what I mean. It’s a quick, 5-minute study break!


2:55 PM — Late Meal

This website is amazing. Place your computer pointer anywhere in the box and the website will generate a photo with a person’s finger pointing to the exact location of your pointer. Try it out for yourself!


(h/t WG ’17)


2:27 PM –Frist

On another charity related note, you may have noticed boxes around res colleges advertising a coat drive to donate old winter coats. You probably assumed that these coats would be going to people in need of winter gear but lack the means of purchasing it. Think again. This coat drive is actually being run by USG for the most needy among us, literally: incoming Princeton freshmen from warm-weathered locales who may not be used to the blistering cold winters of New Jersey.

I kid you not.

Check it out for yourself here.


(h/t YK ’16)



2:14 PM–Frist

Brief privilege check:

Taking a quick break from all the Dean’s Date shenanigans to remind everyone that while your struggle may feel real right now, there are people who are far less fortunate than us right now who need our help. Currently, there are people tabling in Frist raising money for survivors of the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal. Stop by, donate, and learn about about the ongoing relief efforts. It will give you some perspective and you will be doing a good deed.


1:52 PM — Marquand Library

In the words of Kendrick Lamar “I’m dying of thirst.” Marquand is a desert and an oasis awaits at the other side of 5:00 P.M. I tried sneaking a water bottle in here but I was denied at the door. The cabinet outside the library has taken on a funky smell. Dehydration on Dean’s Date.

[caption id="attachment_16800" align="aligncenter" width="420"] How is this allowed in here?[/caption]


1:44 PM — 1981 Hall, Whitman College

^As you can see, I never leave this place.

And now for the 1:44 PM edition of “The Best of Random Cool Addicting Time-Wasting Websites,” this website lets you click and drag on boxes, and they bounce all around. It’s what I’ve always been looking for.

[caption id="attachment_16796" align="aligncenter" width="420"] bounce-wiggle, bounce-wiggle.[/caption]


1:20 PM — outside Witherspoon’s

Hungry and looking for some inspiration from some furry animals? Well kill two birds with one stone with this amazing Youtube video for all you pastries and cat lovers out there. (plus, it’s only one minute long so it won’t take too much time away from your studies.)


12:42 PM — Outside Frist

For some lonely college administrators, Dean’s Date is taking on a new meaning. Around Frist, McCosh Courtyard, and Cannon Green mysterious posters advertising a new online dating service called DeansDate are appearing. Single deans, if you’re reading this, know that all hope is not lost. Just hop on to


11:38 A.M. — bowels of Firestone

Who puts on a play the evening of Dean’s Date? Oh yeah, THE CHINESE DEPARTMENT—the same department that has a quiz every Friday and schedules a midterm the day after Princetoween.

“More desperation, more crazy!” my Chinese teacher told us last night during rehearsal. I squeezed my eyes shut, thought about my papers—one unfinished and two untouched—and repeated my lines.


[caption id="attachment_16783" align="aligncenter" width="595"] Forget the things you’ve lost and the things you’ll never have? Sounds like my GPA.[/caption]

Come to Frist Theatre at 7:30 p.m. to watch the students of CHI 406 and masochistic students (meeeee) who are doing this for NO CREDIT.


10:15 A.M. — The Interwebs

At least you’re not at Harvard

Stay motivated for Dean’s Date struggles by remembering a major perk – you go to Princeton University, hurrah! What better way to realize your great fortune than by perusing Harvard FML?





9:30 A.M. — Holder 112

Last Dean’s Date, two enterprising journalists and a few of their friends came across a glorious, puzzling site in the corner of the C-floor of Firestone: a Macintosh Classic II computer.

Turns out, the great AK (UPC ’14) had already discovered this gem and reported on it in a previous Dean’s Date liveblog in the spring of 2012.

Here is what she wrote (#tbt):

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Macintosh Classic II. Guess I should come down to the C-Floor more often?

The note on top says: Prof. John V. Fleming/C-II-J/Firestone Library”. Professor Fleming gave the Baccalaureate Address in 2007.

