Princeton Free Speech News & Commentary

Commentary: Universities as Mediators, not Partisans

March 22, 2024 1 min read

Howard Sereda ‘78
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: President Eisgruber calls on Princetonians to “Speak Up for Princeton and for Higher Education” and to be “an ambassador for Princeton and for higher education” (“President’s Page,” March issue). I would reply “Yes (mostly)” to the first, but absolutely “No” to the other.

I’m grateful to Princeton for the opportunities it afforded me. But what the president misses is how deeply he and his colleagues have entered the American partisan fray and joined the combat he laments. It’s not surprising; viewed from “across the pond,” virtually every American and every American institution seems to have become engulfed in the civil war convulsing American culture and society, whilst protesting their neutrality.
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Commentary: Princetonians are divided. Here’s how we can come together

March 21, 2024 1 min read 1 Comment

Luqmaan Bamba
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Despite ample opportunities on campus to connect across class and culture, Princeton students often cluster in groups of similar kinds of people. As a result, we often inadvertently form bubbles closed to those who do not share our identities. Less formally and in everyday campus life, a clique-centered social life can be the norm. As students, we must work harder to reach out to those who are different from us and to form a more interconnected campus community.
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Commentary: We’re TikToking closer to the end of free speech

March 20, 2024 1 min read

Abigail Rabieh
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: When the Indian government banned TikTok almost 4 years ago, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the measure as something that would “boost India’s sovereignty.” Now, the U.S. government is contemplating a bill that could do the same. Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved legislation that would, if it became a bill, force TikTok Inc., a U.S. company, to find a new parent company that “satisfies the U.S. government” or risk a ban in the United States.

Much of the current outrage on this bill might appeal to college students — of which 82 percent use the app — because it could block their ability to access content they find enjoyable. But they should be far more concerned by the readiness of our government to curb our First Amendment rights and impede the expression of our core democratic values.
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Commentary: Darkness Like A Cancer Grows

March 18, 2024 1 min read

Bill Hewitt
Tiger Roars, Substack

Editor's Note: The little-known but important Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC), established in 1969 as “a permanent conference of the representatives of all major groups of the University," is the University's second most important governing body after the Board of Trustees. Its charter is at cpuc.princeton.edu.

Excerpt: I write you directly because my March 11 petition, filed with the CPUC
Secretary, seems not to have been distributed to the CPUC membership. This
failure happened despite my explicit request that each member receive it. Nor
have I received explanation why my request was not honored.

The agenda announced last week for tomorrow’s March 18 meeting makes
no reference to my March 11 petition. Not by coincidence, I submit, the agenda
instead includes as its second item a proposal by Provost Rexford on behalf of the
CPUC Executive Committee. This proposal is to ban any and all video recording
of CPUC meetings. Any vote on such a consequential measure should be by roll
call. A full video record best enables all interested persons themselves to study
public CPUC proceedings and to judge their conduct and substance.
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CPUC discusses renewed mental health nonprofit partnership, proposes to set policy on recording meetings

March 18, 2024 1 min read

Olivia Sanchez and Annie Rupertus
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: At the meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) on Monday, March 18, Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun introduced Princeton University’s renewed partnership with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to issues of emotional health and suicide prevention among young people.

Provost Jennifer Rexford introduced a proposal to establish a recording policy for CPUC meetings. Rexford also serves as the chair of the CPUC Executive Committee. Rexford read the draft proposal, “In order to promote the freedom to share ideas, video recording is prohibited at all meetings of the CPUC. Audio recording and still photography are permitted. Those in violation of the policy will be asked to stop recording. If repeated requests to cease recording are necessary, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
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Commentary: Why ‘Intellectual Diversity’ Requirements on Campus Won’t Work

March 13, 2024 1 min read

Keith E. Whittington
The Dispatch

Excerpt: Ever since the Trump administration issued an executive order barring federal agencies from holding diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops, Republican state legislatures have explored ways to rein in “divisive concepts” within their jurisdictions. Some legislatures have sought to ban state university professors from requiring that students “believe” such divisive concepts.

Indiana is the latest state to take a similar approach, hoping to incorporate “intellectual diversity” requirements to its colleges’ hiring protocols. But much like previous legislative attempts that try to tell universities what they should teach, Indiana’s proposed law is misguided.
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