Commentary: In Defense of Academic Freedom: Princeton Open Campus Coalition’s Letter To President Eisgruber

the Princeton Open Campus Coalition

We the undersigned undergraduate students of Princeton University write on behalf of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, founded in 2015 to advocate for the university’s robust protection of important values such as free speech, free thought, and bold and fearless truth-seeking. On June 22, 2020, some students of the School of Public and International Affairs (“School”) submitted a list of demands to the University administration, seeking the enactment of certain “anti-racist” policies. Among their demands is the institution of required courses in line with their professed beliefs on “race, capitalism, and colonialism.” They further demand that the University, acting through the School, hire more Black faculty, require “anti-racist training once per semester for all faculty, staff, preceptors, and administrators,” purge the University of any reference to Woodrow Wilson, and divest from what they term the “prison-industrial complex.” The vast majority of claims and demands made by these students amounts to a concerted siege of free thought at Princeton.