That book next to the Mac is a copy of The Holy Bible. Still not sure what either of those is doing on the C-Floor, but given the label, the computer at least is supposed to be here.


But there was one thing the great AK didn’t realize: This Macintosh still works.  If you need a functional computer with Microsoft Word and no internet, check it out for yourself!

8:00 A.M.-Spelman

Tried to multitask this morning. Failed miserably:


For a better way to start off the morning, listen to Tycho’s latest album, aptly named “Awake.” Just 36 minutes of downtempo to fuel you through your writing marathons.


6:27 AM – Pyne Courtyard

In case you were wondering what a gothic building looks like upside down in the glorious morning sunshine (like I was), here you go!

Okay, I’m going to sleep now. I hope you are too.


5:43 AM – McGraw

For the few still remaining in the huddles of their bright screens and dreary books in McGraw, the sun has arisen bringing with a new day full of promise and possibilities — and papers!

Here’s to the 12th of March.



4:46 AM – Frist 228 

For those brave souls still soldiering on through the night – T-12 hours!!  You may be finding out the hard way that between the hours of 4 and 7 AM there is really nowhere to get food on campus.  The U Store has closed.  So have the C Store and Studio 34.  Domino’s doesn’t deliver this far.

Shoutout to Murray Dodge (see previous post) for accommodating late night (early morning?) Dean’s Date sugar cravings – but if you haven’t eaten since dinner (like me) and are desperately craving food with some more substance, you are left with pretty much one choice: the Wa.

Seriously, though, in desperate times like these, it’s worth the trek.  And the hoagies are amazing.

Image courtesy of Wawa website

The alternative option is knocking on your friends’ doors and asking to scrounge around in their fridge for leftovers.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  Good luck and happy food-hunting!

– TT

3:15 AM – Murray Dodge Café

For anyone still awake, Murray Dodge is staying open all night and day—until Dean’s Date arrives. The place is pretty deserted right now so it might be the perfect place to work or stop by for a snack.

Also, Murray Dodge is moving to the Carl A. Fields Center next year as the space undergoes construction. In other words, air conditioning and an elevator into this dingy basement!




3:05 AM – Lauritzen Hall, Whitman College

As we approach the wee hours of the morning, I thought it appropriate and completely necessary to welcome the new day with my favorite Vine of all time. Enjoy.


2:49 AM – 1981 Hall, Whitman College

So I decided to go to, which has a bunch of cool websites, and checked out one of the first few. It’s called Quibbler, and it’s an anonymous chatroom where you can post messages that pop onto the screen for a few seconds…pretty cool. There are only 16 people in the room now, so get on there and let’s have a classic #princetontakeover


1:50 AM – Frist Gallery

There were anxiously awaiting students…


…then there was some pizza…


…and then there wasn’t.


PS. For the record, I was quite excited I got a slice. Then, I looked down and saw pepperoni. I’m a vegetarian. I wasn’t happy.

1:43 AM–Holder 112

This song has powered me through reading period. Let it power you through Dean’s Date night.

Wait till it drops at around the two minute mark. You won’t regret it.


(h/t EMW S’17)


1:33 AM – Firestone

Hey, it’s an oven in Firestone.


1:28 AM – Firestone, C Floor

And just like that, it’s me, C Floor’s eerie darkness, and my melted Starbucks…


1:05 AM – Rocky Common Room

If you’re getting tired of flipping through the pages of that book in search of quotes, try finding an opportunistic place to put it down.

In the Rocky Common Room today, a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince showed up next to copies of our daily newspaper, and has yet to be picked up.

Someone writing this paper knows the right joke to make…

12:37 AM – Firestone, (the emptying out…) C Floor

Tired of staring at your computer? Sick of drinking that coffee? Take a trip down to the bottom of the sea and chill with a gigantic whale!

Yes, that’s right, you can now have that virtual Orca whale you’ve always wanted for a pet! Just move your mouse around and it will swim toward you. Check it out here here:

I have no idea why someone made this, but I’m glad they did since I just wasted like 5 minutes playing with it while taking a screen shot for this post.



12:07 AM–Inside the belly of the Holder Howl

How much money is a Guinness World Record worth? $800, apparently.

