Latest News and Commentary: Princeton

May 18, 2023
By Edward Yingling and Stuart Taylor, Jr.
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: In its May 2 article entitled “A decade later: a split legacy for Eisgruber,” the Daily Princetonian erred in saying that “Edward Yingling ’70 and Stuart Taylor ’70, co-founders of Princetonians for Free Speech” (PFS) argued that Eisgruber’s decision to fire then-professor Joshua Katz would “destroy Princeton’s acclaimed free speech rule” — making the free speech rule one that would protect only a small subset of the speech that the rule’s language and intent clearly do protect.
In fact, this was a Yingling-Taylor criticism not of President Eisgruber, but of a December 7, 2021 letter-ruling by Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity Michele Minter, which removes Rule 1.1.3’s protection from almost all instances of harassment for speech. . . .  Eisgruber’s response to Whittington, and his similar responses to criticisms by Professor of Mathematics Sergiu Klainerman and others, plus the never-revoked Minter letter-ruling, mean that the Eisgruber administration has quietly eviscerated the free speech rule that Eisgruber claims to support.”

May 10, 2023
By Julie Bonette
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: Why did founding father John Witherspoon voluntarily help Black people by tutoring them and offering religious services while owning slaves and declining to advocate for immediate abolition?

Historical documents have not given clear answers to that question or many others raised in a four-and-a-half-hour academic panel on April 21, organized by Princeton’s Committee on Naming. The committee is examining Witherspoon’s life and his stance on slavery as it considers a proposal to replace or remove a campus statue of Princeton’s sixth president.

May 8, 2023
By Sergiu Klainerman (Higgins professor of mathematics at Princeton)
Heterodox STEM, Substack

Excerpt: The scientific enterprise in United States is being seriously challenged by powerful anti-scientific trends. Postmodern relativism, under the pretense of anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-colonialism, anti-ableism... is undermining the very foundations of science as a search for truth.

Radical egalitarianism, disguised under the name of equity is undermining the critically important criteria of selection and rewards based on merit. Our elementary and secondary educational system, already very weak to start with, is being further and irreparably degraded by incompetent and heavily ideological, woke, schools of education throughout the country.

May 8, 2023
By Miriam Waldvogel and Jeannie Kim
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: At a conference on Friday, May 5, executives from oil and gas companies British Petroleum (BP) and members of the University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), an academic research program within the High Meadows Environmental Institute, were met the sight of students lying on the Julius Romo Rabinowitz (JRR) atrium floor with their mouths duct-taped and eyes closed.

At the event, the University also had two Free Speech Coordinators present. These are staff members selected to “attend various campus programs, meetings, and events where University policy on freedom of expression may be challenged.” Bryce Springfield ’25, who was in attendance, described the presence of the Free Speech Coordinators as “Orwellian.”

May 8, 2023
By Olivia Sanchez
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Anthony Romero ’87 discussed the importance of the First Amendment at the final Princeton Progressive Law Society (PPLS) event of the 2022-23 academic year.

This is the second major event that the group has hosted recently emphasizing the importance of free speech. University President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 spoke last week with PPLS advocating for free speech as a progressive value.

May 3, 2023
By Janny Eng
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 is “very proud” of University students’ commitment to free speech, he said at an event hosted on Saturday by the Princeton Progressive Law Society.

“I want to, among other things, urge progressives to embrace free speech as an ideal and as a practice and to take pride in the progressive heritage of that concept,” Eisgruber said during the presentation. “I don’t mean to say that free speech is only for progressives. I certainly don’t believe that. I regard free speech as a universal human right, as an American ideal.” 

April 28, 2023
By Bill Hewitt '74
The Tiger Roars, Substack

Excerpt:  I write to bring to your certain and inescapable attention grave, inexplicable, and ongoing gross misrepresentations of Princeton’s John Witherspoon by the Princeton and Slavery Project, for which you are project director.  I request your prompt and thorough undertakings to rectify these grievous wrongs — not simply to Witherspoon, but to all who have looked to the Project for trustworthy information and understanding about Witherspoon’s relation to slavery.  Their reliance on the Project and trust in the imprimatur of Princeton University itself have been wantonly betrayed.

April 26, 2023
By Jaden Stewart, Princeton Tory

Excerpt: The Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) Committee on Naming held the Witherspoon Symposium on Friday, April 21 to examine the historical legacy of John Witherspoon, the University’s sixth president and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. A poster advertising the event describes it as “a panel of scholarly experts [who] will explore John Witherspoon’s life in Scotland and America, his theological and political formation, his contributions to Princeton and the US, and his complex relationship to slavery and abolitionism.”

The symposium comes as part of ongoing deliberations regarding the fate of the statue of John Witherspoon in Firestone Plaza.

Click here for link to full article

April 25, 2023
By Eldar Shafir and Uri Hasson
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: We write this to alert faculty, students, and the administration of the appointment of Ronen Shoval as Research Scholar and Lecturer in Politics, and to invite us to reflect on who we want to appoint to teach our students.

As described by the media, politicians and civil rights groups, and numerous scholars, Shoval is the founder of an ultranationalist Israeli group that has waged campaigns of intimidation and harassment against prominent human rights organizations, academic departments, authors, artists, and scholars across Israel for years. To be clear, the issue here is not about freedom of speech. If someone on campus would like to hear McCarthyites or founders of organizations labeled fascist speak, by all means, invite them to speak. Granting University Lecturer status, however, is a whole other matter.

April 24, 2023
By Laura Robertson
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Last year, The Daily Princetonian launched the Senior Survey, asking a range of questions of the senior class and breaking it down in over 200 ways. Today, the ‘Prince’ released its second senior survey. Here are eight takeaways from the data collected about the class of 2023. [The last takeaway is:]

Conservatives on campus report feeling very uncomfortable sharing their political views

64.3 percent of very conservative students and 55.2 percent of somewhat conservative students feel somewhat or very uncomfortable sharing their political views on campus, compared to 3.2 percent of leftists and socialists.