About Princetonians for Free Speech

Our Mission

Princetonians for Free Speech will restore freedom of speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity at Princeton University by establishing, educating and empowering a nonpartisan community of alumni to demand Princeton embrace these core values, while supporting faculty and students who join our cause.

Our Vision

At Princetonians for Free Speech, we envision a world where higher education fully and fearlessly embraces the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity so students will graduate as well-rounded, critical thinkers who can become the leaders of tomorrow that our country needs.

Our Goals

Free Speech Rankings

Move Princeton to the top 25% in the FIRE speech rankings, including improving Princeton to a “green light” rating

Reduce the current  60+% student "fear"  to speak out on issues down to 25% 

Strengthen support for on-campus Free Speech groups 

Support student group events and initiatives that promote academic freedom and free speech

Assist in increasing membership in all groups

Make Free Speech a permanent part of Freshman orientation 

Achieve greater free speech content on campus (orientation, curriculum, etc.)

Have Princeton adopt the Kalven report, or equivalent policies

Empower alumni to communicate support for free speech to the Princeton administration

Accomplishing Our Goals

Read our recent letter to Princeton's trustee's here.

We work closely with faculty and student groups supporting free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity. In September of 2022, we, along with a group of Princeton faculty and students in the Princeton Open Campus Coalition formed the Princeton Free Speech Union, the first formal group on any campus bringing together alumni, faculty, and students to support free speech. Keep reading...

Affirmative Reaction

October 01, 2023

Christopher Connell ’71
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: Even now, tens of thousands of high school seniors around the country and the world are taking SATs — optional since the pandemic — and polishing essays in hopes of walking the campus pathways with Foster and Gardner. Princeton in August tweaked the short essay questions on its application to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, including asking applicants to write about how “your lived experience has shaped you.”

In August, the Board of Trustees established an ad hoc committee to examine Princeton’s admission policies, guided by two key principles: merit-driven admissions and the imperative to attract students from all sectors of society, including underrepresented groups.

Politics, porn, and polarization: a look back at Whig-Clio’s rise and fall

October 01, 2023

Charlotte Young and Katie Tiers
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: On and off Princeton’s campus, Whig-Clio is recognized as a political force in the history of debating societies. Today, the society prides itself as “the oldest college and literary debating club in the United States.” Notable alumni include James Madison Class of 1771 and Woodrow Wilson Class of 1879. While the club boasts itself as the premier political organization on campus, often bringing popular speakers, hosting parliamentary debates, and holding councils on national and international affairs, it has struggled to sustain its membership over the years. 

Now, it has around 300 members — a sharp decline from Whig-Clio’s glory days.

In 1983, Whig-Clio was engulfed in debate over a scheduled Friday night showing of the pornographic film “Debbie Does Dallas.” The choice provoked sharp criticism, both from members of Whig-Clio and the Women’s Center, which called for the showing to be canceled. Conversely, other members of Whig-Clio were enraged at the threat of cancellation, casting criticism as an attempt to censor the society.

Click here for link to full article

In wake of Robert George event shoutdown, Washington College vows to improve response to disruptive protests

September 28, 2023

Graham Piro
Foundation for Individual Rights in Expression

Excerpt: Earlier this month, Princeton professor Robert George’s appearance at Washington College provided yet another example of what’s known as the “heckler’s veto.” Protesters entered the event and drowned out George’s speech, eventually forcing him to leave — while security officers stood by and watched as the protesters shouted and played loud music to prevent George from speaking and those in attendance from hearing him. While the college publicly denounced the disruption, FIRE called on it to do more by educating its security officers on their responsibility to intervene and remove disruptive protesters.

In response to FIRE’s letter, Washington College President Michael J. Sosulski told us that part of the school’s post-incident analysis “will include ensuring that [its] Public Safety officers are prepared to engage in ways that will not permit events to be disrupted or abruptly canceled.”