January 25, 2024
Christopher L. Eisgruber
Office of the President
1 Nassau Hall
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Sent via U.S. Mail and Electronic Mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear President Eisgruber:
FIRE and the Anti-Defamation League write to express our collective concern about
Princeton University’s improper use of no-contact orders to censor students.
In the wake of the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, contentious debates on the conflict have dominated campus discourse. Yet Princeton is stifling these discussions and newsgathering by its student press, by permitting students who dislike certain speech to be granted no-communication or no-contact orders against other students. While no-contact protocols are important tools to keep students safe from properly defined discriminatory harassment, and threatening, intimidating, or assaultive conduct, Princeton appears to be granting these orders for any student who requests one, so long as minimal procedural prerequisites are satisfied. These orders are being issued by administrators with disciplinary authority, under threat of punishment, without a modicum of due process, and—most unconscionably—where the student-speaker is not even alleged to have violated any university policy. This practice is deeply chilling, in blatant violation of Princeton’s laudable free expression policies, and must end immediately.