Campus Reform | Citing systemic racism, Princeton scraps Latin and Greek requirements for Classics majors

Citing systemic racism, Princeton scraps Latin and Greek requirements for Classics majors

Princeton University nixed its Latin and Greek language requirements for students majoring in the classics department.

The move is the latest outworking of Princeton’s diversity overhaul.

Princeton University will no longer require students majoring in classics to learn Latin or Greek.

As reported in the May 2021 version of Princeton Alumni Weekly, faculty at the Ivy League school “approved curriculum changes in the departments of politics, religion, and classics” that “added a track in race and identity.” The department thereby “increased flexibility for concentrators, including eliminating the requirement for classics majors to take Greek or Latin.”

“The ‘classics’ track, which required an intermediate proficiency in Greek or Latin to enter the concentration, was eliminated, as was the requirement for students to take Greek or Latin,” detailed the article. “Students still are encouraged to take either language if it is relevant to their interests in the department.”

The article claims that “the changes ultimately give students more opportunities to major in classics.”

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Beyond the classics department, faculty altered the politics and religion curriculum.

According to the report, professor Frances Lee — associate chair of the politics department — explained that “the idea for the new undergraduate track in race and identity was part of the larger initiative on campus launched by President Eisgruber ’83 to address systemic racism at Princeton.”

“The politics of race underlies so much of U.S. political history,” said Lee to Princeton Alumni Weekly, noting that there is “a wide array of intellectual questions as well as subjects that you need to understand if you want to understand politics at its core.” 

As Campus Reform has previously reported, Princeton University’s sweeping diversity regimes have touched nearly every department at the elite institution.

[RELATED: Princeton implements 'supplier diversity action plan']

Most recently, Princeton adopted a “diverse supplier base” plan that seeks to “broaden the pool of supplier expertise, capabilities and perspectives, and include more businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by people of color, women, veterans or members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Princeton is currently listed first among U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of top national universities.

Campus Reform reached out to Princeton University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.