According to a source inside the USG social committee, the USG spent $800 on Papa John’s pizza in order to incentivize students to show up for the record-breaking Holder Howl. By 12:01 PM the howling was over and by 12:05 the eight hundred dollars worth of pizza had evaporated into thin air (bellies, really), gone like the fading howls of stressed out Princeton students who apparently really, really like pizza.


11:58 PM–Holder Courtyard

Come for the world record, stay for the pizza…??

Hundreds of Princeton students have gathered in the Holder courtyard for the annual Holder Howl. Unlike all other years, however, this time around Princeton is trying to break a world record for most people “shouting in one place at one time” (who knew there was even a record for that?)

With five minutes to go, students seem mostly interested in the other way this event was advertised tonight: free pizza. Currently, everyone is gathering around one corner of the courtyard as a man in a megaphone tries to do some crowd control.

Also, there is an alarming amount of P-Safe officers surrounding the perimeter. I guess this is what you get for trying to institutionalize tradition?


11:42 PM–Writing Center

Protip: Whitman’s midnight breakfast isn’t checking if you’re a Whitmanite, so if you’d rather avoid the hungry swarms in Frist, head to Whitman dining hall. Still plenty of food left!


11:39 PM–Rocky Dining Hall

Coming down with a bad case of the blinking cursor syndrome? Having trouble getting words down on the page?

Here’s a great website that will inspire you to keep writing:

True to its name, for every 100 words you write, Written?Kitten! will show you a cute picture of a kitten.

Have fun! (h/t AL’16)


10:43 PM–Frist, but leaving soon…?

You may remember my earlier post about the origins of the word “Dean’s Date.” Well, while researching that post, I came across these two old Prince clips that I couldn’t resist sharing.

The first, a really odd photo from the spring Dean’s Date of 1988:

And last but not least, apparently the Prince used to advertise post-Dean’s Date parties in eating clubs:

In other news, apparently Ivy used to advertise its parties in the Prince. Lame.


10:18 PM – Firestone Lobby

The band hit the big stage, and people came from all floors to see them play. The reception was warm, I think, and people clapped on the way out.

The signature Dean’s Date mood, stressed out but strangely celebratory has arrived.

Till next year, band.

– SP

9:54 PM – Still Frist

You can always count on the Princeton University Band to liven up the night prior to Dean’s Date with their high-energy, high-volume music. Here, as always, they ceremoniously pass through Frist to bring joy to all those students laboring over pages (both word-filled and blank)

Meanwhile, a guy decked out in a pristinely white dress came dancing through Frist.

Keep those spirits high, people.


9:50 PM – Somewhere around UCLA?

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this video Chase Bishov (formerly ’18) and Ana DeJesus ’18 made for their freshman seminar “Contemporary Art and the Amateur.” Bishov’s transferred to UCLA so he doesn’t have to deal with Dean’s Date unlike the rest of us, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy his work. It’s certainly strange.

Here it is: Kuchar

Kuchar from Chase Bishov on Vimeo.


Warning: the video contains depictions of waterboarding that may not be suitable for some viewers.




9:49 PM — Still Frist

Some of you may recall that in the Dean’s Date Live Blog of the fall of 2013, the University Press Club was embroiled in a fight with Loki, Princeton University’s hedgehog mascot that had a livecam showing its every move as it ran around at night. After mistakenly calling the hedgehog’s wheel a “hamster wheel” Loki fired back via tweet at the Press Club:

[caption id="attachment_16709" align="aligncenter" width="520"] Goddamn Press Club. Hamster Wheel? Am I not quilled? Do I not bleed? #hedgehogrights #speciesism #noudidnt #lokicam[/caption]

Where, you may be asking, is Loki the Hedgehog now, in my time of greatest need?

A look back at Loki’s home(page) led to this depressing site:

Till next year, Loki.


9:25 PM – Frist

A staple of the Dean’s Date Liveblog has always been inspirational videos to keep you going just when you think you don’t have anything left in the tank. The following video follows in a long tradition of such pieces of inspiration. The catch: it is a seven minute slideshow about bridges personally produced by Professor Maria Garlock who teaches the popular course CEE 262: Structures in the Urban Environment, AKA Bridges.
You may not believe me that this will inspire you but I promise you it will or your money back guaranteed. Also, if you are like me, this video will also help you study for your exams (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself…)
You’re welcome.


