Princeton Free Speech News & Commentary

Will Princeton's Leadership Airbrush Witherspoon Out of Princeton's History?

December 04, 2023 8 min read

This article by PFS co-founder Stuart Taylor, Jr. recounts the controversy surrounding the Witherspoon statue located on Firestone Plaza. The attempted cancellation of Witherspoon and what it means for academic freedom at Princeton has been a focus of our attention, as you can see in our just-published Annual Report HERE. If you like what we are doing, please consider a year-end donation to PFS HERE.  

 The University’s official proceedings on the petition by assorted students and faculty members to remove from its prominent setting on Firestone Plaza the bronze statue of Princeton’s greatest president, John Witherspoon, are looking bleak for the statue, for the memory of Witherspoon, and perhaps also that of other founders of the United States.

 The second and apparently final symposium on the statue, held on November 3 by the University’s Committee on Naming, was notable for the absence of any unambiguous statement by any of the five invited speakers or by the moderator, Associate Professor Beth Lew-Williams, that the statue should be left standing undisturbed where it was placed in 2001, with the strong support of respected then-President Harold Shapiro.

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Guest Essay in PAW: We’re Calling on Princeton to Do More to Fight Antisemitism on Campus

November 30, 2023 1 min read

Jacob Katz '23, Leon Skornicki '06
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: As PAW has compellingly demonstrated in recent articles, Hamas’ barbarous attacks on Israeli citizens hit close to home for many Princetonians. But the attacks’ aftermath has reached us all. Skyrocketing antisemitism has reverberated around the globe, and sure enough, it made its way through Fitz Randolph Gate. Following two student-led pro-Intifada rallies, concerned students reached out to alumni about unchecked antisemitism on campus.

As alumni, we want current students to guide campus discourse. We had our turn, and now it is theirs. But as Princeton occupies a prominent place in both our personal identities and our national conversation, we have reason to make our voices heard when something is awry. And when exasperated students turn to us and other alumni for help, something is awry.
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A new version of the College Republicans struggles for an identity

November 30, 2023 1 min read

Julian Hartman-Sigall
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Earlier this month, in advance of a number of state-wide elections, Princeton political groups took part in canvassing and outreach efforts to get out the vote. Notably absent from these groups — which included the College Democrats, the Princeton chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America — was the College Republicans, which, unlike its left-leaning counterpart, did not organize any programming.

The group has historically had difficulty sustaining consistent activity levels, being reliant on strong personalities that occasionally cycle through the University to revive it at recurring nadirs on a campus that has a strong conservative ecosystem.
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Can the Coming Crisis Revitalize our Republic? Thoughts on “Struggles of an Optimist,” a talk by Mitch Daniels ‘71

November 27, 2023 3 min read

By Khoa Sands ‘26

The idea of decline has always held a certain allure to historians and politicians alike. The high prophet of this declinism was Oswald Spengler, whose 1918 book The Decline of the West has become a motivating treatise for the American New Right. For these modern-day doomsayers, the United States is predestined to ruin, beset by internal crises of spiritedness and domestic politics as well as external threats of rising challengers to the US-led world order. These concerns are not unfounded – a revanchist China will be the largest geopolitical crisis of the twenty-first century and any casual observer of American politics can attest to the sorry state of domestic politics in America today.

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On institutional neutrality and double-standards

November 21, 2023 1 min read

Matthew Wilson, Daily Princetonian

 Excerpt: As I write this essay, the despicable poison of Jew-hatred has taken a firm hold at so many college campuses, Princeton included. Here at Princeton, activists proudly chant “Intifada” and demand the complete eradication of the world’s only Jewish state; elsewhere, from CornellHarvard, and the University of Pennsylvania to Ohio State and Cooper Union, frightening (and sometimes violent and illegal) exhibitions of anti-Jewish attitudes abound.

For the most part, university responses to these shameful displays have been tepid and restrained. these same universities, despite being so reticent to speak out now, have a prolonged public history of weighing in on a wide array of hotly contested and politically controversial topics. At Princeton, for instance, recent years have seen official statements issued deploring Supreme Court rulings on abortion and affirmative actioncondemning a jury verdict, and attacking a professor for his political views. On Hamas’s terrorist attacks? No official statements.

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Princeton-Iran ties again under scrutiny as Congress investigates research fellow

November 20, 2023 1 min read

Olivia Sanchez and Lia Opperman
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: The House Committee on Education and the Workforce announced on Thursday, Nov. 16 that it is launching an investigation into University research fellow Seyed Hossein Mousavian, amid allegations that Mousavian is using his position to advance the interests of Iran. 12 Republican committee members wrote a letter to University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 with 10 questions to aid their investigation. No Democratic committee members signed the letter.
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