Princetonians for Free Speech (PFS) is a nonprofit organization created by a group of Princeton alumni in November of 2020. Its mission is to promote free speech, free expression, and academic freedom at Princeton. All Princetonians – alumni, faculty, employees, students, and parents of students – are welcome to participate in the activities of PFS. Others are also welcome to use this website, subscribe to email updates, and attend PFS events.
PFS was created to give those many Princetonians (and others) who support free speech, free expression, and academic freedom a mechanism to make their voices heard and to work together with others who feel the same way.
PFS is non-partisan. It will stand up for the free speech rights of progressives, moderates, and conservatives alike, regardless of whether we agree with the views they express.
It does not take positions on individual substantive issues not related to its mission. In furthering its mission, PFS supports the “Chicago Principles,” the vision of free expression and academic freedom created at the University of Chicago and adopted as a regulation by Princeton in 2015, as well as by over 70 other universities.
The founders of PFS believe free speech, free expression and academic freedom are issues of great urgency and ones that go well beyond what is happening on campuses today. It is often said that today’s students are the leaders of tomorrow. Yet it is clear from recent events, as well as a number of polls, that many students do not understand the importance of free speech, and in fact often oppose the concept.
PFS has rallied and will rally support for Princeton students and faculty who are being attacked or harassed for expressing their views. It is also a vehicle to give all Princetonians and groups of Princetonians who may wish to contact the university about specific developments on campus that they believe impede free speech, free expression, or academic freedom.
The PFS website provides access to articles, speeches, letters, and other materials relating to free speech issues at Princeton. In order to provide context, the website also provides access to materials relating to free speech issues at universities generally or even beyond universities. Most materials are links to matters published elsewhere, but the PFS website also contains articles and other materials produced directly for it, including materials produced by participants in PFS.
The website is public, but members of the Princeton community are invited to become subscribers. Subscribers are sent email notices when new material is put on the website and when an important event or debate is occurring on campus. Subscribers are also invited to participate in other activities relating to free speech. Subscription to the website is free. We urge interested persons to subscribe, both to be kept informed about battles and other developments involving free speech at Princeton and other campuses and because the more subscribers PFS has, the more credibility and influence it will have.
PFS will also sponsor speakers, debates, and forums on campus and on the internet.