8:36 PM – Firestone

Some things never change…

Firestone’s C-floor is always packed for Dean’s Date, whether it’s 1989 or 2015. And to those who claim our generation is filled with slackers, take a look at the guy with his feet up. Gotta do better, baby boomers.

– AW

8:24 PM – Frist

On the origins of Dean’s Date:

While suffering through my Dean’s Date papers, I always loved the thought that my pain followed in a long tradition of proud Princetonians. Turns out I was wrong. Well, sort of. “Dean’s Date” as it is currently called is actually a rather new title for a rather old tradition. A search through the Prince archives of every issue dating back to the late 1800s shows that the first ever reference to the name “Dean’s Date” is in an offhand comment from a 1985 article.

Further investigation, with the help of the great AJS, led me to this article from 1938, which declares that reading periods would be extended to the freshman and sophomore classes, with written work for all their courses due “at the end of each period.” Sounds a lot like Dean’s Date.

However, this prototype of Dean’s Date, introduced in 1939, would be short lived as the University completely altered the academic calendar after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, gutting the reading period entirely.

It was not until 1961, after a 20-year hiatus, that reading period would return, and, with it, the dreaded day in which “all written work” is due. Or, as it was far more ominously and blandly labeled in this 1966 notice, “The Work Deadline.

(The article about the reintroduction of reading period includes this gem of a fluff quote: “When asked about the possibility of some students abusing the privilege of a reading period, Dean Finch said that “the large majority of students are mature enough to see clearly the possibilities for consolidation of previous work and exploration of new avenues that the reading periods will offer.”)

Either way, you can still take solace in the fact that you follow in a long, proud tradition of Princetonians suffering through the end of reading period, even if they never called it “Dean’s Date.”

Enjoy “consolidating previous work” and “exploring new avenues”


8:10 PM – Between Frist and Elm

A beautiful scene for a horrible day.


7:45 PM – Firestone Library

[caption id="attachment_16692" align="aligncenter" width="844"] TOP (L-R): Mark of Aldus Manutius, printer in Venice (1520); “The Ship of Fools,” Bergmann von Olpe (1497); bibliomaniac engraving from “The Ship of Fools;” mark of Simon de Colines, printer in Paris (1527). BOTTOM (L-R): Mark of Etienne Dolet, printer in Lyons (1542); mark of Simon Vostre, printer in Paris (1501); mark of Geoffroy Tory, printer in Paris (1529); book ornament used by Simon Vostre. Courtesy Princeton University Archives[/caption]

If it’s Dean’s Date (it is), chances are you’re locked in the depths of Firestone Library, Princeton’s very own Collegiate Gothic temple to the written word. If you think you know Firestone, think again. Throughout the night, we’ll periodically update the liveblog with facts about our beloved library.

Ever noticed the eight carvings on the cornice of the exterior of the Trustees Reading Room? They’re not standard-issue gargoyles, but decorative bosses based on fifteenth and sixteenth century printers’ marks: intricate designs that appeared in early books for protection against literary pirates.

A passage from a Princeton Alumni Weekly from 1949, reproduced below, explains some of the bosses:

Making a pun on his own name was also a favorite device…the urn in Geoffroy Tory’s mark is pierced with a drill called, in French, a touret. Etienne Dolet’s mark shows a hand grasping an adze, or planing tool; the verb “to plane” in French is doler.

Next time you’re outside Firestone (hopefully soon), take a closer look!


7:28 PM – The Tree House, Lewis Library

The Tree House at Lewis Library is looking a little fuller today than usual. (Full disclosure: this photo was taken an hour ago, but yours truly had to run off to grab nourishments.) Now, the question is, do expensive chairs make one churn out higher quality papers? The chairs at Lewis cost a fortune, as we reported a few years back.

Those egg-shaped chairs cost $5,000.

The swivel ones start at $1,199.

