Princeton Free Speech News & Commentary

An Open Letter to College and University Trustees and Regents: It’s Time to Adopt Institutional Neutrality

February 07, 2024 1 min read 1 Comment

Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, FIRE

Excerpt: We stand together in sending this entreaty to college and university trustees and regents across the country during this time of growing national concern about the fate and security of free thought on campuses.

It is time for those entrusted with ultimate oversight authority for your institutions to restore truth-seeking as the primary mission of higher education by adopting a policy of institutional neutrality on social and political issues that do not concern core academic matters or institutional operations.
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Princeton University Boasts of Thriving DEI Programs in Annual Report

February 07, 2024 1 min read

Abigail Anthony
National Review

Excerpt: Princeton University released its annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion report last week, touting the many DEI initiatives and programs implemented over the previous academic year, which include awarding “inclusive pedagogy grants,” hosting “faculty diversity salons,” and hiring a DEI librarian.
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NCO FAQs updated to reflect policy change following FIRE, ADL letter to Eisgruber

February 06, 2024 1 min read

Victoria Davies
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Following a Jan. 25 letter from the free speech group Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Princeton updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for No Communication Orders and No Contact Orders (NCOs) a day later on Jan. 26. The new FAQ page reflects the Dec. 2023 change in NCO policy, which narrowed the circumstances under which NCOs can be obtained.
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Commentary: Princeton Students for Justice in Palestine Escape Consequences after Using University Listserv to Defend Hamas

February 01, 2024 1 min read

Zach Kessel
National Review

Excerpt: Just days after Hamas's brutal terror attack on Israeli civilians, the Princeton University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine used a school-wide email listserv to send a statement excusing the rape and murder of innocent people to the inbox of every student on campus, in apparent violation of university policy.

Under Princeton policy, “mass electronic mailings are permitted only as authorized by appropriate University offices." Those same rules include a prohibition on distributing “malicious, harassing, or defamatory content through university channels.” A Princeton spokesman would not say whether SJP received permission to send the email from any university authority.
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Guest Essay: Princeton Must Lead in Making DEI Reforms

February 01, 2024 1 min read 1 Comment

Leslie Spencer ‘79
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: On Jan. 18, President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 released his “State of the University” letter entitled “Excellence, Inclusivity, and Free Speech.” The core of his remarks defended the course that Princeton has steered in pursuit of excellence and ever-increasing inclusivity through many decades and into these turbulent times.

He added a telling admission: “Promoting both free speech and inclusivity is a challenging task. There are, to be sure, times when we or others will make mistakes. When we do, we should strive to correct them and become better.” Was Eisbruber hinting at mistakes Princeton has made and a desire to find ways to have honest conversations about how to get this right?
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VICTORY: Princeton amends no-contact order policy after FIRE/ADL letter

January 30, 2024 1 min read

Jessie Appleby
FIRE

Excerpt: In a speedy victory for FIRE and the Anti-Defamation League, Princeton amended its no-contact order policy on Jan. 26 to conform to parameters we recommended in our joint letter sent the day before. FIRE and the ADL wrote Princeton last week to express our shared concern about its continued improper use of no-contact orders and similar “no-communication” orders in ways that lead to censorship of student journalists.

Princeton’s updated policy — significantly shortened from a whopping 13 pages to a far more manageable two — appropriately  limits the circumstances in which no-contact orders will issue.
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