And the boxy armchairs along the walls are supposed to cost at least $1720 each.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery as you power through those final pages tonight, head over to Lewis and enjoy those chairs.


6:40 PM – Firestone Library

[caption id="attachment_16683" align="aligncenter" width="420"] Firestone Library’s fourth-floor cafeteria operated until 1976, when it was moved to the D floor. Courtesy of the Daily Princetonian.[/caption]

If it’s Dean’s Date (it is), chances are you’re locked in the depths of Firestone Library, Princeton’s very own Collegiate Gothic temple to the written word. If you think you know Firestone, think again. Throughout the night, we’ll periodically update the liveblog with facts about our beloved library.

[caption id="attachment_16684" align="alignright" width="151"] The D-floor cafeteria operated until 1984. Courtesy of the Daily Princetonian.[/caption]

Are you hungry yet? Firestone’s ban on food means we have to leave its confines in order to get a bite to eat, but it wasn’t always this way. The fourth floor balcony above the Signature Reading Room, formerly the faculty lounge, housed a cafeteria complete with vending machines dispensing food and drink.

In 1976, the cafeteria was moved to the D floor (yes, it exists) to make room for a listening room for music and speeches. The cafeteria on the D floor, which is now a storage room, was removed in 1984 because of safety concerns over spilled beverages smuggled out of the room. Though the University Librarian alleged that several people had slipped on spilled cola, the reasoning sounds highly suspect. Food has since been banned from Firestone Library, and the D floor was turned into an incredibly depressing office for an unlucky preceptor in the History department.


6:15 PM – 9 Hulfish Street, Princeton, NJ

Halo Pub sells doughnuts for 30 cents, with any coffee.

To give you an idea what you’re working with, a macchiato or espresso will set you back $1.20.

So we’re talking $1.50 coffee and doughnut. It looks something like this:

They also sell drip coffee for $1.60. It’s a miracle Small World and Starbucks are still in business.

Halo Pub closes at 11pm. That gives you time for about three more trips today.

See you there,


5:55 PM – 1981 Hall, Whitman College

[caption id="attachment_16676" align="aligncenter" width="420"] Mmmm…colors.[/caption]

In case you need some bright visual stimulation, and appreciate patterns as much as I do (is that weird?), I strongly advise you to check out It’s a collection of cool tiled patterns that you can download for free. New desktop background, anyone?


5:45 PM – Firestone Library

[caption id="attachment_16672" align="aligncenter" width="483"] Courtesy of the Daily Princetonian[/caption]

If it’s Dean’s Date (it is), chances are you’re locked in the depths of Firestone Library, Princeton’s very own Collegiate Gothic temple to the written word. If you think you know Firestone, think again. Throughout the night, we’ll periodically update the liveblog with facts about our beloved library.

You know the emergency exit in the Trustees Reading Room that leads out onto the roof? The roof was designed to be an outdoor reading terrace where students could study when the weather was nice. A similar terrace (also locked and unused) is outside the former Reserve Reading Room, now the Cotsen Children’s Library, on the east side of Firestone.

Though Firestone opened in 1948, the reading terrace was not used until the spring of 1955, when Librarian William S. Dix managed to convince Building Services to open the terrace for daylight reading hours. Students had to use lightweight aluminum chairs available from the reference room and were limited to a small area covered by flagstone pavement to avoid damaging the gravel roof. According to notices in the Daily Princetonian, the terrace was open each spring through 1960.


5:40 PM– on a dance floor somewhere

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling something like this right now (h/t: MW ’16):

Just remember that in 24 hours you’ll be feeling (and dancing and singing) like this:

As six-year-old Isaac Brown says to Howie Mandel, you don’t have to be the best dancer (read: writer), you don’t have to be the best singer (read: studier), “it only matters that it’s coming from your heart”


5:08 PM – Firestone, C Floor

Starbucks, Small World, and Rojo’s (but Rojo’s a little bit less because they’re a bit more for coffee snobs after all) LOVE reading period. For us, so much coffee, so much energy. For them, so much coffee, so much money.

If you’re a coffee-holic you may already know about Caffeine Informer, but for the rest of us twice-a-year intense coffee drinkers, this is a great site. It tells you how much caffeine is in drinks from places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, along with teas, energy drinks, and anything else with the pump-you-up special ingredient.

Starbucks Caffeine Levels

It even has a somewhat ominously described Caffeine Calculator that tells you how much you “should” drink. Should is the operative word.

Caffeine Out,


5:00PM–Holder Hall

“What’s that?” you ask, as you swivel around on your chair in a carrel on the third floor Firestone, trying to locate the source of the soft rumble growing louder by the second. Dean’s Date is approaching and you have 5,10,15,20,30 pages to write and you feel all alone. Suddenly, as the sweat drips down your brow and you feel hopeless, lost amidst the piles of books and articles mounting up, it arrives like the Coors Light© Love Train, to save you from your impending doom.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the thing you’ve been you’ve been waiting for all year. It’s new and improved. It’s back and better than ever.

It’s the Dean’s Date Live Blog. 

For the next 24 hours, the University Press Club will be here to provide you with all the comic relief, emotional support, and inspirational gifs, Youtube videos, and memes to power you through to that 5 PM deadline.

Just keep on doing you and you can count on us to do the rest. Check back in as we will be updating continuously through the night and the rest of tomorrow.

Godspeed, everyone.



President Eisgruber Addresses Students at Prison Reform Teach-In

After meeting with student advocates for the Abolish the Box campaign in his office on Thursday afternoon, President Eisgruber addressed a crowd of students who had gathered outside Nassau Hall to publicly protest the University’s policy of asking applicants to reveal past involvement in the criminal justice system on its application.

“I agree with you about the really serious of injustice in our incarceration system,” Eisgruber said to approximately 100 students and faculty members seated on Cannon Green as part of a teach-in planned by the leaders of the Admissions Opportunity Campaign (AOC) at Princeton. AOC is Princeton’s chapter of the national Abolish the Box campaign that calls for universities to stop screening for criminal records because of the systemic racial and economic inequalities within the American prison system.

While Eisgruber expressed interest in the campaign, he voiced skepticism with regards to whether “abolishing the box” is the effective or appropriate response to the larger issues of societal injustice. In particular, Eisgruber argued that he sees little difference between the University’s interest in knowing whether an applicant failed a course or faced academic probation—other elements of the common application—and having a criminal record. “Someone who fails an examination and fails a course, maybe goes on to do something great in life, but that counts against their record,” he said.

While sounding unmoved about the possibility of eliminating the question from the application, Eisgruber did say that he sees room for common ground between the University and the student activists. “I do appreciate their arguments about how there can be aspects of the process that are discouraging,” he said, referring specifically to the argument that the issue with “the box” is not that it leads to rejection from admissions offices, but that it discourages students who would otherwise apply to college from submitting their application.

Eisgruber also noted that the work of SPEAR (Students for Prison Education and Reform) last year led the University to change its policies in hiring for staff positions. Previously, a criminal record question was one of the first asked of all job applicants, ultimately screening out candidates before they had even interviewed. Now, candidates are only asked that question at the tail end of the application process, once they have already been interviewed and reviewed by their potential employers. Eisgruber said that he would be interested in seeing whether such a policy could be used in the undergraduate applications process as well.

After speaking for ten minutes, Eisgruber engaged in a back and forth discussion with students who responded to his remarks. A central argument repeated by the students was that many high school students break laws, like drinking underage or smoking marijuana, but the criminal justice system only penalizes the most marginalized people while the rest get off free.

One student who spoke up said, that “no one here has a criminal record, I don’t think, but probably all of us have broken the law”

“Well I am sorry to hear that,” Eisgruber retorted, not missing a beat.

Another student told Eisgruber that by not “abolishing the box,” the university was complicit in the injustices of the American prison system. “The work has been done. We know that this is an issue,” she said. “It [not deleting the question] is saying that we are comfortable that these injustices exist and we are going to allow them to continue to exist.”

Soon after, Eisgruber was whisked away by his staff. But before he left he signaled that the door is open for future conversation. “I agree about our need to respond to injustices within society,” he said. “I know that this conversation will continue.”